Honda XL 125 V6 Varadero. The first generation of the Varadero 125 was released in the UK in 2001 aimed at the beginner rider market. Honda began working on a larger 125 motorcycle after the 15 metric horsepower restriction on all 125 cc motorcycles, with a marketing study suggesting that riders involved in this market were attracted by the idea of what Honda called a dual-sport motorcycle, which benefited from a protective nose fairing.
Borrowing design cues from the existing XL1000V Varadero, Honda set about developing a bike that offered substantially bigger proportions than most 125 cc motorcycles, with a seat height of 802 mm (31.6 in), ensuring that the rider would gain not only a commanding road view but also ensure the motorcycle was capable of offering genuine pillion access. The XL125V had a fuel capacity of 17.5 L (3.8 imp gal; 4.6 US gal), which included a 2-litre reserve – larger than most other 125 cc motorcycles.
2004 Honda XL 125 V6 Varadero
Following the cues taken from the XL1000V Varadero, Honda chose to power the new model with the 124 cc 4-stroke SOHC 4v 90° V-twin engine that was originally developed for the VT125C Shadow cruiser motorcycle. The engine developed the new maximum 10.7 kW (14.3 hp) allowed by the new restriction, as well as 10.8 N⋅m (8.0 lbf⋅ft) of torque. The new bike was fuelled through carburettors. The Varadero 125 engine revs to over 12,000 rpm; higher than most V-twin engines. It develops peak power at around 11,000 rpm, while in contrast its stablemate, the XL1000V Varadero, peaks its power at 6,000 rpm.
The engine sat in an all-new tubular steel frame designed for the new model, however the cast aluminium box-section swing arm was taken from the XL650V Transalp motorcycle (as was the rear luggage rack) and equipped with mono-shock rear suspension that provides 150 mm (5.9 in) of travel. Front suspension is provided by 35 mm forks, also with 150 mm of travel.
The Honda XL 125 V6 Varadero was released with some fanfare, with Honda calling it the “new flagship of Honda’s diverse 125 line-up” in the press information. There were also plenty of positive reviews of the new model, with most only citing the high price as the only criticism. The new Varadero 125 reportedly sold well with MCN reporting in January 2002 that it had sold over 380 units, roughly the same as its two bigger stablemates the XL1000V Varadero and the XL650V Transalp.
In 2003 the Honda XL 125 V6 Varadero was given a minor facelift. The main being the three spoke, cast aluminium wheels being changed from black to silver in colour
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