Honda CB650R vs Hornet 750 ComparedI thought I’d do a run down on the new Honda Transalp XL750 adventure motorcycle, after covering the new V-Strom 800DE the other day. Needless to say if you’ve been hanging out for the Africa Twin 750, this is it, and 2023 will be a good year for the mid-capacity adventure machines.
This isn’t the first appearance of this particular powerplant either, it was first revealed in the Hornet, as a Unicam, 270-degree crank parallel twin.
755 cc of course, producing 67.5 kW or 90 horsepower and 75 Nm of torque, which isn’t bad when you consider that the full 1100 Africa Twin only produced 100 ponies, even if there’s an additional 30 Nm of torque.
Electronics are also strong, starting with throttle-by-wire, or ride-by-wire, that branches into five ride modes, engine power modes, adjustable engine braking, Honda Selectable Torque Control and integrated Wheelie Control.
On the chassis side of things we’ll start with the 850 mm seat height, which can apparently be lowered to 820 mm with the low seat, where the standard height seat looks like it’ll probably offer easy grip with your knees while standing up on the bike.
‘Bars are also tall and wide, swept back to the rider, and the pictures provided show a roomy standing stance, with easy reach to the bars, while sitting likewise has a little angle down to the bars for what appears to be an average size rider, but a more active than relaxed seating position, between seat and ‘pegs. This will all vary rider to rider of course.
A steel diamond frame is run weighing 18.3 kg, which Honda says is 10% lighter than that on the CB500X, which isn’t exactly a light machine… however the other point they mention – strength is probably the more important one. The integrated heavy duty subframe is also steel but mainly hidden away under the bodywork. The swingarm is apparently from the same castings at the CRF1100L but in an aluminium exclusive to the Transalp.
Honda also boast premium suspension, with 43 mm Separate Function Showa forks, running 200 mm of travel, while the Showa shock runs the Pro-Link linkage.
Both only offer preload adjustability however, meaning you have to upgrade to the Africa Twin for a more adjustable suspension load out. There is 190 mm of travel at the rear though, with ground clearance at 210 mm, which is pretty generous.
Brakes meanwhile are a balanced setup, with 310 mm wave rotors on the front and dual-piston front calipers. The rear is a 256 mm wave rotor that’s mated to a single-piston caliper. No doubt a setup aimed at control over outright power.
Spoked wheels are a 21 and 18 inch combo, with 90 by 90 front and 150 by 70 rear, with either Metzeler Karoo Street or Dunlop Mixtours fitted, and you’ll be running tubes.