For riders who prefer finesse over brute force, the WR250F is the way to go off-road. It is one of those magic bikes that make you feel like a better rider. Everything is easier than it should be, from tracking through rocks to snaking through twist trails.
With four consecutive world titles to its credit, the WR250F is the most successful 250cc 4-stroke off-road machine ever built! And weather you’re a serious pro or club rider, this machine is designed to unleash your riding potential.
And the WR250F offers much more than class-leading engine and chassis performance – it’s only one of the most rideable off-road bikes in any category. And when you’re racing hard all day, it’s a bike’s rider-friendly character that makes the difference between winning and losing.
Yamaha started to produce the WR250F in 2001 as an YZ250F-inspired machine dressed in an enduro-friendly package that came with the guarantee of success.
What made the bike such a good performer was its titanium-valved, liquid-cooled 250cc powerplant, mated to a specially designed, wide-ratio 5-speed transmission. Everything was carefully positioned into an YZ-inspired chassis anchored by race-bred KYB suspension, but what detached it from its competition was the enduro-legal lighting, a larger fuel tank, resettable tripmeter and 18-inch rear wheel.
Yamaha didn’t built the bike for a one year success so in order to keep it at the top of the sales charts, the 2002 model year received a host of updates. The amazing 5-valve 250cc motor had received some modifications aimed at improving and broadening the spread of power available that made the Yamaha sell so good in its first year of production. New carburetor settings, remapped ignition and timing changes are claimed to make the engine response better and the rider happier. This lead to redefining the performance anyone thought possible from a 250cc 4-stroke single.
If the engine was the central part, the additional equipment launched the WR even further. The Yamaha WR250F featured updated rear suspension, lighter rim hubs and improved oil flow in the aim of greater reliability but the new hydro-formed swingarm really proved its point.
Other improvements include an 8-litre fuel tank keeping the 250F well fed, on-the-fly clutch lever adjuster at the bars, and a larger 245mm rear disc brake.
2003 brought the all-new WR250F. Thoroughly massaged from stern to stern, this quarter-lighter carving knife entered the new season with much of the same fine-tuning as its big-bore WR450F brother, starting with invaluably handy, new for 2003, convenient electric start.
In fact, greater ease of use and precision of performance shined throughout, with a stronger, lighter-weight frame providing greater lateral rigidity resulting in responsive handling with less flex.
Recalibrated front and rear suspension settings, coupled with a lighter, stiffer swingarm ensure smoother damping action with more precise wheel control.
Things became even spicier with the adding of the all-new, lighter-weight rear master cylinder and front and rear disc brake calipers delivering stronger stopping power with greater feel.
In 2004, auto-decompression and the amazing hot-start lever made firing the WR250F a snap, in case your right thumb tires of pushing the button.
The fearsome four-stroke’s high strength containment vessel of a frame is even more sweetly suspended, thanks to its strong 46mm inverted fork’s revised internals and cool new anti-stiction coating.
Everything seemed well in place until a new front brake master cylinder and new calipers with lightweight aluminum pistons entered the scene together with the new gripper-style seat cover. This proved that the best can be taken one step further.
One year later, the WR250F was presented as the machine featuring a new combustion chamber shape and head modifications. The carburetion and ignition settings were revised so they can handle with the modification.
The seat position was significantly improved through a 10mm-lower and slimmer seat complemented by narrower shrouds and fuel tank.
Also new for 2005 were the 48mm fork tubes, aluminum Renthal handlebar and aluminum muffler.
2006 improved what the previous year introduced as being brand new. I am referring at the new, two-position handlebar clamps giving the aluminum Renthal bar 10mm of adjustment range and the new reinforced swingarm.
Brand new was the cool new digital enduro computer offering speedometer, clock, tripmeter, etc. In basic mode or pace management functions such as timer, distance-compensating tripmeter, average speed when switched to race mode.
The most important change for 2007 model year is the one to an aluminum frame, naturally much like that found on the ’06 and ’07 YZ four-strokes.
With its awesome balance of power, handling, weight and size, the CRF250X is the strongest competitor for the Yamaha WR250F. It is also the perfect off-roader for trail riders and pro racers alike. Start with its impeccable CRF250R pedigree, add electric start, wide-ratio gearing, new-for-2008 ignition timing, new brake rotors and a slimmed-down fuel tank, once again Honda proves it is ready for the battle.
