2000 Honda Varadero XL1000V

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by bomb defuzer, May 23, 2007.

  1. I am looking at a few of these bikes here in Thailand. One is 278K and the other 320K Bht. Does anyone have any opinions or experience with this model? I understand it was developed to replace the Africa Twin (which I prefer), but of course is less dirt worthy and heavier than the AT.
    Before I drop my hard earned cash, give me the good, bad, ugly or any alternative bikes available.

    My riding plans are long distance 2 up with gear for several days. My budget is 300K Bht.

  2. Thank Captain. I am going to look at both of them today. One has a full set of Givi bags, the other does not. The one with the bags is cheaper, so more than likely the one with the bags is the one I'll get.

    I will let you know how it turns out.

  3. I can fully recommend the XLV 1000 Varadero, and the success of this bike in the European market speaks volumes, as it is Honda's best seller in various EU countries. It is no doubt one of the best touring bikes on the market.

    It is the most comfortable touring bike I've ever ridden, and although its riding comfort will no doubt be matched by other bikes such as GoldWings, those bikes won't come near it in terms of cornering ability. When in Europe, I enjoy the luxury of being able to choose between several bikes (BMW GS1150Adv & Funduro 650, KLR650, XT350, XLV1000), and I can say that the Varadero is by far my preferred choice for touring in EU, as it offers far more fun and comfort. The BMW GS1150A is no comparison for the XLV, as it doesn't even come close to the XLV in terms of performance (the XLV just blows it away in acceleration!) and comfort. Even the newer GS1200 that I tried, which was a lot more fun than the GS1150, is still no match for the fun and comfort offered by the XLV

    Two years ago I even took the Varadero on a track day on a race track in northern France, and although too softly sprung for flat-out riding around a track, it handles surprisingly well. I've taken it on several trips into the mountains in France, and I've never had more fun riding the twisting mountain roads than on the XLV.

    Its only immediate competitors are the Suzuki 1000 V-Strom, Aprilia 1000 Capo Nord, Triumph Tiger, KTM 950/990Adv and the BMW1200GS. The KTM and V-strom have quite a bit more horsepower than the Varadero, but are less comfortable due to less wind protection (and saddle of KTM). No opinion on the Aprilia and Triumph, as I've never tried them.

    I've been riding both XLV models, the early model with the carb and the later injection model. I prefer the later model as its suspension is better, the early model was too soft.

    For long distance 2 up road riding, the Varadero is far superior to the AT. Of course, as you said, off road the AT would be the preferred choice. The question is, how much dirt riding are you planning to do 2 up and with luggage? I've taken the Varadero off road, and it is not very dirt worthy as it is far too heavy for tackling sand, mud and deep ruts. This said it'll handle very well on a nicely graded gravel road or fire trail with the right tyres.

    The XLV engine is bullet proof and certainly more reliable and cheaper in maintenance than a BMW GS. The latter is not surprising given the exorbitant prices that BMW currently charges for parts and service.

    If off road capability is not high on your priorities, the Varadero will put a big smile on your face for years to come. If the ability to tour off road is important for you, you are better off buying an AT or KTM950/990. Of course, performance wise (in terms of power, braking, chassis and suspension), the AT is no comparison for the KTMs. But I'm afraid you won't get a KTM, even if you can find one in Thailand, with the budget you have in mind. A viable and good alternative would be the V-Strom if you can find one. The GS1200 is available in Thailand, but is beyond your budget, and is in no way more dirt worthy and far less comfortable on-road than the XLV.

    I don't know what your experience is riding trails and tracks in this part of the world, but dirt roads are rarely well maintained here, and often in bad condition with lots of deep ruts cut out by the rain. I ride mainly dirt bikes here (even race enduros), and in my experience long distance touring on a big heavy dual purpose bike with a passenger and luggage on badly rutted, sandy, rocky, or muddy mountain tracks is not my idea of fun. And I strongly doubt your passenger will enjoy it much. But to each his own I guess...

