2006 Yamaha Vino Classic Review

Review Title: Very good, very reliable commuter or long ride bike
Overall★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reliability★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Quality★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Performance★ ★ ★ ★
Comfort★ ★ ★ ★

I purchased this bike halfway through June of 2008, brand new. It's past Halloween now and I have put over 6,000 miles on it. I've only changed the oil twice and the spark plug once (at 4K miles - the plug showed normal wear, nothing unusual) and blew out the air filter with a pneumatic hose that's it; nothing more. It is probably the most reliable small bike I've ever owned, and I have had a couple before this one. What's really surprising is that this particular bike is only meant to hold up to a 170 lb. person (if you read the manual). However, by my weight, I'm overloading this thing by 30% and still have had no problems and no unusual wear. The torque off the line is the same as it was brand new, so I'm not wearing out the belt or clutch plates in any noticeable way (at least not yet). At 6K miles it is unbelievable. I've adjusted the front and rear brakes twice. It was very easy to do; similar to enduros made in the '80s (thumbwheel tensioner at the caliper, takes 2 minutes to adjust, then just feel the brake lever for the tightness / action you want). Then you're set for another 2K miles or longer. Nothing on this bike has needed replacing yet, mechanically or aesthetically. I've computed my gas savings at just over $1,000.00 in 4 months. This thing will pay for itself by the end of next summer. In the meantime, all that gas savings means I have more money to spend just as frivolously (as if I were filling the car) but spending in ways I would rather be spending that same money. I feel as if I'm living in a time when our economy was still really good - anyone remember the 80s?

My only regret is that if I could lose at least 30 lbs., I would probably be able to get up to the max speed on the speedometer. Unfortunately only it only gets to 40 MPH, but there are ways to get that modified, if you're willing to sacrifice long-term engine life. I would rather leave it completely stock, seeing as how reliable it is. I will probably see this thing last to around 30,000 miles before it dies; so I will probably get 5 years out of it, which is amazing seeing that the piston is about the size of a salt-shaker, and it's able to produce enough power to carry a big guy like me around town.

Yamaha could do one or two things that would really improve this bike a lot, but would bring the cost up a little: 1. Put a really comfortable gel seat on it, and 2. Make the length of the floorboard adjustable, for both short and tall riders to be easily accommodated for leg room. If they could stretch out the floorboard by at least 8 more inches it would be perfect for me. I wouldn't be bumping into the horn button with my left knee so unexpectedly when I go to make a left turn (that's how small this thing is for the bigger people riding this thing). Otherwise, I'm still able to stay on it for a good 1 to 1 1/2+ hours at a time before I need to get up and stretch. But making this bike more comfortable and accommodating, and at least 5 MPH faster, would result in the perfect joy-ride bike on the weekends.

One last thing - it's so small and lightweight that I can pick it up and bring it through my patio door and store it inside my apartment and put it in the hallway for the winter months. I have no worries about the engine block cracking from sub-zero weather. that's how I know that this bike really will last, since small engines are easily susceptible to that effect. If you can store this thing in a controlled environment in the winter months, it will save the engine's gaskets and seals, which should be important to anyone that's looking to make an investment that will last a long time without any big maintenance costs. A heated garage is just as good also.

Since this is a 4-stroke there is no need to add oil to the gas. So, if you decide to make a purchase of this particular bike, I can tell you that this bike is definitely a really strong little runner, and very reliable, period.

About the reviewer:
Height:5' 11"
Miles or hours spent on the review:6,000+ miles
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
View Yamaha Vino Classic Motorcycles For Sale on CycleTrader.com
Submitted: November, 2008