Adventure travel...If you are going to need those KM990 suspensions...you either have a back up truck... or you will get into trouble... so reliability...range... and travelling light...lead to a Varadero...because it is made by Honda...and when the bike is dropped... the chain is too long... the air filter is clogged...the Honda will keep going...which is nice in an adventure...when the outcome is uncertain
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Took one out for a test ride with my missus on the back when they first came out. I ragged the backside off it with her on the back.I loved it she said it was "Boooring", so I never bought one :-(
Now she's gone, I finally own one. In "Real" life I'm a full time bike instructor and use the big old beast as my "Work" bike. It's wonderful. The ride position is ace in traffic,The engine is good, a little more vibey than I expected but works well. Been out with the boys in the twisties and wow, well impressed I found myself giving my mate Dave on his R6 a real hard time and no matter how he tried he couldn't shake me until we hit a long straight and then it was by by by.....
I have had her loaded up with 3 Givi's and tank bag and done 230 miles before the light came on.
It's a good work bike.
It's a good tourer,
It's even a good "Scratcher".
In the 4 months I have owned her I've done 6500 miles.
Mines a 2003 (52 plate), Carb's, 5 speed with now 34k, runs like a dream.......Go and get one. Piss off all the GS boy's with a bike thats half the price and WILL do anything a GS will.
My first Dero but probably not my last.
Owned a Pan before this and although a great tourer it was so bland and characterless, not so the Varadero.
Lovely V-Twin engine is full of character, mine is the post 2003 model with 6spd gearbox and fuel injection, which makes it a lot better for long distance work than the previous model.
It is all day comfortable and the high riding position does give you a commanding view of the road ahead.
There are any number of touring/adventure accessories available for it, and worth while looking for a bike with them done or at least prepare to do them yourself.
I have full set of Givi hard luggage fitted, 2 marine power sockets fitted for sat nav etc.. engine crash bars, renthal handlebars, handguards, digital voltmeter ( to keep an eye on the only dodgy Honda part... the regulator/rectifier ), digi gear indicator, fender extender, a few more small convenience mods and all add to the personality of this bike.
It is a big heavy brute make no mistake, with full luggage and full tank of petrol I wouldn't like to pick it up after a fall but this soon melts away when the wheels start turning.
If you know what types of roads you'll be riding you could do a lot worse than buy this bike, but it's not a bike to take down dirt trails if you don't know what type of terrian you'll be comong up against, with suitable tyres this bike will go anywhere a BMW GS, Super Tenere etc will, loose gravel trails, pot holed roads etc no problem, wet mud trails, ruts etc... I'd be looking for a different route.
But then again this bike was built to ride all day on everyday roads and real world conditions, it's not an xr400, drz, type bike.
Can thoroughly recommend this bike, and the more I ride it the more I like it.
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 ..you have to ride pretty hard on the slimmer stuff to lose the varas headlamps ..fast 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
two varas two years and two months
Would you buy again
In one line
power ranger road testers please sod off to mallory