Transalp FAQs

All about technology, weak points and accessories regarding the Honda Transalp models PD06-PD10  (construction years 1987-1999)
This page is a compilation of the experiences communicated through the  Transalp-Forum. It is based on the contributions of various Transalp riders who passed their knowledge on to others.

Links are marked as follows: 
Link to german language site,  link to english language site,  Link to (german). All other links are internal links to targets on this page. 

Please mail supplementations, dead or additional links to the Keeper of the TA-FAQs. If questions arise, please post in the  Forum. It is in german language, but quite a few speak english. Names of Companies and Products may be registered trademarks. Prices are rough approximates. I do not take any responsibility or liability for any given instructions; any modifications on your bike are at your own risk. No liability is taken for the contents of linked pages or sites.


Subject index
Air filter
Bicycle speedo
Center stand
Chain and sprockets
Chain Oiler
Chain slack
Construction year
Crash bars
Engine guard
Exhaust pipe
Fuel filters
Fuel Tap
Gear lever
Hand guards
Hazard lights
Headset bearing
Heated grips
Model year
Rear suspension
Reduced power
Repair manual
Saddle height: Lower, higher
Second hand parts
Spark plugs
Super Moto
Suspension, rear
Suspension too soft
Temperature gauge
Used parts
Valve clearance
Wheel bearing
Year of construction

Adresses of dealers and manufacturers:
Second hand parts (Deti); check here for a few online contacts
(Accessory-)Manufacturers (Deti)

An air filter is about 30 € and needs to be replaced every 18 Mm. Recently genuine parts without rubber seal  (part no. 17230-MM9) were sold rather than the cartridges including the seal (17230-MS6), but usually the old seals can be used again (will cost 9 € otherwise). Accessory air filters are no good, they have often been the reason of bad engine performance and backfires. The alternative to the genuine part is the reusable K&N filter (60 €). It can be washed with a specific cleaner and consists of oiled cotton. It comes ready to use. Cleaning and oiling needs to be done after 10 to 80 Mm, depending on conditions. Optimal performance is achieved when the filter is in use for a while. For rides in extremely dusty conditions (desert) the genuine filter is recommended, also turn the rubber air intake on the airbox towards the seat. 
Air filter

Occasional backfires can be regarded as normal. If they happen often, or are accompanied by an unusual high fuel consumption (above 6 L) there is a problem. The air filter might be clogged, or the intake mufflers leak. The latter can be diagnosed by using Start Pilot spray: Sprayed on the intake mufflers with the engine idling, a leak will cause the engine to rev up. It might help in this case to remove the spacers in the muffler clamps, this allows to tighten the joint more. Another cause for leak air can be a porous vacuum hose from the fuel tab. 
Backfires can also be caused by a jammed choke cable or choke piston, these are easily removed and checked. Sometimes there is a hole in one of the vacuum membranes in the carburetor, the repair kit is supposed to cost above 40 €. A repair with 2-component glue might work. The look of the spark plugs can help to diagnose this. It may also help to turn out the idling mixture adjusting screw on the carburetor for a half to a full turn.

The acid level of the battery drops sometimes quite suddenly, which can mean the end of the battery life. Check the level regularly. This is easier done if the battery is mounted without the black rubber case. The drop is most probably caused by a thermal fault in the regulating circuit, charging the battery not suitably on long rides. Changing the RR unit against an accessory part (e.g. by Motek) solves the problem, adding a cooling fan and checking all plug contacts helps a lot. Do use only demin water to fill up the battery.
The 14 Ah-battery of the more recent transalp models can also be used in the older ones, the rubber case must be abandoned and in few cases holes have to be drilled in the connections.
Battery types are YB12A-B (12 Ah) and YB14-B2 (14 Ah).
The Hawker SBS8 battery also fits, the connections must be modified. It is extremely durable and powerful, but should only be run with an accessory RR unit (max charging voltage 13.8 V).
You need a new battery when the voltage drops on load so heavy that the starter is not able to move the engine, although the battery has been charged. Often only a summing noise from the magnetic switch can be heard, and the rest of the electric stuff is also not likely to work properly.

The bearings of the transalp do not always last forever. There is substitution:
Die Radlager der Transalp (wheel bearings)
Die Lenkkopflager der Transalp (headset bearings)
According to Gerd the adjustment of the headset bearing is really easy if two rubber rings are inserted above the upper bearing and the adjustment screw. 3/4" sealing rings fit. The rings have to be pressed right into the triangular gaps. The adjustment screw is fastened tightly by hand. The upper o-ring can be ommitted in case the steering lock does not engage.
Secure the center stand with a belt when working on the headset bearing. 
ProLink bearings (as of 1989 model) are available from Honda or Emil Schwarz; dimensions until 1996:  17.5*24.5*22 mm.

The brakes of the Transalp are quite all right, bur the front rotor is worn out some time. The original part being some 400 €, an accessory disc is usually chosen. Cast iron rotors are available from Spiegler and Brembo (150 €), stainless steel rotors from Braking (150 €). These are comparable to the original quality and are available e.g. through  Enduro-Zentrale. According to rumours Spiegler also offeres stainless steel rotors for Transalp. Important: Always use the brake pads matching the rotor of the specific manufacturer. Accessory rotors need registration depending on local legislation. An alternative to the original brake pads the Lucas pads can be used with the original rotor. 
An improved performance can be achieved by using a larger rotor, like the 320 mm disc made by 
An improved feeling of your brake can be achieved by using steel braided lines (from 50 € onwards, makes most sense for the front brake). They imrove the feeling because they do not extend under pressure, and they allow prolonged brake fluid changing intervals. When you are working on brakes you require the essential know how! 
Kleines Bremsen-Brevier
Brake Fluids
The micro switch in the front brake lever can be repaired: 
Reparatur des Microschalters
If you switch to Lukas discs on a PD10, secure (with extra screws) or omit the hub covers. They are not fixed by the discs and can block the front wheel.

