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2000 Honda VTR - Taking the Motorcycling out of Motorcycling

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by QuarterWit, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Hey fellas,

    I'm sure it's been done to death a thousand times before, but here's my little review of the renowned VTR250. I'm not going to bother with stats, because you all know them, and they aren't that much more different to every other bike out there.

    I don't like liquid-cooled motorbikes. I don't really like anything with more than one cylinder. I don't particularily like flash motorcycles because I'll end up dropping it and fcuking it up sooner or later. But a while ago my SR was off the road, and I had to borrow a mate's VTR.

    First about this particular example - it's been a permanant learners bike - no experienced rider has used this for any real length of time so I shudder to think of what the gearbox is doing after 40,000k's. The last 5,000k's or so the bike hasn't been touched - no new oil, no air in the tyres or anything. The pipe has been punched out and it has been dropped, quite badly, which has left a sizable dent in the tank and stuffed up various other bits and peices but nothing of any note.

    I'm a one-eyed kinda person, and to be honest, many netriders confuse me, with the obsession with motorcycles that can be driven in 1st gear down the M4. Nothing wrong with that - different horses and all that jazz. In my humble opinion a dirtbike is the best learner bike and best commuter, but that's starting to change after riding the VTR. Even a little bit. I like 'em simple.

    The whole thing was newfangled to me. I haven't ridden a bike with more than one cylinder for any extended period of time. Or rear disk brakes. Or a liquid cooled engine, so you can imagine my shock.

    Jesus - the thing is like sitting in a loungechair. It's comfortable, the bars are right where they should be and the whole thing turns and accelerates quite nicely for what it is. The whole bike, from gear changes to stopping is so disgustingly simple it's great. Still after 40,000k's the suspension was soft at the rear, but not offputting. The chain hangs slack like sleeve of wizard.

    The seat height is perfect, it's got a new-fangled electric start thingy that makes it a breeze and the choke is under your bloody thumb! Genius! But all this comes at a price, in my humble but still arrogant opinion.

    While it's bloody brilliant at everything, I'm not sure if it's the best learner bike out there. It'd have to be one of the best commuter bikes, but I'm not sure if it's the kind of bike someone should actually 'own' straight off. Maybe it's just me. But ever met the young bloke who's saved and bought himself a Torana, Daddo or similar as a first car? They start to understand the whole process of driving, how an engine works and how to maintain and diagnose simple problems. Same with dirtbike riders - these guys, on a whole, have mechanical skills that run rings around most road riders. I once met a chap who rode a fireblade and was obsessed about all things motorcycling, but he struggled to remember what the four stages of a four stroke engine. (Though perhaps there's nothing wrong with that?)

    It's the same with the VTR. The whole thing is just so damn easy, it's cheating. It starts, it runs, it accelerates, it stops, it's reliable. It's the mitsubishi magna of motorcycles. Part of me wants to hate it because it's so damn dull.

    But. It's so good. Probably more like a bloody camry than a magna. It seems to run forever, it's a great little bike. But it's also completely devoid of personality, no matter how big a whole you punch in the muffler or how much you drop it.

    Disgusted with myself, I'm going to keep an eye out for a good one. It isn't my kind of bike, and probably won't ever be, but by Christ it's good at what it does - taking the motorcycling out of motorcycling.
  2. Re: 2000 Honda VTR - Taking the Motorcycling out of Motorcyc

    Wasn't it your sisters ?
  3. Eek, you're right.

    Am I allowed to edit for absent-mindedness?
  4. No !
    We all understand that your sister has a more superior bike than you ! :eek:

  5. Riding a VTR250 turns me into a maniac. I love 'em, they're the best thing out there for learners.

    That said, I also reckon you're better off getting a shitter for your first bike, for economic and educational reasons as well as the fact that you're gonna stack it anyway. But if people wanna shell out big for a nice learner bike, the VTR shitteth from a great height upon its rivals.
  6. It's not superior, it's DIFFERENT!

    Bastard :p
  7. Re: 2000 Honda VTR - Taking the Motorcycling out of Motorcyc

    If I want personality, I talk to a PERSON. As for a bike - all I want from it is that it should run, accelerate, stop and be reliable.

    But that's just me.