    This said, whatever you end up buying, what matters most is to go out and ride the damn thing!
    Good luck!
  4. Have to agree with Gypsyrider here, the Varadero is way too heavy and way too street-oriented (with cast wheels & everything) to do anything but the best condition dirtroads&trails. Any deep holes, water, mud or other slippery stuff and you´ll have your hands full with it. Africa Twin would be much better there with its 21´´ front tyre and less weight (im now talking the "new" Africatwin, RD07-- onwards), then again its still much worse than, say, a DR650.

    Two-up, long distances, even bad roads but not very bad roads, then the Varadero will definitely be better. I would also look at the Vstrom, theyre same category bikes and the Suzuki has a nice engine, too. I´ve a DL650, and have no problems with the standard windshield below 150kmh speed, and even if it´d become a problem theres loads of aftermarket shields available.
  5. OK, I got the Varadero today. Picked it up 40 KM's outside of Bangkok. Has 84,000 KM's on the clock and I paid 270K bht for it, included crash bars, green book, insurance for 11 months, Givi side bags and a top case. I felt it was in excellent condition except the fairing seems to rattle a bit when I hit stutter or speed bumps. The front forks tubes are also raised about 1 inch in the clamps. This may be contributing to the rattle issue. It also makes the bike a little skittish and prone to oversteer. I wonder if this is the stock setting? I highly doubt it. Other than that I found absolutely no evidence of a crash or any abuse. I picked up 2 helmets and rode it back to my condo on Sukhumvit Rd Soi 18 with my long haired thai dictionary riding aft shotgun. My Bangkok motorcycle cherry has been broken. My skivvies were a bit wet. Nice ride, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Easy day. The other Varadero was 320 without green book, insurance or bags. So I think I made the right choice.

    By the way I come from California and owned Yamaha RD 400, YZF 426, WR 450, Honda CBR 600 F2, Honda XR 250, 400, 600, CR 500, KTM 200 XC-W, 525 SX, 450 MXC, 640 Adventure, 625 SMC, Kawasaki KX 250 and a TM 125 E and a few others I can't remember right now. I ride mostly desert of Southern California and race Grand Prix Desert races (motocross, street and desert mix) occassionally.

    I bought this Varadero to explore Thailand in comfort over long distances. I plan on relocating out of Bangkok in September and getting a off road bike for dirt riding. I hope to meet and ride with many of the other bike enthusiasts here in Thailand.

    If ever in Bangkok, please give me a email and let me know you are coming. We can have a few beers and talk bikes.

    Thanks for the replies to my posts and ride safe.

  6. 84,000KLMs is a bit high for a bike isn't it?
  7. V-twins go a long way. I think regardless of the mileage, if it is well cared for, use a high quality synthetic engine oil it should last at least 200,000 Km. I will give it a complete stripdown to the frame when I get set up in a house with a garage. At that time I will check the valve clearances, compression and cam chains, service the suspension, replace chassis bearings, and probabbly replace the clutch too.

    My initial ride last night was very positive as far as the overall condition of the bike. Yeah 270 K bht is alot of money for a bike, but really what kind of 2 up large displacement touring bike can you get for that price? I surely haven't seen many.

    Ride safe,

  8. Hey Bomb guy:

    Congrats on the new ride. Never rode one myself although have looked at them. Great engine of course, typical Honda bulletproof .
    Just be careful heading down muddy roads in Laos......[:)]
    Just bought a new bike myself, a 200 CC Chinese bike. Pretty well made although they have a ways to go to catch up with Honda. Will return from China in about a month, will look you up when I get to Bangkok.
  9. Hey Bomb guy:

    Good luck with your new bike. I think it was quite cheap and the klms is no problem, you can do 250 000 km without any engine problems.

    My friend just sold his Varadero and we made several trips together to Cambodia and Laos.So a warning to you THE BIKE IS TO HEAVY FOR CAMBODIA AND LAOS. Whenever we hit some bad roads there was a very high posibility that the Varadero went down. Loose sand...Varadero is down. Approching and departing ferries when the water is low... Varadero is down. My friend had crashbars so the damages were close to zero but the bike is heavy to get up. And putting Varadero on boats... VARADERO IS HEAVY.

    So remember Varadero is not a Enduro bike it is a street bike.

