New rider tips, guides, and reviews on great starter bikes.

Yamaha Virago 250 Review

The Yamaha Virago 250 has the classic standard cruiser look without the unmanageable power and torque that a new motorcyclist doesn't need while learning the basics of riding. Out of all of the standard style motorcycles I have to say that I really like the look of the Virago the best. Not only is it small and nimble, but it has a fair amount of chrome on it to satisfy most appetites.


MSF and you

When I first took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course, they had a few different bikes for everyone to ride. Most of them were in the 150cc - 250cc range. The bike I chose to ride for part of it was the Yamaha Virago 250. It is an absolutely awesome bike to learn the fundamentals on.

The 249cc, SOHC, 60 degree v-twin engine provides enough power for cruising around the streets, and can even get you around on the freeway. The bike is lightweight and that makes maneuvering at low speeds incredibly easy. It is important to keep in mind that the lack of motorcycle mass means the bike is so light weight that you might get blown around on the freeway more than would be comfortable.

yamahavirago 250a_0.jpg

Great for short riders!

This bike was definitely made with smaller riders in mind. The seat height is only 27 inches, which is a full 2 inches lower than the Kawasaki Ninja 250, a motorcycle already famous for its low seat height! I was very impressed by that. Unfortunately, that means that if you are a taller rider (6 feet or taller) you may feel too cramped on this motorcycle.

The Yamaha virago is one of the most expensive beginner motorcycles in the 250 class, but after you start it up and hear the rumble it makes you will be able to see why. That small engine really puts out a very nice sound, especially when you open it up a little. And that's one really great reason I love smaller bikes even though I'm an experienced riders. You can open the throttle all the way on this virago without immediatly going warp speed like you would on a 600cc bike. I always say, it can be a lot more fun riding a 'slow' bike fast, than a fast bike slow!

Great gas mileage

yamaha virago 250b_0.jpgThis would be a perfect starter bike for anyone that doesn't have enough experience to jump right on a Yamaha Shadow or V-star, but they still want that classic cruiser look. One thing to mention is the fantastic gas mileage you get out of this motorcycle. Most people will get over 70 miles per gallon with normal riding, and if you really work on saving gas I've heard of people getting around 90mpg!That's impressive no matter how you slice it!

Chances are if you sign up at a MSF course you may even get a chance to ride this bike like I did. That might be a great way to 'try before you buy', while at the same time learning all the basics of riding. Check out the motorcycle riding courses in your area.


  • Best looking and sounding cruiser style 250 motorcycle!
  • Awesome fuel efficiency coming in at 70+ mpg.
  • Low seat height great for smaller riders.


  • So lightweight you may get blown around on the freeway.
  • The stock mirrors are practically useless.
  • One of the most expensive 250 class motorcycles.


  • Engine: 249cc, air-cooled, SOHC, 60 degree V-twin
  • Displacement: 249cc
  • Bore and Stroke: 49mm x 66mm
  • Fuel System: 26mm Mikuni carburetor
  • Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
  • Miles Per Gallon:
  • Seat Height: 27.0 in.
  • Wheelbase: 58.7 in
  • Weight: 302 lbs. dry
  • Miles Per Gallon: 70+


Ron's picture

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on

Was preparing to buy a new Virago 250 when I noticed that the crome exhaust and the back cyl-head was not really connected. It appears the exhaust for the rear cyl-head is really is through a seperate pipe (black) that runs down the back of the cycl-head and then connects into a seperate exhaust, that appears to be part of the end portion of the crome exhaust. I'm trying to buy my 1st bike to learn and wanted the Virago 250 to learn. But now I'm considering a Honda Rebel 250, although it has a few less CCs and does not look as good as the Virago. But what good is looks if the bike is built on a hockey design. For the life of me a can't quess why Yamaha would configure the exhaust this way? Would appreciate some insight before I make my final purchase. Thanks...

Richard's picture

Submitted by Richard (not verified) on

I too am looking at either the yamaha virago or the rebel 250. still can't decide either... anybody w/ more experience care to help me decide? i'm very open to suggestions.

yuri's picture

Submitted by yuri (not verified) on

I have ridden both of those bikes while taking my MSF course, and most people seemed to like the Honda Rebel a lot more than the virago. I personally didn't have a preference either way.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
go with the Yamaha. just bought a 2005 virago 250 two weeks ago and it is great.
Phillip's picture

Submitted by Phillip (not verified) on
I just bought the 2003 virago like a month ago and many people mistake it as a small harley! it is very comfortable to ride and doesnt have the vibration like many bikes! it may lack in power for some but with a good excelleration and comf ride with not alot of effort to handle it is a great bike!
troy's picture

Submitted by troy (not verified) on

i have a viraog not a problem although the fuel tank has a short range which can be inconvient when on long trips.

i love mine , fuel wise great power great, so comfy although in windy conditons i take extra care.

hope this is of help troy

Carolyn's picture

Submitted by Carolyn (not verified) on

I just bought a 2007 Virago 250 because I am just learning to ride. My husband has a 95 Virago 1100 so I fell in love with the Virago line. It's a shame they don't make them anymore. I now have 2 different people wanting to use my bike to take their driver's test on it! I plan on getting some saddle bags and a wind shield.