The carburetors of the Transalp are somewhat complicated. If you still want more info, try here: 
List jets vs. model year (Deti)
A common cause for different looking spark plugs is a stuck or corroded choke piston, mainly on older models. 
Known Problems (Deti) 
To fix humble speed-up at medium revs it can help to lift the spray nozzles in the carburetor a little: Washers (aluminium or Nylon also works) with a 3 mm inner hole (outer diameter 6 mm, 0.1 or 0.2 mm thick) are mounted under the nozzles. The success must be tested by riding.

CDI's (Capacitive Discharge Ignition) are the little black boxes under the seat, igniting the mixture in the Cylinders at the right moment. They are pretty expensive (from 150 to 250 € new, it is worth to compare prices!) and happen to fail occasionally in Transalp made before 1993, because the seat presses against the plugs of the upright mounted boxes a bit. The tachometer can help to find the broken CDI, it is connected to the left CDI for the rear cylinder with a yellow and two black-yellow cables. 
Sometimes it is possible to repair the broken contacts. Motek in Bielefeld, Germany, phone +49-521-453744, does in for 140 €. To avoid this failure it is recommended to replace the support by the one used for 1994/1995 models. Here the CDIs are mounted horizontally. Costs 15 €, Honda spare part no. 30401-MM9-010. Replacing the support is really easy and is therefore recommended for all Transalps up to model year 1993. A horizontal support can also be self made, or the original support can be cut open at the bottom and the CDIs stuck further in. It is also possible to protect the CDIs with a piece of wood or similar (pressure on the case, not on the plugs).
Transalps from 1996 onwards have only one TCI for both cylinders and have different technology (connection to the damper flat sensor on the carburetor). 
Mehr über die Zündbox
Reparatur der CDI
The CDIs of model year 1988 (MM9) are a bit cheaper (150 €) and can also be used for the Transalps with MS8 CDI. Even in mixed service problems have not yet occured. The CDIs of model year 1987 (MM9 CI529) are indeed different, as there is no kill switch on the side stand and no corresponding connection on the CDI unit. The CDIs of the 650 cc Africa Twin (RD03, model years 1988/1989) are identical with the Transalp CDIs. The CDI from the 750 cc Africa Twin RD04 (model years 1990-1992, one CDI for both Cylinders) has also been used successfully. Werner Moehrle has reconstructed the black box with modern electronics; it is sold for around 130 Euros via

The center stand is not standard on the Transalp. Going offroad you will hardly miss it, but otherwise it is really helpful when assembling stuff (not for lubricating the chain - thats done by the Scottoiler). First choice is original Honda (130 €), although much force is needed to put the bike on the stand. The spring must be inserted with the long end pointing towards the engine and catches the bolt in the narrowest gap between exhaust and frame. The Five Stars model (100 €) is made of too soft material, so it should not be used regularly. It is still ok, though, if you just need it to press it to the ground on a ride to make sparks. If the springs do not fit, use Honda springs for the side stand. A better stand is available from  SW mo-tech (120 €). The handle provided to lift the bike should be bent a bit on this model, because in can come in contact with the swingarm.
All center stands can be fitted to Transalp models 1989 onwards. Only Five Stars offers a different center stand for the 1987 and 1988 models. There is no center stand for the 1989 US import. Sometimes mounting of the spring is a bit difficult, the support is a bit hidden between exhaust and frame. It can help to strech the spring using a vice (or bending it, if you do not have a vice) and put small coins between the coils. 
The center stand should be fastened with a strap for safety when working on the fork (fork springs, headset bearings).

For changing the chain and sprockets the swingarm should be removed. This allows greasing the pro link bearings, recommendable on high mileage. Do not save money on the new kit, service life of cheap kits is usually pretty short. A good choice are DID or RK, but for the latter broken chains have been reported. A breaking chain is no fun, for it can cause serious damage and often means a side-lined bike. The best (and most expensive) kits are probably AFAM Gold (150 €), AFAM also offeres sprockets (even countershafts with 14 sprockets). The worst are Regina Gold. Honda kits are also good, sprockets even first choice. Always change the complete kit! If you do not want to remove the swingarm, the chain should be riveted, which requires a special chain-rivet installing tool (borrow in a garage). Most failing chains had a broken clip-style master link, so use an endless chain wherever possible. The size is 525 or 5/8 x 1/16, original length 118 pins. 
A popular way to reduce chain life is to mount the countershaft sprocket the wrong way. Correctly mounted the elevation points away from the engine, usually leaving the mark on the countershaft visible. The screws of the rear sprocket are really soft, separating the stroke damper (cautiously hit the rear side of the sprocket by sticking a piece of wood through the spokes of the unmounted wheel) allows you to use decent tools leaving the nuts in working condition.
Going offroad you might like a lower transmission ratio. You can mount a bigger rear sprocket (e.g. 49 sprockets) which requires a longer chain (120 pins instead of 118). Using a smaller countershaft (14 sprockets, 47' rear sprocket) allows you to keep the original chain (118 pins).  The lower ratio will lead to an improved acceleration in all gears and lower fuel consumption at lower speeds, but will cause uncomfortable high revs and higher fuel consumption at highway speed. 
A higher transmission ratio hardly increases top speed of your Transalp. If you want top speed, get a Hayabusa (please let us know how you tune it for offroad use). Still some people report positive experience with 16' countershafts, allowing to reduce fuel consumption below 5 litres when travelling on highways a lot. Even 17' countershafts have been tested and appreciated. Anyone ever changed the countershaft againast the rear sprocket?
Larger sprockets are available through Hein Gericke and Götz, the 14' countershaft at TAF (25 €) or AFAM and rear sprockets through mo-tech
mo-tech Kettenräder
Due to the altered noise and emmission levels a changed transmission ratio requires legalization through authorities in germany, but this is rarely done since it requires a lot of money or efficient persuasion of officials.

The chain slack must be adjusted occasionally. A loose chain can grind in he swingarm, which has a rubber protection that should also be controlled. If worn, it can be replaced, turned around or filled with 2-component-glue. A loose chain can jump off the sprocket at the worst, which can block the rear wheel. Since the chain is tightened when the swingarm dives, there has to be a certain chain slack, otherwise the chain wears out really fast and the bearings can be damaged. The slack is measured on the side stand: The chain is taken in the middle between the sprockets, pushed up (towards the swingarm) and down, the difference between these positions is measured. Honda recommends 35 to 45 mm slack, by tending towards 45 mm you should be on the safe side. Sometimes even 50 to 60 mm are recommended, it is best tested under load. After adjustment move the bike a bit and check again. If the slack varies, the chain has been stretched unevenly. Throwing the kit away and getting a new one helps in this case. 

