2008 Yamaha V Star 250

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Plenty of torque, smooth roll-on power, light weight and a seat just 27 inches from the pavement make the V Star 250 super-nimble and maneuverable, and the perfect Star to get started on.

 

Introduction

There are a whole bunch of reasons to check out the V Star 250, but the most intriguing is its authentic V-twin powerplant, which means that you’re getting full-sized rumble and styling in an easy to ride, lightweight bike.

For years, the V-Star 250 (formerly Virago 250) has been touted as one of the finest entry bikes around. And for good reason. That V-twin engine will give you the grunt and growl that you don’t often find in the lightweight class. It’s also got a low 27” seat height for added confidence, perfect for novice riders. One ride and you’ll see why so many entry level riders have chosen this nimble, confidence-inspiring cruiser. Heavyweight styling and lightweight packaging is the key.

History

Yamaha V Star 250

The year 1981 saw the introduction of the first Yamaha V-twin model, the Virago 750. Tear-drop tank, pullback handlebars, 72-degree V-twin engine and shaft drive were the basic features which practically launched this model. Yamaha soon added 500cc and 920cc versions but the 250cc Virago made its entry in the late 1980s.

The larger displacement Viragos have since been phased out of production, replaced by the V-Star and Road Series of motorbikes; the only one which remained a Virago for a longer period being the 250cc model.

Yamaha Virago 250, now V Star 250 was designed to be an entry-level cruiser bike and guess what? It is still going strong today. It is by many considered to be a capable road bike with good handling characteristics and a top speed of 85 mph. Ever since its introduction the Virago 250 was a step above its 250cc competitors due to its V-twin engine delivering greater torque at low RPMs then the parallel twins found in other 250s. As you already now, the V-twin configuration has a cooling advantage because four sides of each cylinder are exposed to airflow. The V-twin also gives the Virago 250 a deep exhaust note that parallel twins are incapable of producing.

Economical and practical, the Virago 250 can return 80+ miles per gallon so it is clear why it became so popular. A popular upgrade is to replace the sprockets so that the gearing is taller. Taller gearing requires less frequent shifting and even better fuel economy. The Virago 250’s V-twin provides sufficient torque to cope with taller gearing.

Having all the necessary features incorporated and being ready for success, the Virago 250 didn’t suffer major changes, except for color adding and removing from the Yamaha Yamaha offering. In 2006 it lined up to Star Motorcycles which by that time became a brand of its own. It is now sold as V Star 250 and it provides the same Virago feel that you all got used to.

Competition

Yamaha V Star 250

Honda also presents an entry-level cruiser featuring loads of style and user-friendly performance comparable to the one found on the Virago. Dependable Honda four-stroke power, exceptional handling, styling as classic as it is attractive, an all-new Silver paint scheme…what’s not to like about this great entry-level cruiser on the road? Correct. Absolutely nothing.

Get ready to tap into all the thrills that motorcycling has to offer with the versatile Suzuki GZ250. It’s designed to offer exactly the kind of performance beginning riders are looking for, exactly like the Virago. But what are its highest points? With a seat height of less than 28 inches and a dry weight of just 302 pounds, the GZ250 is a joy to maneuver around town, even in tight traffic. And the lightweight responsiveness is complemented by brisk engine performance and a wide powerband.

Yamaha V Star 250


The GZ250 is also styled so you’ll fit right in with your riding buddies. It has classic Suzuki styling – long, low and lean – and includes a variety of features from a buttoned-down seat to flashy spoked wheels.

When you take a look at these truly competitive opponents you might believe that they are in a fight of their own but that’s not true. When the V-twin powered 250cc V Star enters the battle, everybody knows who’s going to be the winner.

Exterior

Yamaha V Star 250

Apart from the fact it is a superb overall performer the V Star 250 is also a great looking machine. It implements those classic lines that never grow old and despite its cylinder capacity it still manages to look and feel big.

A principal characteristic is the fact that it is light weight and features a seat height of only 27 inches from the pavement. This makes it a great trainer and it also gives it that low-rider look.

The fuel tank is stylishly sculpted and it features 2.5-gallon capacity for excellent cruising range and the chromed pullback handlebars are easy to reach and look great by following the gas tank’s lines. The low seat height in collaboration with the pullback handlebars offer a relaxed riding position but all the difference is made by the forward-mounted footpegs which enhance rider comfort by creating added legroom.

The V Star 250 features a wide rear fender and front and rear wire-spoked wheels add the perfect classic, retro touch to this stylish package. A finishing touch is given by the extensive chrome details accent engine and side covers for incomparable “big bike” fit and finish.

Color available for 2008 model year is Black Cherry.


Test Drive

Yamaha V Star 250

V Stars have always been appreciated for their talent of providing loads of torque from down low with the help of their V-twin engines. The V Star 250 is indeed smaller but still retains this capacity. It was the first thing that I tested once I found myself on one. This makes it excellent for city use, but this bike’s main goal is to be an initiator so it is first user-friendly, reliable and then torque providing.

That 250cc V-twin engine fed through a 26mm Mikuni carburetor offers excellent throttle response and this is a great thing for the beginning rider. Once it’s got his safety course, he will be surely able of riding in style and with confidence. It feels like you had ridden it forever even though you are on your second or third ride on it.

This can also be the effect of that low seat height of only 27 inches. It allows anyone to flatfoot the pavement and this is a pretty important issue when it comes to beginners rides as they have to be able to touch the ground safely in an emergency situation like a bad departure let’s say.

Beginners won’t have any problems because this bike is simply built around the rider’s body, with all the elements at close reach and easy to handle with. Handlebars feature pullback design and the floorboards are front mounted, not to mention the sitting position. So once you are comfortably accommodated, you can concentrate on building up confidence and gaining experience. It is simply THE machine to do that.

