Simple, Classic Lines with a V-Twin Engine

If you’re a carburetor fan, you’re still in luck for a 250 cc commuter bike with the 2019 V Star 250 from Yamaha. Simple, classic cruiser good looks and scooter-like fuel economy make the V Star 250 a no-nonsense choice for a budget-minded or entry-level rider.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha V Star 250.

  • 2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
  • Year:
    2015- 2019
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    249 cc
  • Price:
    4349
  • Price:

Yamaha V Star 250 Design

2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
- image 675172
I find nothing particularly noteworthy; it's a nice, classic style that's quite appropriate for a cruiser.

Introduced in 2008, the V Star 250 replaced the Virago 250, but was essentially the same bike spec-wise. The V Star 250 is a good entry-level bike and with a 250 cc engine that has fuel economy rated at 78 mpg, it is a contender for your choice of an economically sound cruiser.

The 2019 model is a carry over from last year and essentially the same bike Yamaha has offered since 2012 when they redesigned the mirrors and lowered the buckhorn handlebars that were so prominent on previous model years.

I find nothing particularly noteworthy; it’s a nice, classic style that’s quite appropriate for a cruiser. Chrome details accent the engine and side covers to give it that ’big-bike’ look, but no matter the look, it’s still a 250. Is that a bad thing? Not if you want a decent-looking economical ride. Rated 78 mpg, you can’t say this doesn’t have commuter potential. There’s nothing jackassey about it. "Approachable" is what Yamaha calls it, which means it’s a friendly ride for folks new to two wheels.

Yamaha V Star 250 Chassis

2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
- image 675171
Even though drum brakes are so last-century, it seems to be okay for these low-tech models that are carry-overs from simpler times.

Lightweight and with a seat height of 27 inches, this lends itself to the starter-bike market and those height-challenged folks will be at ease. Telescopic forks with 5.5 inches of travel handle suspension in the front and twin shocks with 3.9 inches of travel and adjustable spring preload handle the rear, both unremarkable, but adequate to save your butt over the bumps.

When you put on the brakes, you engage the 282 mm single front disc and rear drum brakes. Again, that’s adequate. Even though drum brakes are so last-century, it seems to be okay for these low-tech models that are carry-overs from simpler times. The low center of gravity makes the V Star 250 maneuverable at parking-lot speeds and zippy in the corners, and with the wire-spoke wheels front and rear, you’ll look snazzy while doing it.

Frame: Steel tube
Suspension / Front: 33 mm fork; 5.5-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: Dual shocks; adjustable preload, 3.9-inch travel
Rake (Castor Angle): 32.0°
Trail: 4.7 inches
Brakes / Front: Hydraulic disc, 282 mm
Brakes / Rear: 130 mm drum
Tires / Front: 3.00-18
Tires / Rear: 130/90-15
Wheels: Laced Spokes

Yamaha V Star 250 Drivetrain

2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
- image 804472
It's not an 'oh wow!' bike; it's not supposed to be, but it is a 250 cc V-Twin which is noteworthy in this small-displacement market.

If I seem unimpressed so far with the V Star 250, that’s not far from the truth. It’s not an “oh wow!” bike, but it’s not supposed to be. I did, however, make particular note that the 249 cc engine is a V-twin. In the 250 cc market, I expect to see a vertical or a thumper, but here we have an air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin in the house. Yamaha claims it’s the only V-twin in its class, but the GT250 and the GV 250 from Hyosung have a 249 cc, 75-degree V-twin so I’m guessing it’s not the only 250 cc V-twin to choose from.

The long-stroke engine gives ample low rpm torque to get you off the line in a jiffy, and the widely geared transmission gives you higher top speed at lower rpm on the highway, but you’ll have to really wind it up to get it there. I really like the automatic cam-chain tensioner. Anything that reduces maintenance is a plus.

Engine: Air-cooled, SOHC 60-degree V-twin, two valves per cylinder
Displacement: 249 cc
Bore x Stroke: 49.0 x 66.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Mikuni® 26 mm carburetor
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: five-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Yamaha V Star 250 Pricing

2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
- image 804474
MSRP is a carryover from last year; the only difference is color.

MSRP on the 2019 V Star 250 is $4,349, pretty much the same as it has been since 2014. The only difference is color. This model year, score a V Star 250 in Metallic Silver.

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Colors:
2015: Raven, Impact Blue
2016: Electric White
2017: Frost Silver
2018: Raven
2019: Metallic Silver
Price: $4,349

Yamaha V Star 250 Competitors

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- image 804471
2015 - 2019 Yamaha V Star 250
- image 804475
Bottom line here: both bikes are okay for the price, but I would look to the V Star first if my plans included hanging on to the bike after I outgrew it as a hand-me-down or as an economical commuter.

