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Yamaha Virago vs Honda CBF250

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by *Jen*, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. G'day All.

    I just got my L's :grin: and I have narrowed my bike choices down to the Yamaha Virago 250 or the Honda CBF250.

    I am hoping that someone can give me some feedback on either of these bikes as i'm a first time bike buyer!

  2. but whyyyyy?
    may i suggest neither.

    what possible reasons could you overlook a VTR250?
    seriously, best learner bike you will find.
    i say this having owned not one, but two, they were that good i went back for more.

    try one :)
  3. Agree, i love the look of the VTR250, that was my original choice, but thinking about the $$. I am hoping to buy new and the both Virago and CBF are around the same price..A new VTR250 a little out of my range :(
  4. First bike I assume Jen ?
    Why buy new ? especially seeing as your first choice is a VTR250.
    Buy the bike you wanna ride, if it means buying one a few years old, its better than settling for 2nd choice even if it's new.
    .. my 2 cents
  5. I would consider getting a 2nd hand VTR250 if $$$ is the issue. Look at getting one 2-3 years old.

    Greatest learner bike in the history of bikes. Too bad Honda in their wisdom have decided to discontinue in Australia. Idi0ts!!

    If the VTR is what you like then dont get hte Virago. You will be disappointed. They are completely different bikes. THe CBF, well I think the CBF should stand for Cant Be F**Ked as it is a single cylinder and lacks everything.

    VTR FTW!!!!!
  6. I reckon the Virago's easier to handle, and a very comfy, relaxed riding position. Plus it has a classy look. Prior to the Virago, I didn't rate cruisers, kinda felt they were "old men" cycles! How wrong I was ... but I guess I am older now!

    If you're after a commuter, than the CBF or even Yam Scorpio can be considered. But they're very much an "intermediate" step ie. you simply own one while waiting to move on to something else, while having a cruiser, you're in a totally different class.

    As for the VTR, I took one look at the prices, and I'm talking used egs. and crossed them out. If you're planning to keep one for mebbe 5 yrs, then sure, otherwise $4-6k (that's what you'd pay for a used VTR) wd buy you 2 good (used) bikes if/when you have a Full license.
  7. If you were to pay $4-6k for a used VTR today, when it was time to upgrade in 12-15 months time, you are likely to get the same back. Overall cost for learning would therefore be zero.
  8. I'd love to know what you consider to be a good 'open license' bike. $2000-3000? 8 year old sports-touring bikes don't even start until $8000 or more. There's a 140,000km 1996 VFR down the road for $4500...

    I sold my (bought-used) VTR250 for just $500 less than I bought it... and I'd put 45,000km on it in 15 months.

    They're not cheap, in the scheme of learner bikes, but they're desireable enough that the resale value is essentially constant.
  9. Hi Jen, and welcome

    The Virago is a cruiser style bike. It doesn't have a huge amount of power, and is designed for a more relaxed riding style. It's a very good, very reliable bike, and it's a good option if you're shorter because it has a very low seat height so you can be confident with both feet flat on the ground when you're stationary.

    The CBF is a basic commuter machine - it will do everything capably but nothing really well. It's an upright seating position, and is a reliable bike too.

    I'd suggest *not* buying a new bike as a beginner. Most people only keep their 250 as long as they're forced to, a year or two, and then sell it, and if you buy a brand new bike and sell that quickly you'll lose a heap of money on depreciation. Not saying it will happen, but most absolute beginners also tend to drop their bike at some point, even if it just falls off the stand at a dead stop, and it hurts a lot more if you put a ding or scratch on a brand new bike than a second hand one.

    Out of the two you specifically asked about, I think the Virago is the better bike. But, given that a VTR is what you'd really like, and that it's far superior to either of the other bikes you mentioned (unless you're a hard-core cruiser fan), I'd join the others in recommending a quality second-hand VTR over a new bike of any kind.
  10. +1 bravus. however there is nothing wrong with the cbf. singles can be fun. Plus most people think the VTR is the second coming of god on here, its a 250 sure its good but most people will still want to upgrade as soon as they can.

    but if your worried about dosh buy second hand. I lost bugger all on the resale of my across. There are plenty of good used bikes out there at the moment so dont limit yourself.
  11. The Virago is sold on looks - it looks like a cruiser but being a 250 that just means it has all of the negatives (reduced corner clearance, braking etc.) without any of the benefits of a large, lazy engine.
    VTRs are a pretty reliable bike so there's not a lot of risk in buying one that's only a few years old - and their popularity means you'll lose little if anything when you sell it later on.
    The CBF is a lot more basic which means there's a risk you may get bored with it quickly. It's also made in Brazil which is not a country renowned for build quality.
  12. thanks for the feedbacl guys, that's exactly what i was after, some honest opinions :)

    I am currently looking at a few second hand VTR250's

  13. Hi.

    I just got back from looking at a few bikes that i have had my eye on - the VTR250, the CBF250 and the Yamaha Virago 250.

