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.

Honda VTR250

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by The Mint Man, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Hi people,
    New to the forum, in fact this is my first post...

    I am a learner looking to buy my first bike and have fairly much narrowed it down to the VTR250 based on the fact I will be doing a bit of traveling from the Central Coast, NSW to Canberra (4 hour trips), so I'm looking for something a bit more comfortable that will at least do a decent speed on the freeway.
    From what I have read both here and elsewhere the VTR250 seems a good choice to cater for the above.
    So just to confirm, I'm not getting the bike for thrills (although I'm sure I'll have fun at first) more so it’s a necessity for the traveling I plan to do.… As my car is tuned to GO.... it chews 12lt (premium ULP) to the 100.... :shock: but hey it's fast :roll:

    I would appreciate any general comments on the VTR250, however I would also like to know, in particular;
    1. What bugs/problems (if any) plague the VTR250
    2. What to look for when inspecting one
    3. What would be considered a large amount of K's for this bike and at what points the major services are??

    Just for your info, I'm about 6ft and around 90kg, I am looking to buy any VTR250 that was built from 2003 onwards and planning on keeping the bike for about 4 years.

    Cheers and thanks in advance.

    Mint Man :grin:
  2. Howdyhowdyhowdy.

    Much as I love the VTR250 (did about 45,000km on one, including a lot of touring and 75km freeway commutes), possibly not the best selection for 4 hours of freeway in each direction. That isn't to say that it can't do freeway work, just that its real home is in the urban environment and on twisty mountain roads. The lack of fairings and sporty ergonomics make it less suitable for freeway cruising than some of the alternatives.

    I would consider one of the larger displacement, semi or fully-faired LAMS bikes if you're planning to really only use it on the freeway. :)

    Minor services every 6000km, major every 12000km.
  3. 1. None that I know of, I certainly didn't have any issues with mine...
    2. Nothing specific to the bike, just the general stuff.
    3. I recently sold mine with about 20K on the clock and it was still running like a dream. Always started, always ran...

    I'm slightly taller and heavier than you and I found the VTR250 a little cramped in the legs. It's also doesn't offer much protection for highway travel so keep that in mind...

    EDIT: it was a super fun bike!!!
  4. You're going to be doing long 4h highway trips? Then you'll definitely want something with a windscreen and fairing. You'll also probably want an engine which will reliably reach and pass 100,000km if you're going to buy a used bike and keep it for half a decade. So yeah, a vtr250 sounds like an uncomfortable idea.

    Fortunately for you, you're in a lams state. So i'd recommend a faired commuter, i.e. Suzuki GS500F or similar. It'll have the same fuel economy, but will be easier to cruise with and won't get blown around.
  5. Thanks guys... those three replies were great, giving me exactly what I'm looking for - constructive criticism :wink:
    I had considered most of what you have pointed out prior to posting here. Issues such as comfort and wind buffering seem to be prominent in all your posts, confirming my suspicions..... so it’s back to the drawing board, which isn't a bad thing as I want to be 100% certain I'm getting the right bike for what I'm ultimately buying it for.

  6. do a search mate, this bloody questions been asked more friggen times than i can be arsed replying, and i fcuken love the VTR250, dont have a bad word to say about them.
    hint but if its 4 hours a day on the freeway, this might be the only time id recomend as GS500F instead.

    edit: just to add, the VTR250 will easily do what you say you will ask from it, i did some long days on mine, and it will comfortably sit on 140 all day, even if it is revving its tits off. i flogged the arse off mine everywhere, i went up 7 teeth on the rear sprocket (increasing the rate of engine wear by about 15%) and the little bastard still did 70,000kms with only one mechanical problem (water pump, easier than replacing it on your car)
    whether you want to sit on it on the freeway for 4 hours on it is up to you.
    i am 6ft and didnt find it cramped.
  7. Thanks for the advice on the bike.
    On another note,
    As I said, I had done a search before posting... However I had quite specific questions in regards to travel distance, known problems to look for etc. which I could not find definitive answers to in other threads.

    At the end of the day this is a forum and thats what they are for, Full stop. Also this particular index is for posts exactly like mine... and without them this site would not rank as well as it does on search engines whom direct a lot of traffic here and in turn provide revenue from advertisements such as the ones you see at the top of the page and the various Google ad words seen in signature panels:wink:
    You don’t get top 10 hitwise by not having ALOT of relevant content on your site for which people are searching for..... If I was the owner of this site I would love me! :grin:

    Anyway I'm glad I asked as the general consensus has been 'get another bike for those 4h trips mate'. I did not find that sort of criticism in other VTR250 threads.
    I'm glad you were arsed replying, after all you confirmed what the others had said.

    I have been searching and researching the GS500F since those replies, seems like a good tip!.

