Honda VTR-F250 gains CBR-alike fairing

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So you live in Japan and you’re on a license restricting you to 250cc, max. Do you go the economical route and get the cheaper, more frugal CBR250R or do you go the performance route and buy the more expensive, but faster VTR250? What if you want fairing? Enter the Honda VTR-F250, a faired version of Honda’s little v-twin.

The VTR250 is a long-running staple of the Japanese Domestic Market, where license tiers create demand for small, but premium motorcycles. It uses a v-twin to the CBR’s single-cylinder, which brings a tad more power, if less torque. A lightweight steel trellis frame also ups visual appeal.

Where the CBR makes 26bhp, 17lb/ft of torque and weighs 357lbs (wet), the naked VTR-F makes 29.5bhp, 16lb/ft and weighs 355lbs.

Further confusing matters, the VTR-F’s new headlight is identical to that of the CBR250R’s. That Japan-made v-twin carries a significant premium, retailing in Japan for the equivalent of $6,300, where the Thai-made CBR retails in Japan for the equivalent of $4,800.

  • Wandering Adam

    Damn, those are hot.

  • Chester

    Small correction: The Japanese middle license is up to 400cc. 250cc bike are popular because they don’t have the mandatory 2 year inspection like larger bikes that can be a tad costly.

    I think it will probably be popular here because some custom shops already do a fully faired version for 8500$. And it basically looks like an old CBR.

  • Larry

    I’ve been bitching about the VTR 250 not being offered in North America since 2009. Why they didn’t import these instead of the CBR250 is beyond me.

    • Jordan Lawrence

      agreeeeeeee :(

    • FastPanda

      Because if the pricing structure parallels that of the CBR250R it would have cost about $5300.

      Yes, it’s a diabolically attractive thing. Can’t see many people going for it at a 30+% premium over a Ninja 250, though.

      One of the great things about the CBR250R is that it’s a real, complete Honda at a bargain price. The VTR250 could never have been here competitively. A loss, yes, but at the same time I’m still happy we have what we have.

      • Larry

        If that’s what it would sell for here then that makes a certain amount of sense. And I certainly can’t argue with the number of 250s Honda is already moving, so what do I know? I guess this is why they consult MBAs on these matters rather than…me. But the VTR has style. And it’s just begging to be ripped apart and fucked with a little. Bottom line I guess is that as an experienced rider I would never buy a CBR unless I was going racing…but I would pick up a VTR as a commuter in a minute. It’s prettier than an entry level bike has any right to be, sounds great and has a (relatively) torquey v-twin. And…$5300 isn’t that far off a power-ranger Ninja 300. Now if they could just punch it out to compete with the 390 Duke….

    • yipY

      Because the U.S.consumer does not see a high quality 250cc V-twin with about 30 decades of careful development.They just see a toy sized Ducati at an exorbitant price.Small Ninjas have what the buyer wants:Green bling and an old motor design well hidden under the plastic so people can’t see how tiny it is.

    • HammerheadFistpunch

      Ducati looks & Honda quality. Take my money!

  • Nathan Wiley

    On a totally unrelated but somewhat related note, I think the 400cc class bikes would be better for the U.S. market and our open roads and scale crushing riders. Nothing wrong with the rash of 250s the manufacturers have been giving us lately, but something like the old Bandit 400 or FZR400 just seems like a better balance. Beginner friendly yet potent enough to not outgrow and still capable of keeping experienced riders entertained.

    • taba

      I loved my Bandit 400. But my CBR250R is a more fun bike to throw around. And the CBR500R should be a better open road bike. Neither are as cool…

      • Jesse

        My buddy’s Bandit 400 is such a hoot. I wish I had one of my own. Something about four little shot-glass sized pistons doing their thing at 13k…

    • Khali

      As you may know, america is not the market moving motorcycle trends. 400-500cc motorcycles are coming back, for European new A2 license, which limits the power to 47hp. Check the new honda 500s, the new ktm baby dukes…and more to come.

      250cc bikes are now being developed for asian markets, like India and Thailand, where 250cc is a “big” bike.

      We (you guys in america, and us in europe), just happen to get those 250s,. and you (guys in america) just happen to get those 400-500cc’s because someone in the brand thought they could sell some there. But those bikes werent designed or meant for the american market.

      I hope you guys get as many of those bikes as possible, and buy them, and your community keeps working on a step-by-step mentality. Starting on a 400-500cc bike is just perfect, but in a country where you can start on a super-cool R6, it must be really difficult to get people wanting to buy those “heavy, ugly, undperpowered” 500cc bikes.

      • Nathan Wiley

        Hey, this is no place for rational and informative discussion…..

        • Khali

          oops, im sorry, i thought i was commenting on HFL…my fault :D

  • Charles Hardy

    I’d like to see the torque curve differences between the CBR250r & the VTR-F250.

    Small Japanese v-twin, yes please!

  • Larry

    And…it is a drag that the faired model doesn’t maintain the cool, round headlight…like an old Italian bike. A small gripe though, looks very cool either way and probably throws more light as is.

  • Jack Norton

    Worth mentioning that the VTR has been essentially unchanged since the late 90s (tho it’s FI now) and the CBR is an all new bike

  • Khali

    In Spain we call the VTR250 the “baby Monster”, when i see one on the street i always think its a ducati monster, then look more carefully and realize its a little vtr. Nice bike, altough it doesnt sell too much due to it being quite expensive, other 250′s made outside japan sell much better :)

  • Joe Bar

    I just rebuilt an old ’89 VTR250 Interceptor. It has the V-twin engine, and it’s a real gem. It’s a shame they only sold it here for 3 years. Parts are hard to find.

  • Peter G

    Wow – the VTR250 (unfaired version) looks almost identical to the original Ducati Monster. I had to do a double-take.

  • Porter

    It’s a baby Superhawk. A Babyhawk. I like it.

  • VagrantCoyote

    Seems like every other bike I see in Sydney is a VTR250. They also are extremely expensive on the used market. Still nice bikes. Prefer without the fairing personally.