HONDA 700 TRANSALP test
Historically- all-terrain trail in nature- the new Transalp 700 is more versatile and can be ridden on the road while retaining its rough and tumble allure. The changes are numerous- both aesthetically and handling and it makes you want to know more.
The biggest change is in the design. Gone are the squared forms and classic rally-raid features of its predecessor. the silhouette is elongated and rounder- which can really be seen with the head light. The seat is lower and more comfortable- privileging the road going qualities of this Honda- which is accentuated by a sorter wheel base of 177mm compared to the 220 of its predecessor.
The 41 mm hydraulic fork is not adjustable but there is an easy to adjust single shock at the rear of the Transalp. The front wheel has gone from 21 to 19 inches and the ABS brake system comes standard.
Motorization: Easy to ride and plenty of torque
There is also something new that can not necessarily be seen. In ode to fall in line with Euro 3 standards- he carburettor fed twin-cylinder of the past has been replace by the 680cc V-twin that also powers the Deauville model- which burns cleaner and gets better fuel consumption- which is important because the tank holds 1.5-litres less than the previous Transalp.
On the road: Sane and reassuring
Riding the Transalp couldn-t be any easier. The lowered centre of gravity favours manageability on the road and will be welcomes with open arms by smaller sized riders. The 219 kilograms pose no problems whatsoever and can bob and weave through traffic and sits higher than most automobile rear view mirrors and has an incredible turning radius. When speed picks ups- the 60bhp isn-t a world beater but the engine is pleasant and at 2500 rpm it has a respectable amount of torque.
The big differences were found in the handling. The 700 Transalp is a lot more solid and safe thanks in great part to the 19-inch rear tyre. The only hiccup comes from the non-adjustable fork- which is far too soft- on the other hand- the ABS system isn-t that noticeable but does its job perfectly in case of an emergency brake situation.
Obviously- it wouldn-t be real a test ride without a go in the dirt. The Transalp has forfeited some of its all-terrain aptitudes for road handling sake but you can still have a good day out- just make sure the weather is on your side before heading because these tyres do not like nor do well in the mud. The third generation Transalp 700 is a clear departure from the two previous versions. More stylish and more of a road bike- but it is still as simple and versatile as its predecessors.
We can-t not- however- say that the Transalp is a fun bike- but it does get the job done in wide open spaces as it does in town. At less than 7000 euros- this Honda still has a long and bright future.
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