It packs a little punch with its 249cc engine, but the V Star 250's V-Twin configuration helps it stand out in the 250 class.
Unintimidating may not be the proper descriptor ever applied to a motorcycle, yet unintimidating is right up the alley for those just starting out on two wheels. An entry-level motorcycle needs to be easy-to-ride, functional and fun. The Yamaha’s V Star 250 pulls off all these feats quite well.
Formerly known as the Virago 250 (cooler name by the way…), the little V Star’s 249cc engine resides down in the itty-bitty end of the displacement pool of the Yamaha Star Motorcycles lineup. While the 60-degree V-Twin won’t get mistaken for the big ol’ 1854cc mill powering its Star Raider sibling, it does deliver a more authentic cruiser look than most of its 250 rivals.
Lightweight at 327lbs fully-fueled the V Star 250 is quite easy to ride, with a low, inviting 27-inch seat height.
A single 26mm Mikuni carb feeds fuel to the air-cooled V Star engine, and liberal use of the choke lever, located on the left hand controls, is a must on cold starts. Thumb the electric starter and the 250 manages city streets quite well, once it shakes off its wake-up call. Two-valve heads top cylinders with a 49mm bore by 66mm stroke, the compression ratio an even 10:1. Dyno runs show a modest peak of 18 horsepower and 13.8 lb-ft of torque. So while the Star ain’t going to win many drag races (see sidebar), it does produce manageable, newbie-friendly power.
It may not win many drag races, but the little V Star will still get you out on your favorite backroads - in our case up in the woods here in scenic Southern Oregon.