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Difference between a Virago 250 and a V-Star 650

23 posts from 16 voices
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  1. k90

    Hi Everyone!

    So I've been riding an '03 virago 250 for just over a year. I love the bike - really light and nimble and lots of fun to ride. I ride 100 miles a day in every weather condition on flat and mountain, short and long distance. What is the power difference between the 250 and the 650? Is it huge? The only reason I want to change bikes is to have more fun, not out of necessity.

    What other big differences will I notice?


  2. retzdaret

    There is way more power in a 650. Way more options for parts and upgrades. It is a heavier bike so less blowing around in the wind. It is still very nimble. You will be very happy with that upgrade.

  3. psgthru73

    I went from a VStar 250 to a 1200, without any problems. I don't know if I could have taken 100 mi./day on the 250, it got buffeted pretty badly in winds. EVERYTHING should be better w/ the 650. The only negative will be less fuel efficiency; the 250 got about 80mpg!

  4. shadowmib78

    Hi Everyone!So I've been riding an '03 virago 250 for...

    I have a 2004 Virago 250.
    My suzuki intruder VS800 is in the shop.
    I used to have a suz GS650GL (a 4cyl)

    Basically, going from a 250 to a 650 is like going from a Ford Pinto to a Ford Mustang V8. You will have a bigger framed bike to hold the larger (260% larger) engine.

    On my 250, if I ride two-up and wide open, I can get up to about 65mph.. maybe 70 if I am lucky and the conditions are right. On my VS800, I start crapping my pants at 1oo due to the poor road conditions here, and decide to slow down before I get anywhere near top speed.

    The amount of power difference is impressive. Also you can put a lot more extras on it, like REAL saddlebags as opposed to a couple ladies purse size bags on the 250.

    Don't get me wrong. I love my little VX250, but its a solo rider, commuter bike. Great mileage, great handling, and OK for short forays onto the freeway or cruising around town.

    If I ride the 250 more than 25 miles it feels like i rode 200.. On the VS800, if I ride 200 miles, it feels like 25.

    The only reason I want to change bikes is to...

    Depends on what you consider fun.. Riding solo I have a blast on the Virago. Do you like to cruise solo around the local area, attend local events, and hang out at the local ice house, or are you looking to bring your special lady (or guy.. I don't know), and go bike-camping, head off to Sturgis, and ride the Iron Butt run?

  5. yhoower

    I can understand where shadowmib78 is coming from. I take my wife's Route 66 out all the time on short trips but I wouldn't even consider doing the types of rides I do on my 950, typically 150 to 300 miles a day.

  6. k90

    Interesting info, thanks. I do everything on my 250 but just want to have more fun when riding solo. I roll on the throttle and feel that I'm missing out on a lot. I would miss the gas mileage, but am planning on keeping the virago. I don't drive a car, just a bike. Live outside of tucson az and drive into town over a small mountain and through a national park - twisty and very beautiful. As I come out of the curves I accelerate and very little happens. I sat on a 650 today and damn, what a pretty bike! Tried the 950 too but really didn't like the way the gas tank sat on the bike. So are you guys saying that the 650 is great for all-purpose riding?

  7. yhoower

    Dude you need to ride what feels good to you. For me the 650 felt small and the 1300 felt too big so I ended up with the 950.

    If the 650 feels right buy it or you'll regret it later. Just saying.

  8. 11007

    I also started on the 250. Had it for 1 yr. Really enjoyed it. Then I saw a barely used 08 650 Custom with 500 miles on it at the local Yammi dealership for $4,900 and traded my 250 in that day.

    What a difference in power and stability. No more getting blown sideways by crosswinds! A GREAT bike! You will not be dissapointed.

    One year and 7000 miles later I think i'm looking at the 950 in the spring

  9. girgnt1zbt

    Interesting info, thanks. I do everything on my 250 but...

    When you roll on the throttle on a 650, especially with intake and exhaust mods, you won't be disappointed.
    What kind of gas mileage do you get on your 250? I get around 50 MPG on average with my 650.

    And yes, the 650 is a great bike. I wouldn't get rid of mine for anything. And there's enough aftermarket support for the 650, that you can do just about anything to them, they're easy to work on, but the only real drawback is the stock seat if you do many long rides.

  10. shadowmib78

    Last I checked I got about 61mpg on my 250. It goes down to about 54mpg when I ride 2-up but thats because we overload the hell out of it.

