The XT250 is new for ’08, but the XT mission remains the same: to get you as far out of town and into nature as you want to go. The newest XT’s bigger engine and extensive upgrades, take the XT to the next level of fun and all-around function.
Where does your riding take you? Commuting in city traffic, winding down a country road or hustling your way down a trail to nowhere? For those who can’t decide, Yamaha has come up with the perfect answer.
Introducing the new XT250, a bike designed for versatility at a great price. A new four-stroke engine revs out predictable power, while a five-speed transmission and class-leading low seat height gives you both performance and ease of use. Whether riding in the city or at the clamp, let the new XT250 spice up your adventure.
In 1980, the “4-stroke Super Trail” model, also known as the XT250, provided a wide range of off-road fun, from dirt riding to forest trail and enduro riding. The 250cc single-cylinder engine, characterized by its high power output and flat power development, was mounted on a diamond frame that gave this model a light weight of 114 kg. In the rear, a motocross suspension was adopted, the first on a 4-stroke model.
Reliable and functional, the bike based on its air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC single-cylinder engine to take its name forward and it did. That very same engine developing 21ps/8,000rpm and 2.0kg-m/6,500rpm carried it over with virtually no change until 1991.
Today the bike incorporates many of its original features and we can take it for granted as one of those motorcycles that don’t require anything else but a technological update and then is ready to go and serve you many years further.
Suzuki also considers they have found the best way to learn how to trail ride with the DR200SE. It weights just 249 pounds and has a seat height of only 32 inches, so you can build your confidence as you learn to ride. Of course, after you have some miles on the trail you’ll begin to appreciate the DR200SE’s range of advanced designs. It has sturdy diamond frame, long-travel suspension and high-traction tires, so it soaks up rough terrain and handles well on tight trails.
The DR200SE is also designed to help you discover the fun of street riding. It has all the features it needs to make it street legal, along with a wide powerband and smooth acceleration.
Another strong competitor for Yamaha’s dual purpose machine is the Kawasaki KLX250S, a machine that also doesn’t stop at pavement boundaries. It has the quality of being lightweight and equally at home on the pavement or off-road and always ready for your next incursion.
A compact, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine displacing 249cc, the KLX250S features convenient electric starting. The engine is mounted beneath a lightweight, high-tensile steel perimeter frame to deliver a low center of gravity and enhanced maneuvering on tight trails. This makes it the proper opponent for the Yamaha but we still have to wait and see who wins the battle on the long run as our reviewed product has strong heritage.
One look at the 2008 Yamaha XT250 and you will notice that most of the original design was kept in order for the bike to speak about legacy and its contribution at the evolving manufacturer that created it.
Although the styling it’s all new and includes a bigger gas tank reinforcing the XT’s looks and performance, Yamaha decided to retain the enduro-style headlight and the general arrangement giving it the characteristic attitude which made it famous.
I especially appreciate the way things blend in perfectly and create a clean looking exterior. A nice finishing touch is also given by the two-tone paintjob with the purpose of making some elements more visible than others.
I had the opportunity to spend a long and entertaining day on the 2008 Yamaha XT250 so I tested it both on and off-road in order to receive the needed feedback which now is being transformed into words and forms a part of this review.
I was positively impressed by the way this off-road bike receives its rider and I quickly wanted to know more about its qualities and defects.
The only way to do that was to start the engine and get going, so I did. I noticed that at idle it revs quietly and doesn’t produce any vibration so here’s a plus for this Yammie. First gear is fairly short but I expected this from such a motorcycle. Although second gear is a bit more satisfying, and third feels like the ideal gear for city commuting, the high gears are the ones which give it that special attitude and make it fly on that trails.
It couldn’t fly without its 250cc air-cooled, SOHC four-stroke single-cylinder engine so it uses it to give the best sensation encountered on a 250cc off-road motorcycle. In city traffic, the small and torque engine proves unchallenged and never gives signs of weakness. It is what I would expect from a Yamaha bike no matter what engine displacement or category but this one seems to have caught my attention in a special way. It is probably the name but that name itself says a lot and many conclusions can be drawn from this fact.
I enjoyed to quickly change the gears when I left behind stop signs but that also had the purpose of detaching from city traffic as the small engine has to be efficiently exploited in communion with the five-speed gearbox so as the rider will see only the way to those favorite trails and not many cars.
Suspensions are a real friend and brakes never seem to disappoint but I hardly tested them out on the wide open terrain so stay tuned for more information.
Once I did enter the rough terrain, routine became adventure and there wasn’t anything to stop the XT250. It is a real pleasure to ride it off the road as all its elements establish this great communion resulting in an extraordinary riding experience.
