During an epic trip to Joshua Tree National Park in California, lead designer of French motorcycle designer Viba, Yann Bakonyi, was driving along in a Jeep Wrangler and thought to himself (something like) ‘this trip would be SO much better on a motorcycle’. Enter the 1987 Honda XL 600V Transalp.
Whilst rumours are circulating that Honda is working on a new Transalp for a future release (that would be really cool) to compete on a middleweight market that really heating up, Yann took it into his own hands – opting to restore the Transalp to its former glory as a restomod as opposed to going down the custom road.
The mains goals, according to Bike Exif (check their site for full build info), were to bring the classic adventurer into 2021 whilst retaining its looks, but also improve the riding characteristics.
Tearing the bike down nut and bolt, the swingarm and frame were given a fresh lick of paint, re-spoke the wheels and fit Avon TrekRider hoops, paired with Brembo disc brakes and braided steel lines.
Keeping the original Showa forks but replacing the oil and shims, a ‘shock fender’ was installed to tidy things up with a reinforced front sprocket pinion, and Yann opted to keep the original bash plate and a majority of the OG fairing style.
Viba is known for its 3D design & printing tech, so naturally, there is some fitted here: special housings for LED spotlights, aftermarket voltmeter bracket, and a CNC-machined rear rack with integrated turn signals.
The end result is a spectacular look at what could happen if a manufacturer decided to re-create a classic formula with modern tech. If Honda really is working on a Transalp, take a few notes! Wink wink nudge nudge.
Who doesn’t love a good restomod | Honda Transalp
My particular favourite on this restomod is the topographic map on the screen, from Joshua Tree and a nice nod to the origins of this beauty. Don’t expect to see much through the screen, but style sometimes has a price.
And if I had the money… well, I’d pay that price!