This text was initially revealed within the June 2001 concern of Motorbike Cruiser.
At its peak, the Virago line of cruisers was a drive to be reckoned with in metric cruiserland. Ah, however instances change, and cruiser fashions have stepped away from the Virago and towards the Stars.
this 250 is a visit down reminiscence lane. All of its main options bear the Virago household resemblance. From the chrome consumption pods to its large entrance wheel to its pullback bar to its stepped seat—even the drum rear brake—this bike might solely be a Virago. Supporting all these reminiscences is a double cradle body with the entrance raked out (chopper-style) to 32 levels. Holding the 1.6-inch by 18-inch wheel in place, the 33mm fork transfers steering inputs from the buckhorn bar to the Cheng Shin rubber on the pavement. The 58.7-inch wheelbase is the longest of the gang assembled for this check. Twin shocks with twin price springs maintain the swingarm connected to the chassis. A 130/90-15 Cheng Shin tire mounts to the 15-inch spoked rear wheel.
The bodywork is pure customized styling. A plastic entrance fender hugs the rubber on the large hoop whereas the metallic rear fender attracts its inspiration from bob-jobs of the 1940s. Facet panels tuck neatly away within body members for a clear model. A teardrop tank holds a mere 2.5 gallons of petrol. The famed Virago pods—love ’em or hate ’em—home nothing on the left aspect and the consumption on the best. On the opposite finish of the combustion equation, staggered dualies are customary Virago fare. The minimalist instrumentation resides above the triple clamp. The most important style faux-pas are the ugly black plastic mirrors, which solely redeem themselves by providing essentially the most adjustability and the most effective rear view of our pack o’ lightweights.
The engine can be pure Virago. The air-cooled 60 diploma V-twin displaces 249cc due to its bore and stroke of 49 x 66mm. Every of the cylinders is topped with its personal single overhead cam driving two valves. One 26mm Mikuni handles the carburetion, and a digital TCI controls the spark. A five-speed transmission feeds the facility to the chain drive.
Relying on who was doing the rating, the Virago completed both second or third within the energy division, so we’ll name it a tie with the Suzuki. A number of the Virago’s energy in all probability comes from sporting the best compression ratio of the category (10.zero:1). Regardless, the Virago was fast off the road, delivering nice energy whether or not within the city jungle or on nation again roads. Maintaining with interstate visitors was simple till on the excessive aspect of 70 mph. Cruising energy was good and solely sometimes required downshifts for hills. The exhaust be aware left the others within the mud.
The Yamaha’s brakes had been a subject of a lot dialogue. First, the lengthy attain to the lever wasn’t an issue since there was a simple technique to regulate it. Nevertheless, the 11.1-inch entrance brake was the grabbiest of the check. Regardless of being sensitive at low speeds, the binders had been essentially the most highly effective of the bunch, but they nonetheless required a agency pull. The rear brake was robust, however supplied little really feel for the way a lot it may very well be utilized earlier than lockup.
A number of the riders discovered the using place to be a bit cramped. One felt it was brought on by the angle of the grips, which required his arms to be held near his physique. The left controls additionally drew feedback concerning the flip sign and horn button placement. When riders first rode the Virago, they’d invariably hit the horn when attempting to sign. This was probably brought on by the grip place, too. Riders who’re lengthy in inseam could discover that the curve on the rear of the seat is uncomfortable on the ol’ coccyx after awhile.
Regardless of these quibbles, two testers selected the Virago as their decide for finest all-around light-weight, and a 3rd ranked it second. Clearly, this bike has lots going for it. Though it’s the most costly of our quartet, the $3399 worth is straightforward to swallow. For the extra $400, Virago homeowners will take pleasure in the one V-twin of the category. And everyone knows how cruisers really feel about V-twins….