Honda has reportedly registered for rights to the Transalp badge in the USA and other international markets, adding fuel to speculation that a new middleweight adventure motorcycle of the same name is on the cards.
First Honda Transalp was introduced 1987
New Honda 750-850cc adventure motorcycle may be called the Transalp
Will sit below the Honda Africa Twin
Why is the Honda Transalp significant?
For the longest time, there have been talks about Honda working on a sub-1,000cc adventure motorcycle that'll sit below its famous Africa Twin. With the likes of the KTM 790 Adventure (replaced now with the 890 Adventure), Triumph Tiger 900 and Yamaha Tenere 700 gobbling up a chunk of the middleweight adventure motorcycle pie, Honda is expected to introduce a 750-850cc adventure motorcycle to take the fight to them. Rumours suggest that Honda may be developing a new parallel-twin engine for the Transalp, which will not only help reduce costs but also give them the freedom to design and develop a slimmer and lighter machine.
One may argue that the Honda NC750X or the CB500X are already present in the middleweight adventure motorcycle category, however, these are road-biased adventure motorcycles. What Honda is expected to come up with is an off-road capable motorcycle that'll also be more affordable and manageable to ride than 1,000cc plus ADVs.
Why call it the Honda Transalp?
The Honda Transalp is an old name, with the motorcycle debuting in 1987. In many ways, just like it did with the legendary Africa Twin badge, Honda is expected to revive the Transalp name for its 750-850cc ADV. A little flip of the history books reveals that the Transalp debuted with a V-twin engine as the XL600V, followed by the XL650V and lastly the XL700V, in 2007. Honda discontinued the Transalp in 2012, and although the motorcycle was off the market, Honda reserved the rights to that name in many international countries, so far.
When will Honda launch the Transalp?
Honda's new sub-1,000cc adventure motorcycle is expected to be introduced in late 2021 or 2022. Whether Honda introduces the motorcycle with the Transalp badge remains to be seen. What is also uncertain is whether the motorcycle will make it to our shores, but if it does, expect it to be priced competitively and much below the Honda Africa Twin that's priced at Rs 15.96 lakh (ex-showroom, India).