A naked Transalp, a shortass and a masked man in a forest.

I just got this email from Alistair from London who also couldn’t post a comment, so here it is:


I’ve tried a couple of times to post comments to your blog but once could not select a profile as the drop down was empty and the second time all seemed to go well but the comment subsequently disappeared.

I was wondering what your mate’s Transalp looked like without the fairing and wondering if you thought your bike might be too tall for a shortass 5’6″?



I’m going to have to try to get this sorted out as it would be nice to have other people’s comments on the blog. It is after all as place for giving info about biking in Japan, Transalps and whatever else comes up.

Regarding the size of the TA, it’s tall. The seat height dimensions are 850 mm (33.5 in) for all models of Transalp. That’s damn high. I’ve a 31 inch inside leg so when I sit on it, even though the bike squats a bit under my weight, I can still only get my toes onto the ground. I’m not sure if the height of the bike can be altered to make it lower. I’m guessing it can, but would need the suspension tinkered with.

The height of the bike has its bonuses. Big bonuses. Coming off a scooter and onto a Transalp is a major difference in riding experience. On a scooter your down amongst the cars, but on a TA, you’re looking over the top of them. I now find myself head level with people driving big 4x4s and people carriers. As a friend said to me, after riding a scooter I must feel like I finally have a right to be on the road and that’s exactly it.

The best thing I can suggest is finding a TA and throwing your leg over it to see how it is. When Fastbike delivered mine I stood gawping at it, stunned at its size. I’m not scared to admit that I was scared of it. Even after I was legally entitled to ride it (albeit without optional insurance), I walked back and forth to it from the house for a couple of hours trying to get the courage to ride it around the block. When I finally did it was like I was riding a horse.

OK, now for the naked TA and a masked man in a forest. This is Simon V on his TA, which he has removed the fairing from. The photo is taken from Jim Davis’s blog linked to his company’s website Eastern Beaver a very reputable supplier of heated riding gear. This is the best photo of Simon’s TA I know of. He doesn’t have any himself. I know, I’ve asked him and he’s not a man to take phots of his bike. Maybe he’ll take one of the bike side on and send it to me so that I can post it.

So Alistair, I hope this answers your question and I also hope that you can get your leg over a Transalp and find it easy enough to ride.


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12 Comments on “A naked Transalp, a shortass and a masked man in a forest.”

  1. Alexander Says:

    “…who also couldn’t post a comment” – Perhaps you should switch to wordpress.com? πŸ™‚

  2. Motorbiking in Japan Says:

    In the process mate. I’ve just exported the blog over and making the changes to see how it pans out. It’s not nice making such fundamental changes when you get used to something, but something tells me that WordPress is a much better setup. I like the functionality.

  3. Motorbiking in Japan Says:

    Alastair, I rode the bike today to a class I teach in Nagoya and it’s true that I usually only have my toes on the ground when I’m on it, but thinking about your query I tried to put my feet flat on the ground and was able to do it with no real difficulty. The foot pegs get in the way a touch, but not so much as to stop me. Simply check your inside leg and if it’s around 29-30 inches then I reckon you’ll have no trouble at all.

  4. I’m 5′ 8″ with a 29″ inseam. I ride a KTM 990 SM-T, which has a seat height of 855mm, with no problems at all. It’s just a matter of what you get used to. If you are used to putting your feet flat on the ground at a stop light, you will freak out the first time you’re on a tall bike and can’t do that. But if you stick with it, you will get used to it. I’ve ridden bikes with seat heights up to 890mm, which requires a bit of caution about where you decide to put a foot down, but is still quite doable.

  5. Simon V Says:

    Hahaha! Masked man in a forest? It’s me!
    Yes, I love those “buffs”. I have a few as I ride every day, and need to keep the helmet hygenic, and the wind off my lips. I also play the horn so cracked or even numb lips are a problem.

    Anyway. Well done, Damien, for getting a working blog going! Hats (and masks) off to you! I’ve still got no further than Facebook.

    OK, I’ll try and get a picture of my bike tomorrow (my day off, if you’re interested in a ride near Mt Fuji) now that I’ve got a new chain and tyres on it. And if anyone wants to come and try it out they’ll be welcome. I also have a CB400, BTW.

    I keep a close record of my mileage, principally so I can deduct my gasoline costs in my tax returns, so I have all the figures in a spreadsheet which automatically checks entry errors and calculates mileages, costs per km, etc.
    I’ll try and convert it to Excel format so anyone can have a copy if they want. If you can read an AppleWorks file you can have the original. πŸ˜€

    Bye for now.

  6. Kevbodian@gaijinriders.com Says:

    Hey, I see your speedo says up to 160kph. Do you think it can get up that speed or above? My SR400 will do 130 if I pet it real nicely.

  7. Simon V Says:

    A pic of my bike and a funny hat in the distance…

  8. Kev, took it up to 120kmph on the run I had on Friday night and I’ve no doubt it would go a fair bit faster. I’ll need a new front tyre, so I won’t feel too good about doing speeds until that’s changed, but I’m itching to get it out on the highway to open it up just the once to see what top speed I can get.

  9. Simon V Says:

    “160kph. Do you think it can get up that speed or above?”
    No idea. My XL250 started to feel ready for takeoff at about 120.
    Anyway the speed limit is 100kph here, 30 over and you could use your license which would be a disaster for me. And I rarely use the motorways anyway. You can much more fun at lower (top) speeds on the backroads, without traffic lights or even traffic, which means higher average speeds. πŸ™‚

    Simon V

  10. Simon V Says:

    You can see some pics of my naked TA here:


    and some comments about it.


  11. I thought you’d removed it because you didn’t like the look of it, but you just couldn’t get new fairing after a crash?

  12. Simon V Says:

    No! Couldn’t AFFORD a new one!
    And I’d gotten fed up with taking it off every time I wanted to look at anything.


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