V-Star 250 Yamahog

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by PonyExpres, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    So here's a thread about my V-Star 250. I don't see many folks here talking about this bike so I thought I would talk about mine. I've had her about a year now and use her as a commuter bike in Houston. Last year when gas prices went up and my business went down, I just got tired of paying for it all and I sold my Nissan X-Terra. I had a few years to go on it and between payments, insurance and gas it was eating my lunch. I sold that cage and actually made a good profit due to low miles and good condition. My wife thought I was crazy and said, " you'll get tired of a bike in less than a year and regret it. " I'm 53 mind you.

    Wifes car is a Honda Fit and it has been a great car so I figured we can be a one car family until things get better. Back in the day, I got around town just fine on a Honda SL 250 and later graduated to a 550/4 Super Sport. Then I got married, got rid of my bike, started driving a cage and raising a family.

    I did my reasearch before making this move and decided that if I went larger than a 250cc bike I may actually be defeating my purpose of realizing a meaningful savings. Once you start going larger than a 250cc you begin moving into the milage range of the wife's Fit and afterall I thought, why not buy sub-compact for that...?

    The next thing I wondered was, how much will I actually be able to depend of a quarter liter being tough enough and reliable enough to get me there every day and if so for how many years I wondered...? I drive 6K to 8K miles per year. My first thought was, I better buy a Honda Rebel for that. My second thought was, there is a Yamaha dealer close by so mabe I should look there first for service purposes and pure proximity. The V-Star cought my eye right off. It looks bigger than a Rebel and in fact, bigger than a 250cc. People don't beleive it's a 250 when they ask me what it is and they ask often.

    After reading about 250's on the Virago Tec Forum, many of those folks swore by this bikes reliability. Decision made and here is mine.

    [​IMG]

    I thought I would start a thread about this 250 because I had trouble finding this sort on information before I made my decision. What I am learning may help somone else contemplating what I have done. In so much as this bike gives me great pleasure and also has prooved my wife wrong a year later. She has also measured up to my desires and needs as reliable transportation and a capabable daily cruser. She gets me there every day, has not left me stranded and saved me real money. ​

    Thanks to some tweaking I learned about over at the Virago Teck Forum and the good service I get from my Yamaha dealer, she has turned out to be a hell-of-a-lot of 250cc in the process. A fun bike that was not supposed to be part of the bargain.​
    #1
  2. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    I never really kept track of what fuel was costing me driving my X-Terra exactly; however it seemed I was buying in the range of $60 to $70 per week and at that time fuel here was pushing $4.50 per gallon and gaining. I litterally agonized starting my vehicle.

    Once again, we may be heading in that direction but I have my quarter liter V-Star so I'm not worried about getting to work every day.

    Here is why it no longer bothers me and I can worry about paying for things other than fuel. Valentine's Day, 2012.

    [​IMG]

    I guess one thing I don't like about my bike is no fule guage however: I just use my trip meter and reset it to 0000 each time I fill up. The bike has a 2.7 gallon fuel tank so I try to use 100 miles as an indicater that it is time to fuel up. Today, I purchase fuel after 124 miles. That's about a week of commuting if I'm not off having an urban adventure.​

    [​IMG]

    Eat your heart out Prius..!​

    [​IMG]

    When you do the math, that averages 70.1 miles per gallon and $0.05 per mile using cold wether fuel. I weigh 230 lbs, load her up like a pack muel and use the throttle generously. I actually had fill up's last summer in the 90 mile per gallon range. It will be interesting to see if my milage increases when the summer fuel hits the pumps or if I have lost some mpg's because of milage I put on the clock. I keep the bike well tuned and maintained.​
    #2
  3. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    So how many miles did you actually put on her in the first year?:ear...and what is involved as far as valve adjustments/maint costs?
    Welcome to the 250 class. (good looking little bike ya got)
    I was in the market for something smaller last yr when my DR650 was stolen and wound up with a TU250X.
    I had seriously considered the GZ250 (I'm a big fan of singles) but went with the TU due to better handling abilities (I ride really sporty) and it had F.I. to make my winter commute here in Pa. less of a hassel. (and it gets 80mpg fairly consistantly averaging 70 on the hwy part of my commute)
    Anyway...keep us posted on how you like it.
    We definitely need more smaller CC street bikes here in the USA. (and you might inspire others to look into them)
    Welcome back to biking!:freaky
    #3
  4. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    Welcome to the 250cc Club! Great 'lil bike ya got there!

    Here's mine ... she may not get quite the gas milage of a V-go 250 or a 'zuke TU250X, but she's great fun and has been a very reliable commuter!

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Murphy Slaw

    Murphy Slaw Long timer

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    That little Yammy does look bigger than a 250, eh?

    Nice.

    What about those valve adjustments?
    #5
  6. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

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    great choice! Glad to see a longer term review by an owner on here.

    Here in the mountains, life is a little harder on the 250 riders. But, a city commuter can still do well on one.

