Honda Varadero 125 GS-Adventure Replica
As a general rule, any build starts from a final idea - or style rule to follow (Cafe-Racer, Scrambler, Custom Bobber or Chopper - which is developed according to the available base, also called "donor bike". Obviously the closer the donor bike is to the final style, the simpler and more fluid the build goes. So, it's easy to foresee that taking a Kawasaki Vulcan to a Bobber style is easier than making it Cafe Racer or Scrambler. But in almost any case, the usual thing is that within the whole build you have a certain margin of bias depending on factors such as the donor motorcycle itself, the available budget, its future legalization / street legal, etc.
Things get complicated when what you are looking for is a replica of another existing model, discontinued or not. The word "replica" itself indicates that the motorcycle must match as much as possible the original bike, narrowing any room inthe process a lot. In the so-called "Restomod", the donor motorcycle already has many similarities with the one that should be replicated - like replicas of XT to Superteneré DAKAR, Honda Dominator to XLR, etc.
If also the donor bike looks like an egg to a chestnut to the original one, the challenge is very high and forces you to spend huge amount of hours thinking about how to achieve it. Hours that can never be fully payed off as they would make the project unfeasible, but in the end there is no other choice but to dedicate: the motorcycle must not only be as identical as possible, but it must also be reliable, accessible and usable and in this particular case, street legal.
For this Varadero 125, the owner wanted a faithful replica of his own BMW R 1250 GS Adventure. Surely many of you will wonder why and the answer is overwhelmingly simple: he was looking for a motorcycle identical to his but that his son, without a motorcycle license but a car license that allows to ride 125cc motorcycles in Spain, could drive.
The objective was clear. Not so the way to achieve it. Therefore we proposed a conservative approach. We would progressively raise the multiple pieces of the puzzle and if something extremely complex or that would condition the final legalization of the build did not appear, we would advance step by step.
We start putting the front fairing parts over the nude bike, no doubt the most complex of all as neither the frame nor the tank - which must remain intact if we want to make the build street legal in Spain - are any simmilar between both bikes. Fortunately, when placed on the Varadero, the GS parts had fluidity and allowed them to be adapted to the Japanese bike. Once we realize that it was feasible, we looked for a way to adapt the original GS Adventure fairing holder to the Varadero frame, handcrafting steel adapters to the Honda frame. With them mounted, the original GS parts were placed firmly and reliably, as well as the headlight, indicators and other accessories. The downside were the gaps in the fairing that both the BMW boxer engine and the original frame filled in the German bike but that the Honda did not cover at all. To correct it, we covered the holes with black metal mesh and cut-and-paste the fairing parts from the boxer engine to the lines of the Varadero.
Another stumbling block were the indicator clocks. Impossible to use the original BMWs that require the electronic management of the original motorcycle - "advantages" of digital - and similar LCDs lacked approval and therefore avoided final legalization. So, in the end, the originals were adapted to the GS dashboard in a - we believe - quite satisfactory way.
The huge muffler of the original GS, the rear light - of which only the casing was used since the original LED circuit can only be installed on an original motorcycle - and some golden spoked wheels with mixed tires, make up the final stance that you can see in the photos.
A job that took a long time, needed plenty of hours to think about, and that was possible thanks to the trust and infinite patience of the owner, who on many occasions was the one who pushed us not to give up. A job whose best compliment was "I had to look at the photo several times until I realized that it is not a BMW R!!" that we receive in our social networks.
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