This 1987 Honda Transalp Is a Retro Adventure Bike Straight Out of A Hazy ’80s Dream

Everyone knows the Honda Africa Twin. But lately, rumors have been circulating about a new Honda Transalp. The rumors are spreading, but as of now, they remain unverified. In the meantime, let’s look back at the 80s moto dream that is this incredible 1987 Honda Transalp. This thing is what retro adventure bike dreams are made of. 

1987 Honda Transalp is one of the coolest retro adventure bikes around
1987 Honda Transalp | Yann Bakonyi

Is there a new Honda Transalp coming? 

Can not confirm. However, thanks to Yann Bakonyi, we have something pretty rad to hold us over until we find out. While wheeling through Joshua Tree in a Jeep, inspiration stuck. His love of all things with two wheels and Japanese stuff, Bakonyi began to dream up the glorious Honda Transalp adventure bike you see here. 

According to ADVPulse, he wanted something quintessentially Japanese and adventure-ready, something tough while still being supremely stylish. He ultimately landed on the Hond Transalp. 

This is a mighty fine, fully restored Honda Transalp 

retro adventure bike riding at sunrise
1987 Honda Transalp | Yann Bakonyi

He began his build with a full mechanical refresh. During that process, he painted the frame a sleek black in epoxy paint, guaranteeing toughness. Bakonyi then upgraded the wheels with Excel units, added Brembo brakes and aviation-quality lines front and rear. The Transalp then got a new EMC shock on the back, covered by a custom mud flap, along with a tune for the stock 41-millimeter Showa forks. 

After these initial steps, he took it upon himself to plan ahead for the known electricity issues in these bikes and 3D print his own voltmeter mount that clips to the fuse box. 

This retro adventure bike may look custom but that’s just the way it is

Honda Transalp
1987 Honda Transalp | Yann Bakonyi

One of the coolest things about this bike is that while it looks completely custom fabricated, the appearance is largely stock. All the swooping angles, aggressive bodywork, and intense curves are pretty much the way Honda was doing it back then. 

Although the factory look has plenty of rad features, some custom touches start to show themselves the closer you look. For one, Bakonyi put the 3D printer to use again with custom, flush-mounted housings for LED lights in place of the stock turn signals – very classy. 

The actual turn signals have been moved to hide just under the lip of the fairing. If you look long and hard at the headlight, you may notice some of his Jeep-driving brainstorm coming through. Do you see it yet? The headlight was sourced from a Jeep Wrangler. If someone told me this without seeing it, I don’t think I’d dig it, but on the bike, it just works. 

One of the coolest features is the period-correct front disc brake cover from UFO. This thing is so ‘80s that it has come back around and looks like a custom-fabbed bit that looks like it belongs on a concept bike. This Honda Transalp is dripping in classy touches and overflowing with good taste. 

Let’s not forget the retro adventure bike paint job

I almost forgot the best part! Paintwork is something that I feel many of us car and motorcycle enthusiasts get a little too cool to care about. It’s literally my favorite part. This Honda Transalp is no exception. I mean, look at this thing. 

The bike is painted in white with a trio of desert sunset hues making the Joshua Tree origins land flawlessly. Lastly, the Japanese letting reading “Transalp” is so cool I can hardly stand it. Honda, if you are reading, please take this bike into consideration if you decide to bring the Transalp back to life. 

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