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Old 06-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #241
stevh0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teranfon
Compared to the many North American armchair critics who claim to have endless knowledge of the Varadero, and love to compare the first generation of it to the BMW 1200 GS, I have actually had experience with both bikes. I have a 2008 Varadero, and during the last two years have spent a large amount of seat time on my father's 1200 GS. Is the Varadero better than the BMW? Nope. Is the BMW better than the Honda? Nope. It all depends what you are looking for. Since owning my Varadero for close to a year, however, I have made a very curious observation: V-Strom, Tiger, and KTM guys and gals love it when they become familiar with it, and some (not all) BMW riders suddenly became experts on everything Varadero. I especially loved last year, knowing that my Varadero was the first delivered to a Canadian, and suddenly hearing from 1200 riders of their experiences with the Varadero. Of course, not them personally, but their numerous friends who just happened to have owned one. Interesting. Other 1200 riders, those secure with their abilities and actually rode their bikes, liked it, especially when they rode mine.

By observations (with about 5000 km. each bike)

The Varadero has a better powertrain. It's smoother and much more responsive. It's power delivery is much smoother than the BMW, but the 1200 has more torque at the bottom.

The 1200 has a superior offroad suspension. Neither bike is nimble, but the 1200 would be my choice for limited offroad work. The suspension of the Varadero is better suited for rough roads and pot holes. The Varadero is less punishing on road trips than the 1200, while the 1200 rebounds better in the rough going.

The braking is superior on the Varadero. One word: awesome. The linked ABS is wonderful. Should be a model for all bikes.

Touring is more suited to the Varadero than the 1200. The Varadero has great wind protection and is lovely to ride at highway speeds. It gobbles up the miles without leaving the rider tired in any way.

The 1200 is more nimble around town. The Varadero is a porker, but like all Hondas, it magically sheds it's weight while underway. The 1200 is lighter, and it makes for a more pleasant bike while threading it's way through traffic. One has to be tall of statue to comfortably rest a Varadero while sitting at traffic lights.

Fuel consumption is better on the 1200. But not by much. Everyone loves to show pictures of the original Varadero and use it as the benchmark. The Varadero received fuel injection a few years ago and the mileage improved greatly. In 2007 the bike was changed again, with updated bodywork and revised fuel management.

The build quality is better on the Honda. It's obviously screwed down with a degree of pride. Not the say the BMW is not, but the Varadero seems to be a little better. And give me chain drive any day of the week.


Anyway, just my observations. The BMW is bike better suited to offroad, while the Varadero is better suited to onroad. Both are too heavy to do what they're marketed as, but both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Since all the "experts" of the Varadero love to show ten year old pictures, I'll post one of my '08:


Terry
good post - sexy porky bike!
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:11 AM   #242
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Teranfon,

Nice bike.. but I believe it's ultimately doomed to failure because Honda Canada is not marketing it properly and it's price point is higher than it's direct Japanese competition. Plus, Honda's move to restrict its sale to only "Powerhouse" dealers isn't very clever; they took a gamble by importing it to Canada, and are trying to break new ground, but restrict its sale to a few dealers .. Furthermore, they are also marketing the CBF1000 as an "adventure" bike which it isn't, (and at $2000 less than the Varadero with ABS). It should be marketed to compete with the likes of the Bandit. I applaud Honda Canada for breaking away from Honda USA's cruiser mindset by going to the expense to certify and homologate these 2 bikes but the marketing needs some major rethinking.

Ultimately, price, image and marketing play a big role in people seeing themselves on a bike before buying it, and I don't see Honda Canada doing much to push that bike. If the Varadero is ever replaced with a lighter and more modern bike, I will certainly consider it again, but as it stands now, it's long in the tooth, and I'm sure its resale value in this market is poor.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:32 AM   #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Teranfon,

Nice bike.. but I believe it's ultimately doomed to failure because Honda Canada is not marketing it properly and it's price point is higher than it's direct Japanese competition. Plus, Honda's move to restrict its sale to only "Powerhouse" dealers isn't very clever; they took a gamble by importing it to Canada, and are trying to break new ground, but restrict its sale to a few dealers .. Furthermore, they are also marketing the CBF1000 as an "adventure" bike which it isn't, (and at $2000 less than the Varadero with ABS). It should be marketed to compete with the likes of the Bandit. I applaud Honda Canada for breaking away from Honda USA's cruiser mindset by going to the expense to certify and homologate these 2 bikes but the marketing needs some major rethinking.
Expensive? Yes. Exclusive? Absolutely. Amount of aftermarket support? Nil.

