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Honda XL1000V Varadero review

It'll never set your loins on fire, but the Varadero's a worthy workhorse with a hint of fun
Details
Manufacturer:
Honda
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 7349
Overall
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
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
Seats0
Seat Height (mm)838
Suspension Front43mm telescopic fork, 155mm axle travel
Suspension RearPro-link, 145mm axle travel
Adjustability RearSpring preload adjustable damper
Wheels Front19 x MT2.50
Wheels Rear17 x MT4.00
Wheels Made OfHollow-section triple-spoke cast aluminium
Tyres Front110/80-R19 59H
Tyres Rear150/70-R17 69H
Brakes FrontABS. 296 x 4.5mm dual hydraulic disc with Combined
Brakes RearABS. 256 x 5mm hydraulic disc with Combined 3-pist
Tank Capacity (litres)25
Wheelbase (mm)1560
Ground Clearance (mm)181
Trail (mm)110
ChassisDiamond; 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 GearDOHC
Compression Ratio9.8
IgnitionComputer controled digital transistorised with ele
CoolingLiquid cooled
Fuel DeliveryPGM-FI electronic fuel injection
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Max Power81.3
Max Power Revs7500
Max Torque62.6
Max Torque Revs6400
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH102.76
Standing Quarter Mile - Time13.6
Top Speed123.2
Time to Top Speed38.71
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.