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Gears on a VTR250

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Asura, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. I wonder if any experienced VTR250 owners can help me...

    I'm finding that I'm "running out of gears" on the freeway. The owners manual says that 4th gear is good up to 140km/h but I'm finding that once I get to 80km/h I'm already in 5th and would ideally be looking for 6th (if I had one).

    Also, when I look at the suggested speed ranges for the other gears, I always seem to be changing up early. My bike is a year 2000 so I don't have a rev. counter. Like the guy in the Shannons ad, "I shift by feeeell."

    So, is 10 years of driving a cage making me move up through the gears too early (maybe I'm used to a lower engine note?) Or is there something wrong/tweaked with the oily bits that may be lowering the gear ratios?

    This is my first bike (except for the CB250 I learned on and never got out of second gear) so I don't have anything to compare it to. Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Hi Asura,

    I was finding the same thing on my riceburner. I found that had to take a bit more time in each gear and the ratios worked out fine.

    Good luck with it,
  3. That's be the one. :)

    Here's a table of revs vs speed; As you can see the VTR250 can rev quite a bit. :)

    For reference, peak torque (where the engine is breathing at its most efficient at wide open throttle) is 8500rpm, and peak power is 10500rpm.

    For most 4-cylinder cars those figures are more like 4000rpm and 6000rpm respectively...

    Over time you'll learn to use the speedometer (and the seat of your pants) as a "tachometer" of sorts. If you don't change gears in time, and you hit the redline (11500rpm?), the motorcycle will perform a brief ignition cut to prevent you revving the engine further.
  4. It's not a car, basically you can rev it until it doesn't pull anymore (there won't be much over 10,000rpm, it will run out of puff by it's redline) then change gear, I guarantee it will safely rev harder than you will feel comfortable reving it :)

    They are a tough little motor, rev away :grin:
  5. I know the feeling of looking for a 6th gear that doesn't exist :LOL:
    The graph that Spots posted looks about right, although I don't think I'd be trying to get 130 in 4th, that's a bit cruel.
  6. :woot: 300 posts!
    Sorry, continue :grin:
  7. Mm. Maybe it's different for you, since you're a bit smaller (less aerodynamic drag), but I found it was essential to use 4th to "lever up" the bike to those very high speeds, or the lil' VTR couldn't climb up into 5th gear's power band and climb up to 145+. :oops:

    (On a racetrack, of course.)
  8. If you want to go faster than 140 (on a private road/racetrack) on a vtr250, you get yourself a Spada :p

    (and go about 5kph faster :cry: )
  9. Don't worry, they will revv really high at 'speed', just put it in top gear and don't look at the tacho if it makes you feel bad. Even my 1000cc revvs stupidly high on the freeway (the -1 on the front sprock doesn't help though :D ), but you just learn to live with it. Honda's are pretty hard to kill.
  10. Thanks, Spots.

    I think you're right... It probably sounds to me like the engine is near the limit when in fact it's nowhere near.

    I'll try reving its t!ts off and see how I go.
  11. Good thread Asura.

    I've only recently found this out myself on a good freeway run. I was always searching for the next gear that didn't exist.

    This forced me to have the engine rev at a higher level than I would normally and as I got used to the sound/feel etc, i found that keeping the revs that little bit higher in all the gears actually made the bike perform really well.

    As you mentioned i think it was leftover from how I would normally change gears in the car. Trouble now is, in a car i prefer to let the revs run that bit higher as well.
  12. Pff you want a sixth gear? I want a 7th gear.

    In sixth, I'm revving ~8.3krpm at 100km/h. Having said that though, that puts me about another ~10.7krpm away from redline (19krpm). You've only got another 4.5krpm until you hit your redline, which is too close for comfort imo.
  13. .... and just like the VTR250, about 1000-2000rpm below peak torque. ;)

    I did 45,000km on a '99 VTR250 (bringing it to ~56,000km when I sold it), the majority of which was >100kph touring and freeway commuting and a lot of high-rpm laps of the Black Spur, Reefton Spur and GOR. No engine problems whatsoever.

    Heck, my 1986 Toyota MR2 cruises just 3500rpm short of redline (4000rpm cruise, 7500rpm redline); 206,000km and counting.

