Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mission: See a Honda XL700V Transalp

Mission accomplished. I set out to see The Honda that is not available in the US during my short stay in Brussels, Belgium. While I was at it, I figured that I'd try to see some of the crazy 125s that are available in the EU. Done.

It's not the most desirable motorcycle in the world. Its problems are well known. Too little power. Too much weight. Small fuel tank. No 6th gear. After seeing it in person, and throwing rationality aside, I say it is one of the coolest bikes on the plant. Mainly, it's due to exclusivity. They're made in Spain for the Europe market only.

Even the predecessor model Honda Transalp looks great. Of course, people go to marketing school for years in order to learn how to make a used motorcycle looked rugged in the showroom. The show bark and lumber really does the bike justice. It looks amazing.

Equally amazing, and equally done-up with bark and lumber, is the Honda Veradero 125. In Belgium, it's legal to ride a 125cc motorcycle with a car driver's license; no special motorcycle endorsement is necessary. Plus, the cost of gas today in Brussels is approximately $7.80US per gallon. Efficiency is key. Anyway, the little Veradero is amazing due to its big-bike build quality and tiny v-twin engine.

The Honda CBF125 is another top seller due to licensing requirements and cost of fuel. The lower selling price must be popular too because the tax rate in Belgium is a whopping 21% -- not as bad as Norway, but, wow, it is sky high!

I could not resist getting a couple of snap shots of the Honda Ruckus wearing Repsol colors and the European color black-and-white CBR1000RR. Both badass.

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