deana's picture

Submitted by deana on

i live in lyons il and i have a yamaha virago 250 (black) for sale it is in perfect condition,
$1800.00 or best offer great learning bike .i am selling it because i am ready for a bigger bike.
if you are interested email me at if you want pictures i can send them to your email.

dave hutton's picture

Submitted by dave hutton (not verified) on
hi,been riding since i was 16,now 61 years young!!!.my nephew passed his test last year and was going to buy a chineese copy of the virago 250,but i talked him into buying the real thing.he bought one,and after trying it out ,i photographed my yamaha 600 fazer sold it on ebay,bought a 250 virago,and have never felt so at home with any other bike!!!!! i can't praise this bike will happily sit on the m 1 at 70 it keeps up with all town traffic,is so easy to handle will give you all the confidence you'll need.with other bikes i've owned i often get a knumness in my fingers,but nothing with the virago.its so comfortable .its also very light to get it in and out of the garage.i even use it to go to the chip shop on,where i would never have got the fazer out to do that.both our bikes have 100% reliable,i could go on all night singing its praises.i'm in nottingham and you are more than well-come to come and see what i'm on won't go wrong buying a me any time dave
Bill's picture

Submitted by Bill (not verified) on

Read your comments and agree. Like you, I am an older rider (61). I rode a little when I was 16, but not since then. After taking a MSF New Rider's Course I started looking for a 250 -400 cc bike to get started on. Man, with all the gas prices soaring I searched every Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Buell dealer in about a four state area. None of the dealers had anything, but said that the could sell 1000 if they had them. Just today (July 1st, 08) I was at a local Honda dealer asking when he might get some of the 250 cc bikes, to which he replied, "Toward the end of the year." As we were standing there another salesman overheard us and told us that an older gentleman had just traded a 2006 Yamaha Virago 250 that looked like it just rolled out of the showroom and only had 1300 miles. I took a look and it was perfect. I bought it on the spot for $2700. It seems to be a great bike for me (5'8" 165 lbs) and I have enjoyed it this first day of ownership. It sure looks good and seems to be great for where I want to operate the bike -- around 25 -45 MPH areas in town. Very sharp looking with all the chrome and V-engine.

Dan's picture

Submitted by Dan (not verified) on

The 2009 Viragos, which Yamaha will call V Star 250's and no longer Virago, comes out late August. So will the Honda Rebel and Suzuki GZ 250. I own an 07 GZ 250 and love it. Don't forget the Suzuki while you're shopping. They are all 3 very dependable, well-built, light and good looking bikes. All 3 get 70 mpg, too, so I would probably buy whichever one I could find first, if they are going to be hard to acquire again. I do like the twin V look and sound, but they all 3 handle almost the same....same acceleration, braking, feel. They are all made for someone about 5'8" or a little taller or shorter, and although they will tolerate 200 pounds, they perform best with lighter people. I'm kind of perfect for these bikes at 5'8" and 140 pounds. All 3 have comfortable seats and the distances to pedals and ground is ideal. This is the perfect bike for around town in stop and go traffic or 45 mph traffic. Even 60 mph is fine, but the engines strain at 70 and that has to be hard on the small engines for anything other than brief periods. You could always use the interstate and stay at 60 in the right hand lane too with the truck and exiting traffic, but if I did interstate travel, even I would buy a bigger bike, but I rarely use interstates except to go a mile at 65 or so rather than go out of my way to take a secondary road. Dan

nmorrison1993's picture

Submitted by nmorrison1993 (not verified) on

you should not have talked your nephew into buying the yamaha instead, you cost him about a grand. yamaha doesn't manufacture the virago 250 they have it built in china and import it thierselves.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Hummmm, Made in China, you are talking CRAP, I have TWO and on both the label says MADE IN JAPAN

BoOZe P-ti Motard's picture

Submitted by BoOZe P-ti Motard on

hahahaha it is good you did not put your name here coz are you nuts? okay i can take a toyota and put made in the US...haha.. out of the four big japanese, only kawa and honda are +/- ok..yamaha and suzuki well..some doubts...
maybe i can label you made in are you japanese??ROFL

Solomolo Rider ;D

Solomolo Rider ;D

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I find your comments very interesting, I assume you suggest Honda is MADE IN JAPAN, weeeeeeeeeeeell apart from having two V-Stars I or rather let me correct that, my wife and I also have two Honda CRF bikes, my wifes is made in Japan mine is Brazil, long way from Japan, I do agree that products can and are mislabeled the obvious reason being what sensible person would want to buy a bike made in China, however I do have every reason to believe that both our V-Stars really are made in Japan. p.s. No I am not from Japan but from TEXAS y'all have a great day :-)

Dave's picture

Submitted by Dave (not verified) on

I find your comments very interesting. I consider myself to be a sensible person (having several University and Trade degrees)
I currently own a 250cc V Twin Lifan motorcycle (made in China) This is an exact copy of the Yamaha Virago and most parts are interchangeable. My local shop always has oil/fuel filters on hand, whereas the Yamaha people do not have one or the other,from time to time. The defence rests it's case. Google Lifan when you get a chance. You may be very impressed instead of very biased. Have a good day.

jet's picture

Submitted by jet on


kade's picture

Submitted by kade (not verified) on

i've just put a down payment on a 05 virago 250. You seem to be very knowledgable in the virago line, and i was wondering if you have any advice on any routine maintaince, winterization, or any customs parts avaliable.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Who really cares how the exhaust pipes are connected as long as it work? Lots of bikes have chrome heat shields over the the black exhaust header. This keeps you from getting burned should you brush against it.

