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  • 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

Honda XL1000V Varadero

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Reviewed: 16 December 2004 by Visordown
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.

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