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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am looking to get a bike in the next few weeks, and I have seen a few bikes that I have narrowed it down to.

I am new to riding so I would feel comfortable starting on a 250.

Can you please tell me any pros and cons between these 2 bikes?

1990 Honda VTR Interceptor vs. 00'-04' Kawasaki Ninja 250

performance?

availability for parts?

Any other comments?

Thanks for your time!

Lyle
 

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I say go with the 00-04 ninja. Newer bikes are less hassle (fuel injected vs carbs), and lighter. It'll prolly b easier to take the test with too. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Both bikes have carbs, but go with Ninja 250, more parts available, little maintenance, and more demand for resell.
 

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I may be completely wrong here, but the pics of VTR 250 that I've seen before gave me the impression that it had drum brakes on the front, which would mean drum brakes on the rear as well. The Ninja 250 in the year range you mention definintely has disk brakes on both, front and rear. With disk brakes being superior, that means that this entry level sportbike spanks all but a few cruisers as far as brakes are concerned.:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
veektor said:
I may be completely wrong here, but the pics of VTR 250 that I've seen before gave me the impression that it had drum brakes on the front, which would mean drum brakes on the rear as well. The Ninja 250 in the year range you mention definintely has disk brakes on both, front and rear. With disk brakes being superior, that means that this entry level sportbike spanks all but a few cruisers as far as brakes are concerned.:thumb:
Very good point. Didn't even think about that. Good call
 

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VTR250 strong points and correction

I know this is a late reply, but I just found this thread. I first noted a confusion about the VTR's brakes.The rear is indeed a Drum brake, but the front is NOT. It has a weird inboard disc, that only looked like a drum. This was never used again on another USA bound honda, and was a styling excersise. Another point about this front brake, was that it faded quickly due to overheating if you raced/braked the bike hard.
But now for the Good news, the VTR had the BETTER Engine ! It was actualy a slice off the old VF500 Interceptor engine, and has alot more torque than the EX250R, and was geared differently accordingly. It was a much easier bike to ride fast...you didn't need to row the gearbox as much to get into the powerband.
Now don't get me wrong, the 250 ninja is a Zinger of bike....but I put some fast miles on a buddies VTR250 while we were race tuning it, and I really was MORE impressed with IT'S engine. But it's brakes were a week point, and we eventually ended up swapping the front end from a VF500 and the thing stopped on a dime after that mod.

But true, the EX250R is still around and parts will be forever, while the little VTR250 is just a little cult classic now, but it was oh so sweet to ride...

P.S.- I've been a small engine race tuner for decades, although lately I'm specialized in Dirt track thumpers.
 

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Re: VTR250 strong points and correction

Blastoholic said:

P.S.- I've been a small engine race tuner for decades, although lately I'm specialized in Dirt track thumpers.
This is sort of off-topic, but would you mind if I pinged you via PM at some point in the future about my thumper revival project? I am trying to bring back to life an '85 Honda XL600R, which has not run for over 12 years. So far I cleaned out the fuel filter, petcock, the carbs, and checked valve clearances. I also know that I need a kickstarter return spring (for convenience) and the cam that engages kickstarter decompressor (sounds like a must from what I've read so far). I plan to check the cylinder compression very soon and replace the spark plugs and battery. If after the above it does not fire up, I will be officially stumped and could use some expert advice. I already posted under "How do I" on this board and on ThumperTalk.com, but since you specialize in thumpers, your expertise could be very helpful.
 

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you're on you own with that honda

Sorry dude, I can't help you. I'm not an expert on ALL thumpers ! If you had asked about 2 valve Yamaha singles, or Rotax singles, or my latest interest- Buell singles, then I could have offered advice, or at least steered you in the right direction. But aside from a little work on the pre '82 Honda thumpers- i have not worked with any later XL's(even though yours is considered old to you). The Thumper Talk board of the Thumper page would have also been where I would have steered you. And it sounds like you are on the right track. But possibly what you've over looked is in the electrics ? Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

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Re: you're on you own with that honda

Blastoholic said:
Sorry dude, I can't help you. I'm not an expert on ALL thumpers ! If you had asked about 2 valve Yamaha singles, or Rotax singles, or my latest interest- Buell singles, then I could have offered advice, or at least steered you in the right direction. But aside from a little work on the pre '82 Honda thumpers- i have not worked with any later XL's(even though yours is considered old to you). The Thumper Talk board of the Thumper page would have also been where I would have steered you. And it sounds like you are on the right track. But possibly what you've over looked is in the electrics ? Sorry I can't be of more help.
That's all right. Like I said, I'm hacking at it, slowly but surely. I got nothing to lose with this bike, so if nothing else it will be a good learning experience.

