Another one for the cool-bike-we-can’t-get-here files: Honda announced a revamped VTR250 naked-sports-standard for the European market. The new model, a revised version of the Japan-only VTR that’s been on sale since 1997, gives yet another option to European motorcyclists looking for a fun, inexpensive and sporty machine. We probably won’t see it in the U.S.
The VTR uses a 90-degree, four-valve, liquid-cooled V-Twin that has identical bore and stroke numbers to the motor you may remember in the 1989-1990 VTR 250 Interceptor sold here in the USA. Is it the same motor? I’d guess it is (or at least a derivative), and there’s nothing worng with that: it’s good for a claimed 29 hp at 10,500 rpm, about the same as Kawasaki’s Ninja 250R. That motor rides around in style, bolted into a tube-steel trellis frame with a 55.3 inch wheelbase. Wheels are 17-inchers front and back, with bias-ply rubber, but a 41mm fork (Mr. Ninja uses 37mm tubes) should keep things stable. A floating 296mm brake disc and two-piston caliper in front should be enough to slow the 359 pounds of claimed wet weight. A 30.5-inch saddle height (identical to the Ninja) should make the bike attractive to the under-legged.
It’s topped off with a tank, seat and instruments that look very much like a Ducati Monster’s. In fact, this might be a bike frequently mistaken for a small Monster, but that should add to the appeal. Available accessories include an alarm and nav system. There’s no European pricetag on it yet, but the Ninja 250R sells for the U.S. equivalent of about $5,900 (including tax and registration), so expect it to be priced about the same.
What do you think? Is there a market in the land of big spaces (and big people) for a small naked sportbike? Let us know. The American Honda folks read MD, too…
MD Readers Respond:
- I’m on my 3rd VTR1000F Superhawk.
Binned the 98; sold the 99; will never sell my sweet 2005 model.
Superhawk is a vastly underrated as a real-world all-rounder.
I think the VTR1000 engine is the perfect motorcycle engine: narrow,
smooth, plenty of power everywhere,
great sound. A VTR250 would be a blast.
I’d buy one in a heartbeat. Ideally with carburetors, tho that’s
- I just, and I mean just picked up a KLX 250 SF as a back up and fun bike. Make this 500 cc ish and call me. EFI would be nice…. Who did we piss off?
- Shameless Ducati Monster copy. Kurt
- Dear Honda: this is a beautiful piece. Please consider building it in a 400-550cc version for the US market, and give it a five speed transmission with a very distinct, tall, sixth gear for cruising our mindless freeways. If you do this, IT WILL SELL! Thanks, Mike
- I happen to be one of the lucky few to own an 89 VTR. I’ve owned it for 5 years, and put 20,000 mi. (32,000Km) on it. I love the bike, the way it handles, fuel mileage and cost of insurance. If they where to bring these new FI models, I’d be first in line to buy one. Wayne
- It wouldn’t sell well here – it needs a 400cc minimum even to get many women to buy it, let alone men.