    As for you, I'd suggest you're looking at it the wrong way. You're like those women who ignore nice guys while attracted to bastards (all the while complaining about the lack of nice guys, mind you). As far as I can tell from your description, what you call 'personality' is simply defects, poor quality and inconvenience. VTR *does* have a personality: one that runs, accelerates, stops and is reliable. :p
  8. Great review!!!

    I learned on a CB250, almost bought a VTR250, my husband loved it, but I found it way too high after the CB and sitting on GPX's just felt right!!
    But you can't go past Honda reliability - you can beat the crap outta them and they just keep going!!
  9. Quarterwit, are you really only 22 as your profile indicates?

    That sounds about 30 years too young for your biking preferences!

    I have never ridden a VTR250, but regularly get carved up by one on the daily commute,

    dont be ashamed to like them!
  10. What worries me about them and all bikes that are similar - ie, that have an electric start button and other such fancy mods - is both, as you say, that they take the motorcycling out of motorcycling, but also that the introduction of smooth multiple cylinders and their you-can't-fix-this complexity, and that the need no more to kick-start your bike, was actually a plot by feminist communists to bring about an end to the red-blooded western male. And it's worked! We're getting soft.

    Seriously though. Cb250goespop, you made me laugh out loud with the "women" analogy - Quaterwit, I think he's got a point :LOL: - but there's nothing like the expanded relationship you can have with a bike and with riding, that requires hard boots and full-body effort to kick it over and fire it up, as well as a simple engine system before you that you can train yourself to analyse and service, as well as a bike that really throbs and thunders benenth you. The feeling of grease and competence in your hands. My bike stalls all the time (not an intrinsic fault - it just needs some work) but I never get annoyed by it - somehow we're in a trusting partnership that I can't feel with a fancy bike. There's magic to a thribbing simple old hands on bike.

    My girlfriend wants to sell her SR185 and get a VTR! I wish she'd wait and get an old GS400...
  11. what he\she is referring to i think is a bike that would be 'remembered' one he/she considers ' exclusive' (even though others may ride it) even though it may be a reliable bike, since so many people consider it good and do ride it as a 'reliable' bike its no longer 'special'. He\she doesnt really want to conform when he]she is doing something that is non-conforming.
  12. Character in a bike isn't about exclusivity, it is rather about how a bike feels.

    The issue with many modern bikes is that they don't have a 'feel'.

    They have been engineered to such a degree that they are almost totally smooth, almost totally linear and for some people that isn't exciting.

    It's like skiing down hill on a totally smooth run... no matter how fast you go it just isn't as much fun as with a few jumps to spice things up :)

    *wanders out to his agricultural, noisy, (but lots of fun to ride) air cooled 1100 Guzzi V-Twin and goes for a ride* [/b]
  13. As a beginner I'm not sure whether character in a bike is really that important or desirable.

    When it's all new (especially for younger riders) you don't need to be rooting around with a bike that's a biatch to kick over, has idiosyncratic handling tendancies, drops oil in the driveway, doesn't start etc etc.

    The main concern is just to go out and ride it as much as you can and get the experience without those kind of distractions and the "character" ie faults, can come later.

    Get the licence, get a few km's under the belt and then you can buy something Italian ok.... :LOL: :LOL: :bolt:

  14. :LOL: Fet Gucked :p :LOL:
  15. ...or Japanese! Those new Brit bikes just don't have the character of an old SR! It just isn't the same! :grin:
  16. the little VTR is far from souless mate, my little bastard of a bike has giving me some of its character at times i really didnt want it. iven had it sitting in garage in peices a few times, but that is more to do with the way i ride it than anythign else. the motor design is tested and proven, getting 120000kms out of one of these should be done with ease. they stop they turn, they go (for a 250) and it's all done so easily, that is why they are a great learners bike, but in the hands of someone who knows how to use one (ie me :p ) they can really shoot through a tight twisty road. the suspension does get tired after about 40000kms, especially if you take it off road a bit (which it does very well, adding to its flexibility) but this is easily fixed. in fact i really do like the front soft as it is, it still predicitable enough to fly through a rough corner, but allows you to load up the front real quick in a situation.
    they really are an awesome little bike, its a fuggin shame honda are discontinueing them.
  17. They're discontinuing the VTR? You're joking?