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Honda XLV750R Adventure Motorbike Review

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Honda XLV750
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

The Honda XLV750 R was the first Japanese made monster trail bike to go head to head with the R80GS from BMW. Both bikes were twin cylinder machines and both had shaft drive. Unfortunately the XLV was too top heavy for even gentle off-road riding and also suffered major gearbox faults. The model was discontinued in 1983. Style is pure 80's brashness, performance is more Honda Deauville.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

The Honda XLV's very softly tuned V-twin is very similar to its modern sibling the Africa twin. It produces reasonable low rev torque but is far from swift. Claimed power is 60bhp but a measured rear wheel figure is more like 52. Three valve-per-cylinder design is economical.   

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

A narrow 19 inch front wheel and wide bars make it quick to turn and it¹s excellent in town if a little top heavy, good visibility and steering lock.
Brakes are weak, especially the rear drum. On a good road surface you¹d struggle to lock either end. Riding position is odd with high pegs, low narrow seat and a stretch to the bars. 


MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

Equipment is basic but you do get a rev counter and trip meter (in kms, the XLV was a european model). Unusually the fuel tap and air filter cover are on the top of the tank and easy to get at, the oil filter sits on the right side of the engine. Shaft drive is unobtrusive and reliable. Compare and buy parts for the XLV750 in the MCN Shop. 

Honda XLV750R (1983-1986)

Detail Value
Engine size 749 cc
Power 61 bhp
Top speed 100 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 0
Engine rating is 3 rating is 0
Ride & Handling rating is 2 rating is 0
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 0
Quality & Reliability rating is 2 rating is 0
Value rating is 2 rating is 0

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

Finish is typical 80¹s Honda. The alloy and paint are of exceptional quality and if looked after will last another 30 years. Worst areas of corrosion are usually the mild steel battery box and number plate bracket. Due to a design fault in the gearbox many of the spares were used up long ago. Complete gasket sets are especially rare. Gearbox specialist Nova racing now re-make many of the gearbox parts including the fragile gear selectors.


MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

If you can find one they usually sell for around £1500. A bargain for such an unusual bike but beware any machines with high mileages, rattly top-ends and notchy gear selection. Find a Honda XLV750R for sale.


Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

The HONDA XLV 750 R (RD01) was sold in Europe (but not the UK) from 1983 to 1986. An updated version (RF) was sold for the last year of productions with minor engine improvements.
Despite appearances, the XLV was never intended as a 'true' off road bike.
Instead it was styled in the 'theme' of a Paris-Dakar XL600 race bike. Honda obviously saw the popularity of the Dakar race and thought it could attract buyers with a road bike that looked like it promised adventure. In much the same way BMW's R1200GS is sold today.

Other Versions


Top speed 100 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 61 bhp
Max torque ft-lb
Weight 212 kg
Seat height 855 mm
Fuel capacity 19.5 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 749 cc
Engine specification 45° V-Twin, 5 gears, shaft drive
Frame Steel cradle, oil in frame
Front suspension adjustment Air assist
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, air assist
Front brakes 276mm disc
Rear brake 140mm drum
Front tyre size 300 x 21"
Rear tyre size 450 x 17"

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 0(0 reviews)

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