I actually have not had a chance to test electrical circuitry very much. The battery is dead and I finally managed to get the spark plug out last night (for some reason the socket did not go deep enough for the s/p, so it was a royal pain). Probably this weekend I will hook up a temporary battery and test the spark, as well as cylinder compression. Once I do that and get kickstarter fixed up, I will officially have covered the basics. I am actually a little scared that it might start! Then I have to get all the other crap fixed (read: more $$) and deal with getting replacement title for it, since the guy sold me the bike w/o one, just old registration papers. Oh, well, I will worry about crossing that bridge when I get to it.
 

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Alright the Kawasaki''s have a vertical twin while the VTR250's have V-Twins. If you put a aftermarket pipe on them, they sound very close to Ducati's ;)

Now in terms of the front break, only the '88 and '89's had those weird inboard disks...the 90's have exterior front disks, mind you they are only on one side but they are huge. The rears are drums, but effective enough to lock the tire at speed.

Now in terms of performance, it is always questionable as they are pretty much very similar and it comes to riders abilities, but the VTR250 will win and do win over the EX250's at the track. It is a much better platform, with a much more low end torque. And even though my bike is 15 years old, it looks more up-to-date then a '05 EX250.

However the bikes are pretty rare, so parts are an E-Bay game. But if you can handle a sexy white machine, then you won't be dissapointed as no one knows what bike it is and everyone confuses them as 500cc, as you just passed the newbie on a 600cc SS in the twisties. :)
 

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Another VTR Fan

Right on bro ! You finished saying what I left out. Suffice to say, if I can ever find a clean one for sale, I'd like to pick one up for my collection. I have fond memories of tuning my buddies. And although I think the EX250's are ok...I don't have the same feelings toward them, nor would I ever desire to own one.
But that little VTR250 was such a sweet lil ride.....
BTW- I note that you are canadian, and I think you guys got that model a few more years than we did...ours were around for just two years I believe? So you were luckier, and got the later ones with the better front brake.
LOL- I just may have to drive on up to Canada to search for one of the later ones, since they seem to have the better brakes, over what they gave us down here. Thanks for posting.

~Ralph
 

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Well in case your wondering the Canadian motorcycle market is identical to the american motorcycle market as far as I know.
So since we have three years of the VTR250 in Canada, you guys down south also have the '88, '89 and '90 version with the disk.

And if anyone wants to know, the VTR250 is very fun/easy to tune as the Japanese version was imported to the US/Canada with a detuned version of the engine pushing ~45hp in Japan and around 26 ~29hp over here. I realise that the modern EX250 have around 35hp (am I right or wrong?), but I guess it's like comparing the Ducati 999R (150hp) to other Japanese liter bikes (170hp+)

How if only I can get my hands on a VTR250 turbo that the racers use...
 

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VTR's and other cool bikes

Yeah , I guess you're right, I just never saw any of the 3rd year VTR's. And although the USA and Canadian market is the same NOW ! That wasn't always the case.. You Canucks were still getting the Euro/Jap spec Two stroke Street bikes well into the mid 80's ...while the last two strokes we got here (above 50cc) were the Yamaha RZ350 which we got for only two years (was that 83-84 ?) And you guys had the other Bigger Square Four Yamaha...the RZ500 or some designation/name.
And if I also recall, didn't you canucks also have a little Honda thumper sportbike called the CBR250 ??? We never had those...

Nope- you canucks DID have a few cool bikes, that we yanks never got to see in our dealerships...althought quite a few Grey Market spec bikes DID make it across the border !

~Ralph
 

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Re: VTR's and other cool bikes

Blastoholic said:
...a little Honda thumper sportbike called the CBR250...
We've got them over here by the boatload. Great little learner that looks awesome! :thumb:
 
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