2012 250cc Cruiser Shootout


– Cleveland CycleWerks tha Heist vs. 2012 Honda Rebel vs. 2012 Yamaha V Star 250-

“I haven’t ridden in eight years, so I feel like a beginning rider. Again.”

Those are the words of Melisa Ganzon, a long-time friend of Editor Duke. A graduate from the MSF Basic RiderCourse more than 11 years ago, Melisa has three years of riding experience under her belt.

However, her extended absence from two wheels (to start a family), along with her petite female stature and willingness to step back up to the plate created an epiphany in our collective Motorcycle.com mind: Melisa is an ideal candidate to participate in our 250cc Cruiser Shootout.

Pint-size Cruisers, Beginner Bikes, or Both?

The 250cc cruiser class is stunningly limited, and two of the three bikes in this battle should ring familiar with any rider who’s been around for a few years: the Honda Rebel and Star’s V Star 250.

Suzuki also has an offering in this segment, or at least used to, with the GZ250 that’s powered by a 249cc, air-cooled, carbureted single-cylinder. Unfortunately the last model year that Suzuki imported the GZ was for 2010, so that leaves one less offering from the Big Four, while Kawasaki doesn’t even bother entering a model in this class. Until recently the Honda and Star essentially were the 250cc cruiser class, but a new player has emerged in the small-displacement streetbike segment.

2012 V Star 250 Profile RightThe V Star 250, with its V-Twin engine and dual staggered exhausts, best fits the image of what most riders think of when it comes to cruisers.

Cleveland CycleWerks (CCW) is an Ohio-based motorcycle design company founded in 2007 by owner Scott Colosimo. With four current models in the CCW lineup, it’s tha Heist that fits this shootout.

Although the Chinese-manufactured 229cc air-cooled, carbureted Single (found in all CCW models) that powers the bobber-themed tha Heist is a few cubic centimeters shy of the Star’s 249cc air-cooled V-Twin, the CCW engine makes for a diverse mix of motorcycles when we also factor in the Honda Rebel’s 234cc air-cooled, parallel-Twin. This trio of 250-ish motorcycles, each with a different engine configuration, represents what’s available for riders shopping pint-size cruisers.

With a quarter-liter or less of engine capacity, the modest levels of power produced by each engine make them appealing to newbie riders. But even experienced, price-conscious riders shopping for a gas miser should find that there’s enough go-juice on tap – even from the least of the three – to allow sufficient acceleration to stay ahead of city traffic. Nevertheless, with respect to engine power we have a clear winner.



source: motorcycle.com


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