    Another problem which you may have even in Thailand is that the wheels "get hurt" quite easy. A good pothole and the wheel gets a bend. And if you want to buy a new one they are damned expensive. They do repair them in Thailand (by heating them up) but I am not sure if they loose some strength in the process.

    But on good asphalt roads you have a splendid bike.


  10. 84,000 may sound high, but if its well maintained and not ridden at full throttle all the time (and a big v-twin doesnt need to!) then I think it may be quite ok. I wouldnt be surprised at all to get 200,000 kms out of that engine trouble-free or just minor repairs. A bit like a car, really - does anyone think a car with 84,000 on the clock is a high-mileage?

    Like someone mentioned, good quality oil and periodic oilchange is without a doubt the most important maintenance to perform. I´d also check that the airfilter is always in good condition, because it affects performance, and in worst case you can get some stuff inside your engine you dont want to go there. Especially in very humid&dusty environment (like S-E Asia) this is a crucial maintenance.
  11. For riders, 84,000 kms is not high. My Africa Twin's got 187,000 gentle kms on it & it is still as reliable as ever. It has eaten out a few rear shock absorbers though. "The problem" in Thaland is that the distances are too short & most riders never get real high kms up on their bikes, which leads me to believe that if you get a good bike here, and look after it carefully with regular maintenance, it should almost never wear out, as you dont get enough kms up on it.
    I would not mind a Varadero for the asphalt, but not for any off-road stuff in this region.
    Capt. Slash how many kms did you put on the Varadero you had in the UK?
  12. Robert,

    Let me know when you get back to Chiang Mai or in BKK.


  13. Hi Friends,

    That's a nice bike, bravo for your purchase and enjoy it.

    I ma looking for such bike off-road, won't it be a good idea that when friends from GT-rider see in reliable place some bikes in good shape they signal it on the board, I think at the end of it there are not so many.

    Anyway good purchase et Bonne chance !!!
  14. Hello !

    I guess that I know this bike.
    Does it have the the license plate Nr. 888 ?
    I have rented it from Siamsuperbike 1 1/2 years
    ago and put 6000 km on the clock.
    No problems at all with this bike.
    Hope you have fun with it.
    Best regards !
  15. Hey what’s this then - 6,000 kms, membership of the GT Rider board since 22 Nov 2005 & not one road & trip report??? Fair go……
  16. It is 555 plate. Most likley the same bike, maybe just a brain fart on your part. I like the bike alot. All I need now is a good off road mount for Laos.

  17. hello bomb defuzer,
    Congrats on the bike, I've been looking for a Varadero myself,currently own a Transalp 400.
    My question is this ,could you give some info on the other Varadero for 320,000 baht?, did it have plate and green book?, km's, condition and colour. was the only deciding factor the difference in money?
  18. Hello !

    The kilometers fit. The Givi side bags and top case are same. The
    colour is same. The crash bars are same.
    If you want I can send a pic by email because I can't post :-(
    ... but I still believe it's that bike.
    Anyway it is good on the road but when it gets muddy it is hard work !
  19. Hi Friends,

    Interesting posts and happy to see a Friend Happy, Great Bike.

    Could one tells me his impression and feedback on BMW 1150 GS for off-road biking and trip such a Bomb defuzer coould dream to ?

    Thailand to Lao or nice trip in the North ?

    Thanks by advance.
  20. Yes, I beleive you are right. I meant you may have remembered the plate number wrong, otherwise I beleive you are correct. As for off road...I would not take this bike on anything rougher than a smooth dirt road, on the street it is great.

    Thanks for the comments.

  21. Hello !

    I also thought I would drive only on 'smooth dirt roads', but unfortunately it was raining and the road became muddy and slippery. So finally I had to walk besides the bike, because the front tyre didnt have any grip.
    From that and other offroad experiences with Varadero and BMW GS I can only recommend to use tyres like Continetal TKC80. I guess that can help a lot.
    Anyway have nice trips.

  22. The other Varadero was at Teera Cycles in BKK http://www.tpmotorcycle.com/products/pr ... ?sendid=37
    Not sure if it has book or not. The deciding factor for me was 50,000 Bt price difference, I didn't even go look at the Teera Varadero.

  23. Hello ... does this look familiar ? :)


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