DH-Virago's picture

Submitted by DH-Virago (not verified) on

I have an '07 Virago and I love it.. I'm not an engineer, but I believe the curved black pipe on the back exhaust helps to balance the exhaust system. The pipe from the front cylinder is longer, the back (chrome) exhaust pipe is shorter. I believe the objective of the secondary (black) pipe on the back exhaust accomplishes the objective of balancing out the system - otherwise there would be a different amount of pressure in the front vs. the back cylinder. I believe that the system Yamaha has engineered provides that balance and that most likely improves the performance of the exhaust and motor. The back pipe is not "fake" - it is actually a clever design.

DH-Virago's picture

Submitted by DH-Virago (not verified) on

Whoa! I was wrong about the back pipe - it is non-functional! I got under the bike and realized the real back pipe is actually that curved black pipe and it feeds into the muffler of the FRONT PIPE! I still think the curves are designed to balance length and pressure but you guys are right - the chrome back pipe appears to be ornamental. Pretty wild design but it obviously works!

Scott's picture

Submitted by Scott (not verified) on

Both mufflers are indeed used, the bottom muffler connects to the top by a junction right after the taper on the bottom muffler. The arrangement is ornamental, I agree about that, as well as the balance that is brought by the crazy little black pipe. If you look at the west eagle drag pipes the top pipe is damn near a foot longer than the bottom, and that is to balance the back pressure for both cylinders.

250chop's picture

Submitted by 250chop on

actually, i cut through my pipe ,to get the flange, and the frony pipe is also fake. inside the chrome pipe is a skinny black pipe, just like the back one.

Eric's picture

Submitted by Eric (not verified) on

The exhaust is made that way so the chrome does not discolor. Very common and not "hokey".

Banzai's picture

Submitted by Banzai (not verified) on

My best guess is that they did it to get a better exhaust note, sort of like the tubing in a trumpet.
I have a Virago and my wife has a rebel.
The rebel is stone cold dependable and this is my wife's second one, having bought her first one back in '83. I bought the Virago from a friend and it is also nice. The rebel is quicker off the line but the virago is smooth and quiet at high speed. The rebel vibrates at all speeds and the virago is butter smooth with more of a hum than a vibration. They are both great beginner bikes but the virago is better set up for taller riders, the rebel for shorter.
The virago has a super complicated vacuum operated petcock and fuel pump system. It doesn't seem to be an issue for anyone else, but sometime in the past some gunk got in the tank and keeps clogging the pump. I put a filter between it and the petcock and all is now well. The rebel's fuel goes directly from a conventional valve petcock to the carb.
Hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

The Virago 250 has a true dual exhaust. The pipe from the rear cylinder takes a convoluted route to the exhaust pipe in order to keep the pipes from the front and rear cylinders the same length. That way the exhaust pipes have the same amount of back pressure and allows the use of a single carb feeding both cylinders without having to compensate for different air flow thru the front and rear cylinders. When the bike is running you can put your hand at the rear of each exhaust pipe and feel the engine pulses.

MYVSTAR250's picture

Submitted by MYVSTAR250 on

Buy a new aftermarket Roadburner exhaust system.

Suz7red's picture

Submitted by Suz7red on

Where are you getting this 'Roadburner' system from? Is it very expensive? Do you (or anyone) know if you will have to re-jet the carb? Does anyone know if there is any after market exhaust for the Virago 250 that you will not have to re-jet for?


Robert's picture

Submitted by Robert on

I bought my Virago 250 yesterday and covered 460 kilometres in a bit over six hours. The bike went better than expected held a steady 110 KPH for the trip even into a stiff wind. Only complaint was the fact my butt was a bit sore for the last 50 Ks.

scottishslayer's picture

Submitted by scottishslayer (not verified) on

i've just bought a 91 virago 250 and its a cracker! great handling, decent power for what it is and comfy as all hell. great bike!

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I have had my Virago now for about 2 months. I am thoroughly pleased with it. Plenty of pep and power in and around traffic. Being a beginner biker it has been the perfect bike for me. I would like to get the exhaust to sound off a little more -- any ideas?
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My son and I both have the Yamaha 250 Virago, but mine has a somewhat louder exhaust note. It really sounds like a big bike. We both got them used, but I discovered the the previous owner of mine drilled 7 or 8 1/4 inch holes in the last baffle plate of the exhaust pipes. I've heard of people taking the whole last plate out, but from the descriptions of the process it sounds like a lot of work. Drilling out the holes looks to me a lot easier. One possible problem is that you may have to have the dealer or someone who knows what they are doing reset the carb primary jet. I don't know if the holes in the baffle caused the need for resetting the carb, or if because the bike was sitting on a showroom floor that the carb would have needed cleaning anyway. My son's bike wouldn't run at all on the showroom floor until the mechanic there cleaned the carb. Anyway, they both run beautifully and are a gas to ride. I'm getting between 72 and 81 mpg. Be sure to use either the Yamaha fuel preservative or Sea Foam (available in most auto parts stores... also a conditioner and preservative) to condition your gas and keep your carb clean. The dealer also suggested getting the best gas you can find and also use premium. I hope this helps.
vanillahielo's picture

Submitted by vanillahielo on

hello sir. I just purchased my 02 250 virago Im enjoying it. With these gas prices I decided tofinally park my car. can i get more info on how to do the exhaust holes on my bike. does that give me better mpg? Im also interested in changing the stock sprockets going one tooth bigger in the front and 2 or 3 smaller in the back. I heard this gives you taller gearing and improves mpg as well. Thank you.

