Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 14
Varadero anyone?

I've read a lot of the posts on the Varadero, with the associated pros and cons. I'm planning on a 4 month tour of Europe this summer. Starting the UK, down to Greece, back through Eastern Europe and then up into Scandinavia before returning to England. I'm planning on doing this 2 up with camping gear and all the other stuff you need for 4 months on the cheap.

I've ridden a 2007 GS and didn't like it at all. I tested the New Triumph Tiger 1050, but I don't have the cash for one... I've ridden a 2001 Varadero and loved it. It was so easy to ride and didn't feel like the monster it looks. The engine was smooth and the bike was like a Rolls Royce for Comfort.

Question is.. what do i need to look for if I'm considering buying one of these? Does anyone have a buyers guide? Assuming I get a 2005, or around then, what are the common problems? A 2004/5 would suit my budget i think...

I'm assuming riding around Europe I'm not going to require the 'off road worthyness' of the RTW bikers on the list. So should I be considering full on touring bikes like the ST1100, FJR1300, R1150RT???


Advice and thoughts welcomed...

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 5 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 14
An interesting review from MCN

Honda XL1000 Varadero (2001-current) - Motorcycle Reviews - MCN
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,371
Thumbs up 1000cc Varadero

Chris,
I would say that the MCN review is a reasonable stance on the Varadero 1000 (there is a 125cc Varadero as well, which has the same styling with a learners' engine capacity).

In general, the MCN tends to rate bikes lower than the owners, which may be because the latter have their rose-tinted specs in use or because most of the reviewers prefer crotch rockets, and were brought up on them.

Anyway, the Varadero has not been too popular I would say - it was received OK when it was first on the market, but it has not moved on since then. Also, potential buyers were looking for a replacement for the Africa Twin which has never happened, at least from Honda.
I am not sure if it is still for sale as a new bike, but there is a steady market for them in the UK.
Anyway, who wants the latest, stylish must-have bike for 2008?

I have not owned one but I had the "Firestorm" ("Firehawk" in the US?): the V twin sportey(ish) bike with the same engine. Yes, it drinks fuel if you are heavy on the throttle hand - even the FI version, but particularly the earlier one with carbs. Never mind, that engine is superb and a great response when using the V twin grunt out of bends. Well worth the refuel costs!

I would say that the overall build quality is good and typical of Hondas, but they have the usual economy suspension as standard.
The riding position is as for similar bikes, such as the Tiger, GS etc - sit up with a good view of the road and good for touring. The pillion comfort is also very good if that matters to you.

Right enough about riding in Europe BTW: the Vara would do this just fine.

I did a search and there are a number of threads about the Vara: this one has more than average replies, as an example:-

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...light=varadero
__________________
Dave

Last edited by Walkabout; 10 Mar 2008 at 21:36. Reason: Add a link
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 14
Cheers

Many thanks Walkabout for your comments. i think it's fair to say that you could do a tour of Europe on the 'Dumb and Dummer bike' if you needed to. It's more about splitting hairs than black and white I feel. I guess I'll let you know when I get back from 10k+ of riding this summer.

Honestly, if I were doing this for riding pleasure alone, I'd probably take my 675 and leave the Mrs at home

Touring comfort for the pillion will be a critical part of my 'ear' comfort and there by the entire trip. Happy wife, happy life...

I can't f'in wait!!!

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: sunny England
Posts: 789
Talking dont diss big bertha

i got a 2007 varadero(called Black Bertha) and i love it. varaderos are still going, they just had a restyle for 2008 but not so you would notice, slightly different cosmetics.
go for a later year, an Fi model with the 6speed box.

good points;
its BIG, with excellent lights, noone says they cant see you coming on this baby, its fast enough, handles well, carries a lot, very comfy big seats, good ride quality, 25ltr tank, nice engine, build quality, you can get good road biased tyres for 19" front wheel now, conti road attack, BT021 etc(ignore off road although there are some nutters out there who go green laning on them). 70mph cruising will see 60mpg, easily 250mi per tank

so so points;
it weighs a ton (but not noticeable when moving), can be a bit juicy but on a long run can be very good (got a fuel economy computer in the dash, commuting in town for a week averages 35mpg, (which i dont think is too bad for 1000cc bike). its got strange gear ratios, low geared in 1-2-3-4 so around town it gulps fuel, but 6 is like an overdrive, good for economy but even with plenty of torque you have to drop a gear to overtake even at 80 odd mph.
and being tall helps.

