Honda XL1000V Varadero

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Honda XL1000V Varadero
The Varadero is an underrated all-rounder that handles well but lacks character

Our Review

Reviewed: 16 December 2004 by Visordown
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 ...  Continue reading


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Reader Reviews

22 user reviews of Honda XL1000V Varadero See all

Overall reader score
The is an underated unsung hero of big trailie tourers. Not much in the difference in size or stance from a crosstourer. It's nimble enough and has plenty of power. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Anot Continue reading...
It is ideal bike for cross country tours and also perfect in the city Continue reading...
Just get one and get used to it and although it's heavy and not too good looking, it's one of the best bikes out there. In my correct opinion. Continue reading...
I did a 2500 mile trip through the Alps, Dolomites and back to UK across France, then traded mine in for a newer one. Don't know how people who say this bike is lacking power, as if you are careless, the front Continue reading...


The Varadero's roots are the VTR sports bike engine but de-re tuned (Hondas quest to get better touring mpg) via softer camshafts and smaller carbs. If you want to regain most of the lost performance re fit the VTR carbs. The Varaderos gearbox be it a 5 or 6 speed box is irrelavent to fuel economy because the final rear ratio of 0.961 to 1 is the same. You just have more gears between first and top! The Varadero Bhp figures are 90 bhp'ish standard, but remember a 916 Duke only had 110 Bhp! Just google my Varadero and the fitting of VTR carbs. Feel the true power of the Honda engine. Regards Firedero.

Posted: 18/01/2012 at 23:24

Really handy to see the gear ratio info - been googling all over for that, cheers

Posted: 18/11/2013 at 20:12

I have been motorcycling for over 30 years and have experienced the whole range of bikes over that period. I bought a Varadero new in 2009 and without doubt it is the most USEFUL bike I have ever owned. I have been all over Europe on it (mainly with my good lady). Its not a sports bike, its not an off-road bike, its not commuter or a full-on tourer. What it is is 80% of all of them - and in the REAL WORLD that adds up to a really great bike. It will cruise all day 2-up with luggage in comfort, it will struggle along snow covered roads in the Pyrenees, it will scramble up tracks over looking the Cote-D'Azur. It has never missed a beat and had nothing other than normal servicing. Don't be fooled by some old  reviews by magazine testers who rode one for a day or 2, these are great bikes.

Posted: 21/11/2013 at 17:05

I am on my second Varadero. The first one, an '08 had a mystery miss-fire but I liked it so much I bought one of the last ones, an '11 reg '12 which I like even Classicblade says, I went all over Europe, loaded up and often with pillion and never found it wanting.

The motorcycle press could't rate it more than three and half stars but owners consistently gave it four and a half.

As regards 'Never setting your loins on fire'  I had the biggest grin possible after a very quick ride up the Passo Stelvio. No doubt many riders could have beaten me but I doubt they could have matched the grin.

Fuel injection replaced carbs many models ago. Check Varadero and Crosstourer International Forum for more information.....and beware, it's a big heavy bike but once rolling, rides like a 'traily'.


Posted: 23/11/2013 at 13:17

Summary | Full Review | Reader Reviews | Gallery | Specs | Discussion

Our score:

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Need to know

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.
  • Price: £7349.00
  • Year: from 2004
  • Top speed: 125mph
  • Price new: 7349
  • Engine capacity: 996cc
  • Power: 93bhp
  • Torque: 72lb ft
  • Weight: 235kg
  • 0-60: 4.4 seconds

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