    Cheers :LOL:
  8. ok, sorry mate i was being a bit harsh, ill play nice.

    the whole GS vs VTR deal and the advantages of a fairing? fcuk all unless its raining, youll need to get an after market double bubble screen for any real advantage in term of wind protection. and to be honest it doesnt make much different untill you get above 150km/h. assuppose to no fairing? its a great deal bloody easier to do your own maintinance without the hassal of taking all the bloody plastic off, and then putting it back together without oveertightening and cracking it. everytime i service the bike it adds about an hour to the whole process.
    also the GS5 really is a big heavy pig of a bike, it doesnt stop doesnt turn, and difference in acceleration upto any legal speed limit is fcuk all between the two bikes. for the weekly trip down to canberra, imho its worth the VTR250 since its so much better around town the rest of the time.

    common bugs?
    -like all hondas, their brake discs wear far quicker than they should (ie need replacing around 50,000kms).
    -if the previous owner has had a prang and put the incorrect or after market handle bar on, the front brake line will be stretched allowing air into the system. sticks out like dogs ball on a test ride to an experianced hand.
    -if there hs been a prang on the right hand side, the muffler can be pushed inward and actually put a big ding in the swing arm, especially with after market mufflers.
    -apparently cam chain tensioners can start packing it in around the 70000kms mark, mine were fine at this mileage but.
    -corrsion, espeicially around the bottom bridge (or triple clamp for the forks if you like) the forks, and the join of the headers. if there is corrosion around the head stem, thats a fair indication the frame is cracked and the bike has been involved in a big hit.
    -electrics, cltuch switch can be dodgey. neutral swtich light can be dodgey, doesnt mean you cant select neutral, just that if you stall the bike wont start cause it thinks its in gear. generic honda dodgey reg recs, again never had a problem with mine on the VTR

    these are all pretty minor problems in the grand scheme of some of the shit bikes on the market such as the hyosung, but there you have it. they really are an easy bike to ride, operate and maintain.

    What to look for on inspection:
    -rusty and frozen chain link, indication the bikes been neglected
    -odo tampering, if the numbers dont align especially on lower mileage, be very suspicious.
    -crash damage check: the front brake caliper, font axel, front fender, handel bars, mirrors, tank, foot peg and pillion peg and bracket, exhaust obviously, if the rear most part of the rear fender is damaged, fair indication the bikes been flipped in a botched mono (youd be suprised how many people do this). check especially things like the axel, mirrors and foot peg braket, people are less likey to replace these in the event of a crash since they arent as obvious and expensive.
    -missing bolts!!!! i checked a VTR250 for a mate recently, it has missing a header bolt and a rocker cover bolt, despite the obvious neglect this showed, my mate still wanted to buy for the asking price!!!! :shock:

    kilometers, obviously the less the better, anything under 20,000 is fine, be aware of the maintinance intervals, ie a bike with 23000kms on it is due for an expensive service soon. around the 40,000kms to 60,000kms mark you will need to start replacing things like the brake discs, clutch wearables (discs, plates and springs) head stem bearings, wheel bearings if its a bit older bike. if looked after, the motor will see easily past 100,00kms, i have heard of spada motors with 150,000kms on the clock, they are pretty much identical expcept they rev higher so wear quicker. just pay the extra grand and get the bike with 15-20k kms, instead of the cheaper one with 40,000kms especially if you are planning on putting a few kays on it.

    i hope this answers all your question mate :p :wink: :grin:
  9. just to add, i picked up my vtr early this year with 1,800ks on it.
    it's an 04 model and i had it fully checked before purchasing.

    i since have added about 3k on it and couldnt be happier.
    i dont ride every day as i get the train to work, but i always get on it when i can because it's so much fun.

    with the fairing vs naked feel, unless you're commuting, why would you want fairing? its a bike, you ride outside, go for the wind in your face feel, i reckon its one of the main reasons i love riding so much.

    wouldnt trade my vtr for anything (until im unrestricted - then I might go for its 1000cc daddy)
  10. mister mint... may thy bike be as clean as thine minty mouth... as long as it's a vtr!

    sorry, bad intro., but this is a great bike! takes me where i wanna go in soooo much less time than a CAR (dodge and weave), light enough to throw around and have lots of fun (sitting behind trucks can be... challening though...), and strong enough to take anything you or any truck may give it. trust me, it loves flying in freeways at high revs!!!

    before you i did a lot of research on this bike and half a dozen others of around the same size (200~250cc) (reason why? i live in japan. please follow my posts) primarily with touring in mind (as well as commuting), and was sold after so many great reviews on this site and another written by an american who said he travelled from boston to new york nearly daily on a vtr250 and had no problem... sounds crazy but having ridden one and loving it, i believe it.

    this is one good bike.

