Converting a beater Transalp into the ultimate expedition bike


I've always loved the looks of the Rallye bikes ever since I was a kid dreaming of racing the Dakar! I can't afford a real rallye bike like the KTM 660's/690's so I decided to build my own.
I've owned two other Transalps in the past and absolutely love them! So this is the base bike that I'd start with.

My origional AfricaAlp (a Transalp that I convered to the non US model Africa Twin)...

My second one was a super clean example that I kept basically stock..

For this project I needed to find one on the cheap so I could use more money for the Rallye conversion. An inmate/friend of mine found this one in his home town that was in sad shape but had low miles. The story goes an angry wife took a baseball bat too it, then sat in some weeds behind a garage for around 10 years. :cry He lost interest in the project so I picked up the sad little fellow with no title for the sum of $500.

The first order of business was to get a title. This actually wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The origional title had been junked so long ago that it was not in the national database. This allowed me to apply for a brand new title just like you would on a brand new bike. With just a little paper work, I came out with a shiney new title (not a rebuild or salvage title).

The next order of business was to get the bike running and in some kind of road worthy condition for a trip that my buddies and I were too take in 2 weeks.

My friend that I had bought it from (we'll call him....Sean) had already cleaned the carbs in an attempt go get it running. It would idle but wouldn't stay running. After some investigating, I found that one of the vent hoses was clogged with mud. Once I cleaned the mud out, it started and ran great. The origional tank had no cap so water had rusted a large hole in the bottom that was not repairable. My plan was to eventually install an AfricaTwin tank but there is no way I'd find one here in the US. Finding one in Europe and getting it shipped here in time really wasn't going to happen. A quick wanted add for a TA tank in any usable condition in the Transalp mod thread on ADVrider turned up a dented but usable stock tank from MAS (thanks Mark).

I used other parts I had laying around like a HID headlight from my race bike mounted on a KTM rallye bracket, muffler from a GSXR750 and CR125 shrouds to get it on the road for the trip. I also installed XR650L forks and a shock extention as this bike will be ridden offroad alot. I'm not a fan of drum brakes, I already had an AfricaTwin rear wheel with disc brake setup that basically bolts right on.

At this stage I called it the RatAlp!


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The bike did great on the 400 mile trip!:clap

Since then I've added a few more things...

AceWell computer
Custom upper tripple clamp with stabilizer mount
Elka System 5 stabilizer
My manditory Fasst Co Flexx bars
Acerbis handguards
GPS mount
SW Motec skid plate
SRC fork brace
Moose fork skins
Fuze Block
12v outlet

A freebie BMW 1200GS LED tail light and turn signals :clap

I also scored a good deal on an AfricaTwin tank from Italy. These are 6.5 gallon as opposed to the stock 4 gallon and like most other AT parts bolts right on...

Next week I should be receiving this....

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Ok, I have everything finished and ready for paint. The install was actually very easy. Everything lined up perfectly. I had to trim just a tiny bit on the stock plastic radiator shrouds but I believe this is due to me using the AT tank and fairing.

Here is the business end, my 376c with Touratech mount and my AceWell computer in perfect line of sight.

All accessories are run through a Fuzeblock seen on the right.

Toggle switch with waterproof boot and LED for AutoComm.

Side stand light.

Standard and BMW power outlets.

Everything mounts on an aluminum bracket that mounts to the stock holes on the steering head.

Here you can see the V notches that I had to cut out of the radiator shrouds.

Dual H4 headlights.


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Fairing mounts easily using 2 Zeus fasteners on either side of the tank and one phillips screw just above the headlights.

And the cockpit view...



Rendezvous Conspiracy
I thought it was impossible to make a TransAlp any cooler. I was wrong.

Your bike makes me want to cry. WELL DONE!

Maximus Ram

Expedition Leader
After much thought I have decided that I hate great bike and a great price, good find.
I was reading this and thinking the same thing...:D

Whenever I see a Trans-Alp for sale, the price is way out of my reach.

Keep the rubber side down.......and dirty:roost::roost:


I use bike to bike communication through my a Autocom. I hate the cheap little PTT switch that comes with the system....

I threw together this crude drawing of what I'd like to have made from aluminum. This will fit between the grip flange and the oem multifunction switch. What do you think?

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We used to laugh at those when they first came out. Called them trans slaps. :coffeedrink:

Who'd a thunk I want one someday? That first one in your post looks awesome! We had a guy on a ride bring his all done up in Rothman's colors. Looked great!