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Old 04-01-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
Humbucker OP
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Eh? New guy here with a question. Did the Varadero bomb in Canada?

Hi guys,

This is my very first post after lurking around here for awhile.

I currently own a Vulcan 1600 Classic (my first ever bike, which I've had for four years now). While I like the cruiser thang, I'm starting to feel the pull of trying something else. I'm not a speed freak, so crotch rockets are out, besides I'm pushing 50 and relatively new to motorcycling, so I'm not into the high-speed stuff.

I do like riding the rural backroads and my wife and I also like camping/tenting, and as it turns out, this fits in well with these "adventure" types of bikes out there.

Anyway, I'll cut to the chase, I've been out looking at what's available out there in motorcycle land and I like the BMW GS(not too sure if I'd want the GSA though) but it's pretty pricey, the V-Strom 650 ABS seems like a super good choice (even though the 1000cc speaks to my vanity, apparently the 650cc wee-strom is the wiser choice), then there's also the Honda Varadero.

Around here in Atlantic Canada, the V-Strom 650 ABS sells for just under $10,000 CDN (that's without hardbags or trunk BTW). I've seen at least two Honda dealers in this area with new left-over 2008 Varaderos and they're priced to sell. One dealer is selling theirs for $9,000! That's a grand less then the V-Strom 650 ABS and $4,000 less then a V-Strom 1000cc.

I'm kind of surprised that the Varadero is priced this low. I'm not complaining, it's great for somebody who's in the market to buy one. It looks like the Varadero just didn't click with the motorcycle buying public out there. What's up with that?! Is it not a good bike?

I mean for a brand new left-over Honda (with their great reputation for building reliable stuff) to be priced a grand under the wee-Strom, seems like a pretty sweet deal. Am I missing something here?

I've read numerous reviews on the Varadero and the most common complaint was that they thought that the Varadero was fugly looking. I can't say that it looks any worse then any of the other "adventure" bikes out there that I've seen. I mean, these things are all about being a no-B.S. workhorse and are all pretty much ugly across the board.

So, why does the Varadero seem to get picked on more?

I really get a feeling that the V-Strom 650 ABS is a sweet choice but wouldn't you jump on a Varadero 1000cc especially if it was priced a grand less?

I'm really new to this type of motorcycling, so I'm keen on reading any of your thoughts on this. It might help me chose my next bike!
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
docsherlock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbucker View Post
Hi guys,

This is my very first post after lurking around here for awhile.

I currently own a Vulcan 1600 Classic (my first ever bike, which I've had for four years now). While I like the cruiser thang, I'm starting to feel the pull of trying something else. I'm not a speed freak, so crotch rockets are out, besides I'm pushing 50 and relatively new to motorcycling, so I'm not into the high-speed stuff.

I do like riding the rural backroads and my wife and I also like camping/tenting, and as it turns out, this fits in well with these "adventure" types of bikes out there.

Anyway, I'll cut to the chase, I've been out looking at what's available out there in motorcycle land and I like the BMW GS(not too sure if I'd want the GSA though) but it's pretty pricey, the V-Strom 650 ABS seems like a super good choice (even though the 1000cc speaks to my vanity, apparently the 650cc wee-strom is the wiser choice), then there's also the Honda Varadero.

Around here in Atlantic Canada, the V-Strom 650 ABS sells for just under $10,000 CDN (that's without hardbags or trunk BTW). I've seen at least two Honda dealers in this area with new left-over 2008 Varaderos and they're priced to sell. One dealer is selling theirs for $9,000! That's a grand less then the V-Strom 650 ABS and $4,000 less then a V-Strom 1000cc.

I'm kind of surprised that the Varadero is priced this low. I'm not complaining, it's great for somebody who's in the market to buy one. It looks like the Varadero just didn't click with the motorcycle buying public out there. What's up with that?! Is it not a good bike?

I mean for a brand new left-over Honda (with their great reputation for building reliable stuff) to be priced a grand under the wee-Strom, seems like a pretty sweet deal. Am I missing something here?

I've read numerous reviews on the Varadero and the most common complaint was that they thought that the Varadero was fugly looking. I can't say that it looks any worse then any of the other "adventure" bikes out there that I've seen. I mean, these things are all about being a no-B.S. workhorse and are all pretty much ugly across the board.

So, why does the Varadero seem to get picked on more?

I really get a feeling that the V-Strom 650 ABS is a sweet choice but wouldn't you jump on a Varadero 1000cc especially if it was priced a grand less?