Clattering noise? The black plastic grid in front of the coolers can make an unnerving clattering noise, especially at higher speeds. It can be fixed with double-sided tape or similar. When it is mounted the 'wrong' way (in front of the side fairing instead of behind) and thereby stuck between fairing and crashbar, it will never clatter again. It can also be simply  thrown out. Sometimes the fork clatters, when the fork oil is really old. Changing helps.

When the clutch needs replacing (40 - 60 Mm) new springs should be used as well as new clutch linings. Fist choice is Honda springs (15 €). Accessory springs (10 €) are usually harder and demand higher operation forces. Accessory linings from Lukas (60 €) seem quite good, you are on the safe side with genuine Honda (80 €). The steel parts can usually be used again if they are still plane (check against glass plate, up to 0.3 mm is ok) and not tarnished. Mind the right order on mounting and use a new gasket for the cover (4-14 €).
How to change the clutch (Deti) 
Accessory clutch levers are a bit critical: Although looking like the genuine part, some do not operate the micro switch in the mounting correctly. This makes it impossible to start the engine when the gearbox is not in neutral. So genuine levers are first choice (see starting ..). A broken (usually corroded) micro switch can be repaired:
Microschalter reparieren

There are many colours available and a few listings:
Frame numbers, type and color codes (Deti) 
Colour Page (with images, Hans) 
Farbliste (Luigi) 

Depending on the construction year the differences of transalps are relevant. Check the frame number for the model year or look for the type letter under the seat (e.g. XL600VN): 



























Usually 'construction year' refers to the 'model year', an early 1991 Transalp may have been made in 1990 and also have a registration date in 1990. For spare and accessory parts refer to the model year as evaluated by the vehicle identification number. 
Vehicle identification numbers (also re-imported vehicles) ( 
Modifications through the years (Deti)
Frame numbers, type and color codes (Deti) 

The coolers need thorough air bleeding after the coolant was changed. They are filled through the filling hole in the right cooler. It must be filled to the brim repeatedly, briefly running the engine between the fillings.Air remaining in the coolers will prevent proper flow through, causing overheating and early activation of the cooler fan. 
Changing the coolant

Crash bars are probably the most popular accessory on Transalps. Since they cost less than a single side fairing they charge off when the bike is dropped once. They also increase transport capacity, especially for flower bunches and frozen pizza. They are available from a range of manufacturers:
Five Stars - most popular. Mounting is no problem, the material is pretty soft (normal for 5*). They will bend on stress, but bending them back is not too difficult. The upper screw joint near the cooler can break, destroying the cooler. Use a stainless steel screw at this point. Some change the mounting to mo-tech style by fastening it to the frame with a self-made clamp.
Hepco und Becker - black and white crash bars are available from this manufacturer. Unfortunately there were serios problems with manufacturing precision, mounting them prooved extremely difficult to impractical. The first series was moreover known to jam with the mudguard on heavy braking. These problems should not arise with recent models. 
SW mo-tech crash bars are not mounted to the rather weak cooler screws, but to the frame with a clamp.
Motad makes stainless steel crash bars, which are mounted to the cooler screws. Available e.g. through 
MGH (also sells AFAM etc.) 
African Queens makes quite professional looking bars from 22 mm pipe, which are really stable and therefore mounted rather close to the fairing. 
Pictures on  Transalpia
Crash bars should be mounted with as little tension as possible to avoid corrosion susceptibility by stress cracking. When doing your own, do not make them stiffer than the frame. 
Sturzbügel für die Alp
Crashbars (Deti)

Engine guard: A name hardly applicable to the plastic decorative apron on Transalps. The material is not too bad and hard to break, but it does not protect the underside of the engine. Moreover, a replacement will be 260 € new. To protect the engine seriously, you can do your own engine guard, reinforce the genuine guard using aluminium sheets, get a used one for the Africa Twin (XRV 650, RD03) and modify it for your bike or simply buy an accessory guard: SW mo-tech produces a fairly cheap one (130 €), African Queens is much more expensive (650 €). Simply omitting the genuine guard is at least an optical improvement. 
Alu-Motorschutz für die Transalp
Custom engine guard (Deti)

When your exhaust pipe went rust, an accessory model is worth evaluating. Do not trust in promises about power gain, you are happy to avoid power loss. The best legal exhaust in .de is probably the Laser stainless pipe, not really cheap (350 €). A Cheaper solution is offered by Marving for 150 € including bad finish. Sebring is a good compromise. With a short adapting part the Africa Twin 650 (RD03) pipe can also be fitted, illegal, but inconspicuous due to the Honda label. The use of a CBR 600 pipe was even reported legal. Sometimes a new carburetor adjustment is required when the pipe is changed. 
Exhaust pipes (Deti)
There is a stainless steel manifold available:
Stainless steel manifold for Transalp

If the fairing gets damaged, many do their own repair. Cracks can be repaired by glueing an aluminium sheet to the backside, best glue is two component stuff. Hot-melt adhesive is also suitable, but the workpiece should be preheated. Scratches can be covered using the Honda touch up paint (10 €). Cheaper still is acryl lacquer for modelling (1 €), which is available in modelling shops in a wide range of colours. Paint the scratch and wipe with a soft paper cloth immediately, so the paint will only fill the scratch. Makes it almost invisible. Pieces of the original stickers are also useful for repairing little chips. For larger areas see painting. To protect the fairing crash bars are very popular. 
Reparatur der Verkleidung
Verkleidung schweissen
Fairing reconstructions

Do not use accessory fuel filters on the Transalp. They cause  you having to switch the fuel tab to reserve pretty soon and you will not get very far. The pressure of the fuel flowing from the tank is simply not sufficient. The fuel from the right side of the tank cannot be used anyway, so when you run out of fuel, lean your bike over to the left side quite far so the fuel can flow over to the left half. Always good for a few more km. 

