Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Honda VTR250

Tue, April 13th, 2010

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1988–90 Honda VTR250
The little V-twin was a bit down on raw power compared to its rivals, but could be made to hustle if revved in a very un-vee-twin manner. The 90-degree angle kept it admirably smooth.
The '88 and '89 VT250Rs handled okay, but were let down by an innovative but substandard inboard disk and 16-inch front wheel. The 1990 model got a 17-incher and a proper, traditional disc which made all the difference in the world. Rear shock was cheap and wore out quickly.
The VTR was nicely sculpted, but the graphics were abominable every year. The late '80s never looked so bad.
The VTR250 engine was basically half an Interceptor 500. (The bike was named the Interceptor 250 for 1988 only.) Neither one was Honda's most trouble-free design.
Like I said, it was half of an Interceptor 500. So, why not get the whole V-four, and have a more capable bike?
Since experienced motorcyclists didn't buy small bikes, Honda tried to position the VTR250 as a step-up for the new, trendy, scooter crowd. It ended up appealing to no one.
The VTR250 was an unremarkable motorcycle, with remarkably bad graphics, which ended up being a remarkably bad marketing move.