MYVSTAR250's picture

Submitted by MYVSTAR250 on

Roadburner has an aftermarket exhaust system for the 2009 V-star 250.

Red's picture

Submitted by Red (not verified) on
I love my bike. I like the way it feels when driving especially since I have installed a windshield. I changed out the mickey mouse mirrors and bought a new set that are awesome. This bike has great pick up and is is fun to learn on. If you are looking at learning on a bike. I would suggest this one to learn on.
Debbie's picture

Submitted by Debbie (not verified) on

I love my Virago 250. It is a 2006. I am 4' 11". It fits me perfect. I use to ride all the time 25 years ago. I am a 57 year old grandma now. I tried out The Rebel, and the Kaw. I am glad I decided on the Virago. It is easy to handle and comfortable to ride. It has started right up the past two springs after sitting on the carport though the cold Colorado winters.
I am thinking about getting a windshield. I had several different motorcycles years ago, but none with a windshield. I am just wondering if I do get one: 1. Should I get a short or tall one? 2. Just a plain one or one that is more like a faring? 3. With being short and small, will the windshield cause a problem when riding in the wind? Will it be harder to ride with a cross wind or when a large truck flies by?
What are your mirrors like? Do you know if they make very small spot mirrors you can put on the factory installed mirrors?

acidman1968's picture

Submitted by acidman1968 (not verified) on

I purchased a new 2007 Virago in May of 2007. During 2007 I didn't install a windshield, however I did purchase/install one in April of 2008. Since that time, I've noted that the bike is more stable at all speeds, and my average mpg increased.

For others who are interested, I wrote an opinion/review of the Virago 250 on - just search for Virago 250.

bbowles1973's picture

Submitted by bbowles1973 on

I ride about 75 miles a day going to and from work. Most of that is on the freeway... I got tired of fighting the cross winds and truck blow-by and found a wind screen on ebay for about $60. It has made a world of difference!!! Truck no longer blow me all over the road and cross winds are much less noticeable. My mileage went up by about 4 mi/gal too!
I got it at Powersports2go in ebay stores. It was less expensive than any other wind shield/windscreen I had looked at.


Sheri's picture

Submitted by Sheri (not verified) on

Thank you for mentioning your height, This was my primary concern when beginning to look for a bike to learn on. On 37yrs old and 5'1" tall. Thanks again.

WED's picture

Submitted by WED (not verified) on

I am a 58 year old who just bought a 06'Virago 250 with a windshield. After driving it just a little I wouldn't do without it. It actually help in windy conditions and dosn't cause any more problems when a truck passes. A bit of a problem for such a light bike. Love mine!

ANARCHY-TV.COM's picture

I bought a Rebel from my sister for $500, and its a very fun flickable bike to ride with a very tight turning radius. At that price, nothing else can compete. As long as we have had it, it has never, ever failed to instantly crank, which is testimony to the awesome build of the caurberator. The Rebel is suppose to get tops about 66 mpg, the Virago 81 mpg, but I haven't verified either of these, and I get a lot less simply because I just drive in low gear around the farm having fun. Driving about 50mph is about as fast as you really want to go on these... higher speeds things start feeling kind of ansty regarding a gust of side wind blowing you around... plus you're sitting upright so you start to feel that wind pressure. If I had to buy new, I'd get a V Star 250 (Virago renamed, they have a very nice Black Cherry color scheme for 2008), or a Ninja 250 which gets 70mph and supposedly has a lot more kick to it in every area, or an electric bike, and I'd have no problem buying a Honda Rebel new again. But any of those would cost $3500+. If you are short, and like to play around at low speeds, like me, get the Honda Rebel. If you want rapid acceleration and performance, get the Ninja 250. If you want a beefy growl and lots of low end torgue and ability to pimp it out to ultra high mpg with larger sproket, or live someone very hot where you want lots of airfin exposure for cooling, get the Virago 250.
Gordon's picture

Submitted by Gordon (not verified) on
I have a 2004 Rebel 250 and am still getting used to it. However, my mileage so far calculates out to 84 mpg and that includes around town and 70 mph on the highway. Top end appears to be about 75 and it is a bit light, haven't ridden the Virago, but my wife just bought a 2002 model, so we should have some comparisons. Put a windshield on the Rebel and it is a sweet machine to ride. It was one of the few I could ride since I am only 5 ft tall. Have ridden several over the years (am 63 now) and this is the sweetest I have ridden so far.
acidman1968's picture

Submitted by acidman1968 (not verified) on

I haven't ridden a Honda Rebel, but I sat on several of them while trying to decide which bike to purchase. The Rebel was a bit more "cramped" feeling to me - mainly because the footpegs are about four inches farther back on the bike frame than the pegs on the Virago.

For the record, I'm about 5'10" and weigh about 235. The Virago handles my frame nicely, and it will easily do highway speeds - even with my carcass on it.