If you do not want your gear lever to bend, when you throw your bike in a corner after use, better get one that flaps. Accessory dealers are supposed to have them, but they are hard to find; but using the genuine lever from any Africa Twin model works just fine. MTX 80-200 also fits, XR/XL are quite a bit longer - suitable for bigfoots.

The white hand guards are often considered an optical impertinence. Remedy is found among accessories, for the material is hard to paint. Standard accessory guards can easily be mounted as well as the Honda guards for Dominator and Varadero (on the PD10). 
Better still are bracket-like hand guards, which are also mounted to the end of the bar, and are able to protect the levers when the bike is dropped. The guards made by Acerbis (65 € with spoilers) are quite popular, although they are not easy to mount on the original bar. Sometimes the seam within the bar needs some filing off, or the aluminium plug of the guard must be lathed off (PD10). Many chose to mount a new handlebar also (usually Renthal). With Transalps before 1993 (without adjustable brake lever) mounting the guards is not even easy on an aluminium bar, sometimes the plastica italia needs some cutting and the ball at the end of the brake lever must be sawn off. 
The much cheaper (27 € with spoilers) alternative from Polysport, available at Gericke, is easily mounted on the original bar. It does not whatsoever include a mounting kit for aluminium bars. 
These guards should be stable enough to prevent the breaking of levers on dropping the bike. If the fittings are not screwed to the bar too tighly, allowing them to be turned with some force, the levers are also more likely to survive a drop.

The handlebar of the transalp does not break often, still many change it against an aluminium bar, available from Renthal. It is insignificantly lighter, supposedly more stable, much more beautiful (available also in golden anodisation matching the golden rims) at fits well together with the Acerbis hand guards. Cost: 55 €, available through Zupin in Germany. 
Really popular is type 6133, also sold as 'Enduro Bend High', 'Paris-Dakar' or '6.5 Inch'. It is a bit wider than the genuine bar and a bit less cranked. Elongation of the wires is usually not necessary. Only the plastic bits on the mountings that match the little holes in the genuine bar must be removed with a sharp knive. A strength durability report is delivered with the bar, it needs registration to be legal in germany. 
If the bar looks skew, but diving the fork seems no problem (uptight fork!) it is merely a problem of the bar support. Minor corrections can be achieved by hitting the end of the bar with the steering lock engaged, the more proffessional approach is to loosen one support, align the bar and tighten it again.
When the rubber part of the support wears out, the feeling gets really bad. These rubber parts are not available as genuine spare parts, but they can easily be improvised using flexible pressure tubing. The rubber can also be bridged using washers M 20 or lathed discs (outer diameter 32 mm, inner 19 mm, 4 mm thick).
If you ride standing a lot and wish a higher bar:  SW mo-tech and  Touratech offer riser kits for 40 € each.

Hazard lights can easily be installed, since the frequency does not change when left and right indicators are switched on simultaneously. You only need a double pole switch, or a single pole switch and two diodes, to construct it. Tap the indicator cables or solder short wires to the indicator switch. 
The diode solution (Deti)
Warnblinker (Michi) 
If the hazard lights are supposed to stay on when the ignition is shut off, still leaving it impossible to switch the hazard lights on when the bike is locked, more expenses are necessary:
Phils Warnblinker (including continuous adjustment for heated grips) 

The headlight of the Transalp is quite bright. If you want more light, use a Phillips Premium or Osram H4 Super bulb (8 €), they yield 30% more light with normal specifications (60/55 W) and thereby normal heat development. They have a somewhat shorter lifetime, especially under rough conditions. So do not use it for offroad, or switch off the main light for the occasional gravel road. 
To change the bulb (1991 onwards) pull off the plug (press both sides), take off rubber cover, and unhinge the clamping yoke on the right side, it is then swivelled to the left. On reassembly mind the right orientation of bulb and rubber cover. It is a little bit tricky, if you have thick fingers you might have to take away the grey dash cover. 
A substitute for the genuine headlight for models until 1993 is the Suzuki Alto (82-85) headlight sold by Hella (1AE003427-021) or Bosch (Bosch-Nr.: 0301019101) for 30 €, it fits, looks like the genuine part and is brighter. 
Twin headlights are not easily mounted, because the opening in the fairing is not big enough. On installing higher rated bulbs (e.g. 55/100 W) make sure to use proper thick section wiring. This will also cause additional thermal stress to the lamp and connection, so using an additional light might make more sense.
How to mount a stronger headlamp (Deti)
Halogen-Page (Arnim)
Also in 1991 the height adjustment has changed: Under the grey dash cover there is a screw top right on the headlight (put a long screwdriver between tachometer and subframe). Bottom left is the corresponding screw for left/right adjustment. 

Heated grips keep the hands warm in winter. Most heated grips work have two power levels, technically parallel and series connection, subjectively 'tepid' and 'ouch!'. A continuous adjustment can be self made or bought as module, there is also a model from Honda available (quite expensive). Most popular models are Daytona grips available through Polo and Gericke shops (60 €, watch out for special offers) and Saito grips from Louis shops (30 €) which are quite thick and made of plastic rather than rubber, but have a three level electronic adjustment. They are sometimes defective when new, but dealers know about this and exchange is no problem.
Warme Finger
Daytona vs. Saito
Phils Regler
Regler als Fertigmodul
They are usually connected to the cooler fan fuse (10 A) since the fan and the grips are hardly ever in use simultaneously. This also switches them off with the ignition. Life time can be elongated by mounting normal grips in summer. It is important to avoid sharp bends on mounting heated grips (throttle movement!) and cover critical points with tape or heat shrink tubing.