- I wish the SV650 replacement looked exactly like that. Eric
- I love the look. Honda, please make a VTR650 and send it to California. I am 6’3″/ 200 lbs, so for commuting, the wife and I are looking at the Versys. I saw my first Versys in Croatia, in 2006. Even then, I thought it would make the ultimate commuter. Now, if Honda sends a naked VTR650 to the USA, I may swing in that direction. Doug
- As a Concours 14 rider, I would find a small bike like that refreshing for short trips. I commute on I-95 to and from work, and taking a VTR250 in that environment would be very entertaining – to say the least.Really, if I lived in a city, that bike would be AWESOME! It has the power, practicality, Honda reliability, small size, and room for improved capability to make the mean streets my playground. It also sure beats the pants off a scooter as far as street cred. goes. Respectfully, Michael
- Am I missing something here? My first bike back in 1966 was a Suzuki 2-stroke: the 250cc 6 speed two cylinder X-6 Hustler. It made a claimed 29 horsepower! That was over 40 years ago! The 2009 Honda VTR250 is progress?? Dave
- 250? Don’t care…800 or 1000 Oh yea! Jose
- saw a Honda VTR250, or perhaps another Honda model that looks very
much like it, in Melbourne, Australia, last August, so it evidentily
is not just a Japan-only model. At first glance it looked like a
Ducati Monster, and I found it very appealing. I don’t know if
Americans are buying cute and useful 250s, though; it seems that
they’re scooping up small scooters here and there, but then there’s a
big jump up to cruisers, leaving a gap in the middle that bikes like
this would fill nicely. Would it sell better with a 400, 500, or 650
V-twin in place of the 250? Perhaps so in horsepower-crazed America. Jim
- Been commuting the past few years on a 2003 KLR 250 because there was simply not much else available. Certainly don’t need a dual-sport, but so many of us have gravitated to them because of the lack of simple street machines that return good, double-digit fuel economies…that you can also hang bags off of, etc. They’ve therefore become the equivalent of a two-wheeled pickup truck or Swiss Army knife.I wish this Honda were a single instead of a twin, though! But what would you expect from a former Yamaha SRX and Honda FT Ascot owner? SR
- Should be a no-brainer for Honda USA or Canada for that matter. But we’ve been disappointed many times before, so I am not going to hold my breath and rather keep enjoying my Canadian CBR125R ….p.s. I would “upgrade” providing Honda wouldn’t do the same foolish thing and bring it with carbs instead of EFI, like Kawasaki did … Marek
- I would buy it in a heartbeat over the Ninja 250R. gil
- I would like to comment on the VTR article and the reader comments:It seems like there is a growing movement for a new market segment – A high end low CC motorcycle. They should make a VTR with a 400CC engine, radial tires and fuel injection. Then to control costs they could have a RR version and Café version that used the same platform with upgrade suspension and brakes. I ride with many people who all agree the 150hp 600/750/1000 race bikes are too much for the street. Everyone agrees that a small CC motorcycle with great suspension and brakes would be more fun.The 450CC single race bikes, the 250R Ninja (Kawasaki’s best selling bike), the Motard craze are all indications that is time for the Japanese only 400CC bikes to come back. Michael
- Thats a beautiful bike, could Honda make a 1000cc model and bring it to America, I would jump on it…Bruce
- From the responses – “I don’t think we need to heat up the 250 competition
here in the States, although Honda’s 250’s could use updating, I suppose.”
Whaaat? Bring on the competition! Make Kawi offer an injected Ninja 250,
for crying out loud, with modern gauge package (I have a ’98 250 and prefer
its older gauge package; the current big speedo/small tach/fuel gauge
instead of temp gauge is step backwards). And Suzuki, bring back the GSX-R
250! As for this bike, looks like a hoot to ride. I also echo those that
are asking for 400cc size; I realize the market here probably won’t support
new niches, but I think it’s time to realize that 600s have gotten too hot
for most people to really use – 400cc should be the new midsize. I’m in a
small but vocal minority that actually believes 250 is enough, so long as
you do the majority of your riding on serious twisties (as I do here in the
Bay Area) and have a little patience on uphill straights (my 944 is the same
way), but a little bit more would make things Just Right. Tim
- VTR 250 is for chicks. Why can’t they make a 650cc motard based on the XR? Jeff
- What a beautiful naked bike!
Honda has offered versions of this bike in Japan for years.
Why can’t Honda Motorsports USA offer this bike in a 600cc
version? It would be a great daily-driver and an excellent
canyon carver or weekend fun bike as well.
With the success of both the SV-650 and the Monster 600,
why wouldn’t Honda jump into the fray with this bike in
a 600cc or larger version?
Why does Europe and Japan get so many beautiful naked/retro
bikes, while we in the US are left wanting?
That’s my .25 cents worth. Thanks.
- We need this bike in America along with all the other cool bikes that are only sold it Europe. $5900 seems high priced though. We Americans are getting weary of simply making motorcycles bigger, faster and louder and lacking in innovation. Steve
- The VTR250 definitely has that “cute” factor that also belonged to the four cylinder CB400. It was the lack of horsepower, heavy weight and cost that killed off the CB400.
