As gas prices increase and trail access decreases, dual-sports are more popular than ever. So what better time for Yamaha to release a street-legal, small-bore four-stroke capable of taking on the tarmac and trails? We're actually talking about two new Yamahas: the dual-sport WR250R and supermoto-style WR250X.
When both bikes retain the same bore and stroke as the off-road-only WR250F, you might think they're fundamentally similar. Au contraire. The street-legal versions are fuel-injected, which means smoother delivery. Their casual acceleration may have you wishing for more bottom end, but these aren't racebikes and they are 250s. We'd estimate they're about 20-30 percent down on power from the F.
It's much easier to keep the revs up in the fun zone when on blacktop. Most of the power lives in the mid- to upper-rpm range and there's an incredible amount of over-rev above that. Given its 10,000-rpm power peak, the WR loves being wound out. The top two gears are essentially overdrive, making for effortless 70-mph cruising and a top speed in the low 90s. Going downhill. With the wind at your back. The 2.0-gallon tank permits a range of around 110 miles.
The most obvious difference between the R and X is wheel size: 21-inch front/18-inch rear on the dual-sport; 17s front and rear on the supermoto. The latter also gets a larger front brake rotor (298 x 4.0mm compared to the R's 250 x 3.5mm), black fork stanchions, one less tooth on the rear sprocket to compensate for the smaller-diameter rear wheel and stiffer springs front and rear to reduce chassis pitch.
Yamaha claims the X isn't so much a supermoto as a dirtbike with street tires. If that isn't the definition of a supermoto bike, it sure looks like one to us. Works like one, too. Its soft-compound Bridgestone street tires stick well enough to make grinding footpegs the limiting factor in corners. The powerful brakes, comfortable rider cockpit and smooth power delivery make this bike super-easy and a genuine hoot to ride.
You won't win any Endurocross races on the R, but it's quick enough on- and off-road. The suspension is plush but a little unbalanced-the shock is over-sprung compared to the soft fork. Fortunately the frame is aluminum, complete with removable steel engine cradle, which flexes to absorb bigger hits. Stock Bridgestone dual-sport tires are a good compromise.
This feisty little pair brings plenty of attitude to a receptive mid-sized market. At a price that isn't on the moon, the little thumpers are good candidates for a second bike or an easy-to-operate ride for your significant other.
If you're oppressed by bloated gas prices or bored on your current commute, either of these two 250s is a hot option.
Dirt-sized wheels, a smaller front brake rotor, silver fork stanchions and a $100-less-exp
A supermoto version of the dual-sport version of the off-road WR250F.
No direct competition, though the $6199 Suzuki DR-Z400SM comes closest.
|Price ||$5999 |
|Engine type ||l-c four-stroke single |
|Valve train ||DOHC, 4v |
|Displacement ||250cc |
|Transmission ||6-speed |
|Claimed horsepower ||na |
|Claimed torque ||na |
|Frame ||Aluminum semi-double cradle |
|Front suspension ||46mm Kayaba inverted fork with adjustable compression and rebound damping |
|Rear suspension ||Single Kayaba shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping |
|Front brake ||Single Nissin two-piston caliper, 298mm disc |
|Rear brake ||Single Nissin one-piston caliper, 230mm disc |
|Front tire ||110/70-17 Bridgestone BT090F |
|Rear tire ||140/70-17 Bridgestone BT090R |
|Seat height ||35.7 in. |
|Wheelbase ||56.1 in. |
|Fuel capacity ||2.0 gal. |
|Claimed dry weight ||280 lbs. |
A lightweight supermoto that's a ton of fun