Yamaha Virago 250 Cruiser Reviews on Cycle Insider (15)
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2003-09-22 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I'm a recent MSF grad, and think getting this "beginner bike" was one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. This bike has great fit-and-finish, considering it's "entry-level" position in the Yamaha line, and the styling is in a class by itself comared to the other 250's I looked at. The biggest plus is the V-Twin engine -- very torquey for it's size, and the sound is much like the bigger H-D cruisers, just quieter. The engine does get a little buzzy over 60 mph, but it is very solid on the freeway considering its weight -- you can feel the breeze from oncoming semis as they pass less than 5 feet away, but they don't blow you out of your lane. Love this bike.
- JC, Reston, Virginia

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2003-08-21 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I've just recently traded my zr750 Kawasaki for a yamaha xv 250. Why ? Well the main reason was, I was using a big four to travel 3 miles to work which was quite a waste. So decided on a smaller bike, for travel and pleasure. I've got to say the XV250 was my first catch of an eye, I fell in love with this bike first visit to the showroom, and a few hours later it was in my garage. this is an amazing bike for style, comfort, and a great pleasure to own. would recommend it to anyone.
- Steve, United Kingdom

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2003-06-26 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I bought my 2001 Virago 250 with 1100 miles and one year of use on it as a first motorcycle for a 100% unexperienced rider. Having never driven a motorcycle before in my life, I am still amazed that after less than an hour of seat-time I was able to competently drive through the deserted streets of my neighborhood in the middle of the night(Around 12:30 or so)! Its nighttime illumination on city streets is incredible, and the instrementation was totally legible. My dad, who test rode it before I bought it and is very adept with motorcycles, said it has a lot more power than any bike of its size. I myself have barely tapped into the sheer amount of acceleration capability of this bike. Is that my newness to the field? If so, then any other beginner can definately enjoy it as much as I have. Another thing that is constantly pointed out to me(As if it needs to be, lol) is the incredible looks of the bike. It's absolutely beautiful! I, too, had looked at the Honda Rebel and other bikes in this price range and found this one to suit my tastes by far the best. One thing that I've discovered for myself is its ease of use and comfort. I taught myself how to use the clutch and gears(Having read the manual) and spent the aforementioned 40 minutes practicing before I took out on the streets after getting home from work; 8 hours after riding for the first time, I was cruising my neighborhood. The only problem I've had is that sometimes the transmission is very reluctant to go from neutral to first gear. I love this bike and highly reccomend it to anybody looking to start motorcycling. From what I hear from everybody else who's ridden one, they feel the same way.
- A newcomer to motorcycling, Boone, Iowa

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2003-05-31 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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Im a 16 year old male. Turned 16 2 and a half months ago. i was lookin for a bike, I went to a yamaha/honda dealer near me and found a Honda shadow....I was blown away...but then I tried the Virago, it was GREAT! my parents surprised me with it just the other day. It rides so smooth! It does look like a bigger bike, and people's jaws drop when i say 250cc. Its the most wicked bike in my whole city!
- Chris, Courtenay

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2002-12-21 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I am a 21 male, never was really into cruisers up until now. I have always liked the style of crotch rockets. But being 5'6' at 145lbs it was tough for me to ride a 600cc race bike. I started looking into small displacement bikes and noticed the Virago. Where it was love at first sight. I own one today, love it.. its looks, the sound , the performance. I have absolutely no regrets about it. And don't listen to what people say about thinking twice if you plan to take it on the highway. There are people in cars that don't even do 65mph and this bike can so whats the problem. Just dont be up on it for hours thats all. Please in Italy we would race aprilia rs50's for hours in scortching heat and they lasted through it. Its a great bike for eitheir beginners or people that just are not big enough to handle a big bike.
- Tino Z., Boston, Massachusetts

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2002-09-11 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I'm not a beginner but have returned to the wonder ful world of riding. I looked for a light yet powerful bike that I don't have to wrestle to park but can take me where I want to quickly but has a price tag about 3 grand. I considered the Honda Rebel, Honda CBs, Kawasaki Ninja and the Virago. After I purchased my used Virago I already got blown away with the Insurance I paid. Get your quote today to find out. A few days later, I was instantly with the big bike group in the corner of my street. It looks big yet very easy to handle. The Virago pampers medium sized people a lot. The light weight yet torquey powerful engine makes it a quick sport cruiser. Driving in the city is second nature to the bike. And surprisingly, it can go along well in the freeway. It does lack the 6th gear but if you switch gears properly it just works well. I've driven it more than an hour and the seats are as comfortable as other bigger cruisers. I recommend the bike to beginners and those who wants to travel light. As I see it, the 302 lbs engine and it's V engine makes it a contender compared to those bigger engines that had to carry a hefty load. Get one, ride one, and you'll know what I mean.
- GM, Portland, Oregon

