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Old 02-16-2012, 01:28 AM   #1
PonyExpres OP
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V-Star 250 Yamahog

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.


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.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:52 AM   #2
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I no longer fear the pump...!

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.


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.


Eat your heart out Prius..!


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.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:17 AM   #3
rivercreep
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Looks good!

So how many miles did you actually put on her in the first year?...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!
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:56 AM   #4
ZZ-R Rider
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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!

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Old 02-16-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
Murphy Slaw
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That little Yammy does look bigger than a 250, eh?

Nice.

What about those valve adjustments?
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
kraven
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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!
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #7
TrashCan
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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.

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Old 02-16-2012, 07:32 AM   #8
OldF7Guy
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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.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:42 AM   #9
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The little V would get high 70's and up on mileage.

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Old 02-16-2012, 08:21 AM   #10
PonyExpres OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
So how many miles did you actually put on her in the first year?...and what is involved as far as valve adjustments/maint costs?
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!
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...
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #11
damasovi
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i like small bikes, I think that for my 80% of the riding they are the best tools!!!

Keep riding!!

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
shipman
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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... 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'.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:20 PM   #13
fastdadio
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Small bike=big fun!

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."
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #15
linuxid10t
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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?
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