Honda Varadero 125

The Honda Varadero 125, part of the revered Varadero line, stands out in the 125cc category with its robust V-twin engine. Launched in the early 2000s, this bike offers a blend of performance, comfort, and durability. Its tall stance provides a commanding road view, making it a favourite for both city commutes and longer rides. Celebrated for its build quality and reliability, the Varadero 125 embodies Honda’s commitment to engineering excellence.

Technical Specs

Engine & Performance

Engine Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, V-twin
Engine Size/Displacement 125cc
Horsepower and Torque 15 bhp


Dimensions & Weight

Seat Height 800 mm
Wheelbase 1450 mm
Dry Weight 149 kg


Chassis & Suspension

Frame Type Steel twin-spar
Front/Rear Suspension Telescopic fork front suspension /
Twin shock rear suspension
Front/Rear Brake Disc brake for both front and rear


Transmission & Fuel

Number of Gears 5-speed
Fuel Capacity 17.5 litres
Fuel Economy 60-70 mpg


History and Evolution of the Honda Varadero 125

The Honda Varadero 125, also known as the XL125V Varadero, made its debut in the motorbike world in the early 2000s. Its inception was aimed at filling a gap in the market for a versatile and reliable 125cc motorcycle. Since then, it has carved out a niche for itself amongst bike enthusiasts, especially those who have a penchant for adventure and touring.

The initial versions of the Varadero 125 were lauded for their comfortable riding position and robust build, characteristics synonymous with Honda’s reputation. Over the years, Honda introduced several updates to the model:

  • 2001: Official launch of the Honda Varadero 125. The bike was introduced with a V-twin engine, making it unique in its category.
  • 2003-2005: Subtle tweaks were made to enhance its overall performance and aesthetic appeal.
  • 2007: Honda made significant updates, including improved suspension and braking systems, ensuring a smoother and safer ride.
  • 2011: The Varadero 125 saw its last major update, post which Honda shifted its focus to newer models in the 125cc category.

While the Honda Varadero 125 might not have year-by-year monumental changes, its impact on the 125cc segment cannot be understated. The bike’s consistent performance, coupled with Honda’s commitment to quality, ensured that it remained a popular choice for those seeking a dependable and stylish 125cc motorcycle. Today, even though newer models have emerged, the Varadero 125’s legacy continues, testament to its enduring appeal and the milestones it achieved during its production years.

Performance and Handling

The Honda Varadero 125 is often hailed for its performance and handling, especially given its classification in the 125cc category. A motorbike’s performance isn’t just about speed; it’s also about how it feels on the road, how it responds to the rider’s commands, and how effortlessly it manoeuvres through various terrains. The Varadero 125 scores high on all these fronts.

At the heart of its performance is the V-twin engine, which, while being compliant with learner-legal regulations in the UK, offers a smooth and responsive ride. With a maximum output of around 15 bhp, the bike provides ample power for city commuting as well as occasional longer journeys. The engine’s torquey nature ensures that power delivery is consistent, reducing the frequent need for gear shifts, which is particularly beneficial in urban settings.

When it comes to handling, the Varadero 125 boasts a tall stance, similar to adventure bikes. This design choice offers riders a commanding view of the road ahead, making it easier to anticipate and react to obstacles or traffic conditions. Additionally, the wide handlebars and well-balanced weight distribution play a pivotal role in the bike’s nimble manoeuvrability. Whether navigating through tight city lanes or cruising on open roads, the Varadero 125 remains steady and predictable.

Comparatively, when pitted against other bikes in its class, the Varadero 125 often stands out for its mature and stable ride quality. While some 125cc bikes can feel twitchy or unstable at higher speeds, the Varadero’s robust build and design ensure that riders always feel in control.

Maintenance and Reliability

Honda has long been associated with engineering excellence and reliability, and the Varadero 125 is no exception. For many riders, the very name ‘Honda’ evokes a sense of trust, and this bike serves to reinforce that perception.