I'm really new to this type of motorcycling, so I'm keen on reading any of your thoughts on this. It might help me chose my next bike!
I have heard that the fuel mileage and tank range are not great; that is on top of the size of the damned thing!
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:29 PM   #3
Humbucker OP
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I've never seen a Varadero in person, only in pictures, I'm sure that it's a hell of a big bike but I did get a chance to sit on a BMW R1200GS (or was it a GSA?) at our local BMW dealership and I couldn't get over how bloody tall the damned thing was!

I'm six feet tall with a 32" inseam, so I'm not short but with these types of bikes, I might be considered just tall enough? It felt like a little kid when I tried to get into the GS' saddle.

I'm guessing that the Varadero might be about the same size as the BMW GS. I suppose that the V-Strom 650 ABS is still one of the most sensible adventure-type bikes out there. But I still get this feeling that the Varadero with its bargain basement pricing right now, is a lot of bike for the money.

But then again, I've never had the chance to ride one, so I'm just curious as to what other people have to say on the subject. I'm here to learn all that I can.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
RED CAT
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Varadero!

Go for it at that price. The guys I have met who own them all say how happy they are. At first Honda was trying to get $17,000 for them and finally came to their senses. At $9000. they are a steal. Your WeeStroms seem kinda pricey compared to Calgary here where they routinely blow them our fully loaded with bags for $8500. all color co-oridinated. As for the GS/GSA, well I have one and for sure nothing else compares if you are serious about handling and perfomance but thats for when you are ready for the best no matter the price. The Honda and Suzuki are hard to beat price wise and are great machines also.
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Agree w red Cat

$10g for a wee is steep and $9g for the Honda is a steal. Being where you are coming from the Honda will be perfect!
I grew up in Halifax but have been out west a long time!!
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:57 AM   #6
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Hi,

I own a Varadero ... got the 2008 last fall, in and around the $10K mark. I put 6500km's on it in a month ... best ride I've ever owned. I agree that the GS is a better bike, no question on that BUT I'm not looking to spend $25K so that was out.

I've heard comments on the tank size and fuel mileage, I can definitely say that it isn't true ... okay so it isn't a GSA with the massive fuel tank but does very well.

The usual applies, you need to go to the after market to adjust it to fit ... twisted throttle www.aviciouscycle.ca (Candian) have lots of the bits you need. You wouldn't find too many aftermarket seats, thats because the seat is great for all day riding, I did a 10 hour day without an issue.

What else to say ... its mostly an on road bike, seems okay to me off road but I'm not an expert, just dirt roads for me and I've have no problems there.

Also, if you want rock solid handling you may want to consider progressive springs but that's a personal choice thing.

James
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:08 AM   #7
Humbucker OP
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Thumb

Thanks guys for chiming in on this topic!

Yeah, while I have zero experience riding dirt bikes and doing real off-road stuff, I'd like to be able to go out and do dirt roads and reasonably easy trails, etc... Bring a tent and maybe do some wilderness camping. It sounds like fun.

Another thing that might make getting a bike of this type is that they're supposedly good at handling rough, patchy roads like the ones that we get here in the Maritimes in the spring. Any time that I mistakenly ride through a pot hole with my fat-assed cruiser, it's sheer agony. Then you think, God, my bike is covered in messy road grime and it's going to be a pain in the butt to clean up the old cruiser when I get back home.

The cruiser is nice to look at but I've finally come to the conclusion that I tend to only ride it in good weather because I hate the thought of having to clean it afterwards. Pretty limiting, I like the term "chrome plated ass jewelry". Plus, it's the type of bike that's a bit awkward with vague handling etc,...... I think that I'm due for a new experience.

You'll probably laugh at me for saying that I was first exposed to these "adventure" bikes by watching the Long Way Round/Long Way Down DVDs, I know that I'll probably never do any "real" off-road stuff but I would like a bike that's more then just some driveway jewelry.

I'm sure that the BMW R1200GS would be a great bike to own (BTW, I think that I prefer the GS over the GSA, seems that the GSA is waaayyyy too big), but after laying out that kind of cash, I think I might tend to want to baby it more then a cheaper bike such as the Varadero or a V-Strom.

The GS/GSA with all of the luggage, etc, is actually more expensive then a BMW R1200RT fully loaded, or right around the same money anyway. That's right around $27,000-$28,000 (Canadian) out the door!!!

After paying that much, I don't know if I'd want to throw that thing around on gravel roads or worse and ride it like I stole it. Dropping it and everything else.

So, while I really like the GS, that leftover 2008 Varadero comes in at around $8,500.00 less. That's a pretty staggering difference in price. For those of you who have ridden both of these bikes, is the BMW worth that much extra coin?