Banzai's picture

Submitted by Banzai (not verified) on

"How was that Yamaha ride in comparison? Was it taller?"

The are both 25" high at the seat. The Virago is "taller" because the foot pegs are further out front on the frame, right where it comes down from the head and bends around the engine. The rebel's footpegs are further back, nearer the centre of the engine. The virago also has taller handlebars the newer rebels have shorter almost dragster handlebars. (they were taller back in the 80's bikes).

This is why the virago is better suited to taller riders even though the bikes are almost identical in size.

vanillahielo's picture

Submitted by vanillahielo on

hello sir I just purchased a 2002 virago and im enjoying it. I've heard other people do the sprocket modification on their bike, do you know what would be a good tooth set up for front and back. and if i do that change will that give me better mpg? thank you

yamyfan's picture

Submitted by yamyfan on

I have a 2008 V-star 250 (formerly virago) and drive it about 20 miles each way to work. I am 6 ft and 185 lbs. Much of the driving is between 60 and 70 mph, so I wanted taller gears. I was told to gear the front one up 1 tooth and the rear sprocket down two. I order the sprockets and installed then only to find that was a bit too much of a jump. There are several hills on my route that I could easily maintain 70 mph on with the original gears, but after the re-gearing, I had to downshift. So I left the 1+ on the front and put the original on the rear. It is pretty good now. I can easily maintain my speed on the hills, but at 65 mph, the engine is not revving as high and sounds nicer. My mileage jumped a couple mpg too. I got 84 mpg on my last tank this fall just by keeping it at 65 mph or less and avoiding full throttle acceleration.

This is a great little bike that I've driven for two summers and really enjoyed. The only other mod I might add is a windshield. On longer high speed trips it would be less tiring to have the windshield pushing the air instead of my body.

Mark's picture

Submitted by Mark (not verified) on
The Yamaha Virago has only one true pipe, the other is semi-useful. The rear cylinder has a black pipe that makes a 90 degree turn down into an air chamber, from there it connects to the mid-section of the semi-useful pipe. On the bottom of the air chamber there is a screw that can be removed to give a bit more sound since this is before the baffle system. There is NO reason to re-jet the carb! The one thing that I have yet to read on the Internet is the intake on this bike... Only the right side is the true intake and when you disassemble it you will find a separate attachment that only allows a minimal amount of air flow. Remove the screws to this will leave a riser tube into a raised plastic junction area to the filter system. I took a hack saw and removed the rest of this portion and sanded it down. I was quite amazed at the increase of performance. It seems that everyone is looking for sound thus eliminating back pressure. The next thing you know you have misses and back fires. Air intake is proportionate to exhaust. An open exhaust with very little air intake will give you with back fires (un-burned fuel igniting in the exhaust pipe), well, just add more air, don't re-jet the carb, geese! You need balance, and you have to find it.... Like I did... One last thing, don't remove the baffles or exhaust cone on this bike, just drill 6 holes in the true pipe and 4 in (what I call) the semi-useful pipe (you already removed the screw from the air chamber). Just make sure the drill bit is long (12 inches+) enough and please don't butcher up the pipe. This is really a great bike after a few little modifications were made.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I jjust purchased an 07 Virago 250, and am interested in making the intake mod you mention, but am unclear on what exactly needs to be sawed and sanded. did you remove and re-install it to do this? what do you mean by portion? thank you very much, any help/additional details appreciated.
jmaskdc's picture

Submitted by jmaskdc on
Hi Mark, Thanks for the tips. I'm in the process of making the mods now. I have a cousin telling me "rejet, rejet, rejet", so I'm glad to hear I shouldn't have to mess with that. When sawing off the plastic tube into the filter area, are you just sawing off the 1/2" of the 1" round tube sticking up, or are you sawing below that 1" round tube and REALLY opening things up? Thanks a lot for the input Mark. I look forward to taking a spin after the mods. Has anyone else played with this modification? How did it work for you? Jason
250chop's picture

Submitted by 250chop on

i modified my intake to take a 27mm round slide keihin side draft carb. i made a custom set of pipes . they are straight pipes that turn down like chopper pipes. it runs so lean that you have to keep the choke on all the time. other than that it runs great.has anyone had a problem like this? how i've adjusted the main slide needle down as far as it will go. and it's still lean

Maureen's picture

Submitted by Maureen on
I have a 2006 Virago 250 and it has stock mirrors. What brand of mirrors work better on this bike? Maureen
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I went on Ebay and did a search for Yamaha Virago 250 mirrors. I bought some there.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Buy haley mirrors, they look the best and they sale o converter bolt that screws into the hole on the bike but the other end is threaded for harley mirrors. They are like 8.00 a piece but are very worth it. They look great!
Jeremy's picture

Submitted by Jeremy (not verified) on
I bought my Virago brand new in 2004 and it now has 19500 km. For my first bike I've been extremely impressed. My wife owned a 2003 Honda Rebel when I met her and I new then that I had to learn to ride! Living in the beautiful West Kootenay mountains of British Columbia you find yourself cruising up and down many of the mountain roads and this is where the Virago far passes the Rebel. I often found myself waiting for my wife as the Rebel couldn't keep up going up those hills where my Virago would cruise in 5th at about 110km no problem. Don't get me wrong the Rebel and the Virago are by far the best two confident boosting bikes out there, but the Virago in my opinion is the only way to go!!! Ride Safe!!!
shaggles's picture

