• Honda Press Release Model Year 2003

    Development Concept
    The magnificent, range-roving Varadero made its initial debut on the European market in 1999, with its big proportions, big performance and resolute look of Adventure Sports touring capability winning wide acclaim. It soon attracted a diverse following of riders who share a love of exploring the vast wonders of the Continent in rugged style and easy-handling comfort.
    Since many of these riders also enjoy the shared experience of traveling twoup with a spouse or companion in tow, the Varadero was soon recognised as offering an able match for these specialized requirements, with expansive accommodations and easily expandable carrying capacity making possible long trips on a moment’s notice. Another prime attraction has been its torquey Vtwin engine, which delivers a strong surge of acceleration from anywhere in its wide power band. Whether climbing mountain ranges or stretching its legs along Europe’s high-speed carriageways, the Varadero has come to be regarded as a first-class ticket to pleasant days of touring adventures and exciting side-trips off the beaten paths.
    Now four years in production, and with class competitors nibbling at its heels, the Varadero has found itself in need of a new infusion of style and improvements in overall performance designed to bring it up to date with the latest in Honda’s stable of large-displacement riding machines. Armed with a short list of desires gleaned from an extensive collection of feedback from its satisfied customers, the Varadero’s development team set out to go both it and the competition one better, and in so doing elevate Honda’s top Adventure Tourer to a higher rank of overall capability and a more thoroughly satisfying riding experience that will reassert its standing as
    the leader of the Adventure Sports class. Among the design goals selected for the Varadero’s new second generation were a more widely useful power delivery, an extended touring range, enhanced comfort, and a more exciting and impressive Adventure Touring experience that provides a more fulfilling answer to the siren song of the open road.

    Famed for its distinctive and intrepid Adventure Touring design, the Varadero has set the pace in this growing market segment with a proudly aggressive ‘go anywhere’ look that give the strong impression that this imposing touring machine was built to travel to the four corners of the continent… and far beyond.
    For its second generation, the Varadero’s eye-catching bodywork has been fully upgraded with sharper lines and a more aggressive form that adds a stronger look of speed and daring to its established image of confident long-distance capability. The main thrust of this redesign work was concentrated on the Varadero’s front and side cowls to create a more compact and dynamic form. While the fairing’s front silhouette provides essentially the same degree of wind protection, its shape was refined with a sharper design and wider, new all-seeing multi-reflector headlights that emphasize its imposing image with an audacious scowl.

    Height-Adjustable Windscreen
    Above this eye-catching new face, the Varadero’s broad windscreen now offers two positions of adjustability, with the four screws holding it in place permitting the screen to be easily raised or lowered a full 50mm to provide optimum wind protection and a more comfortable ride to an even broader cross-section of riders sizes. The fairing’s new, slimmer side cowls feature completely reshaped radiator exhaust ducts with more sharply angled curves that exude a faster and more aggressive image, even standing still. Forward-facing turn indicators are now fully integrated into the upper leading edges of the cowls, where they provide a brilliant indication of riding intentions while beautifully complementing the new lines of the bodywork. These indicators also perform double duty as flashing hazard lights with the addition of new hazard switch circuitry. And to doubly endure driver recognition even during daylight hours, the headlights remain on all the time the engine is in operation.
    Hidden away down below, a pair of new intermediate body sections tie the side cowls to the Varadero’s large, cast resin under cowl to provide improved protection for the feet and lower legs against both the blast of wind and the splash of water and mud off the front tyre.

    Enhanced Rider Accommodations
    Ride quality has also received some well-considered improvements by way of a new seat designed to provide broader support and more equalised weight distribution for assured long-touring comfort. Even the Varadero’s large coverage knuckle guards were redesigned, with a more rounded design that affords enhanced protection against both wind and cold while providing a stylish complement to the Varadero’s bold new look. The Varadero’s monstrous 25-litre fuel tank still plays the central role in its
    overall design, offering deep, comfortable knee grip indents to make the riding
    easy. While unchanged in shape and size, one new feature is the hinge on its
    flush-surface, aero-type filler cap, which quietly ensures that the rider won’t leave a fuel stop without it.

    Coloring Concept
    The new generation Varadero features a glistening new trio of attractive body colors that brilliantly announce its revived standing on the European touring scene. Colors include a bright metallic silver, a rich pearlescent blue and a regal candy red. All are strongly complemented by the lustrous new all black finish on the Varadero’s massive fuel tank, which integrates exceedingly well with the machine’s overall design to give the fuel tank a somewhat smaller visage, even though is actual size and shape are unchanged from the current model. This less pronounced contrast also complements the Varadero’s newly designed bodywork to lend a sportier look from all angles that powerfully accentuates its impression of high-speed touring prowess.
    Other changes include new, body-matched paint on the front mudguard to replace the current model’s uniform matte black finish, as well as new silver painted fork slider cases and gold-colored brake calipers to replace the black units on the current model. Even the wheels were changed in color, from a warm silver hue to a cooler, bluish Vernier Grey Metallic, which is also used on the handlebars. And new matte black engine case covers replace the matte gold finish seen on the Varadero’s engine since its debut.
    Graphics changes include a bold ‘Varadero PGM-FI’ insignia splashed across the newly designed side cowls, new ‘Dual Combined Brake System’ markings replacing the current ‘Dual CBS’ on the front mudguard’s built-in fork guards, and large, new ‘Honda’ logos decorating the sides of the pillion seat.

