After months of research, trying to decide between a BMW and HONDA, I decided reliabilty was more important than horse power or fashion and chose to buy the Transalp, not to be unkind to BMW, I think the Adventures look good from the front and back, but so unbelievably ugly from the side. There is a new 800cc modle out this year that looks good, time will tell if BMW have got their once famous reliability back.


Since Ewan Mcgregor and Charlie Boreman did THE LONG WAY ROUND and THE LONG WAY DOWN, BMW’s have become the fashion for adventure riding. I plan a few little adventures myself over the coming years so naturaly leaned towards the 650 or 1200 GS Adventure. Unfortunatly when you start reading on the internet about long distance riders or even the ROUND THE WORLD riders, electrical problems keep cropping up especially the engine management unit and the intagrated ABS/suspension unit. Mechanical problems, chiefly the shaft drive, it’s such a shame because the engines are bullet proof and have been around for decades, old Beemers are reliable but the newer ones have problems.




I did’nt want an all out off road beast so the TENERE and the KTM’s were out, the 25 year old TRANSALP and AFRICA TWIN ticked the boxes for what I wanted. I do not have any intention of riding around the World, but I now live in Turkey where spare parts and qualified mechanics are all hard to come by, hence reliability was top of my list. The reason I chose the Transalp over the Africa twin was sophistication, the Africa twin is a little more off-road biased than the Transalp. I intend my road travels to be around 80% on half descent surfaces therefor I want my creature comforts for the most part and some limited off-road ability if required.


My first trip out was along 20km of dusty dirt track to Sarsala beach.


The first thing I noticed was, that I was skipping and bumping  about, the suspension was set rock hard, thank God I have my own teeth and don’t wear dentures because I would have lost them. The suspension will have to be softend, the single rear shock is adjustable for both damping and pre-load. A screwdriver adjusts the damping and a hammer and screwdriver adjust the pre-load, it takes a while to get it just how you want it.



The track winds down to the beach.



Time will obviously tell whether the choice I made was a good one or not, so far it’s been brillient.




This blog will record my travels with a Transalp.


~ by travelswithmymotorbike on August 15, 2008.

2 Responses to “MY NEW BABY……WHY TRANSALP ?”

  1. Dave:

    AH, the good old days of youth, freedom and riding a bike around the country.

    Now you are mature, settled down into a landlocked like of a homeowner and working on repairs in an idyllic place with no prospects other than to drive an Astra estate wagon

    Wet Coast Scootin

    • Hi Uncle Bob,

      Feeling a little grumpy were we 🙂

      Most of the farm and house will be finished this year, then its play time again!!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: