Honda Transalp wake-up after 5 months of sleep

Last Updated on: June 9, 2019

Honda Transalp XL600v is the first generation of the Transalp series. And a motorcycle that bears the recognizable hallmarks of Honda Motors very well. My Transalp is a 1995 model, which was the year it got its first face lift and improvements.

November 2017 - last run

Early November 2017 on the last ride. Called it quits that day, for 2017.

Storing motorcycles outdoors

isn’t ideal, far from. As november came it was parked in the garden, on a deck. I had nowhere else to put it at the time. But under two layers of tarp it seemed reasonably well protected. As the temperature dropped down to -10C and below, I also took out the battery.

Smart move probably. Batteries don’t do too well if stored outside in very low temperature, and not used. There’s a lot of opinions around this, but I think keeping it indoors and charging it a few times during winter makes sense.

Outdoor motorcycle storing

The situation mid January 2018

Next year I’ll be more gentle or considerate. Got plans for a garden, slash MC shed. Hope is to have space for both motorcycles. Maybe also a place to repair things to pieces. It’s been a while since I pretended to be a mechanic, a very long while actually. Back then I didn’t have a mobile cam to take pictures of things, before taking things apart!

The waky waky Honda, day

April 15th came and weather was great, finally some real signs of spring! 5+ months of moto-sleep was coming to an end. I had picked up my BMW out some days before and been out on a couple of shorter rides. Snow was gone in most of the garden, the motorcycle accessible with no need for shoveling.

Tarp off Honda

April 15th: removing the tarp the Transalp looked fine, if a little dirty

Removing the tarpaulin it looked just fine. A little dirty, some extra surface rust in a few places, chain not the least. Other than that nothing major. I Sprayed on some solvent and let it sit for a little while. Then mounted the battery, and wondered, would it start, or would it fail me?

Nah, it’s a Honda, man!  Switched on the key, and pressed the starter button. Almost instantly it woke up, engine fired, but then died again, a few times Too little choke (manual on this bike) and too little fuel.

Gave it a little bit more choke and hit the starter button again. Now, it came alive and ran smoothly.

First ride is always special

Even if I’d already had a couple of rides with the BMW still felt excited. This is something else. Took it out for a local ride, it ran smoothly. No sign of any outdoor winter storage sickness!

Transalp by a frozen lake

The Transalp by a frozen lake, many of those in the region

TLC plans, improvements and fixes

There is one thing about these bikes that can be a little bit annoying. Especially if you have a after market slip-on exhaust like I do. These change the pressure balance in the exhaust outlet, which also affect the mix of air and fuel.

With slip-on the bike makes quite a bit of popping sounds, or it backfires. Happens if you’re idling down a hill, makes quite a bit of noise. This supposedly, can be mitigated by adjusting the carburetors pilot screws. And check that no air leaks into the pipes and muffler.

Honda XL600V Transalp first ride 2018

From the other side, and the aftermarket slip-on exhaust

Fortunately there are a lot of very knowledgeable people about. And the Transalp has a huge fan base around the globe. Therefore I expect to find a solution to this problem. You have this forum and then a variety of Facebook groups.

One thing I have thought about could be to try to get hold of an original exhaust. But they’re not that easy to find, in mint condition. Plus they’re quite expensive. I like the one on, not very noisym yet it makes a cool growling noise when you speed up.

Aside of this, new tires and some skeletal or frame paint jobs are tasks I’ll try to get done this year. Time will, as they say, tell! 🙂

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