With so many big-name manufacturers out there that consistently get plenty of play in the media, I felt it would just be more of the same to drag out the Honda Rebel or the Suzuki TU250 for my little head-to-head here. Instead, I looked around and found a cute little entry-level cruiser out of Korea that looks to be a decent match: the GV250 Aquila from KR Motors (formerly Hyosung). Both rides end up in the same place in the looks department, which is to say very much like the Rebel with a classic Americana appeal. Unlike the Rebel, the V Star 250 and GV250 both run a V-twin engine, a rarity at this displacement, but a detail that should endear them to the domestic market. Both run a rear drum brake, as well, and that isn’t as well received.

Granted, the 60-degree angle of the Yamaha mill looks more natural than the 75-degree arrangement used by KR, but both produce a sound you won’t get out of a parallel twin, and we Americans do like our V-twins, no doubt about it. Both engines displace 249 cc and run with air cooling, but KR takes it a step further with an oil cooler as well. It also opted for dual over-head cams, four-valve heads and fuel injection versus the Star with SOHC, two-valve heads and a good, old-fashioned, 26 mm Mikuni carburetor.

While I appreciate the work KR put into this little mill, I must confess I like my small-displacement engines simple and easy to repair and maintain. Too bad KR didn’t divert some of that effort to finding a better arrangement for the O2 sensors and wires, because what they wound up with comes off as slightly amateurish at best. Really, guys?

Seat height is nice and low with the V Star at 27-inches high and the Aquila at 27.95-inches high, but the Aquila seat is rather wide which negates some of the advantages of the low seat height. Really tall riders may feel a little cramped on either bike.

These sleds are primarily intended for the entry-level market, and pricing comes almost within the “disposable” range. The V Star 250 rolls for a low, $4,349, a bargain-basement price by anyone’s standard, but KR Motors manages to slice a few bills off that for a $4,099 sticker, at least that’s the last price I saw for it.

That looks great on paper, but Yamaha’s experience starts to show when it comes to the quality of the chrome and other finished pieces, areas where the GV250 falls a little short. Bottom line here: both bikes are okay for the price, but I would look to the V Star first if my plans included hanging on to the bike after I outgrew it as a hand-me-down or as an economical commuter.

He Said

My husband and fellow motorcyclewriter, TJ Hinton, says, "Little engine means inexpensive rates when you go for insurance, and who wants to spend a lot on a starter bike? And I’m a fan of ’Made in the USA’ so I’ll give a nod to the V Stars when I cross paths with them while on my Harley."

She Said

"One thing I really like about this bike over, say, a Suzuki GW250 is the V Star’s V-twin engine — you won’t come screaming down the road sounding like a pissed-off lawnmower. As with any of the 250s, though, I feel like it is good as an entry-level bike, an economical commuter bike, and a weekend fun ride.

Yamaha V Star 250 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Air-cooled, SOHC 60-degree V-twin, two valves per cylinder
Displacement: 249 cc
Bore x Stroke: 49.0 x 66.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Mikuni® 26 mm carburetor
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: five-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Frame: Steel tube
Suspension / Front: 33 mm fork; 5.5-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: Dual shocks; adjustable preload, 3.9-inch travel
Rake (Castor Angle): 32.0°
Trail: 4.7 inches
Brakes / Front: Hydraulic disc, 282 mm
Brakes / Rear: 130 mm drum
Tires / Front: 3.00-18
Tires / Rear: 130/90-15
Wheels: Laced Spokes
Dimensions: & Capacities:
Length: 86.2 inches
Width: 28.0 inches
Height: 41.7 inches
Seat Height: 27.0 inches
Wheelbase: 58.7 inches
Ground Clearance: 5.7 inches
Fuel Capacity: 2.5 gallons / California model 2.4 gallons
Fuel Economy: 78 mpg
Wet Weight: 326 pounds
Details:
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Colors:
2015: Raven, Impact Blue
2016: Electric White
2017: Frost Silver
2018: Raven
2019: Metallic Silver
Price: $4,349

Further Reading

Honda Rebel

2017 - 2019 Honda Rebel 300 / Rebel 500
- image 794706

See our review of the Honda Rebel.

Suzuki TU250X

2009 - 2019 Suzuki TU250X
- image 654556

See our review of the Suzuki TU250X.

Suzuki GW250

2013 - 2017 Suzuki GW250
- image 804484

See our review of the Suzuki GW250.

Yamaha

no article
- image 788830

Read more Yamaha news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, honda.com, suzukicycles.com, krmotors.com

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