Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yamaha Star V Star 250 Review


Unintimidating may not be the sexiest descriptor ever applied to a motorcycle, yet unintimidating is right up the alley for those just starting out on two wheels. An entry-level motorcycle needs to be easy-to-ride, functional and fun. The Yamaha’s V Star 250 pulls off all these feats quite well.

The 250 street bike market isn’t exactly robust these days in the bigger-is-better USofA. Riders not interested in a scooter or dual-sport have few options from the major OEMs. Kawasaki corners the sporty side with its class-dominating Ninja 250R, while Honda offers its Parallel Twin-powered Rebel (the Nighthawk no longer in the rotation). Suzuki delivers two options in its new single-cylinder TU250X (Read our 2009 Suzuki TU250X Review) and the Parallel Twin GZ250.

The V Star 250 is notable as the lone V-Twin 250 from the major players. (Note: Hyosung’s GV250, which we were unable to secure for a comparison, also sports a V-Twin.)


span class="fullpost" >2010 Star V Star 250 Review It packs a little punch with its 249cc engine, but the V Star 250's V-Twin configuration helps it stand out in the 250 class. Formerly known as the Virago 250 (cooler name by the way…), the little V Star’s 249cc engine resides down in the itty-bitty end of the displacement pool of the Yamaha Star Motorcycles lineup.

While the 60-degree V-Twin won’t get mistaken for the big ol’ 1854cc mill powering its Star Raider sibling, it does deliver a more authentic cruiser look than most of its 250 rivals. A single 26mm Mikuni carb feeds fuel to the air-cooled V Star engine, and liberal use of the choke lever, located on the left hand controls, is a must on cold starts. Thumb the electric starter and the 250 manages city streets quite well, once it shakes off its wake-up call. Two-valve heads top cylinders with a 49mm bore by 66mm stroke, the compression ratio an even 10:1.

Dyno runs show a modest peak of 18 horsepower and 13.8 lb-ft of torque. So while the Star ain’t going to win many drag races (see sidebar), it does produce manageable, newbie-friendly power. V Star 250 Lightweight at 327lbs fully-fueled the V Star 250 is quite easy to ride, with a low, inviting 27-inch seat height. 2010 Star V Star 250 Review Acceleration is brisk enough to navigate helter-skelter city traffic, with smooth throttle and fueling ensuring the hamfisted newb won’t get frustrated with herky-jerky inputs. The Star’s little motor can rattle up to 55mph without trouble.

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