New to riding? This Yamaha V Star motorcycle is equal parts fun and friendly.
Many of us have been riding for years, some of us for decades, and some for so long we can’t even pinpoint inception. Yet, we all remember the first time we saddled up to our first beginner motorcycle which, for a few of you, was a bike in Yamaha’s V Star motorcycle lineup.
The 2016 Yamaha V Star 250 isn’t the kind of bike you’d take on long, romantic cross-country excursions, but it’s definitely a motorcycle you can introduce to mom (which is something considering the other companions I’ve taken home to meet her in the past).
Nothing out of the ordinary, the V Star 250 is the perfect starter bike for anyone looking to get their feet wet in motorcycle riding: it’s lightweight, slight in stature, and designed to look and feel like a genuine cruiser with narrow drag bars and foot pegs in a relaxed forward position. Incidentally, this V Star motorcycle also puts out great fuel economy (a whopping 78 miles to the gallon), so it gets five stars in the commuter category as well.
Yamaha V Star 250 Pros and Cons
For beginners and the vertically challenged, the V Star’s compact frame is a plus. The seat height (27.0 in) and width (28.0 in) make it an easy ride to mount and straddle, and its modest weight and low center of gravity work wonders for riders in terms of balance and maneuverability at lower speeds. It also has something that most other bikes in its displacement category do not: a V-twin engine.
The V Star’s 60-degree V-twin engine configuration has been declared a “rarity” by TopSpeed considering its 250cc displacement, and a more “natural” arrangement compared to its 75-degree counterparts. A small engine also means maintenance is less of a chore, which is always a plus no matter how experienced you are.
Finally, novices and shorties alike will be comforted by the fact that the clutch lever pull is very light and user friendly, so shifting is easy even if you have to stretch to reach the handlebars.
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On the flip side, a compact bike like the V Star doesn’t leave much wiggle room for larger individuals, and since it is so lightweight riders may feel themselves being blown around the highway as they approach higher speeds. Suspension, while adequate at relaxed cruising velocities, is otherwise unremarkable, and the rear drum brakes are a touch outdated for performance riders and those who willingly brave inclement weather on two wheels.
Even with a five-speed transmission and short gear ratios, power and acceleration in this Yamaha motorcycle leaves much to be desired. In all honesty, it might be too mellow. Can it get the job done in the urban jungle? Sure. But the highway can be a frightening place for a small cruiser like this, so beginners who are still learning the fundamentals of riding need be wary.
Yamaha V Star 250 Specs
- Engine Type: 249cc, air-cooled, SOHC 60-degree V-twin, 2 valves per cylinder
- Bore x Stroke: 49.0mm x 66.0mm
- Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
- Fuel System: Mikuni® 26mm carburetor
- Ignition: Transistor Controlled Ignition (TCI)
- Transmission: 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
- Final Drive: Chain
- Suspension / Front: 33mm fork; 5.5-in travel
- Suspension / Rear: Dual shocks, adjustable preload; 3.9-in travel
- Brakes / Front: Hydraulic disc, 282mm
- Brakes / Rear: 130mm drum
- Tires / Front: 3.00-18
- Tires / Rear: 130/90-15
- L x W x H: 86.2 in x 28.0 in x 41.7 in
- Seat Height: 27.0 in
- Wheelbase: 58.7 in
- Wet Weight: 326 lb
- Fuel Capacity: 2.5 gal / CA model 2.4 gal
The 2016 Yamaha V Star 250 is a suitable choice for all my beginners out there, and an amusing one for those who’ve been around the block more than once. While it isn’t the powerhouse some of us more experienced riders set our sights to, the V Star 250 will help newbies strengthen their riding potential and have fun while doing it.
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