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  #1  
Old 7 Oct 2005
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Honda Varadero

Hi I'm thinking of upgrading my transalp 600 to a Honda Varadero so it will pose less stress trying to overtake whilst 2 up, I like the Africa Twins but decided a long time ago they're too tall and have no power considering their engine size. is the bike any good, costly running, fuel range, 2 up, extras givi engine bars to protect those radiators etc.
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  #2  
Old 7 Oct 2005
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A good choice as long as you are aware that the Varadero is first and foremost a road-going machine, despite its appearance. I have an 03-model, which is fuel injected. This means better fuel economy than previous carb-models. Max range is approx 450 kms, which is sufficient for my use. I have crash bars and a taller wind screen (the original tends to make some turbulence), which is pretty much all the mods I have done. Oh, I do have X3-cans for more sound ;-). It is a heavy beast to lug around, but once the wheels are rolling, it's extremely easy to handle. I use mine for daily commuting and longer travels, both solo and two-up. All in all I'm very satisfied. My Varadero is a very dependable, low-maintenance, comfortable and powerful ride. I can only recommend it unless you plan to ride off-road.
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  #3  
Old 7 Oct 2005
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Hi,
i rode for a long time a Africa Twin and am also planing to change to a Varadero. I can recommend the Africa Twin for long distance travels in areas like South america and similar, since it is made of easy technique and every mechanic can help you in case you get problems (which is not very often).

I rode throgh whole south america (with a Africa Twin) and can just say the bast about the africa twin. It is much better in Offroad-biking than the Varadero, which I already tested.
But as you say, the Varadero has a bit mor power but is also havier than the AT.
So in case you mainly ride roads, the varadero is ok, otherwise stay with an AT.

There is one big advantage of the Varadero:
You can get it with ABS, whereas the AT has never been prioduced with ABS.

So have a nice ride.
Burnout1
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  #4  
Old 7 Oct 2005
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I like the Varadero too, and you might well be right about the AT having comparatively little more power than a 600 TA. Have you ridden an AT though? When I was looking to upgrade from my TA a year and a half ago I looked at other (larger and faster) bikes, including the Varadero, which were comparatively cheap second hand. I'd read reports in the popular bike press about how the AT is frustrating to ride because it has no power compared with a 'proper' 750, yet how it's too big to go off road. I'd sat on them too and figured they were just too tall and heavy compared with my 600 TAs.

In the end I decided on an AT because I still wanted to be able to ride up easy dirt tracks and I didn't like the sound of the Varadero's fuel consumption. I have to say that I was impressed by the midrange on the AT compared with the TA, and while it's nowhere near as quick as a Varadero it's fine with my other half on the back. I was mostly surprised because conventional wisdom suggested the TA is about as quick as the AT thanks to its lower gearing and lower weight.

All in all I'me glad I chose the AT because I know I would have actually used the Varadero's power, and even if it hadn't killed me I would probably have been nicked by now doing some idiotic speed down the A3 (that happens anyway, but there are _levels_ of idiocy....).

I still think an AT is too heavy for going far off road (at least for me at 5' 9"), but it's a lot better than a TA for low speed balance. Oddly, although I can only get the balls of my feet on the ground together (solo) on the AT, I often used to drop my last 600 TA while parking etc.; I've never actually dropped the AT. That could be a factor worth considering for when you have luggage and a pillion.

My advice is to ride both of them and then decide. But if you want to do even potholed unsurfaced tracks forget the Varadero - those cast wheels and a extra 30 or so Kg OVER the weight of the AT surely make it not an option. Anyway, for a long trip I'd go for a Transalp any day - the best combination of power and weight!

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  #5  
Old 7 Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by martync:
Hi I'm thinking of upgrading my transalp 600 to a Honda Varadero so it will pose less stress trying to overtake whilst 2 up, I like the Africa Twins but decided a long time ago they're too tall and have no power considering their engine size. is the bike any good, costly running, fuel range, 2 up, extras givi engine bars to protect those radiators etc.
I can't imagine much difference in seat height between the AT & Varadero?