    A couple weeks ago we went on a poker run and put 100miles on the bike over the course of the day.. We both were sore and worn out.. In contrast on my VS800 with the corbin gel seats, I would do a couple hundred miles just joyriding around. It's just about 65 miles down to Galveston TX from my place.. That's a 130 mile round trip not counting miles riding around the island for the Lone Star Rally.. I'm bringing the bike to the island in my truck. I want to enjoy my riding down there with my GF, not be worn out the minute i get there.

  11. Tuttle3

    Riding a Rebel 250 in the MSF riding course is the only experience with a 250 that's closest to the Virago 250 and we only got up to 3rd gear at best. With the little exposure I've had, I think the initial feeling of the 650 will leave you with satisfaction. My wife's 650 is fun to ride for sure. There are several members here that have been very happy with a 650 for their main bike. But I honestly don't know if it would satisfy you in the long run or not. I has more uummph at higher speeds than a 250, no doubt. I has no problem maintaining highway speeds and have some leftover for acceleration. The reservation I have is it isn't really THAT gutsy up there. It is a 650 after all. 2up riding is still a chore. One thing's for sure. It's a definite upgrade from the 250 in every aspect. They can be had for not much more than a 250. You can sell it without losing much money if you tire of it easily. And from what I've been researching, they are tough as nails...

  12. yhennlj

    Hi Everyone!So I've been riding an '03 virago 250 for...

    I have an 07 650 VStar, and the wife has an 07 250 Virago. IMHO, the fun factor is about equal. The 650 does have more get up and go, and likewise offers a bit more stretching out room. Also, I like the little bit of extra weight the 650 has for highway driving. The 250 gets a bit squirly when a gust of wind hits it. Otherwise, the 250 is a great bike. I too love how nimble it is, that is, when the wife actually lets me ride her bike. I guess it's kind of a catch 22, you can't throw the 650 around like you can the 250, but on the 250, you can't zip as fast as the 650. If you have a choice...why not own both

  13. micg10

    i also started on a virago 250, had it for about 4 months and traded it in for an 09 650 and 28000km's later have never looked back.
    the biggest problem you will have with the 650 is deciding either the custom or classic, i couldn't go past the classic.

  14. Bokobob95

    have not ridden a 250 virago, but some of us on the 650 experience substantial vibration...some say Lowers (air deflectors on forks) dampen it......I take it pretty easy on my 650 so as to lessen fatigue from the vibration, but then I'm 74 years old and prone to tiring easily...The 650 is much more bike than a 250 in terms of power and leg room and handles nicely....I used to have a Honda Rebel 250 and really liked it, except it afforded too little foot/legroom and the top speed was just over 70.....But it did not vibrate as much as my 650, owing to the fact that it is an inline twin, not a vTwin..

    probably would be good if you could try out a good long ride on a 650...

  15. bluesjr87

    I've got a 650 Custom. Been getting between 53 and 58 mph consistently, all kinds of riding. The bike is versatile and fun. The 650 is going to feel a lot heavier around town I imagine (never ridden a V Star 250 but had planned on starting with one), but the flip side of that is highway stability. So it's a tradeoff.

    For the kind of riding you're describing, the 650 is a good choice, imo. I had seriously considered an 1100 for touring a few months ago, but don't want the extra weight, especially given the twisties I spend most of my time on. In fact, I'd be a lot happier if Yamaha had manged to shave another 50-100 lbs or so off the bike. I'd even accept a kick-starter if it saved significant weight.

  16. k90

    I am more confident that I will like the 650 now, thanks all. Looking at the no-cut degut & air & carb rejet upgrades makes me think that there is plenty to get excited about. I wish the dealers offered test drives. Hard to buy a bike without taking a test first! I am also interested in the 2007-onwards 883 harley sportster. Seems like an excellent bike and am taking a test drive on one later this week. I feel like I will end up on the yamaha though.

  17. OpaTheRider

    Every review I've read about the Sportster rates it as a rough riding bike. Even though it's got a bigger engine than the 650, it's not any better on the highway, from what I've heard and read.

  18. k90

    I read that too, they didn't dampen the nasty engine vibrations until 2004. The later models apparently ride a lot differently than the earlier ones. I'll soon see...

  19. girgnt1zbt

    I am more confident that I will like the 650...

    Ive spent plenty of time on both my 650, and an 07 883, and imo, the 650 is by far the better bike. Lighter, faster, and looks better.

  20. k90

    I love these forums. Thanks girgnt1zbt, very helpful.


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