The Honda Transalp

In 1989 I wanted one of these things so bad I would have given up just about anything to have it. Honda had just brought to the US the NX series bikes and the Transalp- dual sport bikes with a tendency toward pavement rather than dirt. I liked what they stood for. I liked what they looked like, and I especially liked the name, adding a bit of European flair by suggesting it was made for the mountains.

I never had one. And though I had a friend who owned an NX250, I never knew someone who had one until a couple of years ago. Long after Honda stopped importing the Transalp, I know 4 people with one. One of them even has two. Of course now that motorcycling and technology has come so far, by today’s standards the Transalp is outdated, slow, and in need of modification to really perform it’s intended purpose. Yet suddenly there’s a local cult following…

Powered by a 600cc V-Twin making 45 horsepower, it lacks top end on the open highway and weighing 390 pounds dry, it’s a behemoth on the dirt. Yet everyone I know who has one says it’s great. Maybe I should ride one and find out what I missed.

Last Ride Before the Rain

The weather is still nice. Well, actually it’s starting to go back to the “regular” winter stuff. Rain is in the forecast and over the duration of today’s ride the temperature steadily dropped. Luckily, before it closed in I was able to get out for another back roads ride. The suspension on the KTM, set up for “race ready” rallye riding is perfect for the local goat roads.

Tioga Road, January 17th 2012

Just to say we were there.

Lars and I took off for Tioga Road yesterday to get as far out it as we could. This was to be the last day it is open this season, and ends the longest run of days Tioga Road has been open since 1933, when they started keeping records.

With a late start, we decided to stop, make coffee then turn around at Olmstead Point. The following pictures were taken there.