2006 Honda XL1000 Varadero SD02 - She's called Kay (K for kilo = 1000)
High up on Exmoor Dec 2018
I started my affair with Kay in November 2013. It truly was love at first sight.
I wanted something big that had presence on the road and the Varadero certainly fits that description. I started looking and discovered that Honda only made the tri-colour in 2006 and the moment I saw a picture of one I knew it was the next bike for me.
I saw one for sale on a motorcycle dealerships website just 60 miles away and the following day, Kay and I were a couple .
Kay had just 14,000 miles on the clock and had had 4 previous owners despite her being only 8 years old It was clear by some of the knocks and scrapes on her that she hadn't seen much love
It also amazes me that 4 other people had bought a big touring machine and none of them seemed to have ridden her for very many miles! Perhaps it’s her weight or sheer size that put them off. She left the factory at a little under 250kg and like most of us, she has gained a little weight over the years with the compulsory added on bling! I would guess she’s over 300kg now!
As well as the 3 piece Honda Luggage, the extras I have added are:
MRA Vario Touring screen
Palmer Products screen bracket
Honda heated grips
Givi Engine bars
Marselus engine bar bags
LED daytime running lights
LED headlight and tail light bulbs
Honda centre stand
60mm handlebar risers
Rokk Charge+. Twin waterproof usb socket
Scottoiler with touring reservoir
Power Commander and new ECU re-map
Bagster tank cover and tank bag
Pyramid hugger and fender extender
GiPro gear indicator
Denali Sound Bomb horns
Marselus big foot side stand extender
On top of these extras I have upgraded the rear shock and fork springs (progressive) to Hagon.
I change her oil and filter every 4000 miles and I get my local garage to service her at every 8000 miles, on time every time. It's a job I could do myself but I prefer to have some professional eyes look over her, + I get a stamp in my service book. We have traveled 50,000 miles together, far and wide and she has never let me down so I guess I'm doing the correct thing.
This May we traveled 4,500 miles on a tour through Europe which we called #ElGrande (link to our routes), we had snow in the Picos de Europa and Pyrenees at 2001 meters above sea level and 39°c heat in Andalucia and Kay took it all in her stride, never missing a beat.
Leading the pack - it's what Kay does best.Gorges du Tarn May 2019
Some people like to come home, put their slippers on and sit in the comfy chair, there is nowhere that I feel more comfortable than when I'm sitting on Kay and heading on a tour somewhere.
Combe Laval, Col de la Machine May 2019 with Hannah's (my other love) Honda CB500X