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2002-06-14 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I love this bike. I learned to ride well on it. People tried to tell me, "You need a 400cc. You need more power." Naw, this baby has good power for its size. It's like a gentle horse. It's forgiving and a good one for learning but you won't look like a "new rider" or a "wanna-be". It says to the world, "I am a biker's bike". Nobody is going to laugh at you when you ride it. If they do, it proves they don't know a cool bike when they see it or they are just plain jealous. It rides smooth even at 70-75 mph on the highway. No shimmy, no vibration, no joke. I have ridden it to Arkansas, Oklahoma, ROT rally in Austin, Tx and to work, racking up 5100 miles in one year and one month. (I live in Smith County, East Texas)I am a short (5'2") female and it fits me like a glove. Guys and gals look good on this bike. When people say they mistake it for a larger bike, it's true. People are surprised when I tell them it's a 250, not a 750. It does look bigger, but it does not have a bulky, heavy feel. It's light and has a low center of gravity. It starts well even in cold (28 deg F) weather. The only maintenance I perform is cleaning and tightening the chain, keeping the oil normal, checking the tires and cleaning the air filter and of course gasing it up. Regular servicing keeps it going. I have not experienced any mechanical problems with this bike, except that I have to adjust the chain more often than I like (every 200 miles or so) but its not hard to adjust. I have travelled 122 miles without using my reserve but I was certainly glad to see a gas station! I usually get gas at 100 miles. When you start it, the engine gives a low growl/rumble, then it purrs when you drive. I replaced the horn (105 dB) with a JC Whitney 120 dB horn. I also installed fringed lever covers and a tinted windshield. You get lots of bike for your buck. Go to a Yamaha dealer and check it out TODAY.
- zephyr, east texas, Texas

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2002-04-08 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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This is my first bike and before this I have tried all the four starter bikes: the Suzuki 250, Suzuki Savage, Honda Rebel, Honda VLX and Kawasaki Eliminator 125. All of them are respectable bikes, but given the built quality and performance I picked the Yamaha even though it is the most expensive of the bunch. I could see the attention to detail everywhere. All the wires are tidily tucked in or cable tied, even the ones that are normally invisible. The Yamaha is the ONLY V-Twin in the 250cc and below category. The seat height is great even for short people like me and having some very tall friends (6'3 up) trying they all agreed that this bike is "lots of fun" and "fits very well". This bike inspires confidence. On freeway it is the only bike in the 250cc or below lineup (excluding the VLX and Savage) that I feel safe on. The midrange torque gets it up to 65 mph pretty easily with juice to spare. Once I pushed it to 85 mph on full throttle and it still felt stable enough to be comfortable. Of course, the wind blast will slow you down before you reach that speed! This bike is especially awesome in town or as a commuter (which I do everyday now). It's light, at just over 300 pounds starting and stopping is fairly easy even though I am a fresh grad from the MSF class who has never touched a motorcycle before! The front and rear suspension are very compliant and are a little on the soft side and therefore very comfortable going to bumps and potholes (not that you should ride on them!). By the way, I highly recommend the MSF class, it can save your life. It has already saved mine once. Believe it or not, it sounds like a quiet Harley. Visually this bike will also disillusion everyone into thinking that it is a much bigger bike. So far no one believed that it is a 250, especially when the Virago name has always been associated with the 1100 model or the 535 model. There are lots of chrome (or chrome colored plastic) on this bike. I especially like the dual exhaust, which pumps out a low gruntling sound. To my surprise, a few people have given me some "sidewalk thumbs-up". Huh?! This is not a Harley! But I didn't care, I gave them a nod and hid my smile under the helmet. The only complaint would be the tires. They are made by "Cheng Shin" in Taiwan; I have never heard of them until I got this bike. Even during a good sunny day or dry road I could feel the tires being a little slippery. On wet surface (here in Oregon, unfortunately, wet road is very common) these tires are almost unacceptable. Obviously they have been replaced by Metzelers. A $200 investment, yes, but I do think that since the tires are the ONLY component on a vehicle that really touches the ground, it is the last part you should skim on. Now the Virago performs like it should, cornering easily, no slip even on wet surface and a lot quieter with almost no tire noise with helmet on. Another unfortunate point is that Yamaha offers minimal aftermarket accessories for this model. However, if you look hard enough you can find some generic aftermarket OEM that will fit this bike. I have also seen a guy from Germany "chopping" this bike into a fantastic looking custom chopper. I plan to take it apart and paint it this winter with new rear Progressive shocks. Anyway, I am having way too much fun on this bike! As of this writing, I have found a LOT of aftermarket parts from Japan (where I go frequently on business). In Japan, this is NOT a small or a bottom of the line bike, and there are tons of accessories available. Email me if you need the info. Briefly, a short comparison. The Kawi Eliminator is way under-powered, to the point that I felt it is dangerous to go on freeway. The Suzuki 250 is good looking, rides great, but the built quality is worse than the Yamaha, make sure you remember it's cheaper. The Savage...to me it's ugly, even though it has a lot more power. The built is still below par. The Honda Rebel doesn't share the power the Yamaha or the Suzuki can offer, it runs out of juice too soon. The VLX's side engine cover is intrusive to my legs, and even though it is a very well built bike, that part makes me uncomfortable, still it is a GREAT bike if you are taller than me (not hard to do). So all in all...Get it. It is not just a great start bike. It is a great bike, period. I don't think I have "out perform" it yet, and I plan to use it for as long as I can. Oh, I almost forgot, it is doing close to 85 mile per gallon, talk about a gas-saver.
- Leo, Bakersfield, California

