Honda VTR250 Intercepter Thread

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by jas67, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. jas67

    jas67 Been here awhile

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    There doesn't seem to be a thread dedicated to the baby Intercepter, so I'll start one.

    Here's mine, a 1990 picked it up earlier this week.
    For those that don't know of this model, it a "Mini Me" of the VFR Intercepter series with a 249cc liquid cooled V-twin that puts out 35 HP @ 13,500 RPM (14,000 redline) [ EDIT: Japan got a 45 HP version]. Dry weight is 330 lbs, 367 lbs wet. The 1990 model has a 300mm front disc brake, where the 88-89 had a smaller "internal disc" brake.

    This thing is a hoot to ride. It has great handling and brakes, and is possibly the fastest production 4 stroke 250.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. ExTex

    ExTex Been here awhile

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    Hello,

    Glad you got a VTR250. They are great, but I think the HP is more like 35 than 45.
    I think that the 45 HP was a Japanese only engine.

    Mine is a 1989 and I have had it 2 years.
    New seat, paint job, tires, front wheel, chain and petcock so far.

    It is very much fun to ride, in curves and on the Interstate.

    Ride safely,

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. jas67

    jas67 Been here awhile

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    Yours looks great!

    35 seems more accurate. I wasn't able to find any other specs except the 45 number. I've ridden the new CBR250R, and if I remember correctly, it is around 31 HP. Both bikes feel similar in their acceleration.

    Even at 35, it is still a blast to ride.

    I think I did see a thread on vtr250.com about getting the parts to convert a US VTR to Japanese spec. For the money that would cost, just by a Ninja 500, or other faster sport bike. Our US spec VTR's are what they are, and they're a lot of fun as is.
    #3
  4. bjorn240

    bjorn240 Good with a map!

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    I have to admit, a 1990 VTR is still a bit of a dream bike for me. What can I say, I was 14 in 1990, and motorbikes from when you're 14 just don't let go.
    #4
  5. Voidrider

    Voidrider Been here awhile

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    I have always loved the looks of the VTR 250. I do like small bikes and have thought of picking up a VTR 250 at some time when one appears on craigslist and money happens to be in my pocket (so far, that has not happened). I have a '96 Ninja 250, and from everything I have read, the VTR does outperform the Ninja. I think the only real advantage is that there are tons of Ninja 250 parts out there compared to the VTR.

    The parts from Japan conversion sounds really interesting. I have a friend who is currently hoping to get a job in Tokyo, so I might have a friend there who is pretty knowledgeable about bikes. If he is successful in getting hired, I already have some items I want him to track down for me:D
    #5
  6. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    A few years ago I had a VTR250 and a 250 Ninja at the same time. I thought the HP number on the two was almost identical, but I can't recall for sure.

    The one thing I do recall is that the VTR250 felt faster when riding compared to the 250 Ninja. I figured that the V-twin had a bit more torque than the Ninjette as it seemed to pull a bit harder at lower RPM.

    My son had, and still has, a 500 Ninja. He followed me on one occasion and said he had to ride the 500 pretty hard to keep up.

    I thought the VTR felt a little more "race-bike-like" than the Ninjette. Seems the pegs were more rear-set. It was a '88 or '89 so it had that inboard disc which worked fine but it just seemed a bit funky to me.

    I sold the bike after a short enjoyment of it. I would have liked to keep it, but didn't quite trust being able to source parts for a no-longer-in-production bike to take it very far from home.

    I think I've recently seen a still available (non-US) VTR250 naked bike that really looked cool. Seems to me it would sell in the US well, especially considering the lack-luster 250 street bikes that are available here, not counting the CBR250 and 250 Ninja.

    Relatively small CC bikes really hit a soft spot for me. I somehow end up with one for a short time every year or two.

    Just my .02 worth of VTR thoughts.

    Lynn
    #6
  7. omnivore

    omnivore SuperSportTourer

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    At 17, I put a deposit on a brand new one.
    The day I came to put final payment on it, the salesman showed me a bike they just took in on trade....a lightly crashed 89 CBR600.
    He was selling it as is for same price as the VTR, or much more if buyer wanted it repaired. I immediately told him to take my money off of the VTR and took the CBR home with me instead.

    Ioften wondered what the VTR would've been like, but the CBR I ended up buying instead holds so many great memories for me now.
    #7
  8. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Tilting the Horizon

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    Have always wanted to take a spin on one of those to compare it to my Ninja 250. Congrats on the great bike that still looks good after all these years :clap
    #8
  9. Jericho941

    Jericho941 Adventurer

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    Has something changed, because last I read the 2012 CBR250R didn't have more than 25hp. I sold my ninja 250 this monday and have sat on a honda and it is a little slimmer than the ninja. I actually saw the cbr250 on the road this week too. Congrats on the vtr, I'd have one if I had a better place to store it than my trailer as a couple have come up on craigslist in the past couple years. It would be pretty nice if the manufacturers could make a modern bike with at least 35hp and a curb weight 350 or less and fuel injection.
    #9
  10. Voidrider

    Voidrider Been here awhile

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    These are different bikes. The VTR 250 is a V twin, while the CBR is a single cylinder. The current VTR 250 (pretty much Asian market only) looks like a sporty naked standard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_VTR250

    I do like smaller displacement bikes, but I am still feeling that a multiply cylinder engine with a displacement about 350-450 cc would be about perfect for my desires.
    #10
  11. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    It looks just like an early Ducati Monster.
    #11
  12. jas67

    jas67 Been here awhile

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    25HP might have been rear-wheel, vs. 31 at the engine? The CBR250R is close to your 35hp/350lb number. It weighs 359 lbs(I think that is wet) and has 31 HP. It's engine is quite versatile as well. Comparisons between the Ninja 250 and the CBR250R give the Ninja the nod on all out performance, but say the CBR250R is a better bike, with better low-to-mid-range torque, and a lot better fuel economy. And this is from a European comparison, where they get a fuel injected Ninja 250 (the US model is still carb). Take a test ride on the CBR250R. You'll like it. For me, I just can't justify the cost of a new one, since I already have two other newer bikes, although, IMHO, the price on a new one is a good value. I will likely own one some day (prob. pick up a pre-owned one in a few years).

