Rumors of a proper mid-sized adventure bike from Honda have been percolating for some time now – as far back as eight years ago.
The news gained traction again last year, with rumors from Japan suggesting that an 850cc model was in the works, which be offered alongside the now 1,084cc Africa Twin 1100.
As we noted then, it was disappointing that Honda had let the “Transalp” name lapse in 2016 with the US Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO), as that would have been a perfect name for this mid-sized ADV machine.
Well, that changed this month as Honda Motor Japan has once again applied for use of the Transalp name in the American market, for motorcycles and motorcycle parts.
Is that a smoking gun that a new Honda Transalp is on the way? No, it would just be the motorcycle manufacturer protecting assets from its past from being used by other brands.
However, registering the Transalp name is a necessary step before Honda can bring the bike to US soil, which bodes well considering the other rumors we have heard about a Honda CRF850L in the works.
Naturally, Honda would do well to add a properly off-road capable mid-sized ADV motorcycle to its stable, as the pressure from the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and KTM 890 Adventure is starting to mount.
If they can build that tips the scales closer to 450 lbs, and not build one of the 500+ lbs behemoths that have floundered in this class, then Big Red could have a winner on its hands.
The smoke around this rumor continues to build, which usually means that there is fire. Stay tuned.