|Engine||Air cooled V-Twin|
|Bore and stroke||79,5 x 75,5mm|
|Fuel tank||20 litres|
|Tires||Front: 90/90-21 54S|
|Rear: 130/80-17 65S|
|Suspension||Front: Cartridge-type fork, 200mm|
| Rear: Pro-link, air inflatable, |
|Brakes||Front: single disk|
By: Ruud 'Jeez, write something about the XLV750R...' Goos - As far as I got it, the XLV750R was born as a direct result of the Paris-Daker Rally. BMW won the rally several times in the beginning of the eighties. This was not something Honda liked. The idea was to design a machine that could reliably and with minimal maintenance compete succesfully.
That's how the XLV750R came about. The maintenance during the race would be minimized because of the air cooled engine with hydraulic valve adjustment. No valves to maintain after returning to riders quarters was a great idea. Air cooling in the desert is beter than water cooling because water is a rare good. And the water cooling system would be easier damaged by rocks etc.
Oil (litres ....) was carried in the 'big' frame, needed to be gauged inside the engine and added via the frame. The oil partially takes care of cooling, cause strange but true, an oilcooler is present, just behind the carter protection plate. The XLV750R has four spark plugs because you never know if one fails and that's not a happy thought in the middle of the desert. And giving up because of such a minor problem, was a 'not done' for Honda. With getting out you don't win races.
And last but not least, a driveshaft ......, no hassle with changing chain and sprockets every day, but just ... hop in your tent after finally arriving back in camp. A fairly large fuel tank (20 liters) completed this 'basic' Paris-Dakar-racer and completed its ('awfully strong at low revs') 749cc engine.
This turned out to be the basis of all all-road models since. Although the Yamaha XT500 was a trendsetter in the big 4-stroke off-roads, it lacked reliability due to the much too small oil reserve.
The XLV750R may never have been the 'fastest' bike, but due to all extra's, or therefore the lack of it, surely the ideal bike for low-budget private riders. And that's one of the reasons why we heard very little of it. The professional teams that entered Paris-Dakar caused the budgets to soar and thus for private riders it became much more difficult to enter. Honda recently entered a complete team to try a 2-strole crosser with fuel injection. Never heard from it. Probably flunked. Or temporary anyway.
The one big advantage of the XLV750R is the fact that you kept it going without much technical efforts. If everyone else was still doing maintenance on sprockets and chains and oil and valves and what have you, you were already in bed, snoring. Or changing the driveshaft ...., for the journey back that is.
I still regret that Paris-Dakar is banned in the Netherlands. Bottom line is that all our 'club-bikes' originated there and then, one way or another.