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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 20 May 2012
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Opinions 900cc Yamaha TDM versus 1000cc Honda Varadero

Hi All,

I was almost ready to press the button on a replacement bike for the year 2000, 750cc Africa Twin.

I was very much "mind set" on the 900cc Yamaha TDM, about 2005 year.

Then I got talking to a good friend, like you do,,,,,,,,,who recently had a 2004, 1000cc Honda Varadero.

Now I don't know what to do.
The prices of the bikes are within the same ball park budget, both would be some thing like a 2005 - 2007 machine.

The 750cc Africa twin, the 900cc TDM and the 1000cc Varadero, are all almost similar in being big adventure bikes to a degree.
I guess the Varadero is the replacement for the Africa Twin, in a way. ??

So, come on down,

Tell me some good and bad about the 900cc TDM and the 1000cc Varadero.

As before, almost all riding will be on tarmac, like 95%, there is a possible that the other 5% would be hard gravel.

Just thinking about "off road" reminded me how a pig the AT was when I was in soft sand, it was scary, really so, so you can cross "soft sand" right off the list.

vette
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  #2  
Old 20 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post

I guess the Varadero is the replacement for the Africa Twin, in a way. ??
vette
I don't think so; the 1000cc Vara has always been considered to be a lardy bike compared with the AT (and the latter is no light weight, but you know that, judging by your thread about "Life after the Africa Twin")
Having said that, it is rated as a very comfortable bike for a pillion and you can see why when looking closely at the saddle.
I would think more ex-riders of ATs have switched over to the Transalp than the Varadero or moved away from Honda to, say, the KTM range.

I haven't owned a Vara, ever, but about 10 years ago I had that engine in a Honda Firestorm - it did not have the highest figures for horse power but it really did put the torque into the road surface; a great engine, but it drinks fuel which in this day and age has to be a consideration - the carbs are enormous and scoop fuel into the cylinders.
Fuel range on a Vara will be greater because of the much bigger tank but you would be filling it frequently.

But, you have touched on a subject of interest; the development of parallel twin engine designs alongside the relative decline of V twins on the market.
The V twins appear to be a dying breed for new bikes - lots of the manufacturers have gone over to V 4s while parallel twins are taking off; that's my view of the current market for twin cyl bikes.
For instance, look at what Honda are doing with their "half a car engine" in the NC700 range of bikes.
Arguably, // twins are a better design than a V twin and certainly cheaper for the manufacturers to produce.

Have you considered taking a look at the KLE650 Versys?

Just a couple of more cents worth of opinion.
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  #3  
Old 21 May 2012
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I presently have an 08 Varadero that was purchased in Canada. It has a fuel injection system and is not the carbed model. (best was 4.7 li/100km)
It is a big bike mcuh like the BMW 1200's and is not comfortable in the sand(Don't go there) but will run all day in the gravel.
It's also very comfortable on the long highway miles,650 km's per day are a breeze. The detuned Firestrm engine is bullet proof and smooth.
The non high tech electronics and Honda parts availablility make repairs (if necessary) relatively easy and a smalller drain on the pocketbook.
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  #4  
Old 22 May 2012
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Hi All,
I can feel the attraction to the Varadero.
Comfort is high on the list, as it the higher riding position.
While fuel economy is important, it's not a deal breaker.
However the later post 2004 Varadero's seem to have fuel inj, and teh extra cog in the box.

All plus points for a long legged machine.

To the owners who have a Varadero,

What is the rpm at say 70 mph ?
What are the vibes' like, are the almost non existent, or are they there, but by no way an issue?

vette
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  #5  
Old 22 May 2012
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The Dero runs very well at 70 mph and about 4200 rpm. The bike itself is smooth but the ride does depend somewhat on tire choice. I have run Kenda Big Blocks similar to TCK's and about 80 mph they are noisey and start to squirm due to tread distortion. Anakees run a lot smoother. I have ridden a V Strom 1000 and I found for me the Dero is smoother and provides better rider protection.
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  #6  
Old 27 May 2012
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Hi
I have a 05 Varadero; at 70 mph engine runs at 4000rpm, and fuel consumption is 5-5.5l.
Of course, it is not the best bike off road, but you can get to the same places a GS get to, maybe latter, but you get there. on hard gravel no problem.
And on road it is very comfortable and provides the best protection of maxitrails.
If you are thinking of travelling on road, I think is the best option.
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  #7  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
Hi All,
I can feel the attraction to the Varadero.
Comfort is high on the list, as it the higher riding position.
While fuel economy is important, it's not a deal breaker.
However the later post 2004 Varadero's seem to have fuel inj, and teh extra cog in the box.

All plus points for a long legged machine.

To the owners who have a Varadero,

What is the rpm at say 70 mph ?
What are the vibes' like, are the almost non existent, or are they there, but by no way an issue?

vette
My 2005 injected Varadero is doing under 4,000 rpm at 70mph (6 gears on the later bikes rather than 5). It's doing just under 9,000 rpm at 90mph. I tend to ride at 80-90mph most of the time, due to a lot of motorway work. I get an average of about 45-48mpg doing that.

It is a bit of a lump when pushing it about, I really miss my Africa Twin which is a non runner at the moment, All the Varadero has going for it in comparison to that is:-

1/ A bigger seat and

2/ Front brake pads seem to last forever in comparison, although I feel the Varadero brakes are no better than the AT despite all the linking, ABS and pointless electronics involved in their operation.
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  #8  
Old 28 Jun 2012
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Neither bikes are suited to any prolonged off road riding, but if you did then the TDM will be a lot easier to pick up. As far as tarmac goes, I think the Varadero is probably more plush and comfortable for two up riding, maybe because you will have to stop a lot more often to fill up. Holding a steady 75 mph on the motorway will return 60 mpg on a TDM and at that speed the bike is rock steady and purringly smooth. With a steady 80-85 mph you won't see mpg go bellow 50 mpg.

I've had my TDM for 7 years and there's nothing really out there with the TDM's grunt that is as comfortable or fuel efficient, so I'm keeping it for the immediate future. If I was to change, I'd be looking at the new 650 Vstrom.
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  #9  
Old 10 Jul 2012
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Thanks guys,

This is a tough call.

I knew it was close between the TDM and the Varadero.

So really, in later life, both bikes got the 6th gear.
Both bikes got the F.I.

I think, well, I know I would be happy with either of them.
As I said earlier, they would be almost 100% living on the tarmac.

vette
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  #10  
Old 10 Jul 2012
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Hi
Me and my my mate were going to do some serious travelling on the TDM as he already had one. Nothing wrong with the bike i think in the same category as the V Strom but what seriously lets it down is tyre choices available for the 18 inch front wheel. He is now selling the TDM and we are now deciding between the 800 XC and the F800gs.
Hope this helps
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