CAN WE GET EXCITED ABOUT A NEW TRANSALP? WHAT IS HONDA UP TO?

Honda CB500X on top of a mountain
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Will Honda serve up a mid-size adventure weapon or, (yawns) another road-biased cafe hopper

Honda has announced the CB200X to be released in India and compete with the insanely popular Royal Enfield. Pumping out a modest 17Hp, it’s not a firebreather but well suited to the market it’s intended for.

The CB500X is set to be an affordable ADV option in India
The CB500X is set to be an affordable ADV option in India

It cuts a decent figure and looks very much part of the CB family but while it’s yet to be seen as to whether we’ll see the CB200X in Australia it’s worth noting that the company seems set to announce at least two more models.

Honda’s NT1100 carries the Africa Twin’s EURO5 compliant engine

The NT1100 is slated for a touring role using the new Africa Twin engine and bodywork that looks like a visual representation of a John Mayer album. Set to fill the hole the Crossrunner left and fully Euro 5 complaint it should be a decent step forward if you can get behind the bland aesthetics.

Could the new mid-size be an Africa Twin or a more road bias Transalp?

WILL A TRANSALP HIT THE ROAD OR DIRT?

Of most interest is the impending release of a mid-size bike that could go one of two ways. Rumoured to be somewhere between a 750 and 850cc, the new bike is hoped deeply, with fingers crossed and wishes made upon stars, to be a full adventure model.

There is a decent chance however that it will be more of a road-going bike with an upright sitting position – a hybrid tourer capable of soft adventure riding, which…meh.

If Honda hit that mid-size segment with a new Africa Twin or resurrected Transalp, it would be a popular move among many and hopefully put the wind-up both Suzuki and Kawasaki who are absent from the modern, dedicated off-road adventure market.



But if Honda calls the new bike either of those names followed by a recommendation that you do not ride it off-road, then the adventure riding world would be justifiably disappointed. That said, it would fit with the way the Transalp transitioned into more of a tourer, and a manky looking one at that!

Kawasaki Motorcycles broke away from Kawasaki Heavy Industries not too long ago to gain greater autonomy, but the recent release of multiple new models yielded just a rehash of an old favourite in the KLR650. It will be some time before anything truly new comes along.

Suzuki gave the V-Storms it’s customary going over with no real great gains. They’re great bikes, but I think many of us thought from the teasers that the return of the DR BIG was on the cards.

It’s no doubt great to see Honda presenting new models that circle the adventure concept and we have high hopes, right or wrong, that the new mid-size will be a 21-inch front wheel, dirt-ready model that sees another Japanese entry to the core adventure market. For those that believe Honda peaked in 1988, have we got something for you to feast your eyes upon.