    As far as the VTR vs. the Ninja, I've read varying comparisons, but it sounds like their close. The VTR usually comes out slightly ahead on handling, braking, and power, no so much top end power, but that the engine is more versatile, with a broader power band -- it still ain't a 500, but great for a 250.


    I'd love to have a 400cc 4-cylinder, such as the CBR400, Bandit 400, FZR400, etc. In fact, I found a Bandit 400 after buying my VTR. Must..... resist...... urge....... to....... buy it.
    #12
  13. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    Man!! I'd so LOVE to own one of those vintage VTR250 Sportbikes!!! Beautiful! Congrats on the find!!

    Really wish Honda would market their overseas VTR250 "Ducati" styled Standard on these shores though ... I'd be all over that!!
    #13
  14. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    I picked mine up yesterday. It's an '89 with 5,120 miles. It was originally white with the teal and pink accents. It's now a dark blue with silver (and a tiny bit of gray). I bought it from an inmate from (way) upstate New York. It's been sitting all winter (and for the better part of its life). I'm going to give it a good cleaning and maintenance check and then it's headed for commuter duty. I can't wait.

    [​IMG]

    The seat is off (it's back by the garbage can) so I could peruse the owner's manual. :D

    I could have sworn that the horsepower was more like 27. Maybe that's at the rear wheel. All I know is that it's twice as much as my NX125. For those of you that are considering a purchase of a bike of this vintage, especially Honda, I would not worry about parts sources. Honda traditionally supports all of their bikes, regardless of age, very well. Granted, there will be things that Honda will stop supplying, in this instance bodywork. However, the selection of spare parts on that large auction site is very, very good and the prices aren't ridiculous.

    I also started a blog regarding my experiences with it (and commuting on it): Commuter VTR
    #14
  15. SFMCjohn

    SFMCjohn 13

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    We picked this up in Oakland for $800 three seasons ago ... it had last been raced in 2007 ...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We've been racing it now for three seasons ... had to put a new junkyard motor in it at the beginning of last season, and I'm still trying to get the jetting and gearing more better ...

    Here's a dyno chart:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Twenty-seven HP ... we could probably get it into the low 30s with a valve freshen and new rings ... compression is within spec but not at the high end of the range ... I've got two engines on the garage floor, waiting for some love ... The AFM 250 Production class allows limited engine mods, but I'm sure we could come up with a fresher engine than is in the race bike now ...

    Engine swap:
    [​IMG]

    Had a chance to do track days on the late model Ninja and our VTR ... you can see that the VTR has a real frame, where the late model Ninja has a typical Kawasaki frame, which is a noodle bowl of round steel tubes that hinge around the ninjette motor ... anyway, the result is the VTR handles Thunderhill's fifteen turns much better, IMO ... in any event our old VTR is less forgiving of missed shifts or lazy approaches to a corner than the Ninja ... mostly due to our VTR's being tired and set up by our mediocre selves ... we could probably make the VTR easier to ride with the optimum jetting and gearing ...

    Cary purchased an '09 Ninja 250 for this season, so I squoze into the ol' Vansons and took "new" racer school a month ago, and will try to take the green flag for the first time in thirteen years in May on the VTR ...

    Here are some VTR posts on our blog (it's a "mom" blog, so not super useful):
    Engine swap
    New racer school
    April 2011 AFM races at Sears Point

    Love the VTR, it is a pretty little bike ...

    See you in the paddock,
    -- SFMCjohn
    #15
  16. dougfromindy

    dougfromindy I smell premix

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    I have 2 projects, one in garage, one on patio :huh
    If someone wants to rescue these poor bikes I probably would sell both plus a bunch of parts for around $888. Pickup Indpls, IN.
    I rode a museum quality one (now sold) and it went over 100mph with more to spare with my 275# phat ass riding it.
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    This is what you wanted to trade for my NX125? Douglas! :bluduh

    That said, one of the p.o. chopped my rear fender (behind the license plate bracket). Any chance you have a spare you'd part with?
    #17
  18. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    Rode the VTR to work this morning. No problems. Turned off the bike and locked the steering head. Came out after work and have no power. No dash lights, no headlight, no horn, no starter, nothing. It's like the bike has no battery in it.

    I had my wife come get me and got the trailer and brought it home. Battery shows about 9.4 volts. I hooked it up to the Battery Tender.

    I rode it over the weekend; had no issues starting it up. WTF?

    An ideas what else to check?
    #18
  19. jas67

    jas67 Been here awhile

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    Charge it, and see if it starts. With voltage that low, sounds like a shorted cell. Sometimes, it just happens.
    #19
  20. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Double check the ignition switch iirc on mine you could go past the lock position and into park which turned on the tail lights.
    #20