It looks like we are resurrecting a rumor from five years ago, as once again there is talk of a midsized adventure bike from Honda in the pipes.
It remains to be seen if this new model will take over the “Transalp” moniker (Honda canceled its Transalp trademark in 2016 for the USA, after reviving it in 2013), but right now the rumors from Europe are suggesting an 850cc twin-cylinder ADV bike is coming from Big Red.
Whether the rumor is true remains to be seen, but there is plenty of ammo to see a so-called Honda CRF850L hitting the market.
First off, there is the fact that midsized adventure-touring market is ripe right now, with a plethora of intriguing models hitting this space, including the BMW F850GS, KTM 790 Adventure, Triumph Tiger 900, and Yamaha Ténéré 700.
While the Japanese brand has the Honda NC750X already in its lineup, a proper adventure-bikes it surely is not.
Having a midsized ADV bike that can handle some actual off-road use could fit well in Honda’s lineup, which currently sees a pretty large gap between the Honda CRF450L and Honda Africa Twin.
Where the rumor gets tough those is when looking at the price points. The CRF450L goes for $10,400 in the USA, while the Africa Twin starts at $14,400.
Assuming it would bridge that gap, one would expect an 850cc Africa Twin to come in around $12,400, which is quite a bit of coin compared to what is in the space already, especially with the Yamaha Ténéré 700 coming in under $10,000.
Maybe there is some wiggle room though, as we have always thought the Honda CRF450L was priced too high in its segment, and a price adjustment there could see some more space made for a midsized ADV bike.
Depending on the timing of things, Honda might even be able to steal some thunder from Yamaha, especially if it can get its baby Africa Twin (or whatever it will be called) to market for the 2021/2022 model year.
As always, time will tell. But, this rumor makes a lot of sense to us. We shall see if it makes even more sense to the higher-ups in Hamamatsu. Keep an eye on this space.