Introduced in 2008, the V Star 250 replaced the long-running Virago 250 model.
Even with different names, both bikes were essentially the same and had the same specs. The V Star 250 offers a classic-cruiser look and excellent gas mileage that will appeal to any budget-conscious rider.
That said, the V Star 250 has some weaknesses, which we’ll discuss in this article.
We’ve compiled a list of grievances from owners of this particular model to give you an idea of what problems to expect on this bike:
Table of Contents
1. Recurrent Starting Problems
Some V Star 250 owners have reported experiencing starting problems on their bikes.
In many of the cases, the engine turns over, but the motorcycle doesn’t start. In other cases, the engine won’t turn over, and the bike won’t run at all.
Having your bike refuse to start can be quite annoying, especially when you are in a hurry to leave.
Luckily, we’ve helped compile a list of possible causes of this problem:
Poor fuel delivery:
A bike needs fuel and won’t run if fuel flow is restricted.
Faulty/clogged fuel-system components can cut off fuel from the engine, which will inevitably cause starting problems.
Any of the following things can cause poor fuel delivery:
- Bad fuel pump
- Clogged fuel filters
- Blocked fuel petcock valves
- Dirty pilot/main jets
- Clogged fuel filters
- Blocked fuel lines
Bad spark plugs:
During the start-up process, the ignition fires the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.
This provides the engine with the power it needs to run. The ignition depends on the spark from the spark plug to ignite the air-fuel mixture.
Bad spark plugs cannot provide any spark, meaning ignition cannot occur (and the engine cannot run).
Faulty side-stand switch:
The side-stand switch mechanism prevents riders from starting the bike while the side-stand is down.
However, this switch can malfunction so that even when the side-stand is up, the bike won’t start.
If your battery has a lower-than-normal voltage, it may be dead/weak.
Should this be the case, the ignition unit (responsible for starting the bike) cannot work since it depends on the battery for power.
Bad battery terminals:
Over time, the battery terminals can suffer from corrosion and damage.
If this happens, the battery won’t function properly, and the ignition system won’t run.
Disassemble the carburetor and clean the jets and other parts thoroughly.
You should do this, especially if the bike in question has sat for long.
Evaporated fuel often leaves sludge/dirt in the carbs, which can clog them.
Inspect Fuel-System Components:
Confirm that the fuel pump, fuel lines, petcock valves, and fuel filters are in good condition.
Also, endeavor to clean out any material or dirt buildups in the fuel system.
Also read our article on 3 Most Common Problems With Yamaha MT-09
Test the Battery:
You can know if the battery is still good in two ways.
First, you can measure the battery’s voltage with a voltmeter.
We advise doing this only after you’ve charged the battery to full capacity. If the voltmeter reveals a voltage lesser than 12.5V, it means you need a new battery.
Alternatively, you can do a load test.
Here’s how to carry out the procedure:
- Turn the key on, but don’t start the bike.
- Switch on the hazard light or one of the turn signals. Also, activate the brake pedal, high beams, and the horn.
Watch closely to see how these parts respond. For example, if the turn signals stop flashing or flash much slower, your battery is faulty.
Similarly, if the horn sounds weak, it’s likely your battery is dead.
If a bad battery causes starting problems, you will need to buy a new one.
2. Engine Sputters While Riding
This issue is most common on the older V Star 250 models.
The riders complain that the engine stutters under acceleration.
So what is an engine stutter?
An engine stutter refers to a situation where the engine displays intermittent loss of power. Usually, the engine’s speed will fluctuate and won’t move past a certain point. In such cases, the bike will chug along like a broken steam train.
Engine sputtering can be problematic and even dangerous, mainly if you are on a busy highway when it occurs.
You should also be reading our article which talks about 4 Most Common Problems with Yamaha Virago
What Can Cause the Engine to Sputter?
Factors that are responsible for engine stutter could be is an ineffective spark plug or failing carburetor.
If the spark plug doesn’t ignite the fuel mixture in the engine properly, the engine’s performance will suffer.
Soon enough, problems like sputtering will pop up during the ride.
Carburetor issues can also lead to engine sputtering.
Such issues include:
I. Vacuum Leak:
A vacuum leak often means the engine isn’t getting enough air, which leads to the fuel mixture leaning out.
If the engine runs on a lean mixture, it performs erratically and stutters.
Any of the following things can cause a vacuum leak:
- Bad intake boots: Cracked or brittle intake boots are a major reason for vacuum leaks. Also, if the clamp around the boots isn’t tight enough, a vacuum leak could occur.
