Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Buying a Virago 250, brand new vs 2nd hand?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by demuire, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. Reading reviews and thoughts everywhere about Virago 250's, it sounds like it's a fairly reliable and cheap bike to maintain, and it hasn't changed much (at all?) from the earlier models.

    Because of this, should I have any problems with buying an earlier (early 90's) 2nd hand one with high'ish k's? The later ones (late 90's, 2000+) I've seen advertised seem to be not much less at all than the cost of buying a brand new one...

    Or is there more to it?
  2. I say if you can afford brand new got for it, you then get a warranty etc. second hand bikes are buyer beware.
  3. Thanks Steve. As this is going to be my first bike, is it adviceable to buy a brand new bike? I was half thinking of buying a 2nd hand one and riding that for maybe a year, and then either upgrading or buying a new bike, maybe.
  4. Sorry Steve, disagree on the buy "new" for the first bike unless you've got nothing better to spend your money on. Buy a 2nd hand, in good to very good condition if you can, understand that you are getting that bike 3000-5000 cheaper than a new bike and then be prepared to spend up to 1000 to get it 100% up to scratch (brakes, tyres, chain, sprockets, tune, fresh fluids etc) if needed. Chances are you will then pass the bike on in 15 months in as good if not better condition than you bought it for at about the same price. You may drop a few $'s if you buy from a dealer but the better ones usually have some sort of reputation to protect and generally provide some after sales service.
  5. No worries ashes, you are having an opinion which is good, I have found that the difference between new and secondhand with low k's is not all that much, maybe $1,000 to $1,500 so thats why I personally prefer new. At the end of the day I think most decisions are financial.
  6. ashes: Well, all the 2nd hand Virago 250's I've seen are at most $3000 cheaper than brand new (about $2500 for a 1990 model (that's 15 years old!!!), vs $5500 brand new - although that price may have been so low because of the deal that Yamaha had till end of last month...) All the later model XV250's I've seen seem to go for about $5000. So the price difference doesn't seem to be huge...
  7. If you want peace of mind I would personally would buy new, but it's really a decision that only you can make.

    Also, it's always nice to ride a new bike and if you look after it, your bike will look after you.
  8. Hey demuire!

    I'd go ( i did go!) second hand. I ended up getting a 90's Virago 250 quite cheaply ($2800, only 10,000 km) ... and sold it a year later at the same price. Note that the early 90's Virago's are a bit lower on power than the new ones, but seem to have more torque. I weigh about 100kg with all my gear ... with my head down and making rocket noises, I could reach about 120 km/h on a straight with a 92 Virago (the one with "drag bars"). Got a friend with a newish 2003 model ... he only weighs about 75kg, but i'd still beat him up an incline to 80km/h, then he'd easily reach 140/50 or so (not up a hill though!!!).

    They're very simple and strong bikes ... great to learn on ... but you do grow out of them very quickly and will want to upgrade ( I went straight to a Triumph! ... but i miss the little Yamaha ... it's a lot of fun being able to ride a bike to it's limits, don't think i'll ever do that with the trumpy) ... so don't spend too much on your first bike ...
  9. As said previously, I suppose it all comes down to the money. If it were mine, there is no way I would be buying a new Virago when they have such a solid reputation for relaibility (if serviced correctly).

    You need to weigh it all up.

    Sure, a new bike warranty will give peace of mind perhaps, but that is the only advantage it has over a 2nd hand bike (and it might be shinier!).

    A 2nd hand bike will cost considerably less (than new RIDE-AWAY price), will almost certainly retain its value for when it comes time to sell, and will most likely (!) give a trouble free life. Assuming that you buy a 2nd hand bike that has just been serviced, tyres, etc, it will only need as much maintenance during your ownership as a new bike.
    It will hurt your pride considerably less when you drop it too!