That cost of the VTR250 could only be justified here in the states if it had fuel injection, weather protection and some trick luggage for those rear mounting points. Donald
- Sushi monster. Mark
- Wow, great looking little bike! Presumably this would get great gas mileage (ninjas get 60-70). This would be a super little commuter, giving a nice alternative to the various dual sports and scooters that folks are buying now for that role. This bike is more of a “standard” than the Ninja and would really appeal to those who want a more upright riding position. It also appears in the photo that there are mount points for some side cases / saddlebags, which would really complete the picture.I really hope that Honda and other makers “get over” the idea that US buyers don’t want smaller bikes. Look at the recent huge surge in scooter sales, some of those would have been MC purchases if a reasonable selection of smaller bikes were available. Bryan
A nice looking HONDA 250 standard with comfortable ergonomics and a
modern, powerful, fuel-efficient, v-twin engine.
I am a baby-boomer that uses his bike mostly for errands and short
trips – this would fit my needs better than anything that is
currently available in the U.S.
Please forward to Mr. Honda.
Thank you! David
- As an American motorcycle rider who loves naked sport bikes, I would be excited to see this bike come to the states. My brothers and I are all between 5’8” and 5’5” in height and weigh between 150 lbs. and 200 lbs. and would find this bike as an appealing metro commuter. I have always been a fan of the Honda Hornets and Ducati Monsters but the Suzuki SV650 has been my fit for many years. I feel the pricing is considerably better then the Hondas and Ducatis and the inline 4 in the hornets take away the user friendliness. I feel that too much emphasis is put into the horsepower now days yet, with speeding ticket fines and laws, a rider’s ability to express the power is rarely obtained. The v-twin helps out with the nimbleness of the machine and the power is more predictable and entertaining to express as a responsible rider. Since both of my brothers live in a metropolitan area and have access to many river roads and have been shopping for these styles of bikes (Ninja 250R, Gladius, Monster 696, and now Smaller Super-Mottos) this bike would be the perfect fit as Honda fans. Please Honda, ship these bike state side, even if they come in allocated numbers, so riders like ourselves have the perfect fit for our needs as consumers. Waiting Patiently, Dennis
- That’s a bike I’d like to have. Much more desireable than the Suzuki
TU250X. It looks the part of a bigger bike along with low weight and
good fuel mileage. Chuck
- As a multiple bike Ducati Monster owner, I really hope American Honda brings this bike to the states. New and old american riders need a 250 sports alternative to the ninja and Chinese imports. Put a set of clip-ons, a blacked out motor and a bump stop seat and you’ve got an instant classic that could be a great city bike, café racer or track day toy. Miles
- I don’t think we need to heat up the 250 competition here in the States, although Honda’s 250’s could use updating, I suppose. But, with the difference in price between Hondas and other brands, I doubt if the cost would be competitive. On larger bikes, with larger price tags, the price differential is a little easier to justify. 250 owners have to keep to a tighter budget. I keep waiting for Honda to announce another 600/650 standard. Most Europeans could spend all their riding time on back roads, which is why smaller bikes make so much sense to them. Over here, sooner or later, most street riders will have to deal with a little freeway time, or maybe an occasional weekend trip. With our wide open spaces, and more highway/freeway miles than in Europe, a 250 over there is more like a 600 over here.
- Small Naked Sportbike? More like the perfect commuter/townie. Do those studs behind the seat take a hard bag? $3500 MSRP. Jamie
- The Honda VTR 250 is very stylish and economical, and the ergonomics look very user-friendly. With some panniers strapped to the back it would make a perfect urban commuter. Bring it! Tom
- VTR 250 – yeah I would buy one in a NY minute! Very cool little machine. I just bought a Yamaha Zuma 125 because Honda only makes those stupid little 50cc things. I think that these little VTRs and such need more marketing in the U.S. – If we get more of them on the roads, they will sell more. Billboards. Magazines. Advertise them everywhere. I am 48 years old and ride a 125! I had a 750 and a 1000 before, so that says a lot! Our money is worth less and less all the time here. We need more small bikes and at the same time we need to change the idea that everything has to have 1000cc’s or more. Neil
- Why not quit messing around and use the V out of the VT Ascot 500, then use dual pipes and dual front rotors. Just my 2 yen. Tom
- There’s something vaguely familiar looking about that bike….