    All 3 had a very different feel about them, however, being the shorty i am, i comfortably put both my feet on the ground on the Virago. With both the Honda's, i was on tip toes and didn't feel i had complete control of the bike but i'm guessing that confidence will come with time.

    I was also advised that different adjustements can be made to the seat (e.g reducing the size) if i wanted to go with the VTR250. I looked at a 2nd hand one for $6500 with 3,000 on the clock (2006 model)
  14. Unless you are going to stick with the cruiser style of bike, I would not recommend the Virago. It will teach you the wrong way to ride, and if you switch back to a regualr bike it will be harder to make the switch, IMHO.

  15. If your considering the CBF 250, then why not consider the Yammaha Scorpio?
    Both are basic commuter bikes, roughly the same ease of riding and probably similar build qualities. But the Honda carries a $2,000 price premiumfor it's alloy wheels and plastic bits stuck to the fuel tank.

    From my test sittings on both the scorpio and CBF, the scorpio is a little bit closer to the ground which might be enough for your hieght.

    I can't see how Honda can be selling any CBF's in this current market with bikes like the Ninja or even the v twin Hyosung for only a few dollars more.
  16. I'm going to go out on a limb here on netrider and say that you should get a zzr/gpx 250. Great bike esp. considering their price.

    VTR's are nice and personally i find the riding position exceptionally comfortable and if I had more disposable income, i definately would get one. if i had more i would get the new cb400.

    however my opinion is go middle range with your choices as a learner. You don't know what your perferences yet till you get some more exp. and do some riding. So for the time being don't commit too many of your chips to your new found hobby/commuter.

    I researched for over a year and read thousands upon thousands of posts on netrider and what would suit my needs and tastes. Yet, even over a small time i went from wanting a super sports bike to desiring nakeds. That was even before throwing a leg over anything.

    Personally I consider the VTR as a premium learner road bike and as shown by the loyalty of the volume netrider it is a corker of a bike and it does retain its value (At least partially because of netrider me thinks). Having said that i think it is more about buying the right second hand bike rather than the bike self. Hyosungs would be the exception to the rule...they are never the right bike all the people i know who have had them have had some degree of problems (but this is just my personal exposure to the brand).

    Dispite the vtr being a better bike in most areas, i still say save your money get something cheaper like a second hand zzr/gpx. These bikes also retain their value very well. However not quite as as well as a vtr around the $4-5.5k. But i don't expect to lose much on my zzr. Like the vtr if you get the right one your overal loss when you come so sell it should be very little. However i must say it is easier to lose money on buying and reselling, zzr/gpx than a vtr.

    Plus for you *Jen* the zzr/gpx have a much lower seat height, which i believe to be a great asset from shorter riders (as myself) to learn as it allows you to save your bike from low speed or even stationary drops. Plus i have found it will allow you to manuvre the bike in particularly while reversing it into tight spaces. Plus being about to get you feet firmly to the ground allows you to reverse the bike up small inclines. For most netriders these probably wouldn't even be a consideration they are more skilled than myself but i have to manuvre around my dad's car in the garage and it makes a big difference to me.

    Also if you are planning to to some long distance riding the fairings will not go astry in protecting you from buffering.

    Another consideration is that the majority of riders do ungrade from their learner bike, which you may or not be planning to do, but over the course of the time on your restrictions get a feel of what you want. zzr is a good bike that can do a bit of everything.

    The extra money will mean you can avoid buying cheap gear. I personally spent a fair bit on gear that is comfortable and suits my type and nature of my riding.

    Having blabed on for a bit if you listen to eveyone else you will not go wrong with a VTR it is hard to fault, but i think if your pushing your budget and will compromise on other areas, get a zzr/gpx which i feel is just another alternative as a great realiable learner bike.
  17. Sorry, straying from the topic, and I fully realise it's not what the OP is looking for, but was just making a general statement.

    92 GS500E $2.5k, 92 RGV250 $2-2.5k, 93 Yam TTR225 under $2k, 97 GSXR600SRAD $4k.

    I'm one of those looking at older, cheaper decade-plus bikes, again admittedly not the choice of many on the forum.
  18. for 2 reasons

    people buy what they like

    and some cant see the other bikes worth the extra money , they have a budget to stick with , remember you have to buy all that other gear as well
  19. Hey jen, Im a learner rider too, but ive riden both the virago and the cbf. Like someone mentioned before they are totally differnet bikes as the virago is a cruiser.
    I found the virago to be a more comfortable as its a cruiser and its got a softer seat, but the cbf probably has a bit more grunt and sportier look if thats what your after. I didnt mind either of them, but if i had to choose id get the cbf.

    Hope the thoughts of a fellow newbie helped. haha
  20. thanks for all the help guys, your experience and feedback is invaluable and appreciated.

    After weighing up the pro's and con's, i went with the Virago as i felt the most comfortable on it, I purchased it on Saturday. I can upgrade if necessary when i get more experience. I am really happy with my purchase and i am looking forward to getting on the road.

    Thanks again.