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PostPosted: May 2nd, 2017, 12:49 pm 
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Joined: May 31st, 2016, 12:57 pm
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Location: Southern Vermont
Nothing urgent but would appreciate some feedback. I've had a chance to ride the new-to-me Transalp further than around the block and made a few observations:

The clutch lever feels heavy compared to my 650 V-Strom & CRF250L. Also, the clutch doesn't start to engage until the lever is almost completely released and has a very small window where it can be feathered. Is this a sign the clutch needs replacing soon? It does not seem to slip.
Ride quality - I feel every bump in the road, unlike either of the other bikes. I don't know if this is a function of the 10W fork oil, the aggressive knobby tires, or a combination of both. I find it annoying. The knobby tires are also "squirrelly" on almost any surface. There is also some noticeable engine vibration at almost any speed. Noticeable is a relative term because both the Suzuki and smaller Honda have such silky, smooth engines. The bike feels heavier than it is when in motion. Initiating a turn feels "mushy" and takes more effort than my other bikes. I can't figure this out because the smaller Honda also has a 21" front rim and turns more easily and precisely. Basically, the Transalp drives like a truck.
Wind noise is bad. The previous owner found an expensive add on at Twisted Throttle called a MRA X-creen Variable Windscreen Spoiler Blade Windshield Extension Touring Clamp on, which he said reduced the noise. It is almost $150 for a small piece of plastic and some adjustable mounting hardware . Not buying this now. Has anyone used this?
Seat - This needs to be thrown out. I swore not to spend any more money on this bike now, but Corbin has my order.

So far the bike has not delivered the ride I had hoped for, which is disappointing to say the least. Everything I've read about it on line has been a glowing review of one sort or another. Neither the V-Strom nor CRF250L are sophisticated bikes so to say they are technically superior to the 28 year old Transalp is not true. But both have smoother rides, smoother engines, and much friendlier clutches.

PS - The Transalp has only 22K miles on it. The V-Strom 51K and the 250L 7.3K.


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PostPosted: May 2nd, 2017, 10:07 pm 
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Joined: November 27th, 2010, 8:31 pm
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Location: San Francisco
Probably just needs some TLC like valve adjust with carb sync and clutch adjustment

Sent from my Venue 8 7840 using Tapatalk

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1989 Honda XL600V Transalp
“Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”
~Hunter Thompson


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 6:11 am 
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Location: Southern Vermont
bobbyimp wrote:
Probably just needs some TLC like valve adjust with carb sync and clutch adjustment

Sent from my Venue 8 7840 using Tapatalk


Carbs were just done as part of engine tune up by previous owner. How do you adjust the clutch?


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 6:34 am 
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Location: California USA
My bike had 35K miles on it when I got it and the clutch was slipping, but the bike had been beaten badly.

Usually the complaint about the suspension is that it's to soft. A lot of people put spacers in the front forks to stiffen it up. Maybe the previous owner got carried away with the spacers.

On the rear, the linkage may need to be greased. The rear spring may need to set lighter.

Tires make a big difference on how a bike handles. Get some good ones for the type of riding you're planning on doing. Also check the steering head bearings.

To me a Corbin seat has always been too hard. I always recover my own seats and insert a gel pad.

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89 Transalp XL600V X3, 01 Goldwing GL1800, 99 Varadero XL1000V
05 CRF450X Plated, 01 XR650L, 84 Passport C70


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 7:13 am 
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Location: Southern Vermont
Skyliner wrote:
My bike had 35K miles on it when I got it and the clutch was slipping, but the bike had been beaten badly.

Usually the complaint about the suspension is that it's to soft. A lot of people put spacers in the front forks to stiffen it up. Maybe the previous owner got carried away with the spacers.

On the rear, the linkage may need to be greased. The rear spring may need to set lighter.

Tires make a big difference on how a bike handles. Get some good ones for the type of riding you're planning on doing. Also check the steering head bearings.

To me a Corbin seat has always been too hard. I always recover my own seats and insert a gel pad.




My bike appears to have been well cared for so I doubt it has been beaten up. I will check the rear linkage, thanks. The steering head bearings seem tight but that is a good thing to keep an eye on. While it is true Corbin seats are hard, a harder, wider seat seems to suit me. The Wee-Strom has a Sargent on it which I like but they no longer make a complete seat for the Transalp and I didn't want the hassle of shipping the old one to have it re-built. No doubt the aggressive tires contribute to how the bike handles. The front is an IRC TR8 and the rear a Michelin T63. They ride like Hakkapalitta snow tires but will probably go through anything I am brave enough to ride through. Thanks for taking time to reply.


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 7:59 am 
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Joined: May 31st, 2016, 12:57 pm
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Location: Southern Vermont
My bike appears to have been well cared for so I doubt it has been beaten up. I will check the rear linkage to see if it needs lubrication, thanks. The steering head bearings seem fine but that is a good thing to keep an eye on. The tires no doubt contribute to the truck-like ride: IRC TR8 in front, Michelin T63 in rear. They ride like Hakkappakita snow tires. Not sure how to adjust the clutch. The Corbin saddles are hard but a wider, harder seat seems to suit me. I have a Sargent on the Wee-Strom and like it but they don't offer a complete new seat for the XL600V any more and I didn't want to deal with the hassle of sending the old one in to have it re-built. Thanks for taking time to reply.