They could probably sell even more if they called it Mothra or Godzilette — ES
- Looks like a fun bike, but I would like to see displacement increased to 350cc or 400cc. That would be a nice compromise of small displacement and performance.
A 250 can barely keep up with traffic in the USA! Mike
- I love the look of this bike, and it is actually a very attractive package, to me. While it clearly takes after the Duc Monster series of naked bikes, it also harkens back to the Honda Hawk GT 650 from the late 80s, early 90s – a bike I really never got over! I’d consider buying this bike, the first cycle I can afford that I’ve been really excited about in the past couple years. Thanks for introducing it here at MD, and keep up the great work, I visit your site from work every day, and spend a few minutes dreaming about carving twisties out on the open road. Chris
- Not sure why they don’t build these good looking bikes for us. This one with a lower bar option (Buell) and a few better details around the headlight could really make this a SMALLER Monster. As it is , it’s cheaper and the main components are very well done. Craig
- Love the bike but Honda needs to bring it in under $5,000 if they really
want it to sell. For $6,000 you could get a Suzuki Gladius or the
“funner”, lighter Yamaha WR250X. John
- Just letting you know that the VTR250 has been available in Australia as
an official import since the 1990s, as well as being preceded by the
VT250 Spada. Both models are popular amongst novices and city commuters. Kelvin
- First of all, with Honda, never expect a bike price to be “about the same” as the competition. Honda apparently does not care about competitive pricing (919). This would be a cool bike, even better if they made a 640 version like the SV. Honda makes great stuff, but they aren’t leading the pack anymore like the 80’s. They are often years behind the competition, especially in the off road segment. Look at the Fury…released years after the chopper fad started. Brian
- I want one! CarlFirst of all, with Honda, never expect a bike price to be “about the same” as the competition. Honda apparently does not care about competitive pricing (919). This would be a cool bike, even better if they made a 640 version like the SV. Honda makes great stuff, but they aren’t leading the pack anymore like the 80’s. They are often years behind the competition, especially in the off road segment. Look at the Fury…released years after the chopper fad started. Brian
- Yes. The full faired Honda 125 has done well, and there are many people that want a fun bike without all that plastic on them. Specially starter riders, the V configuration provides a great user friendly place to be for the beginner, as well as a seasoned rider.
- Honda has a need for a 250 bike like the VTR 250 in the USA. However, I can also understand their reluctance to import, sell and service too many models of bikes.
Honda has sold several 250s to this market through the years and, it seems to me, each time they change the model they fill one niche and leave the other behind. These bikes would include the Rebel 250 and the Nighthawk 250 (and I may be missing another). In my opinion, Honda should put the 250cc models on a two year rotation, i.e. sell the Rebel two years, Nighthawk two years, VTR two years, a 250 sport bike two years, and then back to the Rebel, etc. That way the used market can satisfy all the demands of the public and Honda is able to keep their name in the forefront of what are often percieved as entry level bikes (though I think they are just “fun”). I believe research reveals (if memory serves me correctly) people often maintain a loyalty to the first brand of motorcycle they ride; isn’t this the best way to get more of those “first rides” to be Hondas and for Honda’s to be ridden in the 250 class of bikes no matter what the niche? Greg
- It took me 18 months of hard searching to find the BlackBird that I wanted here in the Midwest USA. Would have had no problem in Europe. Here is another example of a great bike that the US will miss out on. I would love one for commuting – maybe every other day as I love my BlackBird as well. Rob
- I can see after market pipe and mufflers now! I like it but small displacement bikes in the US haven’t fared well in many years. Personally, I think we’re too stuck on image and our toys and for many that simply means H-D. I wish we’d get our heads out of our arses! Rick
- discord between Americans and Europeans. Maybe when they see the US sales of the Gladius, the Monster, the ER-6N, etc, they will reconsider; then again, probably not. Bret
- Very cool looking bike. Kawasaki’s most popular bike, by sales, has traditionally been the Ninja 250. My son tried to by a 2008 model last year and it was impossible. He bought a used Ninja 250 though. So, based on that I would say this bike would sell pretty well in the U.S. But, looking at Honda’s USA website yesterday I noticed they do not sell a naked street bike in the US anymore. The 919 and 599 are not offered for 2009. Hard to believe that the company that started the OJM motorcycle no longer even sell one in the US. This probably means this bike won’t get here either. But what a great entry level or commuter bike this would be. I still enjoy riding my son’s 250 sometimes. It is a nice change from my FJR 1300. I don’t understand not putting radial tires on the bike though. That doesn’t seem to make much sense. Thanks, Scott