Submitted by shaggles on
I bought a 2004 Vorago from the place I took my MSF course about 3 weeks ago. I've really enjoyed riding it. I haven't tried it out on the freeway yet but if it can handle that it might keep me happy for a while. I have a question though. I was walking towards my bike the other day and I noticed something hanging down under the engine. I thought I'd just picked up a twig or something but when I reached under to pull it off I realized it was a plastic tube about a 1/4 inch in diameter. When the motor is running I can feel air coming out of the tube. My question is is this supposed to be like that? Or has this come loose from somewhere? I've riden it since then and it doesn't seem to effect performance.
Bean's picture

Submitted by Bean (not verified) on
Yes. I have an '07 Virago 250 and I think you are talking about the vent line for the battery. To verify just trace the line up. It should plug into the battery compartment right above the tool box.
AaronMerlot's picture

Submitted by AaronMerlot on
It mite be the battery "breather" hose (keeps any liquid escaping from the battery in hot weather away from the bike). But I don't think it would have air flowing out of it.
Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on
That would have been my guess. I remember having to replace one of those hoses once and it was a pain snaking it through the bike. Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin


Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

shaggles's picture

Submitted by shaggles on
Thanks guys.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Your right. I went to the mechanic at the Yamaha dealer and ask him what it was.
cliff's picture

Submitted by cliff (not verified) on
I just picked up an '07 Virago 250 on the 21st of this month. Been loving that thing since! I work on a farm and commute about 6 miles to work so this bike is perfect for the back country roads! I'm looking to swap out the stock mirrors, too. Something that looks identical but chrome would be nice...anyone know where I can get a pair? Thanks.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Both of these are good bikes, but the Virago is a v-twin 249 cc, and the Rebel is a straight 234 cc. That explains the Virago's better power and sound. The viragos are reliable (there are some complaints about weird electrical issues and randomly loosening bolts), but the rebels are straight up INDESTRUCTIBLE. You can drop them, soak them, ignore them, use crappy gas - whatever, and they just keep going. Look at the number of used ones around. Unless you're buying one of these to literally JUST get around, you're going to want to look at a bike that's at least slightly larger (450-600cc) for the power and freeway ability. If your puttering around puts you on the freeway a bit, the Virago is the better bet. If not, the Rebel is a better bet. If you're on the freeway a lot, think about a bigger bike to start with, so you don't have to switch. In the end though, ride them all if you can, and pick the one that feels the most comfortable.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I'm 6'2" 220lbs and I read in the review "if you are a taller rider (6 feet or taller) you may feel too cramped on this motorcycle." Will it really be too uncomfortable for a guy of my size?
Ben's picture

Submitted by Ben on
The only way to tell is to hop on one either at the dealership or a friends bike if you can. You should know relatively quickly if you are going to be too cramped on the bike or not. Be sure to sit on a bunch of different bikes if you can before you make your decision. Ben ~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin


Ben - Editor and Owner of BBM

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think you are too tall for both the Virago 250 and the Rebel. I am 5'7" - tried the Rebel didn't like it, the Virago for my height was perfect. Just slightly higher than the Rebel much more comfortable and much more better looking. My husband took my Virago for a test drive to "check it out" - he is 6'2" 200+ lbs and looked like Herman Munster on a Moped on it, although it still had good pick up and go with his size body on it. Did you think about an Enduro 250, it's an on/off road bike but they are much taller and probably more comfortable for you to learn on, unless your an experienced rider, just go for a bigger street bike.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
6'2" dude here, I've got my heart set on a cruiser-styled bike as my first. They just look cool to me. The dirt bikes and crotch rockets just don't strike my fancy. I do like some of the bmw 'urban' styled bikes but those are 1k+ CC's and I'm assuming that's a lot for a newbie to learn on. There's a place not too far from my house, Hahm Motor Sports in Anaheim CA. I guess I'll just make my way over there some day and just get a feel for themas the admin suggested.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I'm 6'3 and 205, I have a Honda Rebel 250. It is cramped, and starts to get uncomfortable after about half an hour. Fortunantly, my commute rarely goes over 25 minutes, so It never gets to be a real problem. If I had it to buy over again, I would probably go for a bigger bike, but this one does what I need it to do.

First time buyer's picture

Submitted by First time buyer (not verified) on
I'm looking to buy my first bike, it seems that the Rebel and Virago are both popular choices, but I do about 200 miles on the highway every other weekend to see loved ones. Is a 250 class bike reasonable for this? I read above that you get blown around a bit. I don't mind sticking to 65-70 mph if the bike will handle it. Let me know what you think.
cliff's picture

Submitted by cliff (not verified) on
I was debating between the Kawasaki Vulcan 500 and the Virago 250 for my first bike. I went with the 250 because I don't expect to do much highway riding. I drive mostly country roads doing about 55mph and the virago does fine, but it doesn't seem to have much "oomph" if I wanted to accelerate or pass vehicles going about that same speed. I say go with something around the +500cc range if you plan on doing lots of highway riding.
john's picture