Inspections are cheapest when you do your own. Estimated working time for professional service is 2,5 h for the first inspection (1 Mm), 0,8 h für minor (6/18/30.. Mm) and 3 h for major (12,24,36.. Mm). There is a database to allow cost comparison:
Wartungs- und Inspektionsdatenbank (Karsten)

To carry luggage, there is a variety of opportunities:
A tank bag as the advantage that it can be loaded heavily without disturbing the riding performance too much, due to its mounting close to the center of gravity. The rain protection is medium to good, depending on model. They offer no appreciable theft protection, but it is easy to take them with you. For the Transalp, a magnetic base plate is a good choice. Strap-mounted base plates work as well. The bags from Bagster are quite popular, although they are pretty expensive (bag 100 €, base plate/tank cover matching the bikes colour also 100 €).
about Bagster tank bags
Side bags offer good rain protection, but no real theft protection, depending on model. A luggage rack helps mounting them, but it is not necessary. Without a luggage rack you have to take care that the bag is kept away from the muffler. They can be loaded moderately heavy and are a low-budget and low-weight alternative to side cases. Ortlieb side bags are absolutely waterproof.
Muffler spacer for side bags
Side cases require a luggage rack. They offer good wheather and moderate theft protection and allow to lock away helmets. Expedient racks are made by  Hepco&Becker (150 €), but after mounting the original cases the right one is substantially higher than the left one, making corrections necessary. Also popular are Givi/Five Stars. Low budget luggage racks are better used with side bags, but the 'Carry' model from Polo offers real good value for money (55 €). Side cases can be loaded moderately heavy like side bags. Regarding the material, the choice is plastic or aluminium. Both solutions are not really cheap. 
Carlos Alu-Koffer Seite
Alukoffer low budget
A topcase is really cheap, offers some wheather and theft protection and will hold a helmet and some other stuff. This makes them really convenient in every day use, but the place is not chosen well for luggage: Being high and on the back, a heavy load has a serious impact on riding performance. So do not load your topcase heavily.
If you are travelling alone on your bike, you can put a lot of stuff in a motorcycle bag. They are cheap, some models are waterproof. They should be mounted lengthwise on the passenger seat, if you have a topcase, you can also mount them across. For mounting ratcheting ties are convenient and much safer than rubber tethers.
Gepäckauswahl and  Gepäckunterbringung (Possi) 

1 Mm (Megameter) = 1000 km = 1000000 m =  100000000 cm 

Many want a model Transalp. There was a Tamiya model quite a while ago, but nothing is available these days. If you see something, please post

The front mudguard of the Transalp is mounted pretty close to the wheel, which can be a problem offroad - stones or dirt coming in between can break the mudguard or jam the wheel. The mudguard can easily be modified using metal sheets keeping the genuine look. I rose it 38 mm, much more is not possible without colliding it with the front fairing on a strong dive. Not recommended for models as of 1994, the new fairing design does not leave enough space. Alternatively an accessory mudguard can be mounted to the lower fork brace, it is a bit more tricky to do and the look is different. Additional problems have to be faced with a PD10. Do not omit the fork stabilizer in any case.
Schutzblech hochlegen (Carlo) 
It is also possible to use mudguard and fork protectors of the Africa Twin and with modifications the fork protectors of the KTM Adventure (use neoprene gaiters). 

New paint is usually considered when you dislike the colour of your bike and want something individual. If you do not have the proper equipment, leave the jo to a proffessional. The 2 component lacquers used there correspond to genuine quality, whereas solvent based spray can lacquer are only good for repainting small damages, especially on crash bars and similar. Their regularity, solvent resistance and abrasion proofness is insufficient for larger and stressed areas. Of course the areas have to be free of dust and grease, use the right primer for plastic or metal. If possible use primer and lacquer of the same manufacturer, use additional plasticizer on plastic surfaces.
Die LackFAQ

Never save on oil - the correct oil level has a much larger impact on engine life time than the brand. Check the level by holding the bike in a vertical position (not on side or center stand) on even ground, do not screw in the dipstick. A specific oil is not required for the Transalp, the engine lasts (almost) for ever anyway. Keep to the manufacturers recommendation for the right viscosity, 10W40 or 15W40 mineral oil is always a good choice. And keep away from miracle additives, especially those containing PTFE (e.g. Slick50). Use a new sealing washer after changing the oil; screw dimensions: M14 x 1.5
Enhanced oil consumption occurs mainly with older engines (before 1990) at high mileage. Usually changing the valve stem seals helps, check timing chains and the clutch when you have the engine disasssembled. Take out the engine towards the right side. On any suspicion of a fuel leak into the oil (oil in air filter box, smell of fuel in oil, too much oil in draining pipe) do not drive any more, but check the carburetors immediately (float pin leak due to incorrect floater adjustment) and change the oil. Can lead to serious engine damage otherwise. 
Use genuine oil filters preferrably; there is a bargain set with key. MANN filters MW64 can also be used.

The pegs are hiding a little secret: If you take off the rubber (screws from the underside) they are excellent for offroad use.

In germany, reduced power versions are available for licence reasons. The power is reduced (to 34 or 27 horse powers, depending on version) by a stricture in the intake manifold, so Honda offers different intake manifolds whereas accessory dealers offer metal plates that are inserted in the existing manifolds. Alteratively mechanical stops to the throttle can be used.

The repair manuals published by Bucheli are quite popular and cost 22 €. Unfortunately only the very first Transalp model is regarded in the book. It is still useful for newer models, but improvisations for the modifications have to be made increasingly. More detailed is the Honda workshop manual. It is 70 € and updates for newer models are available. Including all updates it will be 140 €. 
Literatur zur Honda XL600V Transalp
Original Microfiches (Download)

The saddle of the Transalp is not quite the best for long rides. The foam is too soft, causing heavy guys to sit almost directly on the round plastic support. Götz offeres a harder saddle core (50 €). It has to be trimmed a bit sometimes to fit exactly. A local saddler should be able to make a better core as well as redo the cover, regarding individual changes (higher, lower ..). Doing your own is not really necessary, saddlers are usually worth their money. Do compare prices: Recovering varies roughly round 50-80 €; complete redoing including core 100-250 €. If no saddler is near, the saddle can be sent to Jungbluth.
Saddle (Deti)