Suzuki also enters the popular middleweight off-road bike battle by offering the abundant power combined with lightweight handling, and the DR-Z250 claims to set the standard for the class. Grab a handful of throttle and you’ll be rewarded with hard-charging performance across the powerband. And when the trails get nasty, you can count on the DR-Z250’s long-travel suspension for a plush ride.
Yamaha made sure that the WR250F will attract customers with good looks by inspiring its design on the championship-winning YZ machines. The result was an off-road motorcycle which only needs a look taken at it to warn you about what you are about to experience.
Front end is defined by the imposing headlight positioned above the high front fender which is complemented only by the white mudguards. The Blue and White dominates the scene and gives a clue on the bike’s abilities also. Very important is the 21-inch front wheel giving the tone to the overall arrangement. The front fork looks massive and completes the positive feel inspired by the bike.
The adjustable handlebars supported by that very same fork are positioned to provide a comfortable riding position but it would of meant nothing if the seat wouldn’t been so low and the footpegs so well arranged. So the triangle formed by these elements is surely successful and apart from looks, it has an important role when actually riding the bike.
Side panels are cool looking and feature appropriate racing-inspired decals and the thick seat features a two-tone color (black and blue).
The arrow looking rear fender continues the lines of the seat which, at its time, followed the fuel tank’s lines. Let’s not forget the actual purpose of protecting the rider from mud. It completes it properly so that 18-inch rear wheel can be carried over all kinds of surfaces. Anyway, an off-road rider looks its best with some mud on its helmet and equipment.
I finally had the occasion to test ride this sweet machine and I have to confess that I was very anxious to do it ever since the news reached my ears.
What I immediately began appreciating was the aluminum frame introduced since the 2007 model year. It is naturally much like the one found on the YZ four-strokes and that says a lot. As the YZ model, this motorcycle implements that same solid, confident feel which can only mean racing but in a slightly different way. Racing the trails; and I bet you are familiar with that feel.
The frame change also required other chassis updates and this resulted in a new, slimmer and lighter machine for 2008 model year. The bike hasn’t changed a lot from this year’s model but we all know that small things always make the difference when it comes to performance and most of all, handling. I noticed that the bike provides a svelte feeling and doesn’t require all your energy to make you look like a professional rider. I’m not a pro but I spent some time on off-road machinery and this is the most appropriate for trail riding in my opinion. This is mostly due to its frame and suspension.
The suspensions welcome the rider on board and, given to new plus, lively, and active settings, provide an excellent feedback. They cover the space between stiffness in the woods and smoothness on the wide open terrain.
A single element speaks more about the YZ series and that is the WR250F’s liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 5 titanium valves engine. The engine is basically a racing unit which has been tuned for delivering strong low-end power even if that meant reducing the actual TopSpeed of the bike.
Yamaha especially sacrificed the top-end numbers and tuned the smooth engine in order to work best in collaboration with the close-ratio five-speed gearbox. You just can’t reflect in better words than “WOW” the adrenaline rush that goes through your body while you’re changing gears in full throttle. Competition is well behind and you can only thank to that efficient headlight for showing you the way through those trails.
Both front and rear brakes are very efficient and put an end to any of those enthusiastic incursions at full blast but I noticed that although extremely efficient and smooth operating, the rear brake requires a bit more strength given to the dimension increase that it suffered earlier on the bike’s progress.
I appreciate this bike for its compact feel, firm seat, especially at the rear, right where you sit while hammering tight trails, there is more and better padding.
I wouldn’t change the sharp handling and responsive delivering of power for anything else on those trails for a simple fact: there isn’t anything like it out there.
Yamaha people know how to put in value their skills and create better and better performing motorcycles but they seem to have forgotten a small aspect. The MSRP of $6,399 for which this of-roader is being offered makes it a real bargain and I would like to stop here. But I can’t! I would have to strongly advise you consider the WR250F if you are thinking to buy a middleweight trails machine.
When it comes to Yamaha, you can’t go fast without the full package, and with the 2008 WR250F, total performance it exactly what you get. Performance, comfort, and good looks are its dominating features which promise not to disappoint anyone and we haven’t received notice that something like that had ever happened.
