Adventure Bike Rider

Home Reviews Bikes

Review Detail

Honda XL1000V Varadero

pan europeon on stilts

Overall rating: 
As a Long Distance Tourer:
Off Road Capability:
Around Town:
Additional Equipment Availability:
Value for Money:
Was this review helpful to you?
Yes No
minkyhead Reviewed by minkyhead
October 13, 2010

View all my reviews
Report this review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful

ill kick off with my views on the varadero ...this is my 2nd varadero the first being a early 02 carbie ..the currant being the 05 fi model
first thing to reassure people about is the fuel consumption ..the old 5 speed carbie was much heavier on fuel than the 6 speed fi
ive had some big days out on the bike and mixed my riding style up
the f1 will give over 250 miles to the tank and more
the light has come on between 220 and 238 miles with 4 litres to go .i dont ride like a nun trust me

the fi with six speeds and updated suspension is withhout doubt the better bike . i still ride with the vara uk lads and after selling me strom had a breif but pleasent encounter with a cb1300
i soon relised that the big trailies were for me and picked up a mint 05 vara for 3700 pounds 4000 miles young
ive done two thousand miles on it in five weeks this is what i think

if you want a proper duel purpose bike for rugged off roading in between the vara is not for you
if you tour long distance tarmack ..single tracks easy cart tracks and gravel lanes read on

its been a few years since i cocked me leg over one and althiugh used to big heavy bikes i forgot ... its immidiatly noticble as soon as you push the bike the vara is very heavy and has a high centre of gravity
it also noticble that its very very comfy thankfully one moving its a doddle to ride at walking pace
the general egos is perfect for me im 6.1 tall ..the o/e screen is not the best but is easily fixed mine has a vee strom givi with a mra wing ..perfect [glad ididnt e bay it ]
the o/e seat is pretty good but had a tebdancy to crush me nuts a bit if you look at the profile [of the seat not me nuts ] youll see what i mean ..iwas very lucky and picked up a 2nd hand corbin which is nothing shourt of wonderful
riding the beast is easy the engine has a lazy feel to it but for a vee is smooth and deceptionally fast ..if you open the taps it will shove you forward at a pleasing rate ..third and fourth gears being immpressive ...not as lively low down as the gs or vee strom but strong ..probably just getting the extra weight going
at low revs the fueling is precise and it will pull clean from 2000 revs
on the other hand its so unstressed at higher speeds compared the them ..if you wear earplugs at 85 mph you have to check the engines running .. well not far off
work it between 3000 and 4500 revs and it will cross counrty quickly .and punch hard between 5 to 7 really nice
transmission is absaluly brilliant slick quiet the gears are perfectly spaced no big gaps 1st to 2nd 5th to 6th i really cant fault it
suspension ..its soft not bad soft but soft it suits the bike i had to put near full preload on the rear and play with the rebound for one up its fine i think two up with kitchen sing mr hagon may be required but single up singe luggage not a problem
it soaks up the bumps very well but doesnt wallow for a 90mph tour on bumpy b roads its near perfect ..
the handling .. well i wasnt surprised by the new vara as the old one was easy and nutral to steer turn in is neutral with no effort or understeer it tracks well and even with the soft suspension never deflects from its task ..easy safe solid stable ..push harder and you get warnings from the bike miles before anything nasty comes to pass heed them and it will waft along in the hillbilly grand prix very well have to ride pretty hard on the slimmer stuff to lose the varas headlamps tranitions left right show the weight up ..its takes some more input
the answers easy shed a little more speed before you do it
its satisfieng to ride in the bends ..its no multistrada but i for one am glad of that ..
shod with deacent tyres its a pleasure to ride
mmmmm linked brakes not my choice but ive had em before on the blackbird
im not going into the working im sure most will know the principle .. taking away rear trail braking in hairpins is a nuicence ..brave off roaders say no more ..
the good poits used front then rear in proportion they are very strong and the abs is a usful safegurd ..i would like them inderpendant ..but think of this bike as a pan euo on stilts and shed speed before turning they are more than up to the task
somthing often overlooked on bikes ..the headlights ..i have to say the vee strom and varadero are
fantastic for spread and penetration [no fancy upgrades ] with posh bulbs god knows may try em ..think world war two searchlights as standard you wont disagree
the varadero is a zen tourer vaugly diguised as a off roader
its soft .. abig slobbery dog that licks your face with a drum of brandy hung off its neck its evolved iot will never turn on you and bite unless yopu stick a poker up its ass

hard chargers will not get on with it i suppose ..having said that iwas that soldier
getting older /wiser lol
thats it at 3700 pounds for the pupose i bought it for its very hard to knock
if you could run somthing harder alongside it ..cake and eat it springs to mind

Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned two varas two years and two months
I liked zen tourer
I Disliked linked brakes
Would you buy again Yes
In one line power ranger road testers please sod off to mallory
Grin Factor (0=crap 10=I loved it) 9

To write a comment please register or log in.

Powered by JReviews