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Yamaha WR250R

BY: Ed, PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Ed and Fraser Davy

Date: 27.06.2011

The Yamaha WR250R was the Ed’s steed at this year’s Yamaha Lakes and Mountains Safari Rally. So, how did it hold up?

Yamaha WR250R Review
Yamaha WR250R

  • Fuel injection
  • Economic and clean running
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Torquey engine and excellent gearing
  • Solidly built

Small-bore enduro bikes are simple, useful and fairly inexpensive considering the range of use. The Yamaha WR250R fits the bill spot on.

At this year's Safari Rally the little WR took me up mountains, through rivers and down some pretty knarly routes, and didn't once complain about my technique.

The WR250R was created to be versatile, properly accommodating and practical, but Yamaha also tries to set it closer to YZ models and I reckon it does a damn good job.

Packing Yamaha's first fuel-injected, four-valved trail bike engine, the WR is the epitome of smooth and easy. It has got a decent amount of poke, and the power comes on gently and predictably, which is part of the reason it's such a fuel miser. It's also a bonus for those who do a more or less even mix of road and trail riding, as the WR won't chew through rear tyres at a ridiculous rate.

On the road the WR is quiet and it's a comfortable bike to sit on with barely a hint of vibration. The standard suspension set-up is pretty good for the tar, although if you overcook it into a corner it does tend to squat, which is no surprise given the overall plush feel of the WR. It's impossible to get a perfect mix between road and trail performance because they demand very different things at very different times, however the WR is as good as anything else I've ridden.

The gearing is also the other area where it has to share the spoils between the on and offroad needs. It's a trail bike in first and second gear, but after the huge leap to third it becomes more of a road bike. It chortles along at more than adequate road or motorway speeds and, believe it or not, it will sit on a comfortable 120km/h all day. I pushed it up to 155km/h along a straight bit of tarmac out the back of Methven, just to see how fast I could get it to go - not bad for a 250 with me on it!

On the dirt the WR is a pleasure to ride as long as you keep in mind that it weighs over 120kg and you don't go looking to bust berms or monster any triples.

It's comfortable enough to ride for a long period, but if you are looking to do that on a regular basis, some might like a seat cover fitted.

It has a torquey engine that has no trouble hooking up on loose stuff, and that initial low gearing will get you up and over most things. Those that tackled the big hill climbs during the rally had much less hassle getting up the rocky escarpments than those on the bigger bikes. The low seat height is also a plus for any learner or those that visit the bush infrequently.

The WR's tank, quite roomy at 7.5 litres, proved its worth, and I discovered that once the light comes on the bike will still take you over 30km before it starts coughing.


OK, so it does a hell of a lot for what it is. I grant you, it's a lot more expensive than the competition, but it's a better bike in many regards. It's an economic, very clean running motorcycle. It exceeds exhaust emission levels set across the globe.

It's a solid build, with room to add bling if that's your thing and has a funky look that leaves the other trail bike looking decidedly average. The bike is put-together well, comfortable, reliable and surprisingly effective. Anyone can ride it and have fun, which was exactly what I ended up having.


There's a couple of contenders in the Yammy's group, namely Suzuki's DR200SE, Kawasaki's KLX250S and Honda's CRF230L.

Suzuki's DR200SE is a tried-and-true air-cooled dual sport machine that is the veteran motorcycle in this quartet. It has been around for over a decade in its current configuration, and besides the colour of the plastics, it is basically unchanged since being released in the mid-90s, something that helps to keep its $6500 price tag in check.

Released as a new model in 2008, the CRF230L is Honda's solution for the would-be dual sport rider. It's designed around the brand's entry level air-cooled offroad bike, the CRF230F, but incorporates the necessary equipment (headlight, taillight, etc) to be legally operated on the road. RRP is $7155.

Kawasaki enters group with its recently-upgraded KLX250S. As opposed to the Honda and Suzuki, Team Green's motorcycling Swiss Army knife is powered by a liquid-cooled engine and costs a still-reasonable $9995.

Out of the four the Yamaha is the most expensive at RRP$12,490 but is the only one that's fuel injected.

See the Yamaha WR250R for sale.


Engine Liquid-cooled, four-valve, DOHC four-stroke single
Capacity 250cc
Bore x stroke 77 x 53.6mm
Compression ratio 11.8:1
Fuel system Electronic fuel injection
Transmission Six-speed
Final drive Chain
Frame type Semi double cradle
Front suspension USD forks, fully adjustable, 270mm travel
Rear suspension Monoshock, fully adjustable, 270mm travel
Front brake 250mm disc
Rear brake 230mm disc
Wet weight 125kg
Seat height 929mm
Fuel capacity 7.5L
Colours Blue, White or Black



Featured Listings

  • Refcode: DIY549686
  • Class: Off Road
  • Usage: Road Trail
  • Learner Approved: Yes
  • Engine Capacity - cc: 185

Very low km ,bought for trail rides with son,didn't work out,due to ill health

New Plymouth, Taranaki
CALL NOW: 027 466 1285
  • Refcode: TA548588
  • Class: Road
  • Usage: Road
  • Learner Approved: No
  • Engine Capacity - cc: 999

Not New, but Not Used either!!Cross plane crank Rossi Replica Ltd EditionCollectable model, Brand new never run,Fitted with GYTR carbon pipes. Put in the lounge... the other half wont mind?Or register it and be its official first owner!For sale on Behalf AND readvertised due to Previous Sale failing.STK# 9405 Price Includes GST.Buy with confidence from a LMVD, all our bikes are fully serviced in our workshop prior to sale.Bike Torque has been providing servicing & sales in the South Waikato & King Country since 1986. Flexible finance available to approved purchasers - YMF, Marac, MTF, UDC, Polaris Finance.Trade in enquires are welcome, so call us today with details of your bike & we can discuss your next upgrade.We are happy to quote and arrange nationwide delivery of bikes.We can make arrangements for you to view this bike at either of our two stores.Contact Degan Wallace on 021 285 1635 Or 07 873 8196 EXT #1 Owner / Operator: Russell Josiah 0274 775 771 or 07 895 7994Proud suppliers of all NEWPolaris & Yamaha bikes = = two wheelers, atvs & side x sides (UTVs)& All brands of USED motorbikes.

Taumarunui, Manawatu-Wanganui Bike Torque
CALL NOW: 07 9855917
  • Refcode: DIY531115
  • Class: Road
  • Usage: Sport Tourer
  • Learner Approved: Yes
  • Engine Capacity - cc: 250

Great condition, 2331 kms!

Ellerslie, Auckland
CALL NOW: 0220793632