- don’t know if there is a market for a bike like this, but as a big fan of the Monsters from Ducati, this bike is really sweet. Also as a 20+ year instructor of MSF courses, what a terrific range bike. If the transmission is better then the 250 Nighthawks, this would serve the students well. Also, for those who don’t want or can’t handle big horsepower on track days with short tracks, this would be a terrific bike. I’m sure some minor engine mods could help the horsepower a little. As for the street, when prices went up big time last year, many people started either buying bikes or scooters or dragging old bikes out of storage and putting them back in usage. When we return our loaner bikes to the dealer every spring, he usually has them sold within 4-6 weeks so there is a market for 250 CC machines. This one would be way more cool then most of the offerings out there. Dave
- As a long time owner of a VTR1000F I’d have to say that I’d like to see this VTR 250 come with a fairing of some sort. You compared the 250 to the Ninja 250R and I’d say that technically it’s an accurate comparison but visually these two bikes are going to appeal to different folks. Now if there’s a market for Ninja 250Rs in the US then I’d say there would be a market for a VTR250 with a fairing. Without the fairings I think it’s just another niche bike that would exist within yet another niche… in the US at least. Joe
- American HONDA is fully asleep at the switch. They are giving the dual sport segment away, and yet they have a proven and complete stable waiting to be gobbled up by anxious buyers going elsewheres.
Their sport touring segment [one bike] is now long in the tooth and consistantly overweight. That said it is still a notable ride.
The pure sport bike segment is under constant challange and evolution,,a costly state of affairs..
So that they will “give away” the already developed smaller market segment to other budding Rim manufacturers, should come as no suprise.
Yes, Honda marches to the beat of its own drum,,problem is someone else is stealing their drum… David
- Wow. Honda is really floundering in the product department. Ducati must be flattered by this concept and design copy. Mike
- This little bike underlines the lack of appealing, entry level motorcycles in this country. The Ninja 250 sells very well, and for a good reason, it is one of the few such bikes available. The active word in ‘appealing, entry level motorcycle’ is APPEALING, why do the Japs insist on marketing dumpy little under powered wanabe’s, and precious few of even them, to North Americans. I’m 60 years old, so the little monster has no appeal for me, but boy… if I was 17 again! Jerry
- I’m not sure how I feel about it. I liked the old monsters style & in turn I like this. This looks like will have better setting position then the duck. I just find my self asking WHY dose Honda need to clone a little monster? I guess I’m strange to think companies should strive to build something that gives me a choice. I’m kind of sick of copy cat HD clones, the V4 Hondas where so much better. Sure they needed a little work for look & style but they ran so nice. So yes it looks nice, & maybe the old monster can bring need sales to yet another company. I think my wife would go for it. Todd
- Mark me down as one who would love to see this bike on our shores. I had an early VTR 250 ’90’ I think, several years ago. It was an absolute joy to ride, but the ergonomics were a bit too’ committed’. It was just too uncomfortable to ride after about 20 min. or so. Hard seat, racer tuck, ect. The motor made a beautiful howl and the gear change was the slickest of any bike I’ve ever riden. With the standard ergos this bike would be a lot of fun…Steven
- Sign me up for one with 60-90 Hp (500-750cc) and the same wet weight.
- I’m still trying to understand the logic of the Fury and now a straight up ducati rip off.I’m 37 and i’ve owned a bunch of bikes and they have always been Hondas. It’s really hard to find something to get excited about with honda now. If i was buying a bike i would have to think Yamaha has the edge on the 4 japanese clones as far as product. Triumph is making some bikes i really like. Honda is making the Fury and now Ducati clones….I don’t know what is up with honda’s leadership and direction, however the results are that this life long fan and buyer of their product is ready to jump ship from lack of interest.Give us a nice updated 800cc v4 vfr without the huge mistake that is v-tec and maby i’ll stick around. Stick the clones of choppers and ducati’s in the trash bin and use some fresh ideas. Les
- Absolutely the US buyers would love to see this bike brought over here…..