Maintenance is a crucial aspect of any motorbike’s lifespan, and the Varadero 125 is designed with ease of upkeep in mind. Regular maintenance tasks include:

  • Oil Changes: Like most bikes, it’s recommended to change the oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. This ensures the engine runs smoothly and prolongs its lifespan.
  • Air Filter Replacement: A clean air filter ensures optimal fuel efficiency and performance. Depending on riding conditions, it’s advisable to check and potentially replace the air filter every 6,000 miles.
  • Brake Checks: For safety reasons, regularly inspecting the brake pads and discs is essential. If worn down, replacements should be made promptly.
  • Tyre Inspection: Ensuring tyres are at the correct pressure and have adequate tread is vital for both performance and safety.

In terms of known issues, like any machine, the Varadero 125 has had minor recalls and issues over its production years. However, Honda’s proactive approach means most of these issues were quickly addressed, with solutions provided to owners at authorised dealerships.

Reliability is one of the Varadero 125’s strong suits. Many owners report that with regular maintenance, the bike runs without a hitch for years. The robust build quality and Honda’s commitment to quality components mean that unexpected breakdowns are a rarity. Moreover, in the unlikely event of a problem, parts are readily available and, given the bike’s popularity, many mechanics are familiar with its intricacies.

Honda Varadero 125 Reviews and Testimonials

The Honda Varadero 125, over its years of production, has seen a significant number of riders and enthusiasts sharing their experiences. Drawing from the collective feedback available, here’s a comprehensive look at what users have to say about this motorbike:

Riding Comfort: The Varadero 125 is frequently mentioned for its comfort during rides. Its tall stance, coupled with well-cushioned seating, ensures that riders can undertake both short commutes and longer journeys without fatigue.

Performance: The bike’s V-twin engine and its torquey nature have been points of appreciation. Users have often commented on the consistent power delivery, making it suitable for city commutes and giving it an edge over some competitors in the 125cc category.

Handling: Despite its relatively larger size for a 125cc, the Varadero’s handling in urban settings stands out. Its design allows for easy manoeuvrability, especially in traffic, which has been a positive point for many urban riders.

Build Quality: Reflecting Honda’s commitment to quality, many users have commended the Varadero 125’s robust build. The bike’s durability and longevity, with minimal issues, have made it a preferred choice for those looking for a long-term investment.

Economical Running: The Varadero 125 is often cited for its cost-effective nature. Its fuel efficiency, combined with reasonable maintenance costs, makes it an economical choice in the long run.

On the flip side, some feedback indicates that a few riders found the bike slightly heavy for its category. Additionally, while its performance is commendable within city limits, some users felt a need for more power during highway rides.

In essence, the Honda Varadero 125 has garnered a positive reception from its user base, with its advantages outweighing the minor critiques. Its blend of features and performance has solidified its position as a reliable choice in the 125cc segment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the top speed for a Honda Varadero 125?

The top speed for the Honda Varadero 125 is approximately 70-75 mph (112-120 km/h), though this can vary slightly based on factors like the bike’s condition, rider weight, and external conditions.

Why did Honda stop making the Varadero 125?

Honda, like many manufacturers, periodically updates its model line-up based on market trends, sales performance, and to introduce new technologies. While the exact reasons for discontinuing specific models might not be publicly detailed by the company, the cessation of the Varadero 125 production could be attributed to a combination of factors like changing market demands, the emergence of newer models, and evolving emission regulations.

What replaced the Honda Varadero?

In terms of adventure-styled bikes in the 125cc category, the Honda CB125X concept showcased at motorcycle shows hinted at a potential successor or replacement for the Varadero 125, but as of my last update in January 2022, it’s essential to note that the CB125X hadn’t been confirmed for production. Honda’s line-up has various 125cc bikes, but a direct replacement in the adventure segment wasn’t clearly identified. It’s recommended to check Honda’s official channels or local dealerships for the latest models and updates.

Is the Varadero 125 suitable for motorways?

The Varadero 125 is legally allowed on motorways in many regions, and its top speed makes it capable of maintaining motorway speeds, especially in countries where the maximum speed limit for smaller bikes is around 60-70 mph. However, its 125cc engine might find it challenging to keep up with faster-moving traffic, especially on uphill stretches or against strong winds.