    So, with respect, I don't think it's as big an issue as you seem to think...
  14. Practice and learn your bike and get feeling of the engine. The beauty of a manual gearbox is the ability to adjust your acceleration rate depending on the situation. I have the tacho but always shifting by feel, and use the tacho only as a reference. Also you must remember in which gear you are riding. Count gears as you upshifting/downshifting and develop a feeling of the engine respose to the throttle in each gear.
    For example if I take off the way I feel it good for me without looking at speedo when I first time look at speedo I find myself doing about 80km/h in third gear. If the engine is still cold I am taking it easy and changing each gear at about 4000 rpm slowly approaching 60km/h mark already in 5th. If there is a Falcon or Commodore next to me at the lights wanting to drag me off I am changing at about 8000-9000 rpm hitting 60km/h in second gear (still can't beat XR8s).
    Changing gears you should not go through all gears each time finishing in 5th just because your bike has 5 gears and you have to do that job. Select the gear that most appropriate in the given situation. For example in 60km/h zone and heavy traffic I often ride in 3rd to have the ability to accelerate relatively quickly if I need to.
    I really don't think VTR missing 6th gear. It is doing 100km/h at 7000 rpm, it still is not its maximum torque and allow to cruise safely still with something left just in case you need that. 32hp engine is not the best option for overtaking on the freeway anyway and 6th gear would not help at all.
    Bikes engines are much higher revving then the car ones, my Falcon very rare revvs higher than 2500 while the VTR very rare revvs lower than 3000. So, let alone your car habbits and develop bike ones.
    Like I said more practice should help.
  15. CBR250s have torque? :LOL:
  16. *smirk*

    In the colloquial sense (torque = "strong low/midrange power"), definitely not. :LOL:

    But in a boring, unfunny technical sense, they make an identical amount of peak torque to the VTR250; The CBR250's torque curve is simply optimised for strong high rpm (10,000+) power, while the VTR250 has a much lazier engine and makes more power at relatively low rpm.
  17. how does the bike feel in 5th @ 80km/h? slow off the mark if u give it some throttle? thats coz you're WAY below it's powerband for the gear.

    this is exactly it. jump aboard, and go hit the hills or a high speed road. rev through 1st until it hits redline. then change to 2nd. rev until redline. then change to third. etc etc. now you know what it sounds like at redline, you want to be going near there, not too close, but close enough. depends how hard u want to ride, commuting i probably chang gears around 7-8000RPM, just cruise along. in the twisties, going balls out, i rarely drop the bike below 8000RPM, and change around 10-11000RPM.

    good. :twisted:

    well your opinions need educating. 7000RPM on a VTR250 is a little above cruise (5500RPM for me) for commuting in traffic. unless its freeway, when this is cruising @ 100km/h. she has plenty more balls left :wink:

    pfft. i've outrun every spada ive come across :twisted: then again im only 72kg, and the screen on my old VTR did wonders. get a screen for your VTR, Asura, theyre sexy as, get alot of the wind off your body, and give you 10km/h extra top end and better acceleration :twisted:

    you havent ridden your VTR yet then, JP :p they love to rev, it brings out the torque :twisted: hit 10000RPM, change gear and your down at about 7000RPM, ready to enter the peak range for the gear u just changed into.
    gotta squeeze every last drop out of the bike :wink:
  18. HAH!, I hear a challange! :twisted: ......

    Spada has 8 more PS, an extra gear, more torque (even more than a cbr250rr :roll: ) and is no heavier than the vtr250 :p

    Although to be massively politically incorrect, seeing who wins between a Spada and a VTR250 is like winning a race and the special olympics...... :roll:
  19. I've got a little flyscreen... looks good but it still seems pretty windy at speed.


    Anyway, back on topic... I gave the old girl some revs on the way back from work and she did seems to accelerate better. I'll have to work on it until it comes natrurally.

    Thanks everybody for all your help.

    p.s. OMFG my rims used to be gold!
  20. Hey, i find on the VTR I need to be a gear lower than I normally would have expected in the car. But as the others have said it comes with experience, Ive done only 1000km over the 4 weeks ive had the bike, but already im finding myself in the correct gear more often that not, and after following a work mate on a rs125 today im glad I have the vtr, much more rideable bike especially for a learner.