I’ve been wishing they’d bring one for years….
I actually have a 1990 VTR250 in my stable of bikes, mostly due to it’s high “Fun Factor”.
It’s 250 V-Twin (actually “Half” of the great 500 Interceptor motor of the 80’s) makes great power for a small bike, and is super flickable in the corners.
It’s definitely not a long distance bike, but is a GREAT short distance commuter bike, I’ve gotten as high as 72mpg out of my old 90 model!
I would LOVE to add a new version of that bike, with that sweet 250 motor in it, to my stable…..
Bring it, and price it reasonable, and it’ll sell…..not everyone in the US thinks “Bigger is Better”…I lean more toward “Enough…is Enough” Huck
- What a shame this bike is not sold in the USA. I for one, would buy one in a heartbeat.
- I do believe that there is a market for small bikes in the US. My wife has a 250 Ninja an loves it. However, it is sad to see a company like Honda needing to copy other peoples designs. This is a rip off of Ducati’s design….John
- Who cares if it’s derivative of the Monster. The new Fury’s no ground breaker. The VTR250 is a fantastic starter bike – no body work to break in the inevitable noob tip-overs. It looks much better than Honda’s own CRF230M. Bet the v-twin goes better too! Bring it to the USA! – GM
- What a great looking bike, Europe always gets the cool bikes. Drew
- How about one with the honda Hawk 996 motor? I’d buy that! RJ
- What do I need to do to get that here in the states. Perfect for my petite
wife, who almost sees a Monster as being too much bike. Classy
looking…more than enough performance for people who don’t live on the
highway. Seriously…bring it to the US. If Honda doesn’t, then I’m stuck
trying to snag gray-market. I’m that serious about wanting one available. Ken
- The American market could use another bike similar to the Kawasaki 250 Ninja that is a top seller here. Bring it here Honda, and make a 650 version as well :-)). Brad
- Very nice, I would buy one. Looks like major fun. Beautiful bike! Frank
- As someone who just bought a new 250 ninja, I would have to say, heck yeah there’s a market. With so many new riders entering the market these high-fuel days, we need bikes like this. Where are the equivalent Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki 250 sport bikes??? There were a couple glorious years back in 87 to 89 where we had the SRX250 yamaha, 250 Ninja and VTR 250 Interceptor. I would like to see a replay please. Imagine a new SRX with the fuel injected WR motor? Or an updated v-twin intereceptor. It would be glorious. If it takes little nakeds to start the trend, bring em on. There was a rumor of a new RZ350 a while back too, we can dream. Marty
- US Market? Basically, no. Too small for our “open spaces” as you put
it. And too small for our plus-sized riders.
WHY won’t Honda (or anyone else) make a 305 twin, or a 400 twin, or a
500 twin? My first bike was a CX500 and I rode the crap out of it – it
was a great all-around road bike that could roll in the city and then
head out on the open road – it just needed a 6th gear!
C’mon Honda – all we get this year is a weird-Harold DN-01 cyber
scooter, a new CBR 600 and an ill-timed chopper?
It’s 2009! The 40th anniversary of the CB750! Where’s the new-retro
CB750? Where’s the new CB1100F from the concept drawings? Are all your
engineers and designers on permanent sabbatical? What’s the deal?
How about some new bikes!! Hello? Anybody there? Bill
- That’s a great looking little bike. It’s probably not THE best choice for getting from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back, but I’d love to have one for back and forth to work / around town errands. Allan
- “My apologies to Canadian Kawasaki cyclists as E.F.I. is NOT on ‘Ninja 250R’ wares retailed for an M.S.R.P. of $4,699 (Canadian).”
The U.K. Kawasaki ‘Ninja 250R’ does feature E.F.I. costing an M.S.R.P. of 3,899 (British Pounds) which today converts to $5,820 (U.S. Dollar).
And you believed a U.S. market M.S.R.P. of $3,999 was questionable pricing?
