Honda XL650V Transalp (1987-2007): The veteran

     Engine : The V twin liquid cooled engine of 647 c.c. will not set roads on fire, it will just make rider smile sometimes. However due to reliability it has gained riders appreciation since its introduction many years ago. Torque is adequate from 2500 rpm upwards, very linear to the top of the range, delivering effortlessly the power which is adequate for 80% of the category rides. There is some power at the top, 53 nominal bhp.


     Riding position: For the standards of the category the seat is on average height, relatively narrow, riders taller than average will be satisfied. The same applies to dimensions which are average for the big on-off category. Width and bulk, compared to street bikes, are respectable. Thus bulk and weight, 191 Kg dry, cannot be hidden. Rider is positioned rather in the bike , riding position being neutral.
     On the road: Steering lock is huge which is desirable in town rides, allowing really little steering radius. Suspension is soft. On town rides the bikes bulk is counter-balanced by the comfortable  high riding position, which allows rider to supervise traffic.  The steering lock, the effortless power delivery, the height of the handle bar which is higher than car mirrors, result in relaxed town rides and almost easy filtering. Ease of town use is impressive even in town narrowest roads.
     Out of urban areas handling is not as tempting as one would expect, agility is moderate for category standards.  However its greatly neutral, very stable and effective for most of the rides. The result is that rider trusts more and more the bike as days go by, even though there are not any impressive characteristics. Road imperfections are absorbed and rider will not be bothered. At the fast pace feedback to the rider is average compared with the modern standards. However the rider's confidence will not be lost. 
     On soil roads cautious rides may be done. Brakes are user friendly on low friction roads, however they are weak on high friction tarmac.
     Travelling on the highway provides decent air protection, speed of travel may easily be the 150 Km/h indication. Tank range is less than 250 Km.
     Brakes are user friendly on low friction roads. On high friction tarmac they are weak.


     Comments: It belongs to a category that there are few changes every now and then, less frequent than other bike categories. It is important for a future owner to spend little money for a bike which will be better than adequate for standard use.
     he LV is comfortable for the pillion as well. Fuel consumption is increased for a V twin low bhp engine. In year 2000 engine capacity was increased to 650 c.c., also there were changes at the suspension, brakes and a face lift.


Price : -

+Reliability

+Price used

+Wide range of use

-Dull

-Fuel consumption



Thanks to the motorcycle shop Baxevanis - Honda, tel.+302109237000, Kalirois 12, Athens, Greece, http://www.baxevanismoto.com/ for the test ride.

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