The Honda XL125 Varadero is a neat handling thing, thanks to its wide bars, a terrific steering lock, commanding riding position and poise. The brakes work fine, but it pays not to get too ambitious. The Honda XL125 Varadero's seat and riding position is very comfortable and not a bad place to spend a morning carving across town.
The suspension is an odd combination, though. It feels softly-sprung, but over-damped, giving a ride that’s fine on smooth roads, but becomes jarring when the going gets bumpy. That’s a pity, as the nature of the engine keeps you away from open A-roads and sends you on to twisty back lanes where you can just wind it up and feel like you’re making good progress. But those roads tend to have the worst surfaces, making the ride more important.
You’ll just have to put up with the bone-shaking journey, though, as only the rear pre-load can be adjusted. The best thing, however, is that you can easily roll through those gravel patches you often find where farm tracks join country lanes.
There’s not much to get excited about with four-stroke 125s normally. And in the original VT125 Shadow micro-cruiser this V-twin SOHC lump just about copes. But in the Honda XL125 Varadero it rips around town just fine. With a low weight of just 149kg there’s not much mass to haul around, either. Just avoid long straights on the Honda XL125 Varadero.
The Honda XL125 Varadero's mild steel downpipes rust through if they’re neglected over a winter, but that’s about it. Everything else on the Honda XL125 Varadero is up to Honda’s usual high standards.
Our owners' reviews of the 125 Varadero are very positive, with many readers complimenting its performance and handling.
Compared to its XR125L and CBR125RR stablemates a new Honda XL125 Varadero is overpriced to the tune of almost £1000 and £700 respectively and it’s hard to say it’s worth that much more than either of the other two. However, Honda XL125 Varaderos do hold their value well, but not enough to tempt the canny buyer away from the other two.
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There’s a raft of official kit for the Honda XL125 Varadero, including hard luggage, a taller windscreen, a centrestand, heated grips and sump guard. Most reviews from Honda XL125 Varadero owners will mention the addition of aftermarket parts.