Why I’m Riding a Honda XL750 Transalp For Nine Months

I’ll be spending the best part of 2024 with the machine we named our favourite new bike for 2023

Honda XL750 Transalp - rear

In case you missed it while enjoying festive merriment, at the tail end of 2023 we named the Honda XL750 Transalp as the Visordown Bike of the Year. That’s quite a claim, considering we picked it out of the dozens of exciting, shiny new bikes we rode over the preceding 12 months, so just how good is the bike, really? 

We’d based that decision on a good chunk of mileage both on and off-road, but to properly test a bike, you need to ride it over a long period of time. It needs to be used for the boring A to B stuff, as well as the exciting jaunts on your favourite B-roads. 

With that in mind, I now have the keys to an XL750, which will be living with me for the best part of the year. 

'Our' Honda Transalp is fitted with the Adventure Pack, which for £755 adds a lovely Transalp-branded radiator grille, front body protection and some fog lights. There's also the £1100 Rally Pack, which includes a skid plate, extended hand guards, an engine guard, rally pegs, and best of all, a quickshifter. All of that bumps the total price to £11,790. 

I have big plans for the Transalp. Along with being a general runaround for things like commuting and airport runs, it’ll be joining me for a couple of personal ‘firsts’ - my first-ever European tour, and my first-ever attempt at greenlaning. Good job it has that body protection…

A lot of the really cool stuff I want to do with it is quite far off, but that doesn’t matter - I’ve already fallen in love with it. With its classic-inspired tricolore livery it looks the business, and that 755cc parallel twin shared with the CB750 Hornet is a joy to use, whether you’re making the most of the punchy mid-range or the surprisingly zingy top end. 

It’s early days, but I’m sure that Bike of the Year victory will prove well and truly justified.