Honda XL1000V Varadero review

It'll never set your loins on fire, but the Varadero's a worthy workhorse with a hint of fun

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Thu, 16 Dec 2004 - 12:12

Details
Manufacturer:
Honda
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 7349
Overall
3
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The Varadero is an underrated all-rounder that handles well but lacks character
Comfortable, plush and eats the miles in an almost regal manner.
The motor's on the flat side for something so lardy, and the styling's never going to win any beauty pageants.

The Varadero surprised me. Initially it felt soulless and antiseptic but its easy-going nature soon reared its head and suckered me in. Its big twin motor has a smooth, dipped-in-Teflon power delivery that lends the whole bike a relaxed, lazy feel. At 274kg (wringing wet) it's the heaviest bike in its class (and that's minus luggage) and its weight does kill the engine's performance a little, but there's still just enough if you work the gearbox.

The Varadero churns gently away beneath you with its simple analogue clocks, narrow yet high handlebars and upright screen. All worked efficiently, without obvious fuss. Just like the whole bike, really. The suspension's nicely damped and sprung, the linked brakes have plenty of power and the ABS was spot on, in other words I didn't ever notice it. Interestingly, the Honda's ABS can't be turned off, but worked as well off-road as it did on.

The Varadero is an underrated all-rounder that handles well but lacks character. It gets on with the job.

The Varadero surprised me. Initially it felt soulless and antiseptic but its easy-going nature soon reared its head and suckered me in. Its big twin motor has a smooth, dipped-in-Teflon power delivery that lends the whole bike a relaxed, lazy feel. At 274kg (wringing wet) it's the heaviest bike in its class (and that's minus luggage) and its weight does kill the engine's performance a little, but there's still just enough if you work the gearbox.

The Varadero churns gently away beneath you with its simple analogue clocks, narrow yet high handlebars and upright screen. All worked efficiently, without obvious fuss. Just like the whole bike, really. The suspension's nicely damped and sprung, the linked brakes have plenty of power and the ABS was spot on, in other words I didn't ever notice it. Interestingly, the Honda's ABS can't be turned off, but worked as well off-road as it did on.

The Varadero is an underrated all-rounder that handles well but lacks character. It gets on with the job.

Length (mm) 2295
Width (mm) 925
Height (mm) 1500
Dryweight (kg) 235
Seats 0
Seat Height (mm) 838
Suspension Front 43mm telescopic fork, 155mm axle travel
Suspension Rear Pro-link, 145mm axle travel
Adjustability Rear Spring preload adjustable damper
Wheels Front 19 x MT2.50
Wheels Rear 17 x MT4.00
Wheels Made Of Hollow-section triple-spoke cast aluminium
Tyres Front 110/80-R19 59H
Tyres Rear 150/70-R17 69H
Brakes Front ABS. 296 x 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with Combined
Brakes Rear ABS. 256 x 5mm hydraulic disc with Combined 3-pist
Tank Capacity (litres) 25
Wheelbase (mm) 1560
Ground Clearance (mm) 181
Trail (mm) 110
Chassis Diamond; steel tube
Cubic Capacity (cc) 996
Max Power (bhp) 93
Max Power Peak (rpm) 8000
Torque (ft/lb) 72
Torque Peak (rpm) 6000
Bore (mm) 98
Stroke (mm) 66
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 9.8
Ignition Computer controled digital transistorised with ele
Cooling Liquid cooled
Fuel Delivery PGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain
Max Power 81.3
Max Power Revs 7500
Max Torque 62.6
Max Torque Revs 6400
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH 102.76
Standing Quarter Mile - Time 13.6
Top Speed 123.2
Time to Top Speed 38.71
Score Breakdown
Overall
3
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