Engine and Transmission
Type: Liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 5 titanium valves
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 53.6mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Carburetion: FCR-MX37 x 1
Transmission: Constant-mesh 5-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain Drive
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: Inverted fork; fully adjustable, 11.8-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Single Shock; fully adjustable, 12.2-in travel
Brakes/Front: Hydraulic single disc brake, 250mm
Brakes/Rear: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245mm
Length: 85.2 in
Width: 32.5 in
Height: 51.1 in
Seat Height: 38.6 in
Wheelbase: 58.3 in
Ground Clearance: 14.4 in
Dry Weight: 234 lb
Fuel Capacity: 2.1 gal
Color: Team Yamaha Blue/White
YZ-bred advanced aluminum frame – carefully engineered from castings, forgings and extrusions enhances handling while retaining legendary Yamaha feel and characteristics.
Highly evolved high-revving five-titanium-valved engine starts with the push of a button.
Cool digital enduro computer offers speedometer, clock, tripmeter, etc., in basic mode or pace management functions such as timer, distance-compensating tripmeter, average speed, etc., when switched to race mode.
The WR250F is green sticker approved for California.
New for 2008:
New 6Ah battery (up from 4Ah) for more cranking power.
A fluorination treatment of the plastic fuel tank reduces gas permeation – good for the environment and the EPA – and new, FKM breather and fuel hoses accomplish the same thing.
New-shaped lightweight brake pedal for enhanced performance and feel.
249cc liquid-cooled, DOHC four-stroke with five titanium valves delivers excellent low- and midrange power, with high over-rev capacity and crisp, linear throttle response.
Special WR camshafts, carburetion and TPS tuning, exhaust and ignition system work together to produce a quick-revving engine with great low and midrange power.
37mm Keihin FCR flat-slide carburetor with throttle position sensor (TPS) ensures ultra-precise fuel/air mixing and lightning-quick throttle response.
Close-ratio five-speed gearbox tackles almost any terrain.
“No tools” airbox uses hinge-type quick-open lid. Battery rides low for excellent handling.
Digital ignition CDI ignition system delivers more precise spark and monitors engine speed to ensure optimal timing for fast, strong response during hard acceleration.
Large-capacity radiators with reinforcements ensure maximum cooling efficiency with great strength.
Lightweight exhaust system maximizes engine power and allows hassle-free replacement of oil filter.
Aluminum muffler with USFS-approved spark arrestor looks trick and keeps things light.
Works-style clutch lever features oversize barrel adjuster for easy, on-the-fly adjustability of lever/cable play.
Electric start ensures easy restarts.
Chassis and Dimensions:
YZ-inspired aluminum frame reduces weight while optimizing mass centralization. An extensively tested assembly of aluminum forgings, casting and extrusions, the WR frame retains legendary Yamaha handling and response.
Removable aluminum rear subframe constructed of square-section tube for reduced weight.
Fully adjustable air-/oil separate 48mm fork tubes deliver precise, fade-free handling; fork protectors provide excellent tube protection.
Tapered swingarm uses YZ-style linkage for controlled, compliant rear suspension action. Axle and holders reduce weight in a critical area.
The Kayaba shock provides 12.2 inches of travel with adjusters for high- and low-speed compression damping, rebound and spring preload and features a larger piggyback reservoir for excellent damping and fade resistance.
New, wave disc brake rotors front and rear reduce unsprung weight and provide excellent performance. Front and rear calipers with aluminum pistons deliver strong stopping power with progressive feel.
Lightweight 21-inch front and 18-inch rear rims provide exceptional durability and help reduce unsprung weight for optimal suspension performance.
Premium Dunlops offer unbeatable, competition-spec traction and excellent wear.
Cool YZ-derived bodywork and thick seat look great and feel excellent on long rides.
ProTaper aluminum handlebar in forged triple clamp shaves weight and increases comfort.
Wide footpegs for great comfort.
Slim-design, lightweight fuel tank holds 2.1 gallons.
One-piece, high-strength, plastic skid plate shaves weight and offer great protection.
Lightweight, 35-watt headlight and sweet LED taillight maximize visibility and draw less current.
Adjustable front brake lever.
Repackable aluminum muffler shaves weight.
Front wheel collar makes front wheel removal quick and easy.