Unfortunately, I've never had the chance to ride either one, so I'm just going by what I read.

I'm looking forward to trying out some of the BMWs when their demo truck rolls into town in a couple of months from now.

Any other points or opinions out there?
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
varaman
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The Varadero is an interesting machine. When first arriving in Canada, people automatically assumed they were being promoted by Honda Corporate. That was not the case. They were brought into Canada by Honda Canada. The bikes had to actually be purchased and modified to meet Canadian regulations at their own expense. This is why a rather large number had to be done at once. It wasn't a case of merely ordering in a bike from the manufacturer, as which is commonly done. All 2008s had to be purchased by Honda Canada at the same time. And then Honda Canada insisted that the Varadero only be sold through Powerhouse dealerships. Bike shops that were not Powerhouse dealerships (that is to say most), or bikes that sold more than Honda products were not allowed to sell the bike. There are cities in Canada that do not have Powerhouse dealerships and could not offer the product. And many riders that did have an interest in them were understandably not comfortable buying a motorcycle from a car dealership, which is basically but a PowerHouse dealership is. So, you suddenly have a large number of bikes, purchased and modified at once, sitting in a warehouse that you refuse to offer to frontline motorcycle shops. That being said, all 2008s have now left the warehouse. As have the 2009s and 2010s.

The bike itself is phenomenal. During the last year I've seen a large number of them. In fact in Western Canada, they have now become a strong seller. The dealership I deal with is now trying to buy as much as they can from other dealerships as it's become one of their strongest sellers. The bike is essentially a road bike that can swallow up big potholes and frostheaves. Gravel and dirt roads are also not a problem. In short, a great bike for the Canadian roadways.

I have one and really enjoy it. During my forty or so years of riding, I can say it's become a favourite. I rode a GS for year before going to the Varadero, and much prefer it's road manners and reliability over the BMW. The GS is better suited to offroad conditions, but not by much. If you like it, and prefer to do a lot of long distance touring involving varying road conditions, it's a hard bike to beat.



Terry
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
Humbucker OP
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Thanks Terry,

It does look like a neat bike. I went into my local Honda/Harley-Davidson dealership a couple of weeks ago and asked them about the Varadero and they proceeded to tell me that they didn't weren't given the chance to have one there at their location, that's when they explained to me that they had to be a Honda Powerhouse dealer to do that. I had no clue what they were talking about.

But they did say that they could get one from another dealer at a reduced price. Turns out that I would have been looking at $10,400 plus freight & PDI for a leftover 2008. Sounded not too bad but now I've just seen another one pop up in the Maritimes for $9,000, I would guess that there's freight & PDI on top of that though.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite ready with my finances yet but should be later on this year. I would imagine that that Varadero for $9,000 will be long gone by that time but then again, who knows? They just don't seem to be getting much appreciation by the looks of it.

At least I'll get a good amount of info on the different types and brands of "adventure" bikes out there and when the time comes, I'll be ready.

This morning, I was at our biggest motorcycle dealership. It's a multi-brand place with at least five big brand names, there was this bike by Ducati, the Multistrada 1200. It was about the same price as the BMW R1200GS, $17,500.

It looked like an interesting bike, supposedly it's kind of like having four bikes in one. I wonder if that thing is as capable on dirt/gravel roads as the Varadero, V-Strom and BMW GS?

So many cool bikes out there! But the Varadero is definately a hard one to beat at the prices that are floating around out there now. I'd really be kicking myself if I had bought it at full MSRP when they were first introduced here in Canada.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #10
varaman
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Originally Posted by Humbucker View Post
Thanks Terry,

It does look like a neat bike. I went into my local Honda/Harley-Davidson dealership a couple of weeks ago and asked them about the Varadero and they proceeded to tell me that they didn't weren't given the chance to have one there at their location, that's when they explained to me that they had to be a Honda Powerhouse dealer to do that. I had no clue what they were talking about.

But they did say that they could get one from another dealer at a reduced price. Turns out that I would have been looking at $10,400 plus freight & PDI for a leftover 2008. Sounded not too bad but now I've just seen another one pop up in the Maritimes for $9,000, I would guess that there's freight & PDI on top of that though.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite ready with my finances yet but should be later on this year. I would imagine that that Varadero for $9,000 will be long gone by that time but then again, who knows? They just don't seem to be getting much appreciation by the looks of it.

At least I'll get a good amount of info on the different types and brands of "adventure" bikes out there and when the time comes, I'll be ready.

This morning, I was at our biggest motorcycle dealership. It's a multi-brand place with at least five big brand names, there was this bike by Ducati, the Multistrada 1200. It was about the same price as the BMW R1200GS, $17,500.