i would be well happy to blast around europe or further on it, in fact i am in 10 weeks!
__________________
dave
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpeely View Post
Honestly, if I were doing this for riding pleasure alone, I'd probably take my 675 and leave the Mrs at home

Touring comfort for the pillion will be a critical part of my 'ear' comfort and there by the entire trip. Happy wife, happy life...



Chris
Hey, you are getting some real feedback now from owner(s) - always useful I reckon.

Yes, the pillion comfort is exceptionally important, especially for the time that you are going to ride - my wife reckons the Varadero has one of the most comfortable seats (and she has tried a few!).

Is that the Triumph 675 triple that you are not going to ride? If so, you might consider a Tri Tiger for touring - the earlier model, fitted with panniers is another good tourer IMO.

Right enough though, there are lots of great bikes for touring European roads - how about a CBR 1100XX blackbird? The more these bikes are loaded up, the better they go!! I think that second hand blackbirds are holding their value pretty well, so buying and selling again should not loose too much cash. Just a thought.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11 Mar 2008
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 14
thanks for the feedback

thanks Dave and Dave for your feedback. I love this website. Putting your mind at rest from your laptop, how much better can it get.

After riding my brothers 2001 I couldn't believe how small it felt when it's rolling. a quick twist and it's off, quite impressive when you consider it's weight.

My 675 is my track tool, although having said that I've taken it on 3 separate 1000 mile plus long weekends around California. Bloody brilliant. Thank GOD Clarkson has repeatedly told the World there are no good roads in America. It keeps the best roads for us. I watched the topgear special where they went to drive the best roads in the World. They managed to find some short stretches around Europe which seemed pretty decent. Clearly they haven't ever taken a look around California. There are literally 100's of miles of deserted sun baked twistys to wind your bike up on. (at the speed limit obviously .

The Varadero is really a bike for the Mrs and I. Not a joy machine, but I have to say in my limited experience of riding the big V, it's great.

I've ridden the 1050 Tiger and loved it. but it's a little pricey for me in the UK and I already have 3 Triumphs in my garage right now and no more room (or wife's patience) for anymore right now... but I want them... I've always loved Triumphs and probably always will.

Bonneville 2001
675 2006
Trident 1973

On the Xmas list are
Speed Triple
Tiger 1050
Sprint ST
1939 T100 Speed Twin
1969 T120 Bonneville
I need to move house before I increase my collection any further...

Chris
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: sunny England
Posts: 789
Smile

hi chris,
did you see the topgear where they drove the stelvio pass with a ferrari, aston, and lambo? although you are right, and its very short, (11km i think?) that has got to be on the list of top ten roads of the world. the only trouble with it is every other git in europe knows all about it, and you cant get out of 1st gear for all the coaches ging up it and mad sods on bicycles in silly tight clothes.
i reckon they had special authority to close the road while they did that.
its a hard life being a famous car journalist, you know
__________________
dave
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: In Ireland and loving it !
Posts: 194
one more thing

I had a 2000 Varraderro.
Its all of what everyone said both on the good and bad points, one thing i found , and it seems to be consistent among them is that the rectifier keeps blowing on them which will leave you with a flat battery somewhere in the middle of the night and there is no way you will push it to start it.
just check that out
__________________
Life is for Living - so Live
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 Eyes View Post
I had a 2000 Varraderro.
Its all of what everyone said both on the good and bad points, one thing i found , and it seems to be consistent among them is that the rectifier keeps blowing on them which will leave you with a flat battery somewhere in the middle of the night and there is no way you will push it to start it.
just check that out

