2005 Yamaha Virago 250
Perfect Commuter and TrainerBy (I am an Owner) on Sep 26, 2013
I've owned my Virago 250 for about one year and put over 1500 miles on it. I bought it to teach two of our children (son and daughter) how to ride (I've been riding for over 35 years). It is light and nimble. The throttle and brakes are progressive, the suspension forgiving, and the clutch pull ... is fairly light. In other words, it is easy to ride...a perfect bike to train and gain experience on. What surprised me is that it has also proven to be a capable commuter because of the characteristics I just mentioned. It is ultra reliable, gets 75 MPG and cruises nicely at 60-65 MPH (70 MPH is about the top end). The gas tank is small, so I refill it every 100 miles or so. Because of its light weight, windy and rainy days can be a bit hairy. And, due to its limited power, two-up riding on the freeway isn't an option. For those situations, I ride (and seriously enjoy) my Boulevard C50. Nevertheless, for what it is and can do, it is perfect!
Most, if not all bikes out there are built in ChinaBy (I am an Owner) on Aug 09, 2012
I recently bought a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 (2009 - last year it was made). My partner purchased the 2005 Yamaha Virago. When I looked at the 250s at our local dealer and asked who's the maker behind the curtain, I was told they're all pretty much the same these days. They sure seem to be except the ... Honda Rebel 250 does really have two cylinders instead of one like all the others.
I have my license and over 25 years riding experience, she has neither. I test drove the little sucker and it ran like a dream. It took tight cornering like it was nothing, it's light (I easily moved it to a standing position while standing off it), and yeah, it's probably made in China. What isn't. Bottom line is if you don't take care of it (including garaging it - not putting it under a bike cover - that allows condensation - some - to build or wipe it off after it gets wet) it's not going to last as long as you had hoped.
One last thing. When ethanol - one of the bigger scams kept under covers in this country - was introduced what we were not told was engines were not built to handle the corn. For now, use an additive and hope it's not a con to decrease the destructive effects it will have on your engine.
Woderful rideBy (I am an Owner) on Jan 03, 2012
I own two Yamaha Virago 250's and one Lifan LF-250.
All are great rides. My Lifan is a 2006 and has just over 75000 miles, both Yamaha's are also well ridden.
No major problems with any of them!
Unlike the other review, I've had great results with the ... Lifan.
All three bikes will travel at highway speed, and still get 75-80 MPG.
Great starter bikeBy (I am an Owner) on Nov 14, 2008
This little Yamaha is fantastic for what it is - a 250. So don't think you're going to take it out on the highway and keep up with 70 mph traffic, unless you weigh 90 lbs. and the road is all downhill. But this is the best choice if you're looking for a first bike to build confidence and learn ... riding fundamentals, a small light bike for a small light rider, or even a gas-saving (over 75 mpg!)commuter that you don't mind parking in a dusty lot.
The seat height is a comfortable 27" that is perfect for smaller riders, while the foot controls are stretched out a bit so nobody is crammed into an awkward, knee-eating position. The buckhorn handlebars are pulled back for easy reach, but can mean that the steering is hard to control because the rider loses leverage. Fortunately, the bike weighs in well under 350 lbs., so any steering trouble, even at low speeds, is negligible.
Stacked against the other options in the 250 cruiser group, the Virago is a clear standout. The Honda Rebel 250, a staple in many MSF fleets is notorious for forcing the rider into a cramped position. The Suzuki GZ250 has a very straightforward single cylinder engine that just lacks the power of the Virago.
The sytling is a clear take on Yamaha's larger V-Star line, with classic retro custom cruiser looks. Combined with the v-twin power plant and staggered exhaust, the bike looks and sounds like its bigger brothers, so you feel like you're still on a "real" motorcycle. I can't count the number of times I told admirers, "No, it's only a 250." And it's a Yamaha that's been around forever, meaning parts and maintenance are a breeze. So, if you're in the market for this type of bike, the Virago 250 should be your choice.
Yamaha Good American Lifan BadBy (I am an Owner) on Sep 16, 2008
This is a good daily rider bike and Yamaha make a great bike for being a 250cc. Beware there is a Chinese copy, Lifan, VIN starts with "LF" that is a piece of S**T! The Lifan LF250 turns into a rust bucket in about 2 to 3 years. Everything on mine has rust pitting and the gas tank is rusting inside ... and is clogging up my carb. I bought mine used and was told it was a Yamaha and I did not know that there were cheap Chinese copies out there.