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2001-09-07 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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This bike is light and fun to ride. It is NOT for highway use. Both the top speed and the weight preclude safe interstate riding. Above 55 the engine is really working too hard. Additionally, while it will carry two up in a pinch, neither will be comfortable, as the rear seat is too small. This bike is very user friendly however and just plain fun to go around town on. It is often mistaken for a bigger bike even though it is about 3/4 the size. IF you don't need highway speeds this is a good bike.
- Gary, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

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2001-07-21 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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My first bike was a 1000cc Sportster and bought it used. The bike was to heavy for me and literally scared the hell out of me. After many anxious and sleepless nights of the Harley falling on me, I sold it. I spied a Virago 250 and felt that if it did fall on me I would be able to survive and crawl out from underneath it. The first time I sat on one at a Yamaha dealer I fell in love with how it felt and it was easy to manage. Plus it looked a lot like the bike I had just sold. The Honda, Kawasaki, and the Suzuki 250cc didn't have the quality look that I required. I purchased it and road along with a friend who has an 883c and was able to keep up with him from stop light to stop light,or maybe he was just being nice. For a 250 it has the coolest engine and style. You will out grow it though and in a hurry and will want something bigger. If it only had a larger displacement I probably would have kept the bike longer. Fantastic bike for a new recruit.
- Luke Dennehy, USA

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2001-07-06 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I had a Honda 450 Rebel, that I felt was much too heavy for me. I bought my Virago, and I can't tell you how much I love it!! The handling, the turning, and the ride is just great!
- Shirley, Toledo, Ohio

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2001-06-30 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I just got my 2001 Virago 250 a week ago and really like the bike. I rode the Suzuki GZ250 in the motorcycle safety class, which I highly recommend to any rider. After getting my license I went to a dealer and test drove a 2001 Honda Rebel. I am 53, male, 5'10" and had only ridden small 100cc bikes about 30 years before, so I just consider myself a beginner. After riding a Kawasaki 800 Vulcan Classic I found that this was just too much bike right now after dropping it while trying to start out on a hill. The Honda Rebel is for very short people, shifts awful and it lacked pep. The GZ250 is a good fit for larger people, but not as much torque as the Virago. The Virago has real style, a quality look, a peppy v-twin engine and has the look and feel of a larger bike. I paid $3650 out the door for mine and I think it is a good value for what you get. All beginners should ride no more than a 250 until riding becomes second nature and does not require much thought, just reaction. This process may take longer than you think, so be patient and learn before moving to the bigger bike. Any of the 250's mentioned will get the job done, but I think the Virago is the best of the bunch. Ride safe.
- ANewBee, USA

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2001-05-11 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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Bought this bike for my wife and she just hasn't had the time or desire to ride but says that will change. I own a Fat Boy and don't need to ride this bike but I find myself putting around places just to keep the battery charged. The first time I rode this bike home my first impression was that it felt like a toy. By comparison, it is. Even though I weigh 250 lbs. this bike handles me very well and is very very easy to ride. I think it's a great trainer for big cruisers with decent power for a 250cc although I wouldn't want to get on the freeway with it it's great for around town and surprisingly fun to ride.
- Fat Boy, Los Angeles, California

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2001-04-30 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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I am a 38-year old female and the Virago 250 is my first motorcycle. Trying to find a motorcycle that would fit my small frame was difficult until a friend recommended the Virago. I've had the bike for less than a month and I am totally enjoying it. True, it may be small compared to the "big boy" cruisers, but I love it!
- Roxanne, Fresno, CA

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2001-04-02 2001 Yamaha Virago 250 Cruisers View Listings

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Can't stay off it. My husband bought it for me as a birthday present last week. I've owned 2 Harley Sportster 883's and thought this would be too small when he said "Happy Birthday," and gave me the keys. I was wrong! I love this motorcycle. "If I have to explain you wouldn't understand." I call my motorcycle "Baby Taters." Thanks for giving me a place to speak out. Mary
- Mary, South Carolina

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