    There are plenty of well cared for examples of this model out there with low km's.
  10. I got my 2000 Virago for about $4000 back in Jan this year. It had about 21,000 k's on it and is running really well. The reason i got it was i did my training and tests on one at the centre I went to and I felt comfortable on it as my first bike. It's dead easy to work on (I changed the brakes, oil filter, oil change etc. with no bike mechanical experience) and fairly cheap to service (full Yamaha 25,000K service was a smidge over $200 incl. parts). However: it doesn't take to doing over 100kmh very well on the freeway, scrapes the footpegs on every corner and doesn;t have much grunt for overtaking - I'd agree with the previous comments - you do grow out of it very quickly - i'm champing on the bit to get a bigger bike! Also, i'm fairly height challenged (5'8" in my heels), so it was a good bike for me. You also get about 250k's to a tank ($9 to fill).

    Hope this helps. If you decide to get one, drop me a PM for the maintenance manual :)
  11. Don't listen to xxsteve, course he buys new, he's bloody loaded! :LOL:

    Countless penny pinching povos like myself have chanced our luck on the 2nd hand market and come out with fantastic bikes well under market value - it's just a matter of sizing up the bloke you're buying it from. Does he love the machine? If so, does he know what he's talking about maintenance wise? If so is the bike in pretty good nick?

    Do your research in the 2nd hand market and walk away giggling as people like xxsteve pay for a big chunk of depreciation for you!

    /quietly wishing I had enough cash not to care...
  12. Somebody knows me well about buying new, but not sure about the loaded part, my other bigboy toy being the boat cost me heaps, but now it's gone the bikes just keep on coming. Only one more wish for the garage, yamaha warrior.
  13. Buy new don't waste ya money on other peoples problems

    Cheers 8)
  14. LOL!!! I know the feeling, I remember driving down the straight at Queensland Raceway in my old 32hp Corolla, making rocket noises, and getting to a mere 95km/h at the end of the straight (where most road cars approach 200km/h...)

    Well, money wise, at the moment it's debate between financing a new bike, or buying a 2nd hand one outright (if it's cheap enough). I'd prefer to buy outright as my mortgage is enough money to owe to anyone :p but if it's worth getting a new one then I'll go down that way. At the moment it's sounding like a 2nd hand one might be the way to go.

    azure: did they change the gear ratios?

    Cammo: $5500 was brand new ride away!!! Well, more accurately it was $6000 brand new ride away, with $498 credit to spend in store.

    By the sounds of it the 250 Virago is a bit underpowered to do anything other than city riding... Heh, at least I won't need to worry about getting tickets riding down the Ipswich Motorway :)
  15. If the bike is only $5500 new then get one new. Now the second bike when you are looking to spend $16000 new vs $11000 second hand with mods already done is a different equation.

    I'm surprised no one has told you to look at the Hyosung. This usually comes up with restricted cruisers!
  16. Ashes: Yes, have been pointed to the Hyosung, which appears to be roughly the same price as the Virago brand new.

    I think part of my reluctance to get a Hyosung is fear that resale value wouldn't be good, esp if I may actually decide to upgrade later on. I know with cars, Hyundai's are fantastic brand new, but really start to fall apart after about 5 years, and resale on any Hyundai tends to be fairly lousy compared to a similar say... Toyota.

    That said, I'm going to test ride them all anyway and see how I actually like them as a bike.
  17. Plus, I don't know how reliable, or what the costs would be like, to upkeep a Hyosung. The Virago has been around the block a bit and appears to have come out on top...
  18. I went the second hand option. I got a 99 model with windshield and saddlebags, sissy bar etc, with 18k on the clock for about $4100 maybe a little more. Compared to a new one at $6500 on the road with out the extras it wasn't a really hard choice to make. Oh and the 99 model has a real badge on the tank too, it’s not painted on :D
  19. It's sounding like I'm not shopping around enough :) All the ones I've seen advertised seem to be more than what everyone seems to be paying for them :)
  20. demuire the Hyosung is a more solid & bigger bike than the Virago, it has more optional stuff available from the dealer to dress it up like footboards & driving lights http://www.hyosungmotors.com.au/gv250_acc.html
    theres not alot of choice to be had in the 250 cruiser market, but id go the gv250 over the Virago anyday.