Interesting above U.K. pricing is near the total cost for a U.S. specification 2009 Kawasaki ‘Ninja 250R’ replete with FULL track equipment, a.k.a. bodywork, exhaust, suspension revision and tires. (Reference: Recent magazine Kawasaki ‘Ninja 250R’ project article.)
As commented to KHI representatives, ‘Why no contingency sponsored 250cc ‘National Cup Series’ employing a street-track legal ‘Ninja 250R’ Replica Racer vended at your local retailer for a $5,000-$5,500 price range?’ (Contingency source – Included (specification) accessory equipment vendors!)
AMA would appreciate this concept while ‘Team green’ would receive plaudits for single handily returning ‘race craft’ to American riders of ALL ages!
Propose like Honda offering would assist a NEW international ‘National Cup Series’ involving ALL cycling organizations (regional clubs with National organizations) and supporting tracks (event – track days).
Reasoning, I find a $10,000 MINIMUM new motorcycle cost the leading ‘barrier to entry’ for many American racing aspirants both young and old, Bill
- Sure,why not…be nice to see a 1+ litre size also…as an owner
of a ’98 VTR 1000,always thought a factory naked would sell,a Japanese
“Monster”.The VTR is an absolute bulletproof motor.But like all
non-domestic models,we dream on.
- I do hope Honda decides to bring the new VTR250 to the US. I WILL
buy one. I have had two, both 1990’s, and I am very familiar with
the bike. The quality of the materials was fantastic. The first one
I put 36,000 flawless miles on it. The second I got used, and did
not keep it as long. They ran like a Swiss watch, got great gas
mileage, had enough get up and go (I think Cycle tested it as six
seconds zero to sixty, not bad), and were very easy to maintain. I
have had a lot of bikes, but the little VTR is my all time favorite.
I looked into importing one from Japan a few years back, but it was
to difficult to do. If this helps you decide, Honda, here’s my bio:
got hooked on Honda’s via a Minitrail in 1969, have had mostly Honda
motorcycles in almost 20 years of riding street (a couple of
Kawasakis), and except for one Toyota truck, all my new cars have
been Hondas since 1980. There are three Honda’s in my garage right
now (Hawk Gt. Civic Si, and CRV EX). I am a lifelong customer, if
that counts! Mark
- “Likely the reason my dealership quieted once mention of a Honda 250cc motorcycle was requested for this market sector!”
Let’s see, Kawasaki’s 2009 ‘Ninja 250R’ model retails for $3,999 (M.S.L.P.) representing a 33% increase over it’s former 2007 parent.
Note our domestic model is NOT equipped with E.F.I. (Electronic Fuel Injection) found governing ALL other Kawasaki ‘Ninja 250R’ motorcycles GLOBALLY as it ‘costs too much’. (How MUCH money would that be precisely? 🙂
1) What IS the retail M.S.R.P. for a Canadian specification 2009 Kawasaki ‘Ninja 250R’ featuring E.F.I.?
2) Any information regarding the M.S.R.P. for Honda’s ‘VTR-250’ (European) offering which includes E.F.I.?
Interesting aside, according to published reports (described Honda model has been available in ASIA for years) this product is closer to 30-32HP output featuring a very Italian 90 degree V-Twin with associated styling.
Be on the lookout for a 250cc displacement, single cylinder, four-stroke engined motorcycle ‘series’ featuring E.I., E.F.I., L/C and six speed transmission weighing 200-250Lbs (featherweight) dependent upon model. (Wonders never cease, a 48Lb. (40H.P.) engine from Husky?)
Recall, it’s that old ‘H.P. vs Weight’ conundrum, lacking ‘power to weight’ suggests trouble lay ahead, Bill
- Will Honda USA will deny us yet another cool UJM? Hopefully not, as it looks a lot like a mini-sized Ducati Monster. What a brilliant styling job – it’s practically a cover version!Honda’s range of modern standards is superb, but for some reason, they choose not to import any of these great bikes into the USA. Why? Not everyone wants 700 pound cruisers or GoldWings, guys.In the land of big spaces (and big people) there IS plenty of demand for smaller, more nimble, fuel-efficient city bikes. Especially now that everyone is wondering how high prices will go this summer. $5? $6? Higher still?But at least Honda USA has finally stopped selling that ancient Nighthawk with the front and rear drum brakes…. the one Fred Flintstone learned to ride on.