Saddle height: Too high - there are easy solutions. For just a few Centimeters the fork can be mounted a bit deeper after loosening the screws of the fork braces, reducing spring preload on the shock will lower the rear. If this proves insufficient, it is recommendable to have the thickness of the padding in the saddle reduced. This can also improve the seat comfort if done properly. Alternatively there are modified pro link rods (Stauch [4 cm lower, PD06/10] for 160 € and Emil Schwarz [2 cm lower, PD06] for 260 €) and shorter shocks (even more expensive) available for Transalps. These modifications can set an early limit to max slope and cause the necessity to shorten the side stand.
Emil Schwarz

Saddle height: Too low - usually the desire is enhanced ground clearance. It can be achieved by a longer fork like one from XR 600 or Africa Twin (including fork braces, the Dominator fork will even fit into the Transalp braces) and a longer shock (e.g. White Power or Öhlins). It enhances offroad capabilities a lot more than just modified springs, but is also a lot more work. The Africa Twin RD07 shock fits the Transalp ('93), is about 5 mm longer, harder and illegal.
Kais Umbau on  Transalpia
XR 600-Gabel and  Africa Twin-Gabel RD03 or RD04
Hardenduro-Umbau (XR 600, Stefan) 

Scottoilers are those nice little guys that do the tedious chain lubrication for you. Adjustable amounts of oil are allowed to flow on the chain continuously as long as the engine runs (vacuum controlled). Unlike chain grease the spots on the rear rim are easily washed off. According to the manufacturer lifetime of the chain is exceeded to three times the normal, which seems quite a bit overstated. Still chain life is probably prolonged enough to charge off the 100 € for the Scottie. Cheaper (depending on pound exchange rate) is direct order from UK, but some problems have occured by that way:
Scottoilers (Scotland) Ltd. 106 Clober Road, Milngavie, Glasgow Scotland, G62 7SR U.K. Tel: +44 141 955 1100 Fax: +44 141 956 5896 
Hein Gericke sells an alternative, it works electrically and is a bit cheaper. 
Different ways to mount a scottoiler (Deti)
Chain lubrication systems (Deti)
The Schwaboiler, a low budget solution
Helmuts Scottie Seite
TM accessories: Order Scottie for 110 € including p&p 
The end of the lubricating pipe must be adjusted to (almost) touch the rear sprocket. The oil will flow along the sprocket and lubricate the middle of the chain (the chain rolls and the sprocket/chain contact areas). If the oil is collected by the chain, it will spread on the side where the O-rings are. This is no good, since the oil goes only to one side, and this part does not even need lubrication, because the O-rings seal a grease reservoir for the chain lifetime. When the middle of the chain is lubricated the O-rings still get enough oil to remain pliable.
Chain saw oil is sometimes used as lube; never use biological oils! Stihl chain saw oil (semi-synthetic) and Avia type S serve well.
Failing Scotties usually have a blocked outflow or flow rate limiter (porous plastic ball near the outflow). If cleaning does not help spare parts are available. 
If you prefer spray-on chain grease do not used teflon based lubricants. S100 or Castrol are popular, insiders tip is HKS Czech, but also expensive and hard to find.
Chain oilers are available from other manufacturers these days:
- Chaintec von Hein Gericke, elektrisch, ~90 €
- CLS200
- Pro-Oiler, elektronisch, ~200 €
- McCoi, elektronisch zum Selberbasteln, ~110 €
- Kettenoeler, magnet valve controlled system

Shimmy is not nice and happenes sometimes at higher speeds. It can be caused by a heap of things, so you have to go through all: 
1. Unsuitable tyre combination, incorrect pressure, heavy/uneven wear. 
2. Headset bearing adjusted incorrectly or broken: On released front wheel the bar must be movable to both sides easily, it must not engage in any position or have clearance. You can check on clearance by setting up the bike in front of a wall and push the handlebar strongly towards it, tangible clearance or cracking noise from the headset are bad signs.
3. Worn swingarm bearings: On released rear wheel the swingarm must not be moved by a vigorous shake sideways.
4. Spokes loose: Lightly hit with a wrench successively and keep an ear on the sound pattern. 
5. Off-centre or axial runout of a rim, badly balanced wheel. 
6. Unsuitable loading (before 1990 the rear is known to be too soft, leading to problems with sidecases), load to far on the rear (topcase). Put heavy objects in your tank bag or side bags close to the center of gravity, see luggage.
7. Wheel bearings worn (clearance), front or rear wheel. 
8. Suspension adjusted too soft, spring or damper worn out. 
9. Clothing not tight or grip on handlebar too tight. 
Usually nothing of the above will cause shimmy by itself, but a combination of two or three of these points might cause it. If nothing helps, you can try to enhance caster by reducing the spring preload on the rear shock, progressive fork springs (see suspension too soft) can also reduce shimmy.

Sigma speedos are made for bicycles. Still they are very popular amongst bikers since they work up to 300 km/h. A magnet is mounted to the front wheel which closes the reed contact that has to be mounted to the fork at short distance. The speed is calculated from the frequency of these contacts and the tyre circumference, which has to be measured and entered into the device. Depending on model time, travel time, trip kilometers, mileage, average speed and maximum speed can also be displayed. To use it on a bike the cable has to be elongated, or a connection kit for bicycles rear wheels can be used. Most Sigmas are mounted to the left side on Transalps, the magnet is glued or screwed to the black plastic disc within the rotor, the reed contact is mounted to the fork using cable ties. Some mount the magnet to a spoke on the right side and the contact to the speedo cable.
There is a wireless Sigma model, which is problematic for two reasons: The transmitting distance is quite a bit larger than on a bicycle, and the model is said to work only to a maximum speed of 130 km/h. Moreover, the ignition can cause interference.
Magnets are available from Cateye: A flat magnet (for the plastic disc), part no. 166-5130 and a spoke screw-on model, part no. 166-5120 for 4 € each in bicycle shops. They also offer a quite ugly illumination that works on batteries, quite a nice one with 12 V connection is available in Polo shops for 15 €. 
Mounting .. (Deti)
Anbau .. (Volker)
Die Radltachoseite (Helmut)
Using a specific sensor element  Sigma speedos can be used as fuel consumption gauges. The circuitry is also available as a ready to use module. 
Spritmesser (Possi)

There are four spark plugs on a Transalp, still to the surprise of a few people.
Spark plugs

If the speedometer does not work anymore, but the cable is still intact and not slipped off, it is usually due to breaking of the driving cog wheel in the hub. The spare part (44806-KF0-000) will cost 24 €. For greasing use acid and resin free grease only. Sometimes the cogs break, sometimes the engaging noses. Prior to changing check the smooth running of the metal worm in the speedo drive and make sure to remove all plastic fragments. If something is broken there try to get the whole drive at a second hand part dealer. Sometimes the cog only run in on the right hand side, so the engaging noses slip over. This can be compensated with fitting washers. The gear of the XL500R also fits and has a metal cog wheel.

