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Deciding on my first bike...(1990 honda spada vt250)???

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by nicholas9283, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. hey guys, im looking for my first bike. i really have my heart set on a 1990 honda spada vt250!!

    everything i have read about them on this site and many others suggests that they are a great first bike to learn on. however i am wondering on how reliable they really are!? and if something does go wrong are they a hard bike to find parts for?

    as much information that people can throw my way will be very much appreciated! i would really love to hear from any past or current spada owners!

    thanks for any help guys.
    cheers nick.
  2. why aare you asking questions then? go buy it already :p
  3. Get whatever you want. But bear in mind, you could easily get a muuuuch newer V-twin, albeit without an aluminium frame and with a few less horses.

    Seeing as I see lots of honda CBR250R's running around from the late 80's, i'm sure a spada will be pretty reliable in terms of major engine components. But you will probably end up replacing most of the seals and electrics.
  4. I owned a spada for more than a year. Get it checked out before you buy it by someone who knows bikes - as if it hasn't been maintained you may be up for a bit of $$$ to get it upto a reasonable (safe) standard.

    Other than that, the spada was an awesome bike to learn on!
  5. that all sounds fair enough. apart from electrics and seals is there anything specific to the spada that i need to check before i go and buy one?
  6. They're excellent - mine started first time, every time for all the time I owned it. I'd *definitely* choose one over a CBR250R of similar age. Check out prices, and you *might* find the very cheapest end of the newer VTRs corsses over with the 'he's dreamin' expensive end of the Spadas, but if you only have 3 grand or so to spend the Spada is definitely the go.
  7. Instruments - some of the gray imports (most Spadas are gray imports) have a tendency for the instrument needles to become brittle and snap off after exposure to UV. The Australian imports were fixed - the Japanese models still have that.

    They can be glued up again but it's a pain in the neck to remove and pull the instruments apart (and you won't get s/h ones anywhere).

    Look to see if the needles are faded to almost white. It's a nuisance rather than a big deal.
  8. thanks for that "tonyE" i will keep an eye out for that! and as u said "bravus" i have only about $3K and as far as im concerned its a spada i want to spend my cash on!

    thanks guys for all the help. if anyone else can give me some more advice it will be very much appreciated! i was also wondering where can i find replacement and aftermarket parts for the spada? (other then the obvious; trading post, ebay, net rider, etc...)

    and one final question that is just based purely on curiousity... is it possible to buy a rear seat cowl for the spada???

    thanks again guys, cheers nick.
  9. I've owned one for almost a year and a half, and have loved it. That said, I've had no experience on higher powered bikes.

    My one problem has been due to a dead battery (not the bike's fault), so I've been very happy as far as reliability goes. It rides reasonably (for a 250) at 100kmh with two 75 kg people on board, although I wouldn't want to tour like that.

    In terms of parts availability - I don't know yet. I need a replacement clutch cable at the moment, and I'm hoping that I can just use one off a VTR250. Honda obviously don't import parts for the bike anymore. However, my local motorbike mechanic was happy to service it, and for the usual items that need replacement such as chain, sprockets, sparkplugs, tyres etc., generic 250 parts can be used.

    Headlights - Australian delivered ones will be able to turn them on and off. Imported ones brought in after the law changed (which seems to be all of them) will have had this switch removed.

    I doubt a rear seat cowl will be available, because the seat is a single unit.
  10. thanks for your help and input "gordy".
  11. Hey Nicho...The Spada's are a good bike, and solid.
    Parts can be rare, but not imposible to get.
    I have a "GREAT" Bros thats a brilliant bike to ride, and has that bit more grunt than the 250's.
    Could be ready to pass it on to someone looking for experience.
  12. cheers mate thanks for that. im sorry but im not sure what a "GREAT Bros" is?? im only new to all this. if you could elabrate that would be good.

    thanks again, cheers nick.
  13. They're a good little bike. I've done around 23,000k's on mine the last 2 years without any dramas. Still use it as my main commuter since I've upgraded.
    When I was having my other bike repaired, I had to make do with the Spada to get me and the missus to the PI GP and back, and the bike did better than I expected.

    The "Bros" is like a Spada in appearance but being a 400cc. Not too sure on similarities/differences between them.
  14. Oh awesome, thanks for that "jorge_k". these bros, seeing as there a 400cc does, that mean that someone like me on there ristricted licence cant ride one?
  15. They are LAMS approved.
  16. The Honda Bros/nt 400/650 are also as rare as rocking horse poop in Australia, could probably count all of them I have seen advertised in the last couple of years on one hand.

    With this in mind, parts will be even harder to find than for the Spada, although the nt 650s have become somewhat of a cult bike in the states, not sure if that makes parts harder/easier to find internationally.

    It may be an excellent bike if you are an enthusiast, ie you really really want a naked honda 400/650 v-twin (giant spada) with a vfr single sided rear end. As a cheap, reliable (parts availability) learner transport they are probably not the best bet.

    for the early 90s they were well ahead of their time with that exhaust and swingarm

  17. Another 'yes' for the Spada - I'm on my L plates, only been riding for about a month, but my Spada has been fantastic.

    It's easy to ride (much better than the crappy CB250s at the RTA), light, decent power when you want a squirt, very chuckable in the twisties (had my first run up the Macquarie pass last weekend :cool: ) and mine hasn't missed a beat yet, despite much learner abuse (must stop finding neutral at 12000 rpm from first :mad: ). Oh, except where I forgot to turn the petrol tap on and wondered why she died in traffic :oops:

    Also, make sure you don't get ripped off when buying it - I only paid $2700 for it with 42k on the odo. When I was looking, I was seeing some for $5k plus!
  18. Ensure you get it thoroughly checked over. As I have posted many times - I know personally of three Spada's that have needed new engines ($1000+) or major engine work. I used to own one, it was a good bike but there are better out there.
  19. If you want a

    -v-twin under $4k, that isn't air/oil cooled and gutless
    -a very small, nimble and light bike
    -a naked bike that drops well, ie doesn't often break expensive items on drop (although they do have a tendency to dent tanks with the bars,or snap them off altogether, in larger accidents)
    -a vtr250 with an extra gear and more power (such as it is)
    -a bike with split bars, and a sporty riding position, none of this cheap wide flat bar bs :)
    -a bike that, with healthy suspension/tyres, is an excellent handler

    There isn't too many better options if your criteria is similar to the above.

    There are still good Spadas out there, the engines are generally solid and robust, especially when their high output and relative complexity are considered. I don't think anyone here would have a problem naming any brand or type of bike that is 18+yrs old that, if not in good condition, needed major engine work, the Spada is not unique in this regard.

    Age is what works against the Spada, they are an old bike now, and if you like them but can afford a VTR250 that is probably a better bet, otherwise if you are looking to buy one, especially to ride _hard_ get it checked out by a mechanic.
  20. Better off looking for a NTV650 Revere - virtually the same thing, but they were sold here officially (or rip the fairings off a dropped early model Deuville).