Honda Announce a New 250cc V-Twin Bike, The VTR
Although it is new to Europe, the VTR already has a proven track record in Japan where its blend of sporty performance, easy handling and edgy street credibility heads the quarter-litre class. Its high performance V-type two-cylinder engine was first launched as the VT250F in 1982. Subsequent updates retained its basic configuration while placing ever greater emphasis on compact size and exhilarating performance. In 1997 the first VTR was released with its distinctive truss frame, and it has been popular ever since. Young and entry-level riders are attracted by its light, compact chassis and easy handling characteristics. More experienced riders appreciate the sports-inspired performance that makes it a fun and satisfying ride. Its unmistakeable sports naked image has won its own loyal following and the VTR has become one of the most successful road-going 250cc motorcycles.
Newly restyled and updated for 2009, the VTR is making its European debut at a moment when its particular attributes will be especially welcome. Two-wheel transport is gaining in popularity as a fast, practical and cost-efficient way of getting around. With increasing environmental awareness, many car drivers are considering greener transport alternatives. The new VTR answers a specific need within the motorcycling community – a 250cc road bike that is both easy and exciting to ride and has its own styling. For those turning to motorcycling as a means of commuting it offers compact proportions, nimble behaviour in traffic, and reduced costs. Powerful enough to deliver large doses of the thrills that make biking enjoyable, it also boasts a strikingly original image. In fact, it only takes one look at this new 250cc naked to know that, although it is loved by entry-level riders, the VTR is the genuine article – a compact but full-spirited motorcycle that will deliver long-term entertainment and increasing pride of ownership for years to come.
The VTR was designed as a naked sports road motorcycle that would convey the excitement of the ride and the experience of complete control to every rider. Although it incorporates elements of the styling of Honda naked-sports models, it has its own fashion-conscious and slightly rebellious character. Its easy handling and powerful, quick-reacting performance create a feeling of carefree, confident control.
In its 2009 update, the characteristic simplicity of the VTR styling is infused with a dynamic, contemporary edge. The unique truss frame and precisely angled chassis components give it a genuinely sporty attitude, while the sculpted fuel tank, side covers and rear fender give it a smart, urban appeal. Its classic naked front styling is emphasised by a large multi-reflector headlight. Its chromed wide-set rear-view mirrors are decorative as well as practical, and coordinate subtly with the front fork and muffler. The instrument panel features large, traditionally styled tachometer and speedometer dials, complemented by digital clock and trip metre displays and a fuel level indicator.
The contoured tank and low curves of the seat give the VTR a seductive look. The styling lines converge in an aerodynamically pointed tail that hovers over the rear wheel, emphasising the bike’s lightness and potential for speed. A tapered rear light unifies the rear cowl’s design, creating an immaculate rear profile. The eye-catching trellis structure, matched by the long sweep of the exhaust, frames the technology on show.
The VTR comes in a colour range that caters to a wide range of user preferences and maximises its broad appeal. The brilliant Italian Red emphasises a sporty, sensuous image which is all about passion for riding. The red fuel tank and front fender are highlighted by silver metallic side covers and rear cowl. The Graphite Black is intense and dynamic. It places a firm emphasis on the black chassis parts and proudly displayed mechanics, while making the flash of the silver side covers and shining muffler all the more compelling. The Pearl Sunbeam White version is fresh and minimalist. With its white tank offsetting dark silver side covers and a black front fender and rear cowl, it celebrates the new VTR ethic of pure riding enjoyment and effortless chic.
In the red and white variations, the main colour is contrasted with the black trellis frame, swingarm, footpegs, wheels and seat. A silver Honda Wing logo decorates the tank of all the bikes, and silver painted side covers accentuate the bike’s sleek silhouette. Gleaming silver forks, muffler, mirrors and instrument dial surrounds highlight the overall attention to detail.