I strongly recommend it because it features V-twin engine. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against two-in-line, but this one delivers bigger amounts of torque and imply that cruiser feel much better. After all, you are going to encounter another V-twin on bigger bikes so what’s the point on getting your beginner butt on another type of engine.

I was very happy with the tall gearing also because it leads to great fuel consumption. Shifting is no problem whatsoever and clutch feel is pretty confident and smooth. I didn’t manage to find not even the smallest problem with this bike, but probably because it doesn’t feature any. That Virago heritage clearly says it word and although mechanics haven’t changed that much, bulletproof engineering is what the V star 250 is all about.

You will have to change one or two gears before detaching from city traffic when leaving from stop signs but this is no 1000+cc and I recommend to stick to it a while after buying it because once you are familiar with it, you can really value its power, torque, and riding position which are all more that satisfying.

Handling this Vira…V Star is an absolute dream. The bike turns easily and it is very responsive to any rider indication. I soon found myself leaned over more than it was necessary and the footpegs drawn the alarm. Being light and relatively small, it is easy to be maneuvered by anyone in the parking lot. Even girls won’t have a problem with it if they are into motorcycling (I heard the number of girls on two wheels is growing).

In town I was very satisfied with the braking power that this cruiser provides but I don’t know what to say about that drum brake at the rear. Maybe it should be time to replace it with a small hydraulic disc for better brake efficiency and modern touch.

The suspensions also set it properly on the road and manage to do their job so as the ride will be comfortable in collaboration with the seat which is pretty firm but not hard. Exactly the way it should be.

Out on the open road, the riding feel is transformed. You now have a cruising machine, not just an efficient mean of commuting in town. This is where you can lay back and enjoy the ride, but it is also an occasion to see what the bike can really do. Shifting fifth and give it gas is also the solution when you want to feel if the bike vibrates at top speed. 85mph is this bike’s TopSpeed and I believe it is quite satisfying considering the fact that it doesn’t vibrate enough to bother its rider.

I ended up loving the V Star 250 after just a few hours and the rest of the time was just fun fun fun…I bet you will feel the same and follow the same “graphic” as I did, no matter the levels of experience. After all, this bike is designed to teach you everything about riding cruisers.

Price

The greatest thing about the V Star 250 is the idea that leaded to its creation: make everything look big and make the rider enjoy its user friendly behavior with little money involved. True to its initial idea, the V Star 250 comes with an MSRP of $3,599. Just keep in mind that every big thins begins with small steps.

Conclusion

Cool as chromed steel, cheap as chips. What does a V Star 250 have over many of the other much larger cruisers on the road?

It’s a genuine legend in cruiser folklore, because this V Star 250 has turned more riders on the wonderful world of cruising than almost anything else.

And why wouldn’t it, with its light, easy handling, super-reliable air-cooled, V-twin engine pumping out plenty of roll-on torque, and ample top-end thrust for highway speed limit.

Classic, timeless styling abounds, in the form of dual chrome exhaust pipes, a stylishly sculpted teardrop tank and hot wire spoked wheels. What could you ask more?


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 249cc
Type: Air-cooled, SOHC 60-degree V-twin, 2 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 49 x 66mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Carburetion: 26mm Mikuni
Ignition: TCI
Transmission: 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Chassis and Dimensions

Frame: Steel tube
Suspension/Front: 33mm fork; 5.5-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Dual shocks; adjustable preload, 3.9-in travel
Brakes/Front: Hydraulic disc, 282mm
Brakes/Rear: 130mm drum
Tires/Front: 3.00-18
Tires/Rear: 130/90-15
Wheels: Laced
Length: 86.2 in
Width: 32.1 in
Height: 44.9 in
Seat Height: 27.0 in
Wheelbase: 58.7 in
Dry Weight: 302 lb
Fuel Capacity: 2.5 gal

Other

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Clack Cherry

Features

 

Key Features:

- Light weight and a seat just 27 inches from the pavement make the V Star 250 a great trainer as well as a great choice for riders who appreciate the fun that comes in small packages.


- Dual exhausts, plenty of quality chrome and typical Star attention to detail; this is one sharp little cruiser.


- Front disc brake provides highly controllable stopping power.

Engine:

- 249cc air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin engine with a long, 66mm stroke produces plenty of bottom-end torque and smooth roll-on power.


- Single 26mm Mikuni downdraft carburetor ensures optimal fuel/air mixing and delivery with superb throttle response.


- Widely geared five-speed transmission makes the most of V Star 250’s powerband.


- Easy, dependable electric starting.


- Beautiful dual chrome exhaust pipes let the engine breath and put out that classic V-twin rumble.


- Automatic cam chain tensioner virtually eliminates maintenance and helps extend engine life.

Chassis/Suspension:

- 58.7-inch wheelbase creates a long, low package with great handling and maneuverability.


- 282mm single front disc brake and a rear drum brake provide plenty of stopping power.


- Plush and low-stepped saddle keeps the center of gravity low and lets almost everybody flatfoot the pavement.


- Telescopic front fork with 5.5 inches of travel provides a nice, smooth ride.


- Twin rear shocks feature 3.9 inches of travel and adjustable spring preload for versatility, under various loads.

Additional Features:

- Extensive chrome details accent engine and side covers for incomparable “big bike” fit and finish.


- Stylishly sculpted teardrop fuel tank features 2.5-gallon capacity for excellent cruising range.


- Chrome pullback handlebars are easy to reach and great looking.


- Forward-set footpegs enhance rider comfort by creating added legroom.


- Wide rear fender and front and rear wire-spoked wheels add the perfect classic, retro touch to this stylish package.


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