Is a Yoshimura-built DR-Z450SM too rich for your tastes? If you're still jonesin' for a souped-up supermoto, take a look at Yamaha's WR250X, which is supported by the slimmer but equally enticing GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) catalog.
The WR-X has an impressive technological resume. A DOHC, fuel-injected engine, Kayaba and Sachs suspension with over 10 inches of fully adjustable travel, and a stiff and responsive aluminum frame and swingarm make it the most sophisticated lightweight streetbike available. But sophistication is nothing without power. Tuned for efficiency and bunged-up with emissions components, the quarter-liter mill puts out a lackluster 23.5 bhp in stock trim. Thankfully, Yamaha's GYTR department is ready to remedy those woes.
How does 25 percent more gusto grab you? It's just two part numbers and a wad of cash away. Bolting on the GYTR Big Bore Kit By Athena bumps displacement to 290cc and raises compression. A piggyback ECU modifies the fuel map, and the oversized nickel-carbide-plated cylinder has enlarged water passages to help absorb and disperse the heat of the bigger, more powerful bang. To get the most out of the WR-X, installing the GYTR competition slip-on is a must. With the stock EXUP valve and catalytic converter out of the way, the punched-out mill breathes freely and unleashes a mean bark when you blip the throttle.
The WR-X is an undeniably entertaining bike, capable of turning any ride into a funfest wi
The GYTR parts are good for 5.5 bhp and 4.3 lb.-ft. of torque, and that's just at peak. Looking at the bigger picture, the jug and slip-on add about 5 lb.-ft. of oomph to the entire lower half of the rev range. That makes all the difference when launching away from a stop light or dialing on the throttle coming off a tight turn. Likewise, the horsepower curve has been lifted considerably, with power building quicker, higher and more evenly across the board.
An assortment of bolt-on billet bling in Yamaha blue serves to notify onlookers of this bike's updated status. Completing the look are a gold chain and anodized aluminum 40-tooth rear sprocket that's 2 teeth smaller than stock. The added power makes up for the lower ratio, which allows for less frenetic cruising.
On a twisty piece of pavement, the stock Bridgestone BT090 tires are more than up to the task of dragging the titanium GYTR footpegs, sending a shower of white sparks trailing behind. Suspension is long on travel but short on rebound damping, which is the only thing that will keep this feisty pooch from passing the big dogs on a canyon road.
The stock bike was pretty competent, and with these engine mods the WR-X is just about perfect. So whether you're looking for a weekend racer or a weekday rider, this spicy little number would be a sweet find under the pine on Christmas day.
||29.0 bhp @ 8750 rpm
||18.7 lb.-ft. @ 7750 rpm
||Aluminum semi-double cradle
||46mm Kayaba inverted fork with adjustable compression and rebound damping
||Sachs shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
||Two-piston Nissin caliper, 298mm disc
||Single-piston Nissin caliper, 230mm disc
||110/70R-17 Bridgestone BT090F
||140/70R-17 Bridgestone BT090R
Verdict | Nice
4 stars out of 5
Almost as much fun as the Yosh DR-Z at less than half the price!