- Unplugged vacuum ports: To aid customization, some carburetors come with extra vacuum ports. However, most owners don’t use these ports and leave them unplugged, causing vacuum leaks.
II. Gas Leak:
A gas leak in the carburetor will starve the engine of fuel and cause it to stutter.
Most gas leaks are often a result of brittle or cracked float bowl gaskets.
Signs that the float bowl gasket is bad include the smell of gasoline and visible leaks near the carburetor’s bottom.
III. Maladjusted Carbs:
When a carburetor is out of adjustment, the air/fuel mix screw may malfunction.
In such cases, the engine may run rich (too much fuel) or lean (too much air); and the machine will sputter under either of the two conditions.
Other causes of engine sputtering include:
- Clogged air filters
- Cracked spark plug wires
- Faulty ignition coil
- Bad engine timing
I. Inspect Spark Plugs:
Spark plugs are significant indicators of your bike’s health.
Pull your plugs and make sure they are clean.
If you see any signs of corrosion or if they look burned out, replace them.
II. Inspect Intake Boots:
The intake boots are found between the carburetor and the engine.
Take a close look and make sure there are no cracks or holes in the boot. Also, check that the clamps around the boots are tight with no spaces.
If you notice any damage to the boots, replace them.
III. Check for Unused Vacuum Ports:
If you’ve left a vacuum port unplugged, buy a new vacuum port plug to close it.
These plugs are often cheap and easy to install.
IV. Tune Carburetor:
If you detect the carburetor is out of adjustment (the bike is running too lean or rich), it needs tuning.
Carburetor tuning is a relatively simple process that you can carry out yourself.
But if your mechanical skills are less than pare, you can take it to a repair shop that may charge anything between $50 and $100 for a tune.
3. Electrical System Problems
The V Star 250 models are known to experience the following electrical problems:
I. Bike Battery Won’t Charge:
Some owners have complained that the batteries on their bikes fail to charge for no reason.
Often, this problem is because of a fault with the charging system (e.g., Regulator-rectifier). Some diagnoses traced the issue to a defective battery.
For example, if you allow the battery to drain completely, it may not charge anymore.
II. Regulator/Rectifier Failure:
Per reports, the regulator/rectifier on the V Star 250 models may fail after exposure to heat.
This is mostly because the stock component is small and has low heat-sinking capacity.
As such, it tends to overheat and may stop working.
III. Stator Failure:
Stators are another electrical component prone to failing on the Yamaha V Star 250 models.
Some reasons adduced for the failure of the stator include:
- Age-related wear
- Exposure to heat
- Maintain battery properly:
- This means you should never wait until your battery is completely dead before you charge it.
- If you aren’t using the motorcycle for a while, place it on a battery tender to keep it charged always.
- Replace Battery:
- You may also want to measure the voltage in your bike’s battery with a multimeter.
- Getting a sub-12.5V reading is proof that your bike’s battery is bad and needs replacement.
- Replace stock regulator-rectifier:
- This mostly applies to older V Star 250 models.
- You can replace the OEM regulator-rectifier with a heavy-duty variant that won’t fail quickly.
- Replace stator:
- Due to its exposure to vibration and heat, the stator will wear out and eventually fail.
- Often, there’s no choice but to buy a new one when that happens.
General Pros and Cons of the Yamaha V Star 250
Here are some pros and cons of the Yamaha V Star 250:
Pros of Yamaha V Star 250
Here are some of the Yamaha V Star 250’s top-selling points:
Impressive Fuel Economy:
The Yamaha V Star 250 has scooter-like gas mileage and offers a whopping 78mpg.
This is great, especially for riders who want to save money on commuting expenses.
Attractive Compact-Sized Design:
The V Star 250 has a small, lightweight chassis that makes it easy to ride.
Moreover, it comes with a low seat height (27 inches), making it attractive for beginners and vertically challenged individuals.
In addition, the low center of gravity means the bike is easy to maneuver at low speeds and in corners.
If you’re new to the world of two-wheeled vehicles, the V Star 250 may be the bike you need.
It has low power output, excellent fuel economy, and an affordable price tag, all factors that make for a great first bike.
Cons of Yamaha V Star 250
Here are some shortcomings of the Yamaha V Star 250:
- Recurrent Starting Problems
- Engine Sputters While Riding
- Electrical System Problems
What Do the Reviews Say?
“The V Star 250 is a good entry-level bike, and with a 250cc engine rated at 78 mpg, it is a contender for your choice of an economically sound cruiser… Chrome details accent the engine and side covers to give it that ‘big-bike’ look, but no matter the look, it’s still a 250.”
What’s the Resale Value On Yamaha V Star 250?
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.