The test bike was dark grey coloured - looked pretty nice. When sitting on it for the first time, I noticed
Engine is warm now, let's go on the highway. 50 km/h, fifth gear, and flat open now. The engine reports for work and accelerates - not better as the old one, but that's ok. Beyond 100 km/h it seems to be a little bit sluggish, but that may be caused by the just 180 km on the odo. "Not more than 5,000 rpm", the dealer had warned me. At 140 km/h I slow down, what actually is a little bit more of revs than 5,000, but less than with my old one. They seemed to have modified the gear ratios. Not even first signs of wobbling up to this speed. Wind protection seems to be ok. The helmet is in the airstream, chest up to the shoulders is pretty well protected, just as I like it. Noise level is remarkably low.
Handling? Hm, it was wet, and within 30 minutes, I can't reach the fine curves of the Weserbergland mountains. But as far as I can say, handling seems to be ok, comparable to the old one. I'll test that later.
Conclusions now? The focus of the new Transalp is street usage, even more than the old one. Have a look at gear ratios, footpegs, seat height, ground clearance and so on. Apropos footpegs - on the old footpegs you could remove the rubber (actually the first modification on my Faxe Biturbo ;-) ), and you had perfect offroad pegs. This is not possible anymore on the new ones. As I said - street usage. Seat position is good - apart from the tank bend, this is annoying. However, there was a guy being shorter than me (ca. 1.80 m), and for him it was perfect.
The pre-silencer item, another one proving the new XL650V being a street bike. It's placed just 5 cm away from rear tire, and it's completely unprotected. I asked the dealer for a protection, possibly mounted on the center stand (available as accessoire). "I don't know", he answered, "not avalibale yet." But I guess, there's a possibility to mount an aluminum plate, decreasing ground clearance, however. Mirrors are good, not vibrating, and you can see all that happens behind you.
I guess, all in all, it's a good bike, too.