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Old 3 Aug 2008
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honda varadero or bmw 1200gsa

hi guys
im planning to buy a adventure bike.my usual route consist of 90%tarmac and 10% off road.i would like to know that honda xl1000varadero or bmw 1200gsa is the best.i also would like to know the maintenance coz both do not have dealers or authroised service centers in india.please let me know.
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Old 13 Sep 2008
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That is the question !!

I also what to know answer on the question.
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 21:42.
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Patrick, I have read rumors that Honda may finally bring the Varadero to the US in 09. Have you read or heard anything on this, or is it the usual new model fairy tail? I'm loving the 650 V-Strom I bought this summer, but I have always had great service out of the Hondas I had in the past.
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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the VTR motor is a gem too.


Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 21:43.
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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Thumbs down Note against the Varadero

If you plan to use this off road there are two point to consider...

Firstly, you are likely to drop this heavy bike at some stage: we all do... However, the Varadero has its radiotors down the side of the bike, a la VFR800. All it takes is a fall onto a pointy stone or a branch pointing up and you may be stranded with a holed cooling system.

Secondly, the brakes on this bike are CBS: combined brake system first introduced on the blackbird, where a bit of rear applies a bit of front and vice versa. in a review of this bike versus another off-roader (may have been the R1150GS ADV IIRR) the tester felt this bike was frikkin' scary off-road due to this very characteristic (clearly visible in one of the photos as the guy's eyes had white all the way round on a downhill section!!): you want to choose your brake when off road, especially if trying to control a decent: do you want front brake going down a gravelly decent?

On-road its said to be a very good bike, as expected.

Between the two models you are choosing, the BM is more powerful, but spec sheets mean very little in the real world...Which ever bikes you are considering, I say get out there and Test ride them.. Twice, thrice, if needed. Its the only way to know what you like more: after all you'll be riding it despite what someone else's opinions say about one model or another....

Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
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Old 14 Sep 2008
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The Varadero is by all accounts a good bike, a very good bike. It IS however, a tall tourer, not specially adapted for rough roads. MDog is correct, the early models drank fuel. In fact, they were very difficult to sell second hand (in the beginning) because of this - you could pick up an early model very cheaply because of this.....no problem if you have dirtcheap fuel as in the US. In Europe - forget it.

It is said to be the most comfortable tourer on the planet, and will indeed last for ever, with that great motor. If it is sold in the USA, then it will be a huge success, because of their roads and their needs. It is very popular in France, and rightly so. Warthog's comments are useful and informative on this bike. The UK resists this bike , because they cant see beyond sports bikes.

If most of your travels are on tarmac, then this bike is hard to beat. But it's really heavy.

Last edited by Caminando; 21 Sep 2008 at 11:55.
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Old 2 Oct 2008
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If you intend doing any off-road then don't go near a Varadero. They are too front heavy and in anything soft will sink like a stone. The fact that the back brake activates the front brake makes it wholly unsuitable for off road.

I traded my AT for one and ventured down a stony track once, traded back for the AT.

The BM,s have linked brakes but not in the same way....the back brake operates on it's own. If you have to have someting this new, I would consider an 1150 Adv.
If you don't need anything that new then go for an R100GS. When the AT was stolen this is what I replaced it with. They are simply unbreakable and a real piece of piss to service.
The electric monk always has faith.
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Old 16 Oct 2008
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i love my varadero, and for 90/10% riding i know id choose it over a GS any day especially now even BMW admit to quality issues with the 1200.
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Old 17 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Early ones used LOTS of fuel so try to get one 2005 or newer. Much better fuel economy.
Get a 2003 or newer. Pre-03 has carbs and 5 speed gearbox. 03 and onwards has FI and 6 speed gearbox.

A great bike for your purpose. 12000 km service intervals and cheap to maintain. Used to have one. But be careful with the weight if you're alone on the dirt... PS: Touratech makes some radiator protection stuff and also have some crashbars and things that can come in handy.
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