2008 Yamaha WR250X

Staffers' Rides

Photography by Putter Power Media

Yamaha WR250X

Ringleader: Eric Putter
MSRP (2008): $5999
Miles: 2859-4822
Average Fuel Mileage: 43 mpg
Accessories & Modifications:
Dynojet Power Commander, FMF exhaust, Graves EXUP Servo Eliminator, K&N air filter, San Luis Motorsports air-injection block-off plate, Sargent seat

As winter settles in Back East, the WR250X is heading home. During our 20-month relationship, it has served equally well as an errand-runner, back-road scalpel and supermoto track-day tool.

Major modifications have been minimal, but I finally got around to some respiratory therapy in the form of an FMF PowerBomb header and Q4 muffler ($199.99 and $287.99, respectively, from www.fmfracing.com). A Dynojet Power Commander III ($349.95 from www.powercommander.com) was stealthily tucked below the headlight, while a Graves EXUP Servo Eliminator ($64.95 from www.gravesport.com) was plugged into the wiring harness. A K&N filter ($47.95 from www.knfilters.com) was slipped into the airbox and a San Luis Motorsports air-injection block-off plate ($30 from www.sanluismotorsports.com) keeps the single from popping under deceleration.

Ivan's Performance ( www.ivansperformanceproducts.com) installed all of these parts, built a custom map for the Power Commander, modified the airbox and then strapped the result to its Dynojet dyno. Peak power increased from the stocker's 28.1 bhp at the rear tire to 31 flat-greater than a 10 percent gain. Impressively, the tweaked engine makes more horsepower and torque from 3500 rpm until the rev limiter kicks in at 11,500. There are 4 more ponies and another 4 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm-right where you need them around town-plus 5 more horses at 10,000 rpm, which come in handy in the twisty bits. Those bolt-ons also deliver smooth, clean throttle response and noticeably greater steam throughout the rev range. The downside is increased intake and exhaust noise and some vibration from that hole in the airbox.

Stock or modified, fuel consumption varies greatly. As loyal readers will remember from our "Smiles Per Gallon" issue (MC, October 2008), a stock WR is capable of 70 mpg, but exuberant use of the twistgrip has this 31-horse version running on fumes in 75 miles. A larger gas tank isn't yet available.

The Corbin saddle we ordered ($246.35 with Black Asphalt upholstery from www.corbin.com) was a direct replacement for the WR's soft, skinny perch, but proved too hard for long-range comfort even after the suggested 2000-mile break-in. We then sent the stock perch to Sargent Cycle for some seat-enhancement therapy. The modified unit ($299.95 with CarbonFX topping from www.sargentcycle.com) weighs less than half as much as the Corbin at 3 lbs., and is considerably wider, measuring 11.25 inches across. A huge improvement over the stocker, it makes 75-mile jaunts painless.

In nearly 5000 miles of hard riding, nothing fell off, cracked or quit. The stock Dunlop D208SM rear tire was shagged after 2100 miles, but the brake pads, chain and sprockets still have plenty of life left. And the engine, chassis and accessory luggage still look new. Yamaha's first stab at a street-legal supermoto netted a nice little motorcycle. But as much as I like the idea of a smooth-running, super-reliable, sticky-tired dual-sport, after throwing nearly $1000 at the WR250's motor, I wish the boys in blue would unleash a 450cc version. Like the title of bluesman Robert Cray's sixth album, that gaping hole in the lineup is a Shame + a Sin.

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