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PostPosted: May 3rd, 2017, 11:06 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Sidon67 wrote:
bobbyimp wrote:
Probably just needs some TLC like valve adjust with carb sync and clutch adjustment

Sent from my Venue 8 7840 using Tapatalk


Carbs were just done as part of engine tune up by previous owner. How do you adjust the clutch?


Clutch adjustments can be done on upper adjuster by the lever and lower adjuster near engine........see pic


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1989 Honda XL600V Transalp
“Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”
~Hunter Thompson
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PostPosted: May 9th, 2017, 2:46 am 
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Location: Mackay, Queensland, Australia
Clutch cable may need adjusting to put some play in it. If the clutch is heavy, try greasing the lever and it's pivot point, and while the cable is off the lever spray WD40, CRC or similar into the cable. I usually cut the corner off a plastic bag, zip tie t just below the end of the cable sheath and spray the lube into that then let it dribble itself in.
BTW the Wee Strom is a much more modern bike and from what I've read (never owned one but have thought about it) it will outclass a 28 y.o. Transalp on black top any day of the week. On gravel roads it may be the other way around, but the Suzuki 650 v twin is a far more modern engine and should outdo the TA 600 v twin in every way up to and including power, torque and fuel economy.
[edit]That said the 600 engine should have more torque at low revs due to engine design.[edit]

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PostPosted: May 9th, 2017, 3:25 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2016, 2:38 am
Posts: 90
Location: Tauranga, NZ
My clutch didn´t slip. It just stopped. I replaced it all and while I was at it I updated it a bit with a Nighthawk (if I remember it correctly) seven disk thingie, new steels, heavy duty springs and a Slinky Slide cable. Totally different! A whole new bike. Kinda.

What actually made it a whole new bike, was replacing the worn head bearing. It was tight, as you too said, but what I didn´t notice was that it had worn "locally". You know, tiny "holes" in the surface, where the balls would kinda lock a bit, not much, but just enough to make cornering a bit weird. You could turn the handlebar lock to lock without noticing it, but it sure affected the ride! You´ll find it if you put the bike on the centerstand or box or lift or whatever so that you can sit on the bike with the frontwheel off the ground. Turn the bars slowly from lock to lock and you´ll find the spots where it grabs.

Put new bearings in and you´ll go "WOW!".

Are your wheels aligned? That together with the binding head bearings makes it ride bad.

When was your last oil change and what did you put in?

And yes, these are tractors compared to W-Strom, but I don´t think a nice and shiny WS could stand the occasional beating I´m giving to the Transplant.

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I'm from Finland, live in NZ and ride Transalp XL600VR 1995


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PostPosted: May 16th, 2017, 11:46 am 
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Joined: May 31st, 2016, 12:57 pm
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Location: Southern Vermont
I'm starting to warm up to this bike. The clutch adjustment seems simple and straight forward so that is next on my list. A new seat will make a huge difference, no doubt. I have gotten spoiled by the DL650 which I can ride all day and not feel tired. Perhaps it is not fair to compare the two bikes because the Suzuki has street tires and the Transalp very aggressive knobbies. When it comes to personality the Transalp wins hands down. The V-Strom is so smooth and quiet it is almost electric, but because of this it borders on being boring. At least the Transalp has an engine you can hear. The engine seems to have more torque too. Perhaps this is a function of the gearing more than anything. I'm not sure. As far as appearance, the DL has a face only a mother could love. The Transalp has the "cool factor" dialed right in and gets recognition where ever I go. An acquaintance who is a KTM and BMW owner even commented the first time he saw it, "wow, that's a nice bike, I like it!" So perhaps I need to give my relationship with this bike a little more time. Good relationships don't happen overnight, even with motorcycles.


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2017, 3:24 pm 
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If the suspension has not been messed with for almost 30 years, it needs an overhaul. Get thee to Cogent Dynamics, motocd.com.

I'm a Corbin fan, have one on mine that was built for my lard ass. A BMW rider says that the seat feels like a Barco Lounge (sp).

I'm the second owner of my '89. Bought it in '92 with about 6000 miles on it. Have 145,000 miles on it and it still is my go to bike! I call it my "gentleman's dual sport", my KLR the "rabble rouser".

Good luck!

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AHRMA, CCS #72
'89 TA, 06 Ducati Sport 1000 Bella Boomer the race bike, '76 XS650 Farrah the race bike, '76 RD400 Evil Spawn the race bike, '97 Buell T-Bolt S2, '97 Dyna-Conv, '06 KLR 650 off road hooligan, and a '79 GS1000E (sold 25 March 2017 after 30 years of ownership), but ride the TA the most miles!


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PostPosted: May 17th, 2017, 4:06 pm 
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Location: Australia
I don't think you will realize the full potential of your alp until you swap the tyres for dual purpose ones. Nobbys cause a harsh ride, give poor traction on anything but dirt, and wear very quickly on sealed roads. I think most nobbys are stamped "off road use only" so unless you intend to ride entirely off the blacktop I would strongly suggest you swap tyres. To be honest they are quite dangerous on a wet sealed road.

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