After what seems like a very, very long time, I am now once again the proud owner of a motorcycle. We have settled into our lives here in Basel, this made much easier now that we have our own apartment and a parking space in the parking garage. Dan picked up a 2009 BMW F800GS (the same bike he had to sell when we left New Jersey) and I found a new beast to explore on: a 2009 Honda Transalp 700.
When considering what my “European ride” would be, I considered my previous bikes. The KLR was a fun bike, but I really wanted more power than the single cylinder was ready to give me. The 1150GS was fantastic, but the weight really worked against it. I was afraid that this would be especially noticeable when my mind was already busy with trying to read signs, watch for pedestrians and find my way through small villages. So what to get? I spent quite a bit of time online, reading up on reviews of various bikes and one that always came to the top was the Honda Transalp.
The Honda Transalp was only available in the US from 1989-1990 but they have a huge following there. I had heard people sing their praises but knew little about them. But like the KLR, it had a long manufacturing history and a dedicated crowd for support and assistance. While considering an F800 for myself, I saw that the BMW dealership had three Transalps sitting on their floor. I decide to give one a shot and took it out for a test ride. Not bad! It felt weird to more-than-flatfoot a motorcycle, but the riding position was still comfortable. And when I pulled onto a dirt drive to take a photo, I was very happy with the lower height and the security it gave me in moving the bike around. Ok, I’ll take it!
Boris was a great help
Wrestling the bike out for a test ride
Weeks went by as the dealer worked out the service check, inspection and other paperwork. When they told me that it was ready to pick up, it was just a matter of walking to the dealership with my gear (yes, we live that close) and handing them some money. I had a motorcycle again!
It was late Friday afternoon on a damp, overcast day but I took the “long way home” from the dealership, just to see what I had bought. It felt good. It will feel better once I start to poke around and see what’s under those plastics, but I think it was a good choice.