The Yamaha V-Star250 has been around for generations, and aside from a name change, the bike has received no real improvements or changes in over twenty years. Formerly known as the Virago 250, the V-Star 250 is the beginner motorcycle cruiser that new motorcyclists continue to flock to year after year.
It’s surprising to find a V-Twin engine on the old Virago / V-Star. This separates it from Suzuki’s Marauder 250, Suzuki's TU 250, and Honda’s Rebel, and makes it stand among the KYMCO Venox and Hyosung Aquila. However, the comparison ends there, as both the Venox and the Aquila(GV-250) are cruisers packing much more power than the rest of their class.
Despite the name change, the little Yamaha V-Star 250 is all the same as the old 1988 Yamaha Virago 250. When considering buying a used model, one should be more concerned with the shape of the bike and number of kilometers than model year, as no new technology or improvements have been thrown in the mix.
The benefit of this is that you know Yamaha has come with a reliable, light, micro-cruiser. The downside is that performance, suspension, and braking feels antiquated and uninspiring. It’s a bike you’ll outgrow after just several thousands of kilometers, a distance which seems daunting at first, but quickly sneaks up on the new rider.
Offering a V-Twin engine has been a point of differentiation between the V-Star250 / Virago 250 and its rivals of the past two decades: the Honda Rebel 250 and the Suzuki Marauder 250. The 21 horsepower engine allows the beginner cruiser to get through traffic and even allows relative ease on short commutes. The bike is perfect for an inexperienced and patient rider who isn’t in a hurry and isn’t looking to fly down the highway. Don’t expect a fast pace.
On the other hand the very low weight, and low, narrow seat height make for a bike that’s manageable even for the smallest of riders. The low center of gravity and short wheelbase add to the Virago / V-Star 250’s easy handling. The driving position is neither standard nor particularly stylish, a feature caused by the height, curve and angle of the handlebars.
Many of the motorcycles used by motorcycle safety and training courses are relatively uninteresting on the road. They can be used for the learning period, but few daily riding motorcyclists will choose not to step up to something a little quicker and more spacious. The little Yamaha is no exception. For the motorcyclist looking for a temporary or occasional vehicle to learn on, the Yamaha V-Star 250 and older Virago 250 are still safe bets.
- Small size.
- Low seat height.
- Good on gas and insurance.
- Could be too small.
- Not idea for riding with a passenger.
- A brand new model is still a bike from over 20 years ago.
Type: 2 cylinder, 4-stroke, 60° V-Twin, Single Overhead Cams, Air Cooled
Fuel Supply: Single Carburettor (26 mm)
Bore x Stroke: 49mm x 66 mm
Horsepower: 21 HP @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 15,2 lb-pi @6000 rpm
Gearbox: 5 speed
Final Transmission: Chain Drive
Frame Type: Double iron cradle
Front Suspension: Non adjustable 33 mm conventional fork
Back Suspension: 2 adjustable shock absorbers on preload
Front Braking: One 282 mm disc, dual-piston caliper
Back Braking: Mechanical drum brake
Front & Back Tires: 3.00-18 & 130/90-15
Wheelbase: 1488 mm
Seat Height: 685 mm
Wet Weight: 147 kg
Fuel Capacity: 9.5 liters