    • Shield Silver Metallic
    • Pearl Breezy Blue
    • Candy Glory Red

    The Varadero’s big 996cm3 liquid-cooled 90° V-twin engine has made a name for itself powering Honda’s impressive high-performance Supersport twin, the VTR1000F. This engine provides strong, smooth and reliable power that’s in perfect harmony with a wide range of riding styles, from urban traffic dicing to race track scratching. Selected as the big, pulsating heart of the Varadero, this superb engine delivers a dynamic surge of acceleration to carry two and a full load of touring gear comfortably over mountains and across plains the length and breadth of the Continent.
    For 2003, the Varadero’s design team sought to significantly reduce both its fuel consumption and exhaust emissions in order to provide a longer range of non-stop touring capability on a single charge of fuel, while easily surpassing the strictest emissions regulations in the Community. The obvious solution was to make the switch from the Varadero’s current large-bore flat-slide carburettors to the digital precision of Honda’s advanced PGM-FI programmed fuel injection system.

    New PGM-FI Fuel Injection System
    These twin goals of longer range and lower emissions were brilliantly achieved with the adoption of Honda’s proven PGM-FI system, which provides strong, instantly responsive power while running leaner settings to reduce fuel consumption. The system’s new 42mm throttle bodies were each fitted with a single 12-hole injector, which produces a finely atomised spray of fuel into the air intake rushing into the combustion chambers to ensure peak combustion efficiency for top performance. Further boosting combustion efficiency is a higher compression ratio of 9.8 : 1 (up from the current Varadero’s 9 : 1) achieved by lowering the dome of the combustion chamber slightly, and a new set of hot-firing iridium spark plugs. This combination results in a stronger, more responsive power delivery coupled with significant reductions in fuel consumption, and all while running on standard unleaded regular. It also translates into a greatly extended high-speed touring range—from a current
    average of about 340 kilometres on a full charge of fuel to a more comfortable 465 kilometres, which further translates to considerably more economical running costs per 100km of operation.

    Lower Emissions
    The new Varadero’s impressive stainless steel 2-into-1-into-2 ‘Centre-Up’ exhaust system has also been equipped with a set of catalytic heat tubes that combine with the engine’s exhaust port Air Induction system to keep exhaust emissions safely within EURO-2 regulated levels. The German market version goes a clean step further by featuring Honda’s advanced, oxygen-sensing HECS3 catalytic converter system, which keeps exhaust emissions so low that the new Varadero’s emissions closely approach the much stricter EURO-3 regulations planned for future introduction. Finally, a new ‘tip-over’ sensor is programmed to automatically stop the engine if the Varadero is ever leaned over more than 60 degrees to either side.

    New 6-Speed Transmission
    To keep the new Varadero cruising comfortably in its optimal power zone, even at triple-digit highway speeds, its 5-speed gear box was replaced with a new, higher ratio 6-speed unit that offers a more comfortable top gear ride with less need to downshift when revs fall. This change also helps the Varadero to operate at lower revs in all gears for a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption, and with it an extended touring range. All ratios were changed accordingly, providing a strong surge of acceleration from virtually anywhere in the engine’s wide rev range, even when fully loaded down with passenger and gear.

    The new 2003 Varadero also received detailed improvements to its chassis and frame to ensure an optimum balance of rigidity and responsiveperformance, especially when travelling fully loaded at high touring speeds. Changes include new solid engine mounts (replacing the current frame’s adjustable mounts) that enhance the engine’s stressed member mounting for subtle improvements in handling. New reinforcement patches at the rear of the frame also contribute to the frame’s overall balance of rigidity, while ensuring optimum strength and enhanced stability when riding fully loaded with a passenger and the Varadero’s larger new optional panniers and big 45-litre optional top box.
    Modified Suspension Settings
    With its tighter focus on performance and handling, the Varadero’s suspension settings also came in for some revision. Its sturdy, long-travel 43mm hydraulic front fork provides a confident balance of precise handling and compliant damping to cover a wide range of roads and terrain in optimum comfort. At the rear, the Varadero’s large, highly rigid aluminium swingarm still mounts directly to the back of the engine cases in a ‘Pivotless’ configuration that effectively isolates the steering head from the torsional stresses of aggressive riding and irregular road conditions. To ensure more precise and confident control when riding fully loaded, front and rear damping settings and the rear Pro-Link ratio were revised, resulting in a firmer, more responsive ride that better meets the varying needs of the roads encountered on long travels.

    Dual Combined Brakes
    The Varadero’s advanced Dual Combined Brake System continues to provide an enhanced balance of front and rear braking control, specially tuned for the unique needs of this dual-purpose Adventure Sports tourer.

    Newly Designed Instrument Panel
    The Varadero’s instrument panel has also been thoroughly redesigned with larger, easier to read meters and a useful LCD readout of odometer, dual trip meter and clock. The display even features a current fuel consumption readout, with a 3-second refresh cycle (referenced to an injector flow volume of 10cc at maximum throttle opening) to provide a ready warning of excessive fuel consumption. The panel’s new translucent dials are illuminated with ambercoloured backlighting for easy recognition at night that’s also easy on the eyes.
    Indicator lights were all repositioned to the top of the instrument panel for easier viewing when carrying a touring tank bag, and include a bright yellow low fuel indicator that comes on when the fuel tank is down to its last 4 litres of fuel, and a blinking red HISS anti-theft ‘immobiliser’ warning light to warn off potential bike thieves when parked.
    Redesigned Sidestand
    Ever mindful of the details, even the Varadero’s standard side stand was improved with a larger-sized foot plate extended 11mm outward and 35mm forward of the current sidestand to offer greater stability when parked on soft, loose or irregular ground surfaces.
  • Varadero Forum Video Clip