Attitudes to 250s

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Attitudes to 250s

Postby UK Keith » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:54 am

This time of year is always a bit quiet in my shop and as a consequence I've been spending quite lot of time on Youtube, in particular, watching vids made by CBR250 owners as I am more than a little intrigued by that bike. I've also seen some very impressive vids of Russian trucks driving through rivers and swamps, but enough of that. Both on Youtube and this site I've seen references to '250 runs' which sound like fun rides to be on, harking back to the sort of rides I used to do with my friends when I was in my teens.
Over here in the UK most riders seem to put 250s in the same box as mopeds, scooters or at best a stepping stone on the way to riding a 'proper bike'. Admitting to owning one and enjoying riding it is as risky as saying you don't like beer or that the wife's underwear is actually quite comfortable to wear. When I was importing and selling used Japanese trail bikes (mostly 200s and 250s) I regularly had enquiries from riders who admitted that they had never ridden a dirt bike before but who insisted that they couldn't start on anything less than a 600. Our motorcycle press don't help the situation by rarely providing any coverage of bikes under 600cc although there really aren't very many between 125 and 600 available new to choose from. One result is that motorcycles over here are now predominently ridden by 40+ year old 'born again bikers' and younger riders are becoming increasingly rare. Our motorcycle industry is shrinking badly because there are very few new riders gettng on the roads. My nearest town, Southampton, has a population of nearly a quarter of a million but the last Honda dealership closed down a couple of years ago.

So what's the situation like for 250s (and motorcycling in general) in America and Australia? Or any other country you may be reading this in?
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby Bronco638 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:01 am

Pretty much like there; 250cc is viewed as a "girl's bike" which is why most of the 250 Ninja's are sold as "perfect for your g/f or significant other". I'm one of four riders in my office building. I have never met any of the other three, I just know them by their bikes in the parking garage; two H-Ds and one GSXR1000. I rarely see any small displacement bikes when I'm out. I also have a DR650 mostly because it will do highway speeds but can still handle dirt/gravel roads, two track and Forest Services roads (which is the riding I prefer). If I lived in, say, Denver, I would probably still have my ex-DR350SE or would be seriously considering a CRF250L or WR250R. There's not much need, for me, for big displacement. I doubt I'll ever own anything over 650cc. Yet, here in the US, "bigger is better". I'm happy to keep lower displacement bikes a well-kept secret.
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby John Hilmer » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:37 am

Folks,

My view of this subject is much the same as Daves.

One thing that I can add is that from the volumn of wrecked 600 cc machines in the junk yard, it would seem that this is the prefered "Beginners" bike and probably more machine than most new riders should be on.

I enjoy the smaller machines like most of us here. I'm partial to them because of the handling mostly. I don't ride hard but really enjoy the twisties that we have here on both the VTR 250 and the VF 500 F.

John
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby squirrelman » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:16 pm

I could get along with a VTR as my only bike for city riding, but even at my age, i NEED the amazing thrills and long-distance suitability of VFR750s too. Jumping aboard a VFR750 provokes imprudent, immature, inadvisable, illegal, plain stupid throttle abuse when i find a long clear stretch, and i know i shouldn't, doggonit :( Acting immature helps keep me young, i think.

Less attention from cops is one advantage of a 250 :roll:, getting to meet girl riders :lol: , and with lower speed potential, less risk to your license or safety. ;)
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby XRayHound » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:28 am

I'm in class right now but you've twitched a nerve. I've written -entire essays- on this subject, and merely for the sake of my own sanity, not for publication or grade. I will edit and post one later. For the time being suffice it to say that I am very disgusted by the American bigger is better attitude. I love my R6 and wouldn't trade her for money or sex, but the bike market in the states as a whole is boring, and I feel it's our fault that the bike market abroad is boring as well, as the lack of US and EU market for bikes such as the NSR250, TZR250, CBR250RR, ZX-2R, Suzuki Across, VFR400, FZR400, etc etc etc etc is largely why that market no longer exists even in it homeland. More to come... especially my thoughts on HOW STUPID IT IS that people think the motorcycles that represent the second highest tier of production-based motorcycle racing that can pull 11 second quarter miles with top speeds in excess of one hundred eighty miles per hour ARE F***ING BEGINNER'S BIKES :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby John Hilmer » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:40 am

XRay,

Come on now, tell us what you really think! :D

John
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby Bronco638 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:55 am

squirrelman wrote:Jumping aboard a VFR750 provokes imprudent, immature, inadvisable, illegal, plain stupid throttle abuse when i find a long clear stretch, and i know i shouldn't, doggonit :(

I feel the same way, some times, when I'm on the DR650. I have to keep reminding myself; "don't ride like an a-hole hooligan". It can be hard especially when some cager is messing with you. But, yeah, 650+ cc on a "beginner's"bike? Sheesh. We should have tiered licensing, like some countries do.
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby Alan_in_WA » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:31 pm

squirrelman wrote:I could get along with a VTR as my only bike for city riding, but even at my age, i NEED the amazing thrills and long-distance suitability of VFR750s too. Jumping aboard a VFR750 provokes imprudent, immature, inadvisable, illegal, plain stupid throttle abuse when i find a long clear stretch, and i know i shouldn't, doggonit :( Acting immature helps keep me young, i think.

Less attention from cops is one advantage of a 250 :roll:, getting to meet girl riders :lol: , and with lower speed potential, less risk to your license or safety. ;)


Maybe I need less thrills, but I find my VF500F more than adequate when long distances (or long clear stretches) present themselves - and the riding position is actually better suited to my aging bones than the 86-87 VFR. There IS, however, an 86 VFR750 on CL in a town 60 miles away that I'm keeping an eye on, more to (possibly) complete the set than because I NEED it.... :lol:
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby XRayHound » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:00 pm

I had an 86 for awhile. I had a lot of fun with that bike, did the CBR600F2 17" wheel conversion but then ran into money trouble and had to let it go. I miss it, the Honda V4 has tons of character, and I got lots of satisfaction out of the mods I did.
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Re: Attitudes to 250s

Postby UK Keith » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:56 am

I always liked the look of those early VFR750s. The bars look a little higher than the later models, quite similar to the VTZ/VTR. Ten years or so back I bought myself a 97 VFR. That was great for barrelling up and down motorways at 90 but everywhere else felt like I was carrying excess metal for no good reason. I sold it after less than a year. One nice thing about it was the way the fairing pulled warm air from the motor past your hands at speed. I had a commute that was 90% motorway then and could wear summer gloves even on frosty mornings. My hands only got cold if I rode through town.

I also had a DR350 which I have fond memories of and kept a lot longer. I never took it off road much but I did ride 100 miles down to Devon with a friend for an overnight stop. The seat on that makes a VTR's feel like a sofa. The ride along the north Devon coast road, all 1 in 4 gradients and hairpin bends will stay with me for ever. I put 20 minutes between myself and my friend on his old CB750 without being particularly silly.

Every time I've tried buying myself a big bike I've always ended up changing it for a smaller one quite quickly. It's just a bit dissappointing sometimes that so few other people want to play the same game.
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