Ad closing in seconds....

SINNIS RETROSTAR 250 (2015-on) Review

Published: 09 October 2015

Updated: 09 October 2015

Buy some BSA tank badges and you'll be laughing

SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)

Buy some BSA tank badges and you'll be laughing

  • At a glance
  • 249cc  -  20.7 bhp
  • Low seat height (770mm)
  • New: £2,200

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

There’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a basic Chinese roadster in retro clothing, but it’s been done better than most and is lavished with all the right styling touches. More essentially, it’s an honest ride and is cheap.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

It’s not going to set your undercrackers aflame, of course; brakes and tyres are basic and slightly crude. But in this retro guise that seems to matter less and the ride was always going to be some kind of pleasing, charming trip down memory lane rather than anything demanding performance. You can quite happily bimble across town on a weekly commute or purr through this green and pleasant land aboard it on a mild summer’s Sunday ride-out.

Engine 3 out of 5

It’s powered by a simple 249cc, carb fed single cylinder that is based on an old Suzuki design. Seventy-odd mph is the top whack from the air-cooled, 20bhp motor, still, despite its size; it delivers a punchy performance, helped in part by the bikes low weight.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Sinnis have proved with the Retrostar that it was only a matter of time before the much-maligned Chinese-built bikes improved their spec and quality. While the bike is relatively nicely finished, the overall reliability is still unproven as it’s still early days for the machine.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Retrostar offers good value and comes in considerably cheaper than both Herald’s and Francis-Barnett’s variant models, which are essentially the same bike with mild tweaks in either the styling or consumable parts. It’s a simple bike using technology that is largely out-dated now, making parts cheap and fairly straightforward to fit.

Equipment 2 out of 5

Essentially, it’s a bike built and sold at a low price and as such, doesn’t come with many extras at all. The speedo, though having an MPH dial, is clearly a crudely converted KPH item (the analogue odometer still displays kilometres) while the suspension and brakes are a little crude, too. There’s no denying that you get an awful lot of retro style for your money though.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2015
Year discontinued -
New price £2,200
Used price -
Warranty term 2 years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £43
Annual service cost £100
Performance
Max power 20.7 bhp
Max torque -
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 249cc
Engine type Air-cooled, four-stroke single
Frame type -
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 770mm
Bike weight 130kg
Front suspension Telescopic
Rear suspension Dual coil Spring
Front brake Single disc
Rear brake -
Front tyre size 110/70-17
Rear tyre size 130/70-17

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their SINNIS RETROSTAR 250 (2015-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SINNIS RETROSTAR 250 (2015-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 2.3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Old man happy

22 June 2018 by Tony Wyatt

For an old man, this bike is perfect.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I must get used to a small bike.
Engine
5 out of 5
No oil leaks.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
So far against it on my old 250s it's very good.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cheap to insure at my age.
Equipment
1 out of 5
For the money it's ok.
Buying experience

Dealer very good: Sinnis On The Wheel.

4 out of 5

Cheap and very cheerful!

13 May 2016 by Badger17

A great little bike for not much money. It looks good, sounds good and for what it is, goes well too. For a ride out on a sunny day on twisty little back roads it's perfect.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
At its best going for a blast on small back roads. Everything is good enough and I have a lot of fun every time I take it out. It doesn't weigh much and is easy to throw around. I enjoy having to work it to get the most out of it. You get a real sense of speed when you're going relatively slowly compared to bigger bikes I've had when it can feel like you're hardly moving at 70mph. At 70 on this you're nearly flat out but this is all good!
Engine
4 out of 5
It pulls well from low down and though it's no sports machine it easily keeps up with traffic. The exhaust note is great. It pops and bangs on over run which I love and although it's not quiet, personally I would prefer it if it was even louder.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Quality seems fine. I only use it on nice days though and I do look after it. The only thing that I would pick on is the seat which looks a bit like it's made to a price but it's not bad.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cheap as chips
Equipment
3 out of 5
It's basic but I find that to be part of the charm.
Buying experience

I bought it privately. They are very good value for money and spares are cheap too.

4 out of 5

Chinese Takeaway

10 May 2016 by Mike Crome

Quite a bit better than you would expect for a bike this cheap.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
A little bit bouncy on our local roads, good riding position up to about 55mph. Brakes are ok as the combined weight of bike and rider is low.
Engine
3 out of 5
Fair bit of torque but if you want to go above 60mph you have to work the engine fairly hard. Gearbox is good but could do with 6 speeds instead of 5 with closer ratios which might help a bit with performance - but it is only about 20bhp.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Have owned it for a year now and have not experienced any problems at all.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cheap and easy to service as not much to it. I am getting around 88 miles to the gallon! So cheap to run.
Equipment
2 out of 5
Very basic, time clock and fuel gauge would be useful (does have conventional tap with on/off and reserve), tyres are better than I expected offering reasonable grip in the wet.
Buying experience

Bought new from a Sinnis dealer at list price (£2200 plus OTR cost).

4 out of 5

The Chinese Bike that Could!

02 February 2016 by Colin Castle

Great little bike for green lanes and short commutes - looks and sounds great - 3000km on the clock and still looks brand new except for exhaust heat stains.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
no problems at 3000km - except tail light bulb needed replacing
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
some components I would replace - maybe some new tyres too

Photo Gallery

  • SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)
  • SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)
  • SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)
  • SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)
  • SINNIS RETROSTAR 250  (2015-on)
All related reviews
Bauer Media

Bauer Media Group consists of: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Company number: 01176085, Bauer Radio Ltd, Company Number: 1394141
Registered Office: Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA H Bauer Publishing,
Company Number: LP003328 Registered Office: Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London, NW1 7DT.
All registered in England and Wales. VAT no 918 5617 01
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FCA(Ref No. 710067)