Honda XL 600V Transalp


Make Model

Honda XL 600V Transalp




Four stroke, 52° V-Twin, SOHC, 3 valves per cylinder


583 cc / 35.5 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 75.0 x 66 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 9.2:1


2x 32 mm Keihin Carburettor CV


Electrical Electronical double CD-I ingnition, 12Vdc, 12V/12Ah battery, AC-generator, electrical starter, electronic safegard on side stand
Generator  0.310 kW / 5000 rpm
 Starting Electric

Max Power

50 hp / 36.5 kW @ 8000 rpm

Max Torque

52.6 Nm / 38.8 ft-lb @ 6000 rpm


5 Speed
Final Drive Chain
Gear Ratio 1st: 2.571  2nd: 1.777  3rd: 1.380  4th: 1.125  5th: 0.961
Frame Single downtube with double loop cradle of rectangular section

Front Suspension

41 mm Telescopic hydraulic forks
Front Wheel Travel 200 mm / 7.8 in

Rear Suspension

Pro-link monoshock
Rear Wheel Travel 187 mm / 7.4 in

Front Brakes

Single 276 mm disc 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 240 mm disc 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

Dimensions Length 2260 mm / 89.0 in
Width    865 mm / 34.0 in
Height   905 mm / 35.6 in
Wheelbase 1505 mm / 59.2 in
Seat Height 850 mm / 33.5 in
Ground Clearance  195 mm / 7.7 in

Dry Weight

183.0 kg / 404 lbs
Wet Weight 202.0 kg / 445 lbs

Fuel Capacity

18 Litres / 4.7 US gal

Consumption Average

18.3 km/lit

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

13.3 m / 42.1 m

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.4 sec / 152.8 km/h

Top Speed

172.5 km/h
Related Links

Technical  /  xrv.org.uk / blackbears.ru

Road Test Motociclismo 1994

Becouse British motorcyclists suffer from Transalp "blindness, Honda has given the trusty V-twin trailie a less invisible look for 1994. The sleek new upper fairing is meant to stop Britishers in showrooms from staring straight through the Transalp and ogling the Suzuki GS500 or Yamaha Diversion behind.

It is a bizarre phenomenon. Whereas Europeans see the Transalp for what it is  the most practical middleweight trailie, and a laugh to boot  we Brits just see that bland front end and ignore the rest. Hopefully the improved look will do the trick, because for the last seven years we've been missing out in a big way.

And I mean big. It will come as a surprise to most UK bikers that the Transalp is a rip-snorting corporate money-spinner of near VFR750 proportions. Yes, you read that right.

The Transalp is huge. European cities are clogged with them, and the likely reason Honda left the Transalp unchanged for seven years was that it was selling so fast.

It knocks Triumph's feat of selling 10,000 bikes worldwide in three years squarely into perspective. France and Italy alone get through 7000 Transalps each year, and there are now over 60,000 of the podgy V-twins phut-phutting about Europe. The total number of Transalps sold in Britain since the 1987 launch is 843.

There's no doubt the Transalp is now less offensive to the eye. Where before the nose fairing was a bulbous way of holding a square light that didn't seem to fit properly, now it's sleek. The nose is sharper, the light (straight off the much trencher Dom-inator) is faired in and lines are smoother - a cross between a Kawasaki KLE and a Dominator.

Now only the lower half of the bike looks clumsy. In theory, the Transalp's longitudinally aligned V-twin could look as narrow as a single, but Honda sculpted the lower bodywork and bashplate round the radiator, making the whole lot wider. The Dominator looks like a waif, the Transalp looks like it's got a beer gut.

But it's only a matter of time before you acclimatise to the podgi-ness and don't notice it anymore. Practically, the new fairing does the same job as the old design, though Honda claims the wider screen takes more wind off the shoulders. A fair amount of wind hits the rider at helmet height, but at 75 to 80mph - the Transalp natural cruising speed — this isn't a problem.

And when it's cold, the handguards make the difference between chilly fingers and frostbite. The only aerodynamic irritant is that with a pillion, the rider's head bobbles crazily from side to side. God knows why.

Because of a wide, comfortable saddle, touring on a Transalp isn't just possible, it's recommended. Unlike virtually every other sub-750 trailie, the Transalp can be pointed at France safe in the knowledge that arse surgery won't be needed at the other end. And the pillion saddle is even wider than the rider's.

Corners can be attacked with a vigour that surprises the ignoramuses who see the Transalp only as an off-road bike with a bland engine. At both ends the Showa suspension is designed for comfort not speed, being softly sprung and gendy damped, but front and back compliment each other so well that corner japes are not seriously compromised. It's not taut like a Dominator, but the Transalp is a laugh.

The engine's linear power output is perfectly matched to the suspension. The throttle can be wound on early to gendy pin the footpeg to the deck. This is impressive — the Transalp has ample ground clearance even with the suspension fully splurged, and when the peg touches down the Yokohama tyres are nearing their limits. Definitely not enjoyable on a bike you don't fully trust.

Predictably, the soft forks are Olympic standard divers on the brakes, the single disc with slighdy modified twin piston calipers being capable of reducing fork travel to an inch or so. There's enough braking power to get the front tyre squealing, but it needs three fingers. Another disc would make life easier, especially two up.

In the entertaining Transalp show, the engine is a support act. The unsophisticated sohc twin doesn't grab the rider's attention, but then there isn't so much as a stone chip in the meat of the power curve either.

Power is refined rather than dramatic. The motor is a practical, unstressed (until 8000rpm, 750rpm short of the redline) unit that does the job with absolutely no fuss. Twin spark plugs give the most immediate start your thumb is ever likely to come across, vibes don't make an entrance until 7000rpm and below 80mph there's always enough power to crack on.

But whereas a Dominator impresses with its wheelie-pulling tug at low revs, and a KLE500 with its 80 to 90mph thrashability, the Transalp doesn't. Open the throtde at 2000rpm and it just goes, the extra 33kg (731b) over the Dominie keeping the front wheel on the tarmac and blunting acceleration.

Wind it on at 7000rpm in top (90mph) and the reaction is even more measured. The two Keihin carbs give spotlessly clean response until then, but at 7000 they struggle. Sitting behind a truck at 75mph this translates as laboured overtaking.

Over seven years the Transalp has collected classy touches galore. The fuses are handily next to the ignition (handy for thieves too unfortunately), the tool kit is down by the helmet lock (no under-panel delving needed), the rack is superb and the bash plate seals dirt from the engine.

Sixty thousand Europeans aren't wrong. The Transalp is much better than we give it credit for. The new fairing may cure our Transalp blindness, but sadly at this year's price of £5065 there's a good chance it'll stay invisible for another 12 months.

John Westlake

Source Bike Magazine 1994