- Transalp 400V -

Sales brochure

1996 - Yeah sure, a 'tiny' Transalp. This is the model that Honda sells in Japan. Why not a 600cc ? That has to do with the driver license categories. In Japan you can get a license for a 'small bike' up to 400cc, or one for a 'big bike' over 400cc. Kind of the same as in The Netherlands and other parts of Europe. And because it is easier (and cheaper) to get your small bike license Honda sells a 400cc Transalp. Just because that model has more market potential than a 600cc model.

Except for the engine the Transalp 400cc is identical to the XL600V. The mileage is better (33km/l @60kmph), power (37hp @ 8500rpm) and torque (3.5kgm @ 6500rpm) are less compared to the TA600. Weight (183kg) is the same. Pay attention to the cooling design of the engine. Bit different from the 600.

In november 1996 I visited Tokyo, Japan for the company I work for. There I met Toshinori Yamada. We first met through email. When my travel plans were final we set a date to meet in Tokyo. And for me to meet his Transalp. It took a couple of phone calls in Tokyo to decide what to do and we met in front of the Honda Headquarters building in the hart of Tokyo.

The Honda building has a small showroom on the ground floor. They don't sell bikes and cars there, they only show them. The other 15 floors are for administration only. Also on the ground floor are a souvenir shop and a bar.

Toshinori studies at the university of Tokyo and uses his Transalp for commuting. In a city like Tokyo that is about the best thing you can do. It is so busy and crowded that bi-cycles and motor cycles are about the only things actually moving. You see a lot of motor couriers for example. Tokyo has a special district for second-hand-bike-shops and accessories-shops.

A friendly bystander took this picture of the both of us.