The spokes are sometimes loose or broken, especially on PD10's. The material is not quite the best. Be careful when retightening, to avoid an off-centre runout. A minor axial runout is less critical. To change spokes have it done by a wheel builder, like saddlers these (nowadays fairly rare) workshops offer good value for money and competent guidance. Stainless spokes are a good choice.

On starting the engine will run if 1. the kill switch is set to RUN (in OFF position the engine will still be moved until model year 1993, unless  modified) and 2. the transmission is in neutral or the clutch is engaged with no side stand used. If starting in neutral does not work, nor does the 'neutral' light, the switch for the 'neutral' light is worn and must be replaced (on center stand no oil will leak). For diagnosing or makeshift repair the switch can be mounted without the washer, it should still work for a while then.
Wechsel des Leerlaufschalters
If starting is not possible with the clutch engaged, the micro switch in the lever support is not operated correctly. On moving the lever a quiet clicking noise must be audible sounding like the corresponding switch in the hand brake lever support for the stop light. The clutch lever might be an accessory part (see clutch), or the lever has been bent when the bike was dropped. Less often the micro switch itself does not work, it can be disassembled and repaired with contact spray.
Reparatur des Microschalters
If the bike does not start due to a battery failure you can push it to get the engine running, which is a good exercise. When jump starting from a car do not have the cars engine running. 

The Stickers can be removed quite well with a hot air gun, the remaining glue with petrol ether. The thin elastic foil will break on removal. A few bits can be helpful for repairing small damages in paint. Replacement stickers are available at Honda and not really cheap (120 €). More individual and economic are self-made stickers, e.g. laser printed ones on suitable self-adhesive foil. You can name your transalp in a variety of languages:
Alp überAll
Aufkleber selbermachen

A Streetfighter modification is also already there. 

A Super Moto reconstruction is the dream of Transalp scooters: Smaller and wider wheels, e.g. 17" front, 320 mm rotor, wider rim on rear. Reqires a speedo adjustment and official legalization, the whole thing is available from  HE Motorsport in Freilassing o ABP-Racing. Not quite cheap either way. 
Gernots Umbau

Suspension strut (shock) broken? Can be repaired (SW mo-techtechnoflex), estimate 200 € for reconditioning with customisation. The spring can be replaced easily, when appropriate by a harder version called Hyperpro (1991 onwards, 100 €). Available from Wilbers or Polo shops. If the shock needs replacing, think of a better (more adjustments) or otherwise different (longer/shorter) accessory. Koni was a good choice (300 €, 1991 onwards) due to its life time warranty, additional adjustments and reasonable price; but it is no longer in production. 
The shock can be protected from dirt spray by elongating the rear plastic mudguard with suitable material (rubber boot, leather substitute ..). For accessory shocks this is highly recommended, for they are usually not protected against dirt as good as the original showa part is.

Suspension too soft - a common problem, leading e.g. to heavy diving on breaking. The solution is harder, progressive fork springs as available from Wirth, White Power, Technoflex and other manufacturers. On mounting new fork oil is also required (different viscosity). Unmounting the fork is not necessary, unless you have a recent model where the oil draining screws have been spared. Furthermore you have to pay attention to the fact that White Power and Technoflex springs are longer, so you have to mount them without the spacers that came with the original springs until 1995. Wirth springs, being a bit harder than the rest, may have to be mounted with the spacers, there are two versions of different length. Compare the springs and check the manual. The original springs from 1996 onwards are longer (61 cm) and do not need spacers. It is dangerous (and senseless) to mount extra spacers to make the suspension harder. If you want it really hard, just weld the dip pipe to the stand pipe or fill the fork with concrete, and replace the rear spring with a solid metal tube (paint a spring on it for the police - but check the disclaimer at the top of this page too). 
Mount the springs the right way up (manual) and be sure to get the oil fill level right, it is measured without springs and completely immersed fork from the top rim.
On the rear suspension only the spring preload can be adjusted (with unmounted damper). If you want more adjustments, you have to get an (expensive) accessory damper. If you also want more clearance, it becomes even more costly (see Saddle height: Too low). If you just want a harder spring, you get get an accessory spring for 100 € from Hyperpro (1991 onwards). Also see here

The swingarm is connected to the shock via the pro link arms, it is supported in bonze sockets until the 1988 model. More recent Transalps have needle bearings that can also be used for the older models. The swingarm bearings are norm parts labelled 2016 for 20 mm shafts and cost 5 €, the pro link bearings are only available with the pro link arms.
Emil Schwarz will modify early models for 250 € (send in swingarm). Besides needle bearings grease nipples are added there. 
It is a good idea to lubricate the pro link bearings on changing the chain (see chain and sprockets). The seals are available from Honda separately. 
An Africa Twin swingarm can also be fitted to the Transalp:
Africa Twin Schwinge

The tank of the Transalp can be replaced by the larger (~24 l) genuine Africa Twin (RD04) model. Level indicators (try to buy sensors with tank) and fuel pumps have to be mounted to it. Problems occur with the California model of the US imports, the ominous secondary air system has to be (re)moved. The filler cap looks quite warty like the genuine Transalp part. The AT RD04 cap also fits, but a second key has to be used. The MTX 80 cap fits as well and does not need a key. Really large and expensive tanks and rear tanks are available through African Queens. Fuel consumption gauge see Sigma
Mehr Sprit für die Transalp
When the fuel tap leaks, do not buy a new one (150 €). Honda offers a repair kit for 40 € containing all the parts falling out on disassembly (both membranes, 4 screws, spring, washer, spacer, cover); part no. 16953ME5005. Meanwhile a similar kit is also available from Louis for 15 €, but without the inner membrane.

The temperature gauge of the Transalp is just for guessing: On some bikes it will rise on riding, but on most it hardly moves from the left position in normal conditions. Some people therefore find it necessary to install a digital oil temperature gauge on their bikes, as available from Conrad or Götz. The sensor is installed instead of the oil draining screw (14 x 1.5). Anyway, most people develop a feeling about the engine temperature.
Conrad Electronic

To protect your bike against theft, it is a good idea to lock it. If you expect more, since you have to park in a neglected back yard between wrecked cars for a couple of weeks, additional locks and alarms seem a good idea. Brake disc locks are often used, they are small, cheap and offer pretty good protection. On the other hand the damage caused by a forgotten brake disc lock is fairly high (especially when you take of with a wheelie). So when you use them, park in front of a wall or similar, like Gold Wing riders do it to show off their reverse gear on departure. On pushing your bike backwards you will notice the lock before it comes to a damage. U locks are a bit less handy, but can allow to lock the bike on to something immobile. The rack of the PD10 can hold the original Honda U lock, but also other commercial locks like the Abus 54 HB/150 (length 340 mm, width 120 mm) or the Abus Granit Classic 74 (330 x 170mm). 

Within the throttle there is a white plastic separating the opening and closing line. If the throttle was opened by unfastening the screws, the lower line will tend to stick under the plastic. It is easier to mount the throttle after unfastening the lines on the carburetor.

Tuning of Transalp engines can be achieved by simply using the Africa Twin engine or by spending tons of money on other stuff: 
Tuning für die Alp
Tinkering with miracle mufflers and jet kits without serious professional equipment (power testing station) at hand did never yield anything fair.

The TÜV is happy every two years, when one of these nice bikes turns up to the compulsory biennial check on roadworthyness. Some accessory parts need legislation in germany, which means to visit them guys more often. DEKRA is an alternative to the TÜV in germany. Some modifications cannot be seen without disassembly (like fork springs), so the biennial check can be mastered without having them legally. But if an accident happenes and the remains of the Transalp are examined by a motor vehicle expert, you are up shit creek without a bucket. So legalise your modifications. If you plan reconstructions or something new, try to go through it with your inspector of least distrust in advance. 
TÜV offeres  a range of brochures as pdf download, like [pdf] Umbauten am Motorrad. They are also available at TÜV stations.

Tyres are an everlasting topic. I will have to refer to overviews, since too many factors influence the decision (individual bike, load, personal preferences ..). The main decision is between offroad profiles (more grip offroad, in wet conditions and winter, louder, more fuel consumptiion and wear) or road profiles (less wear, but usually a bit more expensive, less noise). Popular choices are the Continental TKC 80 (offroad with road ability, for regular gravel and little offroad use) and Metzeler Enduro 4 (road tyre, still good for the occasional gravel road), the latter has been made responsible for shimmy in a few cases. Using composition ( e.g. Michelin) tubes rather than Metzeler or Continental keeps you from constant air refillings. Natural rubber tubes loose some pressure continuously, but are safer offroad. When damaged the air will leak slowly through the hole. Composition rubber tubes hold the pressure for a long time, but can burst when damaged.
Most tyres are pre-balanced, a paint spot marks the lightest side. The valve should be mounted where the spot is. 
The PD10 Transalp is (at least in germany) restricted to the use of specific tyres, meaning you must only mount tyres individually listed in the registration. Different tyres need written permission by the manufacturer, available from your dealer or at 
Metzeler by faxback (+49-89-6663 2223). 
Reifen für die Transalp
Tires (Deti)

Used parts are a good opportunity to save quite a bit of money if replacement is required. Deti provides a  list of dealers. A few can be found online (for Germany; try Google for your place): 
It is possible to make a bargain at online auctions, but the choice is not wide.

The value of your bike is exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.  Schwacke offers a rough estimate. Condition and Mileage have a serious impact on the value in both ways. Popular accessories like crash bars, luggage racks or center stands enhance the value a little, more exotic accessories hardly do (sell separately). Selling bikes in a near to genuine condition is much easier than selling reconstructions.

The valve clearance must be adjusted from model 1989 onwards (engine no. PD06E-2200001 respectively PD06E-3200001 for the power reduced 2G models) to [intake] 0.15 (+/-0.02) mm and [outlet] 0.20 (+/-0.02) mm, earlier models (to 1988 and 1989 US import) intake and outlet 0.10 mm. The Bucheli repair manuals refers only to the first model and will therefore state the wrong clearance for 1989+ models! In case of doubt refer to your users manual. Another way to check in case of doubt is to check the countershaft mount which also changed with the new model. For adjusting the clearance neddle-nosed pliers or keys for air bleeding radiators at home are useful.
Adjust valve clearance (Deti)

The windshield of the Transalp is not really protective. Thanks to accessory parts it is still possible to make it a lot worse. Some people report positive experiences with certain models, but the dependance on body size and weight, Transalp model, subjective preferences and more does not allow universal statements. So you will have to try. Noise on highways can be reduced by using earplugs. A different approach are selfmade spoilers.
Windshields (Deti)
Verkleidungsscheibe kürzen
Sehr grosse Verkleidungsscheibe


Additional links to on-topic websites American website
Andys Motocross-Seite All tracks in and around germany
Carlos Motorrad- und Reiseseite
Detis Transalp Page
Globusbiker Thomas Kröger, Katharina Herrmann. Africa crossing, modifications
Luigis Motorradseiten
Manfreds Transalpseiten
Martins Biker-Site Nokia logos 
Michis Transalp Seite
Motorrad online
Peters Moped und Reiseseiten
Possis Webseiten (not about Transalp, but excellent anyway) home page Lista Italiana Sostenitori/Simpatizzanti TransAlp - same with dutch
Transalpfreunde Deutschland IG

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compiled (2001-2005)  -  Last Update 16.01.06

Franz-Manfred Schüngel  -  Homepage