So let’s hope they announce the VTR250 soon, as an early 2010 model. I’ll be the first in line at my local dealer, to sign up for one. Best regards, Rich
- Comment: Could they have ripped off the Ducati Monster line any more blatantly? I can’t believe you guys didn’t comment on that. -Ed
- I feel that there is a demand for smaller bikes that is not being met. As I get older (53 yrs.) my desire for 500 lb. bikes that go 150 mph. becomes less important than my desire for a light bike that won’t cause me to lose my license. If the vtr250 were brought to the US, I would buy one. The 250 ninja is nice, but it looks too much like a bike for a teenager (too much plastic). I had a 2005 for 2 yrs. and really liked it, but it was uncomfortable (Corbin seat helped)with too much vibration. Paul
- The Ninja 250R sells like hotcakes here in the good ol’ USA, so I see no reason why the VTR250 wouldn’t too. It’s got great looks and a great motor. What’s not to like? Bring it here Honda. Scott
- BRING IT! Kawasaki has had the 250 fun bike all to itself since the VTR
left….Honda has the shaby nighthawk and the rebel 250… bleh. This
VTR looks to be the beginners bike answer to lookin cool and having the
proper bits to keep you safe…don’t get me started on that night hawk
and its front brakes. Kawi has been selling the new Ninjas like hot
cakes….Honda is missing out. Laubin-
- This appears to be the perfect bike for my girlfriend who doesn’t want to ride on the back of my bike and feels scooters are too squirrely and small for the distances of Sonoma County. Thanks David
- I really hope they bring this bike to America. Why does Europe get all of the best small bikes? This would make an awesome first ride for new learners who want some variety, or a great small second around town bike. Christopher
- I had a VTR 250, 1990 model for a while (bought it for the wife) and it was a blast to ride…redline was around 12,000 rpm if I remember correctly…If the current VTR 250 was available when I was in high school, that’s the one I would have lusted for. Even now I think it really has great appeal. Honda could easily revive their Superhawk in similar makeup and sell a bunch of em.The VTR 250 has the looks and size which would be a perfect beginner bike…
- Bring it here, Honda! Great replacement for the Nighthawk 250 and a terrific no frills commuter/starter bike. Not everyone wants a sportsbike. Plus, it looks so much better than the Suzuki TU250. Learn from Suzuki… Dani
- No question, the VTR is a beautiful bike. With a wide ratio gear box,
who knows, the bike might survive North America’s wide open spaces.
Considering our real estate, I think a four fifty (wow! when was the
last time you heard of a Honda 450?) would be better received without
adding too much beef to the machine. We could call it “The Hellcat”.
That said, I remember when a Honda 160 was heavy iron. Care should be
taken not to sell it down the river too quickly based on nothing more
than c.c’s. As it is, the VTR 250 would be a great bike to pick your
way through any neighborhood on a hot summer Saturday night! Chris
- It is sad to see that Honda USA has completely ignored the market for quality standard motorcycles in America. If one of these VTR250 modles was available in California, I would consider this as an ideal motorcycle for commuting. I was a teenager when 305 Superhawks sold new, and learned to ride a bike on one of these. Cruisers and crotch rockets are fine for those who like them, but there is another group of motorcycle enthusiasts that would prefer standard designs that benefit from modern technology. I would choose this bike in a heartbeat over any bike Honda currently offers in America. Bob
- Honda needs to bring this bike to the US. They do not have a good standard entry level bike that will still provide good sporting characteristics like this bike. The Rebel 250 is good but this configuration would allow another option to entry level riders. Plus, experienced riders like myself, will have fun flogging this canyon carving tool! Jud
- Ducati 696 i want…Ducati 696 i no afford…
Ninja 250 price right…fuel injection no…no want Ninja 250…
Honda bring VTR 250…”duc” lookalike…price like Ninja 250…me buy!
- We need that bike, only with a 350 cc- 400 cc engine. David