    Great thread!
    #6
  7. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    Make sure the group that you ride with don't slow you down and keep you out of the power band.:lol3

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. OldF7Guy

    OldF7Guy Been here awhile

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    I actually considered buying one of these because of the price and gas mileage. I have to have my truck because of the weather here plus I need to haul things. It seems like to me that gas mileage is the same for most bikes give or take over 500cc and you have to go below that to see any real increase. Not a thing wrong in the world with a 250. Gas has gotton so high that I make a effort to keep my sportster under 60 mph as much as possible. Over 60 and it starts sucking it. Hell, I even thought a bout a small scooter for around town stuff. Boys, this gas is going to get out of control soon as if it isnt already.
    #8
  9. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

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    The little V would get high 70's and up on mileage.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    I'm going to keep working on this thread for more info and I'll try to give some exact maintance numbers as I go. The answer to this question is just over 5,000 miles on the clock the first 11 months.

    That's every day riding so it looks like around 500 miles per month rain, shine or cold. I have been having maintainance done at the dealer including mods. I'll give more details soon. So far, 600 mile break in service and 4,000 mile maintanance. Both of these services were just under $200.

    I have had the oil & filter changed 4 times but the Yamaha guys say I really don't need to do that. It gets hot as hell here in Houston so I think I'll just keep doing that anyway... I don't know if they adjusted the valves' however, both times I waited around about 4 hours while they did the service. It gives me an excuse to look at the other bikes and meet other riders. Time well spent. I also ask a lot of questions while I am there trying to learn all I can about the bikes.

    I did not expect the kind replys here, possibly just a lot of you should have gotten a bigger bike comments. Thanks all... More soon...
    #10
  11. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    i like small bikes, I think that for my 80% of the riding they are the best tools!!!

    Keep riding!!

    Damasovi
    #11
  12. shipman

    shipman don't sweat minutiae

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    Hell yeah! Another member of the 250cc club here. We often feel as if we need to make excuses for our quarter liter bikes, but as gas prices continue to climb we're going to end up looking like the smart ones in the end. Besides, with the vast majority of our daily riding, 250cc's is MORE than enough. I can still get speeding tickets if I don't watch it. I do my best to educate the masses about smaller bikes when people come up asking questions. Here in Texas it is not unusual to encounter the opinion that even an 883 Sportster is not enough to ride on the freeways... :huh It's all in your perspective, I guess. I came from the scooter world (150cc) and everyone knew if you wanted to get on the freeway you had to step up to a 250cc...

    I'm glad you started this thread, because when I was looking for a bike I was exclusively looking for a 250cc for all the same reasons you've stated above. And during my search, I didn't come across NEAR as much info on the 250cc V-Star/Virago. Most of the info out there is about the Ninjette/GZ250/Rebel.

    I love all bikes, and want to ride as many different makes and models and styles as I can get my grubby mitts on. But, I know that I will probably only buy 250's. Just sayin'. :D
    #12
  13. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    Hey Ponyexpress, Great bike. Friend of mine had one a few years ago. He put crazy miles of pure abuse on it with no problems what so ever. My small bike nitch is filled by a honda CRF230. Small bikes can be BIG fun. Over in Thumpers there is a thread titled 'Minimalist Touring' It's primarily for single cylinder bikes, but will inspire you with the manly tales of bravado and touring tips geared for the 250cc or less crowd. Check it out. "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than to ride a fast bike slow."
    #13
  14. Roam

    Roam If you want to

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    Your bike may not have a gas gauge but it probably has a low fuel lift or petcock. At 70mpg you should have a 170+ mile range. I rarely get gas before hitting the reserve and o still spend too much time in gas stsion.
    #14
  15. linuxid10t

    linuxid10t Been here awhile

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    I've seen the V-Star 250 at the dealer quite a few times. I personally think it still looks like a 250. There is a but coming up though. I think it looks like a 250 size wise, but the aesthetics are of a larger bike. Kinda like a larger bike, just at 3/4ths the size. Of all the 250 cruisers, I personally think it looks the best by far. I mean, if you are in the cruiser market, I figure go V-twin or go home. The Rebel compared to it just looks plain dinky. I am also very glad that they lowered the handlebars for the 2012 model, it looks a bit more modern that way. Just curious, what is the top speed on it?
    #15
  16. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    I love those Ninjas...! I'm not sure that I would be comfortable with the riding posture required due to my own dimensional imperfections and not any of the bike.

    I'll bet I would love riding one short distances though. The economical features of this bike met my original financial requirements so it was certainly one that I had considered before I purchased... I really liked the notion of that six speed with the quarter liter motor. I like all the Gizmo's in the dash too..

    I need to lug stuff around and bring home items to launder every day, approximately two loads, 12 to 15 lbs. The weight is not an issue as much as the volume I have to tote. At the end of the day, I decided that the V-Star would probably handle the load better than the Ninja.