    (and it's a HONDA = no problem!)

    may the winged bird fly with thee!!! shit yeah! it's FUN!!!
  11. mister mint - go the VTR. I've got a 2007 model and have put almost 80000km on it. idon'tlikemondays is pretty spot on with issues you face once you reach certain milages. At 80000km mine needs a new rear disc, the rear shock most likely needs replacing and the forks need new springs. Like IDLM said, the waterpump shits itself - mine did pretty early on but it was covered by warranty. My rear shock also shit itself pretty early on - a rare occurance apparently - and that too was replaced under warranty. Other than that there have been absolutely no probs with it.

    My bike's been a winner from the day I got it. Have done long kms on it and foundit to be comfy and stuff. I commute two hrs to work and two hrs back each day on it, rain, wind, hail or shine and it never misses a beat. Gets blown about a bit in the wind (and it's a windy area I commute - coastal) but nothing too bad and you learn to deal with that anyway.

    So I totally recommend the VTR250 :)
  12. You spend four hours a day commuting?

    gee, I would have thought you'd get different bike if only for the added range, vtr250 have a range of around 250km depending how they're ridden, don't they?.......you'd be putting fuel in it every day :)
  13. Am filling it up each day - I get about 300km to a tank (figure includes reserve) and it's a 300km round trip. Trip is hwy the whole way - one hour of boring straight hwy which is prone to being rather windy at times) and one hr of peak hour Monash madness.

    It handles the entire trip well - commuting and boring stuff. :)
  14. Mine was in the order of 280-290km until reserve on freeway commutey things, and a bit thirstier when thrashing it on the twisty roads (240-250).
  15. The GS500F is a much better choice for what you'll be doing - the fairing works well and helps reduce fatigue, you also have a lot more power in reserve for overtaking. They don't use much fuel either, 400km to a tank is pretty sweet.
  16. yeah im bias, but i'd have to reccomend the VTR too.

    you're looking at 4 hours trips on the VTR. you never said this was commuting, just a trip every now and again kinda thing, not daily.
    any chance u can make it 5 or 6 hours? go the fun route :twisted:

    wow Rosie, i didnt know you'd done that many on yours, top effort! :applause:
    if this isnt testament to how good these bikes are, i dont know what is. i've done 40000km across 3 VTR's myself, i love the things. i will be keeping one when i upgrade, i hope, theyre just so much fun.

    regarding the hours on a freeway, get a screen for the VTR, and it will be fine. this will make a fair difference to the amount of wind on your torso. wear the right gear, and the rest of you doesnt need the protection from wind/rain that fairings offer.

    go have a read of a thread i think its in the new riders section, OP is "twisties", he was lookin at a Ducati but decided on the VTR. a few of us owners have commented in there, i think alot of the info is relevant to you.

    and thats an awesome post full of tips too, IDLM.

    i dont know about some of those fuel consumption quotes though guys.
    for all my VTRs ive been getting around 300km/tank, BEFORE reserve, cruisey riding. 280km-ish if it's spirited, and 240km on the highway at 145km/h constant, that was around 10,000RPM. she didnt like that haha.
    something's up if u hit 250km inc reserve, and ur not at redline the whole way :?

    height and weight wise for you, should be fine, ive seen taller and bigger people on the VTR no worries.

    good luck with the hunt :)
  17. Thanks for the replies everyone, including monkey!.... good post :grin:
    Since I first posted I must say that it's going to be a toss up between the GS500 and the VTR250 but I am currently leaning towards the GS500F.... for a few reasons -
    Fuel economy is quite good in comparison to the VTR
    20L tank means less fuel stops, I dont like stopping :)
    I think fairing would be of advantage on big trips
    As some have suggested, being a 500 its going to be better for overtaking
    For the same money I can get a later model or half the K's on the clock.... or sometimes both :wink: :cool:


    Mint Man :LOL:
  19. hey mate,

    Nice to see another VTR fanboy. Myself I started on the Chickenhawk and loved it so much decided to upgrade my wings and get the superhawk. Definitely a good bike, previous people have stated the issues pretty well.

    Something to note though would be whether it's been smashed before hand. Read up on NR for ways to check these things, one of the more tell tale signs which I've used in purchasing bikes has been dents in the steering stops and IMHO obviously with the way the vtr 250 is built, the entire frame can get buggered from a fairly minor collision.

    A problem which I've had with the superhawk and heard is a common honda problem is with the electrics. The speedo might be going along normally then will just drop to zero then start going along as normal, the rev gauge will blip past redline randomly without any input (note bike does not rev in this instance) and if you have a fuel light, it can turn on at random. The mechanic said something about Honda building great bikes but not being able to make an alternator.

    I don't know too much about electrics so I took his word for it and he knew what to do to get it fixed for a reasonable price (shop around kiddies).

    But yeh, I would reccomend the VTR 250 and don't know too much abotu the GS 500 but I've heard good enough reviews to not warn you off them.

    Hope my post helped :wink: