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|
|Givi Rack & Topbox|
|Hawk Front Disc and Lenac Adaptor|
|Hepco & Becker Pannier Rack|
|HID Headlight Upgrade|
|LED Bulbs All Round|
|Neoprene Fork Socks|
|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|
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
- Various nuts/bolts
- Solder (can be used with lighter in an emergency)
- Front and rear tubes
- Puncture repair kit
- Clutch and throttle cables
- Chain links
- Gorilla tape
- Cable ties
- Electrical tape
- 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……
- 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.