Honda VTR250 - Truth or Rumour?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by captain_bob, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. captain_bob

    captain_bob Active Member

    I reckon I've found my next bike, but I can't buy it yet. If anyone hears about availability of this baby in Thailand shops let's hear it.

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    My first real bike was a Honda V-twin. Let's bring back some fond memories (and a decent seat for the Mrs this time please).
     
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  3. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    I was happy when I heard that the VTR250 will be available in TH about a year ago, but I doubted the price right away. Wherever the Ninja 250 and the VTR 250 are available, the Honda is understandably at least 10% more expensive. It was supposed to be here in "early 2010" but by now I believe the whole thing was just a rumor!
    I've owned a carbed VTR 250 for over two years, put about 10,000km on it and really liked the bike, it was exactly what I expected and more. Ideal for TH. If you're used to bigger bikes the little VTR will probably not be enough for you but if you trade up from a CBR150 or a Phantom 200 like I did you won't be disappointed. I liked my cheap little CBR 150 but always wanted a better suspension, bigger wheels to absorb bumps and better brakes, a little "more meat" on the whole thing. The VTR is just that, and the 90 degree V twin is the best 250 twin I've ever ridden. Linear power from above idle through midrange all the way to the top - it's a little "race engine" which will rev quickly to 12,000 rpm with top power at 10,500 rpm. I've had lots of twins, Honda's CB 360 and 450 Nighthawk, three Yamaha XS 650, Ascot 500, a Virago 750, Intruder 750 and 1400, but my next bike will have a 90 degree V, the power delivery and sound just can't be beat. Not too much of a choice out there though.
    If you're happy with 30+ hp and a top speed of about 140 km/h the VTR 250 is the bike to get!
    Since I prefer Enduros the perfect bike for me would be a XR 250 with the VTR engine, or a supermoto, some kind of a D-Tracker with a 30hp engine. (Maybe Kawasaki should bin that anemic single and put in the Ninja's twin!).
    BTW, I sold the VTR to a guy in Chiang Mai so it should be on the road up there somewheres! It's red, has "DUCATI" written on the tank (I just couldn't resist - it's interesting how many people believe what they are see!) and a hand-made stainless steel exhaust system.
     
  4. captain_bob

    captain_bob Active Member

    Went to the main Neon Panich (Neon Planet) shop here in CM with these VTR250 photos today and of course they said "yang mai mee" (don't have - "yet") but when I quoted the "neung saen sii meun sii pan" 144k price one guy nodded silently "yep" and added I might find it with a secret handshake (words to that effect) in Bangkok (doubtful but worth noting). No hurry for me, just want to see the beast firsthand if it lives up to expectations. Would just undercut the Kwak 250 Ninja pricepoint as it should with less fiberglass. Otherwise huge void now in the 200-600cc Thai market since I picked up the last Fire-Edition carbed Phantom available in Chiang Mai late Jan.
     
  5. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    One day things will change...................I hope.

    This bike was first released in 1988 if I remember correctly, a shame to see its taken that long to get to the shores of Thailand. A bit hard for me to get that excited by a bike that was released 20 years ago. On the other hand nice to see some more choices in the shops.

    First Kawasaki releases its KLX250 that has been unchanged (same engine, frame, suspension, and components) since the early 90's other than the fuel injection and now Honda following in their footsteps with the 20 year old VTR. The fiance people at Kawasaki and Honda have gotta be loving the amortization of R&D costs they've been able to spread over decades :lol: .

    Though as KZ noted a nice alternative to a CBR150. Just wish we had some more decent bikes coming over here. And prey tell, what about some larger bore Enduro bikes :clap: , please.
     
  6. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Yes, that would be a dream - legal 250cc bikes with all engine configurations, from XR250R and CBF 250 (street bike) singles to parallel and V-twins and even the 4 cylinder Hornet! But it's not going to happen, it's simply not worth it to Honda because the Thai market is too small. They already went ahead with the CBR150R and the Phantom which sell but the numbers don't compare to the sales of Waves and Airblades. The CBR has no competition in its market segment, the Phantom has only the Kawasaki Boss to compete with. Yamaha and Suzuki don't even care to introduce a small sports bike or cruiser here - no sense, if Honda is struggling to sell.
    I doubt there will be any new 250cc bikes from Japan in the near future. Hopefully I'll be wrong!
    Read on the net that the VTR250 was for sale in Australia from !988 until 2009 but not anymore?
     
  7. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

    Howdy,

    has anyone met Honda's marketing top honcho? Is he asleep? There is a whole market above 125 cc Waves and below 150,000 Baht. Good if they can offer the VTR 250 for 144,000. Better to add an enduro and something to replace the Phantom with. why not with a 250 cc engine? Economies of scale... Moreover, I would like Honda to attack on the big bike front as well. Why not bring a CB 600 Hornet? Or some trusted 400 cc twin?

    The way Honda has been treating its Thai market is shameful. Defeatist? Just discontinue several top selling bikes in their class with no competition! That's it?

    I would like to see some alternative to Kawasaki's Er6 models. How about a Transalp? Or a Shadow 600? And for the 125 cc class, why not make the Varadero they sell in Germany?

    i just rode a Phantom for a few days. With a bigger engine, thousands would buy it - again! Very capable, good fuel economy and deceiving bigger displacement sound.