    After I bought the V-Star, finding the rack became the first modification I would need. I ended up carrying my loads with a back pack for a couple of months. The lugage rack and back rest available through the Yamaha the Catalog would cost somewhere in the $300 + range at most places I saw one and that includes eBay. I may have bought one but I just did'nt think it was large enough and for some reason I did'nt like the look of it either... Pricey too...

    I looked on eBay and found this guy, KAKAHC. Yes I know China... His feedback was not bad and this was the first time I purchased "anything" outside the US on eBay. He had a variety of rack options and I found the one I liked. I think I paid in the low $120's with shipping and then crossed my fingers. He got the rack to me in right at 7 business days.

    Here is what it looks like on my bike:

    [​IMG]

    I took it to the Yamaha Guys and they installed it for me. They charged $40 and did it fast for me the day it arrived. ​

    This one rides well above the rear fender and I'm thinking I can mount one of those cylendar spare fuel tanks and a small leather tool bag below the rack in the future. The frame on the lugage rack has flat cross bars and not cylindricial members. It will be easy for me to construct a wider shelf type member to mount over the rack in order to strap down larger items like camping gear in the future​

    Here is a problem though, for some reason the passenger seat would not bolt back on to the rear fender. This because of the depth of the cross bar plus the depth of the lower part of the back rest where the bolt connects through that center fender bolt hole.. " As best I understand it..." Got that...? :evil

    They asked me if I still wanted to install the rack without the rear seat. No problem for me, I need the rack and not that back seat. Here was an opportunity for some weight trade off as well I thought. The rack set up weights around 5 lbs and the seat weights about 2 lbs. Add the rack + loose the seat = only 3 more pounds. Go for it. ​

    I don't know but I think this Chinese rack raised a few eyebrows at the Yamaha dealer. I sensed some pride on their part that the the rack did not fit perfectly; however, at the end of the day, they got $40 bucks and I got what I wanted. I also have one other idea I will mention later. Amen​

    This was actually the first modification to my V-Star and it made life a hell-of-a-lot easier for me... Praise God!​
    #16
  17. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    You know... you ADV riders make me sick...:rofl When you guys talk about twisties in the mountains I think, Oh yaa... Where I have to ride, my version of a twistie is, " watch out for that twich on her cell phone on your left while she takes your lane and traps you in between that red-neck in the pick up truck on your right all while dodging that dumb-ass j-walking four lanes of traffic going 60 mph through a 25 mph school zone ... :lol3 That'yl give you twisties.

    You guys burry your bikes in the mud going down on your face and getting up with a huge grin... Try that where I have to ride and we have two words for you... "road kill..." :rofl

    Then, you find five guys with smiles you don't even know to help you pull you bike out of the mud and buy you lunch afterwards. Try that here and folks will be driving by, flipping you off and screaming at you to get your ass out of the road jerk ... :lol3

    Yaa..., I'm adventure rider... er... city commuter all right...
    :freaky
    No disrespect intended kraven and I hope you can take a joke...
    #17
  18. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    Me too ... :1drink
    #18
  19. PonyExpres

    PonyExpres ScratchinMyAss

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    I really like those CRF 230's. I like Honda's too... I'm thinking when things get better financially, I want a bike for the road less travelled. This is one bike I have on the possible list. I will have to ride one and see how is handles on the open road.

    One thing that scares me about heading out is the possibility of a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. The CRF has tubes in the tires I think because of the spoked wheels. I'm thinking when and if I ever head out I want something I can plug. It is most certainly beyond my meger comprehensive ability to be pulling wheels and changing tubes out in the wild. I want adventure damn it not hard work... :1drinkI'm thinking I could do a plug though.

    And yes, I enjoy lurking all the threads you mention. I almost started this thread in the thumper section; however, I was afraid that I may offend those one lunger folks. Then I thought about starting this thread in the scooter section and I thought the same.

    I'll have to admit to being a closet lurker in the Battle Scooter section. Oh God..., I really want to try a scooter but I'm afraid I will like them so much I will want one.... Tubeless tires... Electronic gizmos... fuel guages... in dash stereos... well light...

    No shifting...? Not certain I can give that up... God help me I need consueling and mo money... :huh
    #19
  20. ZZ-R Rider

    ZZ-R Rider Captain Fantastic

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    PonyExpres ... I too have my own physical "imperfections" in that I am a smaller guy at only 5'-4 1/2" height, 29 1/2" inseam and 130 lbs weight ... and my 'lil '07 ZZ-R250 (similar to the U.S. spec pre-Gen Ninja 250Rs) is a great fit ... even the 29-30" saddle height isn't a problem when seated on the Bike ... if you ever get a chance to try out a 250 Ninja ... either pre-2008 or the up-dated 2008+ version, give one a try! FWIW, the Canadian spec ZZ-R250 was marketed as a "mini Sport Tourer" by Kawasaki here in Canada ...
    #20