Submitted by john (not verified) on
I had a Yamaha Virago 250 (2003 model) for a couple of years and it did get ~65 mpg. However, the top speed was about 75 mph at full throttle (a little bit too low in my opinion). Although they were minor, I also had a few quality problems with the Yamaha. On the plus side, the Virago has an extremely comfortable riding position and was very easy to start. About ($3500) I currently have a 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250. The top speed is about 100 mph and I get about 50-55 mpg (although I also beat the living crap out of it by reving it to 10-12 K each gear). I have had no quality problems to date, although there was one manufacturer recall. On the down side, the choke usage is an art form. I start the bike at full choke, reduce the choke halfway until the bike is fully warm (perhaps 5 miles) and then the choke can go to 0 without stalling. This bike is very highway capable, however, the riding position is not nearly as comfortable as the Yamaha. I have no problem with 1 h rides, but for longer rides, it becomes uncomfortable. (About $3,000). The 250 Ninja is quicker than most cars (0-60 mph in about 6 s versus 8 or 9 s for the Rebel or Virago). Although Honda makes excellent engines, the Rebel is underpowered in my opinion and wasn't even in my consideration. (About $3,100). My opinion. If you are young (less than 40 with no neck or back problems) and can tolerate a moderate riding position (something analogous to a mountain bicycle), get the Kawasaki Ninja 250. Otherwise, I would go with the Kawasaki Vulcan 500. It is a moderately lightweight vehicle with 55 hp. Since the engine is the same as the Ninja 500 cc, I would guess the Vulcan 500 gets 50 mpg and can do a 14 s quarter mile (about $5,000). I believe the Honda Rebel is definitely not a United States highway bike and the Yamaha Virago is marginally a highway bike.
Jimmy Claw's picture

Submitted by Jimmy Claw (not verified) on
Don't get a Ninja 250. Sportbikes are strictly for douchebags.
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

sport bikes could rock this bike any day
so i would not be talking
a ninja is a good bike to start if u are in to sportbikes and they are not douchebags so what now

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

if u want to get a sportbike and u are just a beginner than yes buy a cheap 250 and if u get tired of riding it you can always upgrade later

Dan's picture

Submitted by Dan (not verified) on

Reply: It all depends. If you are willing to get blown around a little and adjust your speed a little lower...say 60 mph and stay in the right-hand lane in traffic, (assuming the road is an interstate with a speed limit of 70 mph), then the 200 miles would probably be fine. Going 70 mph would be too hard on the bike and you. Problem is, there are no similar bikes until you get into much larger engines and weight, which also equates to more expense and higher fuel consumption. Personally, I would just drive 60 in the right hand lane, but I am not proud. There are people out there, Harley owners for one, who look at this bike as something of a toy. Many other bikers call it a "first bike", then say how you will outgrow it very soon. The thing is, I don't think those young drivers interested in the fast lane understand there are lots of new bikers who are content and happy to have this small bike that can do it all for a good price, good fuel economy, and is fun to drive. It will be fun for them to drive 5 years from now too. I am wealthy by most standards, and can afford any bike, but I PREFER these 250's. I presently own a Suzuki GZ 250 which in the same class as Virago and Rebel, and performs almost exactly the same. Don't forget to look at Suzuki too. Dan

Texas Lone Star's picture

Submitted by Texas Lone Star (not verified) on

Hello Dan, At last someone who thinks a 250 is a keeper, YEAH, March 2008 I reached the age of 65 and retirement, well my wife decided I needed a hobby so decided to buy me a motorbike, yes my first reaction was a Harley, we went to the dealership and I sat on a Sportster, I honestly thought the kickstand had been bolted to the ground, after a few minutes yes I did lift it, but realized that bikes were much heavier now than the Norton I rode in my twenties, anyway I wanted the sound of the V-Twin and the looks, so yeah the Yamaha V-Star 250 was the answer, in fact my wife loved it so much she bought one for herself, we honestly are having a blast riding them, so much so that next April is a special wedding anniversary for us and we are planning a road trip on the bikes, we are going to ride Route 66 in however long it takes us, the reasoning is if someone can do it on a Vespa we sure as hell can do it on the V-Stars.

Dask's picture

Submitted by Dask (not verified) on
Just wondering how well a Virago/V-star 250 will handle around town with two people, weighing about 270 combined? Is 55 mph even reasonable? Thanks!
Big guy's picture

Submitted by Big guy (not verified) on
I'm 6-2 and 360 (yes that's a 3) and I commute on a 250 Virago. I keep it down to 55-60 MPH most of the time and I get about 75 MPG. It has plenty of power for me. If I was smaller and could get my tiny wife on without surpassing Yamaha's 400 lb suggested weight limit, I'd do it in a heartbeat. She loves to ride on the back but so far we have limited her to the Gold Wing (gas bill was killing me so I put the GoldWing in the garage during the week).
Big Guy 2's picture

Submitted by Big Guy 2 (not verified) on
This is exactly what i was looking for. I am a big guy as well. 6'2 280. Ive been looking at new beginner bikes pretty hard for the last 2 weeks. All the dealerships tell me to go in the 650cc range. but every time i sit on one, it just feels to "bulky" to me. Time and time again, i come back to the VStar 250. Not only for its looks, but the way it feels. But until know i could not find any articles where someone said they were a large person, and enjoyed the ride on this bike. So thank you. I can almost guarantee that you will be the catalyst of a VStar 250 purchase this coming weekend.
Dask's picture

