VTR250F launched in Japan

Return of Honda’s faired V-twin

HONDA’S VTR250 has been around in various forms for donkeys’ years and has long been one of those Japan-only bikes that you might have thought would do OK over here too.

Now there’s an even more intriguing version, the VTR-F, complete with the headlight from a CBR250R and a half-fairing with more than a hint of FireStorm about it.

In case you’re not familiar with the VTR250, it’s been made for years, starting as the VT250F back in 1982. It went through various forms, gaining an ‘R’ for the Interceptor VTR250 in 1988 – a kind of mini-VFR750 in terms of appearance – before disappearing in1990. After a hiatus, the bike re-emerged in 1997 with looks that were either ‘inspired by’ or ‘ripped off from’ the Ducati Monster, depending on your point of view. A facelift in 2009 created the latest version.

All versions have made around 30bhp from a 249cc, four-valve-per-cylinder, water-cooled V-twin which gained fuel injection for the latest iteration. And the new one is no exception, making a claimed 30PS (around 29bhp).

Despite some interest, Honda has never sold the latest style VTR250 in Europe, and it’s unlikely to bring the F version here either. Part of the problem is price, as in Japan it’s a clear 30% more expensive than the better looking and nearly-as-powerful single-cylinder CBR250R.

The bike’s appearance comes just days after we revealed that Honda was planning a new sports bike launch in February 2013. Is this it? We don’t think so, as that mystery new bike rumour comes via Honda in America, and this is very much an Asian-market bike.