It's also wrong to use actual seat height as the only factor. Of equal importance id the width & shape of the seat. Some BMW's have wide seats that force your thighs apart. It feels like you're on a bike with a high seat height when you're not. 11XXGS has a considerable seat height but the shape & width make it easy to manage.

At least one bike magazine dismisses pure seat height & instead measures from the ground on one side & then then up & over the seat to the ground on the other side - I believe the bike is held upright under it's own weight, no stands used? This measurement is more useful in the real world & takes account of seat shape etc.



[This message has been edited by Steve Pickford (edited 07 October 2005).]
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  #6  
Old 11 Oct 2005
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Thanks for the info chaps,

I tried the varadeo and wow the power etc but my short legs are no good which kind of made me mad as I had my heart set on one. The AT again too tall but I guess possible modification could solve my height problem (either that or woodn blocks on feet).

No off road just Europe at present. I had a look at the new TA and nit looks nice but again don't feel it will have enough power for two people and can get scary overtaking.

I may look at an airhead R100GS but in the past I lost interest due to maintenance needs. F650's are built in Italy so if you get a Friday build your stuffed, any ideas?

maybe shortening mods for AT's ? or anyone with a new ish TA who does two up no problem?
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Old 11 Oct 2005
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I had a Varadero for a year, it was the older carb model. Fuel consumption was terrible and it was incredibly heavy but, it was comfortable enough. Although it looks like a big (enormous!) traily it's really a big tourer designed to look like a traily. IMHO It was fine for touring mainland Europe or North America but outside that it was just too big and heavy.

The Africa Twin may not have the power of the Vara' but, it has enough for most situations and is also strong and very reliable. I think Chris Scott listed it as the single most popular model for RTW travellers.

Depends on how much power and speed you want really. LB.
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Old 11 Oct 2005
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Hi,

Have you considered the V-Strom?

I have yet to see a bad write-up on the bike - apart from it's looks.

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  #9  
Old 11 Oct 2005
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Hi again,
I just wanted to let you know, that you can do a lot off raod with the africa twin. I myself did a 4 months trip trough south america (with very bad road conditions in Bolivia as well as between Chile and Argentia) and even at the highest point we got with the AT (5065m over sea level) it worked without any problemsand didi not need any changements. Ok it lost a bit of its power, but that is normal if the air is so thin.

I tried the Varadero also on dirt tracks and as long as every car can drive along (for example Finnlands streets away from the main roads) there is no problem at all. Just try it and you will see if it is the right machine for you.

Have a nice trip
Burnout1
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  #10  
Old 13 Oct 2005
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Varadeo is too big, tried it, liked the power but no good, AT wasn't much better although thinner seat let me touch down a bit better so a seat mod then all is OK Brakes aren't good though there again neither are those on airheads. Vstrom- awful write ups so the TDM is my next option, pitty the transalps don't come with an 850 engine either that or I should have got steve pickfords GS when offered it.
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Old 13 Oct 2005
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Ah, I recon you'll like the TDM. I loved it (shouldn't really say that in here), and there are lots of cheap ones out there to choose from. I'm on an AT at the moment because of the higher maintenance (10 valves etc.), lack of off road ability, and problem with fitting a centre stand (older bikes - don't know about the newer ones) on the TDM.

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  #12  
Old 13 Oct 2005
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Well however,
but what about a KTM 950 Adevture. Know a lot of people who swear on it. Might be the right decission for you. Try it. It is high and also a bit heavy, but much less than the AT or a TDM as far as I know.

Greets
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Old 15 Oct 2005
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KTM950 think I'd need stilts !
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  #14  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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I have varadero 04, very good ONroad, Offroad also ok on Mitas-E09dakar tyres, but two heavy
I recommned it for people 182 cm+ and some experiences with riding bikes

marekxxx

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  #15  
Old 5 Dec 2005
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Hello again,
I just want to let you know, that instead of the Varadero you also could buy a new KTM 990 Adventure. Will be released February 2006, so pretty soon!
It is avaliable with ABS (which can be switched off for off road travels). Have look on http://www.990adventure.com

Have a nice ride!
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