But each time on the highway, with that marvelous twin whirring away, I don't care. Each time I drop the bike down to 1500 rpm in sixth and crank the throttle and it pulls away without hesitation, I'm not worried about such things. Every pot holed and frost heaved Canadian highway I travel in comfort, I'm not worried about the exclusivity and price. What it was designed to do, it does very well. My KLRs are still the favourite around town and in the rough, but the Varadero is a tremendous road machine. Treat it as an ST capable of rough road conditions, and you get the picture.

I'm not a brand hog, but after about two dozen bikes over the last thirty-five years, all of then dual sports or adventure tourers, there is nothing in this bike that makes me regret buying it.

Terry
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevh0
good post - sexy porky bike!
Thanks! She is a porker, but still a sexy porker.


Terry
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:03 PM   #245
stevh0
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still pretty capable...










I love porky!
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:38 PM   #246
varaman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevh0
still pretty capable...










I love porky!
Yep, I love my porky 'Dero as well. It's amazing how many pictures I see of them in harsh conditions. Admittedly, mine will probably never see such conditions.:) I'll leave that up the KLRs.

Terry
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:01 PM   #247
Rick West
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teranfon
Yep, I love my porky 'Dero as well. Admittedly, mine will never see harsh conditions.:) I'll leave that up the GS's.

Terry
Fixed.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #248
varaman
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Originally Posted by Rick West
Fixed.
LOL!

Sure Rick, whatever makes you feel good.


Terry

varaman screwed with this post 06-25-2009 at 01:54 PM
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:16 PM   #249
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Just spoke with the US Office of Importation.

They said if I wanted to bring a Canadian Bike into the US I only needed to get a letter from the Manufacturer saying it met US Safety Standards and a receipt of purchase.

Then I called a Canadian Honda dealer and they said they can supply me with both said documents (of course it will take a little cash to get the receipt of purchase).

So... If you are interested in one of these bikes, pop up to your nearest friendly Canadian dealer get the bike and documents, drive back down to the border and show them to customs and you have a nice big Honda Adventure bike you can ride back home.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:31 PM   #250
varaman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenorjazz
Just spoke with the US Office of Importation.

They said if I wanted to bring a Canadian Bike into the US I only needed to get a letter from the Manufacturer saying it met US Safety Standards and a receipt of purchase.

Then I called a Canadian Honda dealer and they said they can supply me with both said documents (of course it will take a little cash to get the receipt of purchase).

So... If you are interested in one of these bikes, pop up to your nearest friendly Canadian dealer get the bike and documents, drive back down to the border and show them to customs and you have a nice big Honda Adventure bike you can ride back home.
Respectfully tenorjazz, I'm not too sure how easy this would actually be. Admittedly, I do not know what the US safety standards are, but it seems a little too easy to assume a Canadian dealer can supply you with documentation for United States regulations. Keep in mind the Varadero was delayed from April to August/early September of 2008 because Transport Canada would not approve it. Even things such as the fuel hoses needed to be changed. Hell, even the speedometer is calibrated in only km/hr.

Again, I wish you luck in your quest and I'm not refuting what you say, but I would certainly look into a little closer. And be somewhat leery of what some departments claim.

Good luck

Terry
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:49 PM   #251
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varadero

this has been covered so many times. HONDA WILL NOT GIVE SUCH A LETTER .you still may be able to get one in the USA .if you are in the military it seems to help a lot. regardless of what a dealer may tell you the bike does not meet EPA or DOT. IT DOES NOT HAVE THE STICKER ON IT AND Honda will not say it does. if you want to waste 15k try it and you will see for yourself. and yes, i know this for sure i just exported a bike to the USA last winter ( over 25 years old) .

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Old 06-25-2009, 10:51 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTH RIDER
this has been covered so many times. HONDA WILL NOT GIVE SUCH A LETTER .you still may be able to get one in the USA .if you are in the military it seems to help a lot. regardless of what a dealer may tell you the bike does not meet EPA or DOT. IT DOES NOT HAVE THE STICKER ON IT AND Honda will not say it does. if you want to waste 15k try it and you will see for yourself. and yes, i know this for sure i just exported a bike to the USA last winter ( over 25 years old) .

north rider
BTW - how your DR doing? ;) Sorry for sidetracking...
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:05 AM   #253
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Changed from a 1200gs to a Varadero

