A blog to record our motorbike adventure through the Americas


I bought the 1987 Honda Transalp in 2008 with a plan to restore it back to it’s former glory after being stored for 20 odd years.
It was an eBay spur of the moment purchase that had less than 3000kms on it but needed some love to bring it back to life again.
The plan was to replace any broken panels, give it a quick respray and damn good clean………..but then I got carried away.

It’s not the fastest or sexiest of bikes but the simple mechanics along with Honda’s renowned reliability, it should make a good overland choice for riding the Americas.

Here is a list of modifications that I have made.

12V Marine Socket
2nd Rear Running/Brake Light
Ard Cases
Autocom System
Braided Hose
Centre Stand
Custom Seat
Custom Toolbox
Garmin Mount
Gel Battery
Givi Rack & Topbox
Hawk Front Disc and Lenac Adaptor
Headlight Guard
Hepco & Becker Pannier Rack
HID Headlight Upgrade
Laser ProDuro
LED Bulbs All Round
LED Spotlights
Neoprene Fork Socks
Oxford Hotgrips
Progressive Fork Springs
Second Fusebox with Relay
Stebel Nautilus Compact Horn
SW Motech Bash Plate
SW Motech Crash Bars
SW Motech Touring Footpegs
ToolTube With Fuel Cannister
Touring Flip Screen

Additional mods added on the road:

Hagon Custom Mono Shock




Overland ready XL600V Transalp

transalp overlanding


I’ve stripped the toolkit down to the bear minimum in order to save weight, but it should still allow me to do all usual maintenance and hopefully anything else that gets thrown our way.


  • CDI unit
  • Ignition lead and plug
  • Front and rear wheel bearings
  • Fuses
  • Bulbs
  • Various nuts/bolts
  • Solder (can be used with lighter in an emergency)
  • Wire
  • Relay
  • Front and rear tubes
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Clutch and throttle cables
  • Chain links
  • Gorilla tape
  • Cable ties
  • Electrical tape
  • Velcro
  • Chain Breaker/Riveter
  • Centre punch
  • Tyre pressure gauge

Breakdowns and Repairs (updated throughout the trip)

  • 2 x Rear punctures
  • 2 x CDI failures (they were 25 years old!)
  • Front wheel bearings replaced after 20,000km
  • Head bearings replaced after 32,000km
  • Fork seals and bushes replaced after 32,000km
  • Neutral switch replaced after 32,000km


  • Michelin Anakee 2 tyres – lasted approx 12,000km. My favorite tyre so far – good in all conditions.  Replaced early due to it squaring off but could have probably done another couple of thousand kms.
  • Kenda K671 tyres – lasted approx 8,000km.  Cheap and cheerful but good value for money.  Grip was good in most conditions.  Replaced early as we found a good selection of tyres available in LA before heading over the border to Mexico.  Probably could have got at least another 1,000km from it however.
  • Metzeler Tourance tyres – currently on the bike.  Most expensive tyre used so far.  Grip is okay but it has terrible handling over roads with ridges, with tracking being far more noticeable that normal.  Wear rate seems very good.  We’ll see how they last……

Other Consumables

  • DID O-ring and chain & sprockets replaced after 20,000kms.  I was hoping for more mileage from this but the chain stretched abnormally possibly due to very dusty conditions when the Scotoiler was not turned up high enough.  Replaced with DID X-Ring and JT sprockets.

4 responses

  1. Jo Hardwick

    Lisa, is this what you meant when you said Dan had poshed his bike up??!! xx

    May 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  2. carlos

    hello , argentina now?

    March 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    • Hola Carlos, viajamos en Argentina para 6 semanas pero ahora estamos en inglaterra. Hace mucho frio aqui!


      March 26, 2013 at 5:16 am

      • carlos

        hola yo tambien estoy refaccionado una transalp de 1987 pero necesito piezas ustedes me pueden ayudar deseo comprar used parts en inglaterra o en europa, . gracias

        March 27, 2013 at 12:35 am

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