I did not realise that is a feature of this bike; maybe it is the same design as the one that fails on the VFR800 - the older model anyway: I haven't heard so much about this recently, but, there again, I am not convinced that Honda are selling as many of the 800 as they used to do, pre-VTEC engines.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 13 Mar 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: sunny England
Posts: 789
ive heard the rectifiers are a big thing with hondas too.

hopefully only on older ones, a friend has had 2 go in a year on his 10yr old deauville but none on his 4yr old fireblade, and we think its the same part
__________________
dave
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 1 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: sunny England
Posts: 789
just back from my hols, if anyones interested i can say the varadero is not a thirsty bike. out of the four of us i could easily go the longest distance, and not just because i had a massive 25ltr tank!
travelling on autoroutes at 80mph+ for hours, and carving up the hairpins on champagne/ardeche D-roads, when the SV650 and hornet600 fuel lights came on we all filled up together, but i was putting in 9/10ltrs for their 15/17, not even half a tank.
on a par for economy was the R1150R, we both put in about the same fuel for the same miles, but of course i had an extra 6ltrs in mine. i was handed a rubber hose to put under my seat in case i had to be used as some sort of 'milch cow' tanker, which gained a heartfelt 'HaHaHa, f### off!' from me!
__________________
dave
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 1 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 185
It's interesting and great to hear some feedback and banter about different bikes ( aka not E & C's BMW GS) Especially about the Varadero. Which for the life of me I couldn't understand why they aren't more popular!? As a Honda how bad can it be? One bike you didn't mention which i would have thought would have been a close comparison to the Varadero is the 1000cc V-strom which by all accounts is a fantastically capable bike. But why not the Varadero?? the only negative I've heard as mentioned here is the fuel consumption, but by the sounds of it.... not so much
__________________
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black

It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVSATO View Post
just back from my hols, if anyones interested i can say the varadero is not a thirsty bike. out of the four of us i could easily go the longest distance, and not just because i had a massive 25ltr tank!
travelling on autoroutes at 80mph+ for hours, and carving up the hairpins on champagne/ardeche D-roads, when the SV650 and hornet600 fuel lights came on we all filled up together, but i was putting in 9/10ltrs for their 15/17, not even half a tank.
on a par for economy was the R1150R, we both put in about the same fuel for the same miles, but of course i had an extra 6ltrs in mine. i was handed a rubber hose to put under my seat in case i had to be used as some sort of 'milch cow' tanker, which gained a heartfelt 'HaHaHa, f### off!' from me!
Yes, that is interesting. I wonder if the state of tune of the Vara engine is different to the Firestorm? I could get somewhere "just over 100 miles" (from memory) from the FI engine on the 19L tank and the carbed Firestorm was always reputed to be worse.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 2 Jun 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 71
My 2 cents worth of experience
I've got 97 Firestorm/Superhawk with 2004 fuel tank (19 l)
If you look after air filter (must be clean to do good mileage) you looking at 200 km to reserve and 40 on reserve of mixed and sometimes spirited riding .
Vara engine got not so "steep" camshafts, single valve springs and 36mm if I am not wrong intake ports. Storm have whoopinh 48 mm carbs (largest ever on production bike), steep camshafts, double and strong valve springs and as result of it camchain tensioner that serves OK on Vara does not do so well on Storm. Latest generations (FI) of Vara got about 10 less bhp and same peak torque as Storm, but earlier in rpms.
One thing that Vara lacks that Storm have it is precision of trottle at all speeds (apart from different world handling, weight etc.) but Storm is way more thirsty than FI Varadero, way way more and nowhere near as comfortable. On highway well set up Storm never eats more than 6-7 liter per 100 if you do not go over 6000 rpm.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HONDA XL1000V VARADERO Blue Varadero XL1000V Which Bike? 2 3 Jul 2011 13:49
any woman with varadero or africa twin? vara_girl_1974 Which Bike? 5 30 Jan 2007 20:07
2000 Varadero 1000 any good? Dan Coote Which Bike? 19 20 Jul 2005 08:39
honda varadero 125cc touring? eldridge Which Bike? 3 3 Apr 2005 04:41

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:06.