So why did I change?
I loved the two 1200GS bikes but reliability issues prompted me to look elsewhere. I was determined to make the change with my head and not my heart so with that in mind I rode to a Honda dealership to test a 2009 varadildo. The engine was faultless, the gearbox smooth and the weather protection was excellent. Strange having regular forks to contend with but by the end of the 45 min test ride I surprised myself with the confidence I had in it.
Rode it back to the dealer and got a great deal on trading my 12gs in standard trim (leaving me ohlins, full akra system etc to sell on privately).
Without going into the specifics of the deal I ended up going from a 38000 mile 2005 GS to a brand new varadero for less than 1000 .
Since I bought it a couple of weeks I've put 1700 miles up on it which included a run to Snetterton BSB round. The standard rear shock needed hardening after it had bedded in and the front forks have no adjustment but now that I'm used to having regular front forks I'm enjoying the extra feel you get.
I much prefer the engine of the big honda. Silky smooth and definitely feels punchier than that of the 1200. Lynda hasn't been on it yet so I can't comment on the pillion's comfort but the saddle is bigger than that of the GS so hopefully it will be at least as comfortable.
Was on a very mild green lane on Friday and at this stage Id prefer to have been on the 1200 but having said that there are plenty of online ride reports of varaderos in Mongolia, morocco etc. So Id imagine that in the right hands (i.e. not mine) it would be up to whatever the 1200 is up to doing)
The free luggage is a bit weedy and doesnt allow camping equipment to be strapped to it so I replaced it with SW Motech rails and Alpos panniers a much better solution. Ill keep the standard top box as theres nothing wrong with it.
Added SW Motech crash bars and powder coated the sump guard black but that's been it as far as mods go.
Fuel consumption is on a par with the 1200. Theres a 25 litre tank and on my weekend trip to Snetterton with full luggage I was getting about 45mpg and if Im riding briskly that can drop to 40-42mpg.







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Old 06-30-2009, 08:40 AM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenorjazz
Would anybody who has owed both bikes care to say what they liked or disliked about each?

Has anybody had any troubles with these bikes?

You read the GSpot forum and you hear about all kinds of problems with the big GS!!
I never owned a GS (and will never do... exactly for the reason you are mentioning above!) but I have made quit some mileage on both the 1150 Adventure and the 1200 (and new 800) GS.

The 1200 is by far the best GS ever build. The culture of the engine is great, torque without an end (try that on a Guzzi Stelvio... it drops dead under 4.000 RPM) but the CLUTCH and GEARCHANGE are an disaster in comparising with the Varadero.

OK, it has a shaft drive - so what? There are many Honda's with shaft drive and with a proper functiioning gearbox! Even my 25 yrs old Honda XLV750R with shaft has a better gearbox as the latest GS 1200.

Protection against the 'elements': OK, admit... I'm 6,8 ft (2,04 m) tall. But even behind the wider screen of an GS Adventure I feel like riding in a hurrycane. OK when you are living in an sunny invirement, but here in North-West Europe it can rain, snow and fog - al at the same time.

Just returned from an 7.500 km tour through South East Europe and Turkey (in 16 riding days) and I would not have done it on something else as a Varadero (sorry: I would have done it on a Transalp too - but the Varadero is no less than an XXL Transalp ).

Did gravel, sand, terrible roads, couble stones and 100 miles/hour (160 km/h) on the German motorway for 800 km in one strech - Nothing went wrong, no parts dropped from the bike and every thing with full luggage (2x Hebco&Becker Alu panniers, topcase, bagster tankbag).

And: I wasn't alone.

I was accompanied by my wife on her 2000 (carb) Varadero with almost 100.000 miles on the clock, a friend on a 2005 MK2 with 32.000 km and my own 2004 MK2 with 45.000 miles.

And no troubles at all!
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:07 PM   #255
stevh0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Plugs
I never owned a GS (and will never do... exactly for the reason you are mentioning above!) but I have made quit some mileage on both the 1150 Adventure and the 1200 (and new 800) GS.

The 1200 is by far the best GS ever build. The culture of the engine is great, torque without an end (try that on a Guzzi Stelvio... it drops dead under 4.000 RPM) but the CLUTCH and GEARCHANGE are an disaster in comparising with the Varadero.

OK, it has a shaft drive - so what? There are many Honda's with shaft drive and with a proper functiioning gearbox! Even my 25 yrs old Honda XLV750R with shaft has a better gearbox as the latest GS 1200.

Protection against the 'elements': OK, admit... I'm 6,8 ft (2,04 m) tall. But even behind the wider screen of an GS Adventure I feel like riding in a hurrycane. OK when you are living in an sunny invirement, but here in North-West Europe it can rain, snow and fog - al at the same time.

Just returned from an 7.500 km tour through South East Europe and Turkey (in 16 riding days) and I would not have done it on something else as a Varadero (sorry: I would have done it on a Transalp too - but the Varadero is no less than an XXL Transalp ).

Did gravel, sand, terrible roads, couble stones and 100 miles/hour (160 km/h) on the German motorway for 800 km in one strech - Nothing went wrong, no parts dropped from the bike and every thing with full luggage (2x Hebco&Becker Alu panniers, topcase, bagster tankbag).

And: I wasn't alone.

I was accompanied by my wife on her 2000 (carb) Varadero with almost 100.000 miles on the clock, a friend on a 2005 MK2 with 32.000 km and my own 2004 MK2 with 45.000 miles.

And no troubles at all!
Pictures?
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