It looked like an interesting bike, supposedly it's kind of like having four bikes in one. I wonder if that thing is as capable on dirt/gravel roads as the Varadero, V-Strom and BMW GS?

So many cool bikes out there! But the Varadero is definately a hard one to beat at the prices that are floating around out there now. I'd really be kicking myself if I had bought it at full MSRP when they were first introduced here in Canada.

Yeah, that seems to have annoyed a lot of Honda dealers out there. Not being able to have access to them because they're not a "Powerhouse" dealer. I've heard through the grapevine, however, that Honda is finally realizing that this isn't to the way to market anything.

My advice is to try everything out there. Don't take my word, or anyone else's for that matter, which is the better bike. I've noticed that the Varadero thread has become quite active in the last year with people buying them, but their wants and needs may be different from yours. Test ride anything you have an interest in and decide from there.

In today's marketplace there are plenty of great bikes available. The Japanese, the Germans, and the Italians all offer great products. Even some other manufacturers are beginning to step up their game. It really is getting hard to find a bad bike. Each manufacturer has at least something that appeals to someone. And with the economy still on the rebound, there are plenty of good deals out there. A friend is working out a deal on a leftover 650 'Strom at the moment. Bags, racks, crashbars, and GST all in for under eight grand Canadian. Heck, I saw a new 2007 1000DL offered last year for $7000.00. Both wonderful bikes.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Take care.





Terry
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #11
Humbucker OP
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The funny thing where I live is that this big motorcycle superstore basically has a monopoly here and their prices really suck!

Like I said before they have a V-Strom 650 ABS without any luggage, etc...for $9,700 CDN, the V-Strom 650 ABS with luggage for $10,800, and they have the V-Strom 1000 priced at $12,300 bare bones and $13,300 with luggage.

Those leftover 2008 Varaderos look pretty good compared to the prices at this particular multi-brand superstore. They have a lot of bikes but try getting a decent price, good luck!
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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IMO Varadero and V-Strom are BOTH 90/10 street/dirt bikes and IMO the Varadero looks million times better than the V-Strom. But again that is just my opinion/bias to begin with.

So if the above 90/10 ratio is something you are looking for or you can live with, I would go with the Varadero over the V-Strom.

Not only is the Varadero priced at a steal right now, I bet that once it becomes unavailable (just like in case of the Transalp), the price of used bikes will become outrageously high.

In short, you can't go wrong with the Varadero, becasue it is a great bike and I think the over the long run, the Varadero will even keep it's price way much better than the V-Strom.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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IMO Varadero and V-Strom are BOTH 90/10 street/dirt bikes and IMO the Varadero looks million times better than the V-Strom. But again that is just my opinion/bias to begin with.

So if the above 90/10 ratio is something you are looking for or you can live with, I would go with the Varadero over the V-Strom.

Not only is the Varadero priced at a steal right now, I bet that once it becomes unavailable (just like in case of the Transalp), the price of used bikes will become outrageously high.

In short, you can't go wrong with the Varadero, becasue it is a great bike and I think the over the long run, the Varadero will even keep it's price way much better than the V-Strom.
+1 on what A-Wind said. The Varadero would be great for 2 up'ing over a 650, and there is the Honda reliability. Not the Suzuki's aren't reliable ...... As for going off the tarmac, just remember that it's a big pig, like the GS.

From what I've read about peeps in South Africa, they've kitted up their bikes with knobbies to go off-road, etc .... So the bike can do it, but I, IMHO, wouldn't take the thing on anything more than a well groomed fire road due to its weight.

I've also read a number of other positive reviews on the bike / motor / ergos / and comfort. You definitely could do long pavement days on it and not feel beat up afterwards..........

I say go with the Honda, specially with the pricing offered .......

That's my .02 cents .....

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Old 04-02-2011, 03:06 PM   #14
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At that price, pull the trigger, especially for 2up riding and hauling gear. There is a big aftermarket and a loyal following for these bikes.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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I've seen at least two Honda dealers in this area with new left-over 2008 Varaderos and they're priced to sell. One dealer is selling theirs for $9,000!

I'm kind of surprised that the Varadero is priced this low.
A low price is the only way to move these bikes. Like you said, they are still trying to sell the 2008 ones.

My advice to you is to wait and I bet you will see the price drop even more. A few will buy one at $9000, but most will spend what it takes to get one of the premium large dual sports.

Meanwhile the 2008 Varaderos will sit another summer in the showrooms unsold, and you will be able to make a much better deal than $9000.

When they get down to around $6000, buy.
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