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. This Yamaha V-Star 250 review gives an accurate account of the old work pony.
Yamaha V-Star 250 Review
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.
Other 250cc motorcycle reviews:
KYMCO Venox 250
Honda Rebel 250
Kawasaki Ninja 250R
Hyosung GT250R (coming soon)
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
Specs courtesy of Bikez.com
It’s a great bike. I have a Vstar 250 and a Vstar 650. I enjoy the 250 the most.
Hey there. How long have you been riding?
I have been looking for one as a bike to lend out, used, for a decent price. They really do hold a value around here. Cute as a button
I’ve had mine for 2 years, but have only driven it 2900 miles so far. It is small, but it is perfect for my 25 mile round trip commute. When last I checked it was averaging 90 miles per gallon! As a female, new rider, I really love this little workhorse. It has been perfect for me. I have no urge to go bigger as this bike perfectly fits my needs.
Thanks Christina. How long have you been on the V-Star?
Great little bike.The V- star has plenty of pep; it will do 85 on the freeway, cruise at 75. LMK if that is not fast enough on a 300 and some odd pound bike. Seats on most any bike are uncomfortable compared to a custom made seat. 75 mpg is realistic for combined city/highway driving. Beginner’s bike, yes; woman’s bike, yes, Man’s bike, too. Riders over 5’10” might be a bit cramped tho have seen taller riders on the V-Star 250 from time to time. Great resale value if and when one wants to move up. I chose to keep mine, 8 years so far. Have a few other bikes but enjoy this one the most.
Ken, how is the ease of basic maintenance?
I was wondering if there is really a big problem on a V-Star 250? I think it would be a great bike for me.
If you aren’t tall and don’t want to go too far or too fast, I think you might be right :)
OK I’ve been riding for 40 years I have a BMW or 1150 RT and a triumph to you 100 but the little Yamaha does a great job you’re one might consider changing the sprockets a very cheap fix to give it a little higher gearing but otherwise the bike is perfect as is
I am new to riding. I am 6 foot, 180 lbs. Just looked at a v star 250 new at the dealer for $2999.00. Looks great but should I look elsewhere for a first bike? Like to eventually get a mid size Harley cruiser after I get confident with a smaller bike first.
I had my v-star since july and I have already rode it over 3500 miles or 5600 km in that short of time I think next year I want a bigger v-star or a bigger Honda Rebel bet overall this bike is fantastic I ride it every day all day. I took it on a 2 hour ride only thing I didn’t like was the consent stop for gas.
If you think you love long rides now, wait until you get a bike that’s designed for them. You’ll love the better suspension, less vibration, better braking, and of course, more power!
I’ve been riding street bikes since 1992. 5’8″, 200 lbs. I’ve rode about 25 different bikes over the years. Recently I downsized from a V star 650 to a V star 250. The 650 has more power… But also weighs 520 lbs compared to 320. Most of my riding is around town and country roads, and I find the smaller bike is a lot more fun on the curves, and really not that much slower!
Wait, what? lol. “really not that much slower!” ? it makes less than half the torque, and half the horsepower, and it doesn’t weigh twice as much. It’s significantly slower in capacity. You may not ride it to it’s limits, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t slower if you did.
The Boulevard S40 is a 650cc that would have a nice in between, at under 400 lbs wet weight it still makes power figures similar to the V-Star 650 which is a bit of a dog.
How many km (approx) can you expect to get out of the 250 in its lifetime.
As with all vehicles, it all depends on maintenance. A neglected Honda won’t last as long as maintained Hyundai, etc.