Honda’s upcoming XL750 Transalp is expected to follow hot on the heels of the impressive new CB750 Hornet and a new patent application has revealed how the machine will look ahead of its expected unveiling later this year.
While patents usually feature generic drawings unless they’re specifically related to the appearance of a new bike, Honda’s latest application shows a machine that precisely matches our expectations for the Transalp – borrowing the engine and chassis from the new Hornet and wrapping it in styling that’s halfway between the CB500X and the Africa Twin. Anticipation for the new Transalp has raised since the launch of the Hornet at last week’s Intermot show in Cologne, thanks to a remarkable combination of performance, equipment and price that leaves its most obvious rivals out in the cold.
Using the same 755cc, Unicam, 270-degree parallel twin that debuted in the Hornet with 90.5hp and 55.3lb-ft of torque, the Transalp is expected to have the same figures, putting it substantially ahead of rivals like Yamaha’s 72hp Ténéré 700 and close to the likes of BMW’s F850GS. But since the Hornet has launched with a remarkable RRP of £6999, undercutting the less powerful, lower-spec Yamaha MT-07 that’s been ruling the bargain middleweight class by some £200, there’s a good chance that the new Transalp 750 will do the same to the Ténéré 700, which starts at £9900, and potentially by quite a margin.
Overlaid image shows how the Transalp shares parts with the new Hornet
The new patent application, which revolves around a fairly mundane technical matter relating to the mounting of the swingarm, shows that the Transalp shares the same headlight as the Hornet – itself borrowed from the Honda CB500F – and it appears to combine it with a front mudguard from the Honda CB500X and bodywork that sits somewhere between the CB500X and the Africa Twin in terms of style and stance. The patent drawing perfectly matches long-distance spy shots of the new Transalp that emerged on the internet earlier this year, right down to the large pillion grab rails extending into a luggage rack at the back. The patent also confirms that the Transalp uses a chassis derived from the Hornet’s steel diamond frame, with longer forks and larger wheels as well as an extended swingarm to increase the wheelbase, relax the rake and raise the ride height. The wheels are understood to be 21in at the front and 18in at the back, like the Tenere 700, allowing the fitment of proper off-road rubber.
The parts sharing doesn’t stop there, as the Transalp also borrows the Hornet’s silencer, although it’s mounted on a different exhaust front section to raise it and change the angle a fraction.
With the engine, frame and exhaust from the Hornet, the chances are the electronics will also be carried over, including the TFT dash and voice-controlled smartphone link for media, navigation, calls and messages.
All indications are that the Transalp will break cover at the EICMA show in Milan in November, joining the Hornet in a new range of 755cc twins that in future is expected to extend to a café racer style Hawk 750 and even a fully-faired CBR750R.