Submitted by Dask (not verified) on
Awesome! We are both rather scrawny and the used dealer in town just got a used one in! Hurray!
J. Smith's picture

Submitted by J. Smith (not verified) on
I have a 2007 yamaha 250 .I weigh 185 and my wife weighs 130 and i have no problem getting around town it still has a lot of power to move around traffic. 55 mph on the highway is no problem .We went on about a 60 mile trip together with a lot of hills and it done good. Some of the larger hills made it work a little bit harder but it done very well and the gas mileage is very good. With just me by myself i get about 75 miles per gallon on highway. All i have done is replace the back sprocket with a 42 instead of a 45 so the engine does not have so many rpm's at 65 to 70 mph. That made it lose a little bit of top end power but it still does good and the engine does not work so hard.
yamyfan's picture

Submitted by yamyfan on

I am about 185 lb. and my daughter is about 120. My 250 will easily do 65 mph with us both on and handles nicely.

Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I just Bought a 250 v star 2008 (formaly virago). I am absolutely pleased withn it. It has pleanty of power, and is a very comfortable size. I am 5'10'' 200 lbs. I went to buy a 250 ninja, but at the last minute i changed my mind and bought the v star. I was also considering the GZ 250 (suzuki). In the end i figured a 2 cylinder was a better bike, so it was between the kawi and the yami. They are 2 totally different bikes, and unless you know something about those bikes, they dont look like 250's either one. Eventually I dicided on the cruiser instead of the racer, mostly because i was using this bike to comute to work and home. I used to have a GPZ1100, The bike was a heavy cow. Too fast, and unpleasent to manuver. It is very easy to get caught up in "my bikes bigger and faster" then yours. I really believe the smaller bikes are more fun. I could have bought any bike i wanted, and i wanted the 250 v star. I would highly recomend at least test driving one.
cliff's picture

Submitted by cliff (not verified) on
Congrats on your Vstar 250 purchase! I bought the '07 (still virago-named) model a little over a month ago and have been LOVING that thing!! Lube the chain at 300mi and changed out the oil w/ filter at 400mi. Just a heads up: I used PJ1 Blue Label chain lube on my bike because it seems to be well known in the biker world, but's not that great. It's real sticky and tends to fling sticky crap all over your wheels. I heard Repsol change lube wasn't bad. Going to give that a try once my bottle of PJ1 is spent. Have fun riding your new Vstar!!!
Jim S.'s picture

Submitted by Jim S. (not verified) on
I bought the 250 two years ago. I can afford any bike I want but chose the 250 because of it looks and because it is so easy to ride. I live in Florida so there are no hills to speak of. It is fast and can hold it own with the rest of the bikes around here. I backed it off after hitting 80mph. Granted there was not much left but that is fast enough for me. I get 70+ mpg. Not a bike if you want to do wheelies but it is a good looking reliable bike. At 75 on the interstate you need to pay attention when being passed by trucks but it not that bad. Same with high winds it could be a little heaver but it is not a major problem. Other than scheduled maintenance no problems with about 5,000 miles on it. If you plan to do some heavy long distance cruising I'd look for something else. Otherwise this is a great buy. Even some of the Harley riders reluctantly admit it is a good looking bike.
2talltim's picture

Submitted by 2talltim (not verified) on
i just did the exaust and intake mod mentioned above on my wifes just bought 96 virago 250 (she hasent even rode it yet and im already tearing it apart..LOL)its has 2800 miles on it and it has sat for awile in a garage had a real bad hesitiaion in the throdle reponce i thought of having carbs adjusted but i decided to do the mod first so they could be adjusted with that done. well to put it shortly i now don't have to have them adjusted because the mod fixed that problem she is very responisve now. in addition to the above mod i also cut away the thin strip of plastic that is on the cap right where the air comes in from the outside right above the front piston the odd long intake port with 4-5 screws that hold it in place when its off there is a thin part on it i just cliped it off with side cuts figured it would help air flow too.....the only other question i have is would it make it sound even better if i take a long drill bit and drill a single hole in the tube down inside the mufler were it makes a curve you can see this by shining a light in there it about 7-8 inches down or should i just leave well enought alone?
Anonymous's picture

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
My wife and I have a 2005 Virago 250, and it's great for riding around town. We live in the Washington, DC area and mostly ride it to work. Occasionally we both get on it and it does fine in the city (our combined weight is around 310 or 320). I'm around 6' tall, but my legs are the same length as my 5'5" wife's. I've taken it onto the DC Beltway a couple of times, and I don't think I'd want to ride it much on the freeway. For city riding and country roads, it's great. The only concern I have is that the fork seals have gone bad after less than 4000 miles. We don't keep it garaged, although we do keep it covered. The mechanic who repaired it said the moisture caused some corrosion, but I assumed it was the rough city streets. I know I blew out some fork seals when I lived in Brooklyn. Overall, we're satisfied. Someday we may want something bigger, but for now it works for us.
SkipWiley's picture

Submitted by SkipWiley (not verified) on

I have a 2000 model that my son GAVE me when he bought a 2007 650. I love it. Mine, too, has a fork seal issue. It has 6500 miles on it and had the problem when he gave it to me. I told him I wanted my money back and he gave me every bit I paid had him.

Anthony's picture

Submitted by Anthony (not verified) on
I am about 6'2" (light weight


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