Scoot Commute

Happy Honda Household welcomes another Honda

Posted in Bike Buying, Honda Transalp XL600V (Kaiju) by sbahn on 2010/10/30
TransAlp getting ready for its move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island

TransAlp getting ready for its move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island

1) I hate the BMW F650GS Dakar.

2) So does the person who actually rides it.

3) He wanted a TransAlp before getting the BMW, but the Dakar was available, reasonably priced, and local.

4) Then we took the ride up to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada where he learned to hate the BMW.

5) And I took the Dakar to work a couple of times where I learned to hate it…why hate it? Because it’s like riding a steamboat, but not in the cute, fun way of the Honda Dream.

6) We both agreed. Sell the Dakar and look for a TransAlp or a BMW GSPD. He tried a regular R100GS because a guy in Rhode Island let us go down to his house and try out his bike. He wasn’t selling, and we just wanted to see if it would work. This is why I love the Internet and love bike people. Always open.

7) A TransAlp shows up on the innerwebs for cheap and not all that far way. He drives up and tries it out. I get home from work to find out he’s bought it.

8) We drive up today to pay the guy, pick up the bike, and do the paperwork. Original owner. Semi-retired orthopaedic surgeon (do medical people ever really retire?).

Original owner of the 1989 TA takes one last ride

Original owner of the 1989 TA takes one last ride

He had lots of crash stories. Like when a raccoon ran into his front wheel; the bike wound up in a ditch and he was in the middle of road with 10 broken ribs. He said to me that he had planned on riding the bike into his 90s (he’s 72 now), but his right knee is shot. He even had to get on and off the bike on the wrong side. I said to him, “He’s really excited. The bike is going to a happy Honda home where it will be ridden regularly and sometimes stupidly and garaged with many other happy Hondas.” He does have a Honda Elite that he rides for his 12-mile roundtrip commute. Once a Honda whore, always a Honda whore.


Honda Fit hauls Honda Transalp...Thank you Soichiro!

Honda Fit hauls Honda Transalp...Thank you Soichiro!

New owner with the 1989 TransAlp...what's the first adventure going to be?

New owner with the 1989 TransAlp...what's the first adventure going to be?

We got the bike home, towed with, oh guess what, a Honda Fit. I hadn’t had a chance to ride it and I’ve been thinking that it makes a lot of sense for us to have two of the same bikes for our long distance riding.

When we got back to Providence, I promptly pulled on my helmet and took off.

Oh my god! And I’m sworn to thumpers…but oh my god. What a freaking blast. The weight distribution is perfect. Gripping the tank felt as natural as when I’m on the CB350. Taking sharp turns was like a hot knife through butter. I sped up for each speed bump on my street and the bike was pulling for more, and this is a bike that hasn’t really been ridden in years and needs tune-up work, a new chain, brake adjustments, blah blah.

I never could figure out what is was about the F650GS I hated. Now I think I know. It’s too new. We’ve both always ridden old bikes [and old cars for that matter!] (except my Buddy scooter, but that’s for getting to and from work) and that’s all we know. Drum brakes. Kick starting. Not starting and giving up and taking another bike that is working. Snapped cables. Odd noises. Bad smells. Extra bits after doing maintenance. Difficult to source parts.

Well, I’m in love and it’s not mine.

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2 Responses

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  1. Tony said, on 2014/05/02 at 6:46 pm

    Where did you get that ramp for the trailer? I have a trailer exactly like that and a ramp would solve many problems for transporting bikes, lawn mowers, and snowblowers. Thanks.

    • sbahn said, on 2014/05/05 at 7:59 pm

      Hey, sorry I can’t help you out. I got the trailer from my neighbor who used to have his own landscaping company. He built the sides, and probably sourced the back/ramp from his work. It sure does make it a lot easier to get the bikes up and down.

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