- Italian Red / Accurate Silver Metallic
- Graphite Black / Accurate Silver Metallic
- Pearl Sunbeam White / Matt Ray Silver
The new VTR has a liquid cooled 4-stroke DOHC 90° V-twin engine that has been specially developed to provide maximum torque at low to medium speeds and an exciting sensation of V-twin power. Its advanced PGM-FI incorporates 6 sensors to accurately determine the optimal ignition timing and fuel injection. The result is fast, reliable ignition and exceptionally smooth, quick throttle response. It also results in high fuel efficiency, making the VTR an attractive prospect for weekend tours as well as weekday commuting. As well as gratifying surges of acceleration, the engine’s 5-speed transmission also delivers a smooth, linear power build. Combined with its low-vibration operation, this ensures confident performance at higher speeds.
The large, stylish 2-into-1 exhaust integrates forward-thinking technology that reinforces the long-standing commitment Honda has made to the environment. Its chamber-less muffler contains an oxygen sensor, pre-catalyser and main catalyser, ensuring that the catalytic converter system reduces exhaust emissions to well below the levels specified by EURO-3 regulations. Combined with the engine’s high fuel efficiency, this system makes the VTR an environmentally responsible transport option.
The narrow chassis of the VTR is purpose-built for easy negotiation of urban territory as well as guaranteed smiles on open roads. Compact and lightweight, it is characterised by agile handling that delights both novices and more seasoned riders.
The diamond configuration of the upper chassis’ trellis structure is rigid and lightweight. The lower chassis is strengthened by the engine swingarm pivot, which has been designed to minimise vibration from the rear tyre and enhance the smooth ride. The precisely developed balance between the seat rail and frame also contributes to smoother cornering. With a wheelbase of 1,405mm, the VTR has a light, effortless manoeuvrability while preserving optimal stability at high speeds.
The feeling of stability is enhanced by a low, comfortable seat that creates a confident riding position for riders of all proportions and skill levels. The side covers are carefully shaped to facilitate a natural leg position and better grip. Stylish handlebar risers help to create an upright seating position and a clear view of surrounding traffic. The passenger seat is slightly elevated, allowing the seat to conceal a carrying space which enhances the bike’s suitability for everyday use.
The highest-quality suspension components smooth out bumpy roads and make the new VTR enjoyable for all-day riding. Monoshock dampers with adjustable spring pre-load support the rear. At the front a substantial 41mm telescopic front fork contributes to the solid feel.
Premium wheels and brakes
The unique wheel design reflects the sophistication of the bike’s overall styling by emphasising the slim look of the overall chassis. Featuring Z type aluminium cross section spokes, the wheels also contribute to the fine balance of lightness and rigidity that is essential to the bike’s precise handling.
In keeping with the rest of the bike’s performance, stopping power is smooth, strong and assured. Large but lightweight 5 pin floating discs with a single piston caliper at the front combine with a 220mm hydraulic rear disc brake to achieve balanced braking in every situation.
The secure luggage space under the seat of the VTR increases its day to day usability. It is complemented by four hooks, two on either side of the rear cowl, which allow secure attachment of luggage. A lockable helmet holder on the underside of the rear cowl allows the rider to lock the helmet to the bike.
Honda Access Europe will supply a range of optional equipment for the VTR, extending its already impressive versatility. The range includes:
- A Honda Motorcycle Navigation Kit, complete with navigation unit, controller, earphone, manual, attachment kit, car kit and battery.
- A Honda Lock Alarm, operated by the motorcycle’s Smart Card. The alarm features tilt function, LED and a 95dB siren.
- A selection of Tank Pads, including a choice of HRC or Honda Wing logos, to help protect the tank from scratches.
- A Tank Pad and Fuel Lid Cover Set featuring carbon print and a HRC logo, which helps to protect the tank and fuel lid cover from scratches.
- An Outdoor Cycle Cover in water-resistant, breathable fabric that prevents UV damage to the paintwork and allows the motorcycle to dry while covered. A rope to tighten the cover and avoid fluttering is included. Two holes in the front facilitate use of the Honda Genuine U-lock.