    I feel like ranting ... it's a shame how attractive bikes which happen to sell well are discontinued with no replacements in sight! :evil:

    Chris
     
  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Did someone say Varadero? :mrgreen:
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    With book and plate for a mere 558,000? :lol-sign:
     
  9. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Tony, I was at Red Baron last week and must say impressive choice there, Vikrom had even 2 KTM Duke 990's in the shop. As for Enduro style bikes there were two DRZ's. But nothing on the small 250 cc bike market. VTR would be a topseller as is Kwakas D-Tracker, a Phantom I agree would be also a better choice with an 250 engine. Personally I always liked Honda, but with the efforts they do in selling big bikes in LOS, once on the market they'll not get even a Satang from me. I even stopped buying Waves or Dreams, I just stick to where I get the better service and that's Yamaha, my next one will be a Nuovo or Spark. Rgds, Franz
     
  10. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

  11. hs0zfe

    hs0zfe Ol'Timer

  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Ha! Never knew such a thing existed, but aren't there plenty of scooters in Thailand that are similar to the 125cc Varadero? Can't you just take any little bike like a CBR150, Sonic 125 or a Raider or whatever and put some knobby tires on it? I know a lot of Thais get around on Honda Waves with knobby tires and Tiger makes an interesting looking go anywhere scoot too that is cheap as chips and looks tough:
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    FYI, Red Baron doesn't deal in small bikes. Smallest bike I've ever seen there is the VFR400 or DR400 etc.

    Ride On!

    Tony
     
  13. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Same as Tony, up North any decent shop will do the rebuid of a Wave into a half decent offroad, and of course there's Kawasaki with the small 125 & 140 versions.....but generally speaking when we talk of RB, anyone knowledgeable would know that we are not talking bout 125's....Rgds, FR
     
  14. captain_bob

    captain_bob Active Member

    A few people kind of hit the nail on the head, but I'm still waiting (in vain?) for a Thai-legal Thai-built Hon/Kaw/Yam/Suz 250-500cc v-twin or v-4. There's this well-documented void above the carbed (now discontinued) 200cc Phantom (I bought the last available in Chiang Mai Jan '10) up to the fiberglassed ant-looking Kawa ER6 (not my thing, plus the 250 Ninja too ambitious, takes thousands of revs to get going).

    Anyway for talking points here's my first real bike; 1984 Honda VT500FT which in a 2010 update would still be about perfect. Torquey midrange universal riceburner with seat for two, good wheelies:

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    My 2nd bike was an '84 Honda VF500 "Interceptor" (US) similar to above but racier. Honda VF4 powerplant in a small package, wish I still had it:

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    Along with the '09 Phantom I now have a new KLX125, excellent offroadable toy bike in my living room. Power limts but loads of fun!:

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    So back to this thread, obviously the likes of a re-vamped fuel-injected VTR250 or wetdream VF500+ is really appealing. Before I die please?
     
  15. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Hey hs0, thanks for mentioning the 125 Varadero! I searched for more info on that bike since I didn't know it existed. I thought it would have a single but the almost impossible is the case: it has a 125cc 90* V-twin! And it turns out that it is quite an interesting bike, mainly because it is a full-size bike, no 2/3 version. It looks like a 400cc bike, has a 16L tank, 1450mm wheelbase, weighs 150kg and even has a 18" front wheel. Since it's aimed at the beginner's market is has the little 125cc engine which puts out 15 horses; top speed 125 km/h. On youtube there are several videos with aftermarket exhausts, it sounds cool! Unfortunately it sells at a high price since it is outfitted well, I read it's about as expensive as the old Suzuki GS500. But it's by far the most serious bike in the 125cc beginner's class.
    It would be the ideal bike for TH, just up the cc to 150cc like Honda did with the CBR for a couple more horses - I'd buy it for 90,000 THB over a 125cc D-Tracker or 200 Phantom anytime!
     
  16. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Sadly the VTR release appears to be yet another rumour generated by a particular website, and yet again without foundation.
    The CBR250 is due to be released next week for a 100,000THB, with the ABS version to follow for another 15,000THB.
    Great value on the face of it.
    Be interesting to see how the CBR fares against the Kawa Ninja, as the Honda price suggests some 'component cutting'.
     
  17. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    The first impulse is to compare the CBR250 with the Ninja 250 since one always compares CBR and Ninja. And that way the Honda looses big time, apart from the price. In this case it's more realistic to have a look at the engine first and compare the Honda to the 250 singles which the KLX/Tracker feature. The Honda beats that engine and is still a third cheaper than the Kawasakis, that's quite an achievement.

    But I'd prefer the competition to the Ninja which would have been the VTR250 - I'd buy that one for 150,000 anytime!

    I have the feeling that with the PCX scooter and the two new CBRs we won't see much new stuff from Honda in the next couple of years...
     
  18. captain_bob

    captain_bob Active Member

    Yep looks like the CBR 150 and upcoming 250 will round out Honda's new small offerings this year (hello Phantom???). Not too thrilled with either especially in the looks category. Too much black plastic although PFI and other features are an upgrade in some ways. I still like the old CBR150's appearance better. Lean mean little bastard =)

    Now back to the Asian Ben Affleck guy on a CBR250 video...
    http://world.honda.com/CBR250R/video/index.html
     

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