The engine is very responsive and it is here where it unveils its true character and starts delivering its best while the gearbox retains its excellent comportment. I managed to climb very steep hills which I never thought manageable for such a bike so I will never underestimate a dual sport machine again.
The suspension equipment behaves like a dream and manages to provide a plush-ride even in the most unfriendly terrain so its riders will be very satisfied with the rebound damping. I usually test them over some logs and I have to say that my routine proved efficient and showed how important the suspensions are at these kinds of motorcycles. Of course, the bike solved any problem that may have appeared and this completes it user-friendly attitude.
I will end this test drive by referring at the front and rear braking systems which proved to be very reliable and those discs really mean a lot these days. The first XT250 bikes featured drum brakes but the change is now obvious and very significant. It is an absolute pleasure to hardly brake before a tight corner and then strongly accelerate for another rush.
If you are willing to buy versatility, reliability, comfort, and years of development, all gathered under a single name, you will have to now that there’s no other apart from the XT225. For the retail price on only $4,399, Yamaha offers one of their best dual-sport machines to people who enjoy riding them and who really appreciate its legacy.
Yamaha has now delivered its best XT250 and this is not an opportunity to be missed. With is do-it-all character obtained through an old idea that got better when technology said its word, the Yamaha XT250 promises to carry its riders for years and years further, as it did at the beginning. It kept its word then and it will keep it now, also.
Engine and Transmission
Type: air-cooled, SOHC 4-stroke single
Bore x Stroke: 74.0 x 58.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Carburetion: 33mm Vac
Transmission: 5-speed w/manual clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension/Front: 35mm telescopic fork; 8.9-in travel
Suspension/Rear: Swingarm w/rebound-adjustable single shock; 7.1-in travel
Brakes/Front: 245mm disc
Brakes/Rear: 203mm disc
Length: 84.6 in
Width: 31.7 in
Height: 45.7 in
Seat Height: 31.9 in
Wheelbase: 53.5 in
Ground Clearance: 11.2 in
Fuel Capacity: 2.6 gal (CA 2.4 gal)
For 2008, a bigger engine and extensive upgrades take the XT to the next level of fun and all-around function.
All-new styling including a bigger gas tank reinforce the XT’s looks and performance.
Long-travel suspension and over 11.2 inches of ground clearance live under a seat only 31.9 inches from the ground.
Electric start makes firing up the larger 249cc four-stroke effortless.
New, 245mm front disc and 203mm rear disc brakes combine to deliver superb stopping power on both paved and unpaved surfaces.
New, 249cc air-cooled four-stroke with 9.5:1 compression makes maximum power at 7500 rpm and maximum torque at 6500 rpm for great on- and off-road performance.
A light-and-strong forged piston inside a plated cylinder helps dissipate heat more efficiently, increasing both performance and durability.
New 33mm vacuum-type carburetor keeps the airflow up for excellent performance and throttle response.
A lightened crankshaft helps provide quick response power.
Wide-ratio five-speed transmission for maximum power and performance in a wide range of terrain and conditions.
Hassle-free pushbutton electric starting adds extra convenience and reliability.
Engine is mounted high in the frame to provide an incredible 11.2 inches of ground clearance.
Automatic cam chain tensioner means minimal maintenance and longer engine life.
A new-design semi-double-cradle steel frame achieves a lighter, nimbler feel through greater mass centralization. Greater lateral and torsional rigidity and reduced weight of the lower frame parts that help produce light, stable handling.
A new front fork with 8.9 inches of travel and revised damping soaks up the rough stuff, both on-road and off. A new aluminum lower triple clamp keeps the weight down.
Maximum turning angle of the handlebar is 51 degrees – almost like a trials machine. Combined with a short wheelbase of only 53.5 inches, the XT250 has a super-tight turning radius for excellent maneuverability.
A new rear shock provides 7.1 inches of wheel travel through a progressive, Monocross-style linkage system for a smooth ride.
21-inch front and 18-inch rear aluminum wheel are extremely durable and reduce unsprung weight for enhanced suspension performance and handling.
New 245mm front disc and 203mm rear disc brakes combine to deliver superb stopping power on both paved and unpaved surfaces.
11.2 inches of ground clearance means you’ve got serious off-road capability, and a heavy-duty aluminum skid plate adds protection.
New multifunction digital LCD instrument panel with cool green background lighting is easily visible day or night. It also removes a lot of weight from the handlebar for light, precise handling.
A stylish new gas tank holds a full 2.6 gallons and 2.4 gallons CA for long-range riding.
Long, thick seat creates a balanced riding position for optimal rider movement and comfort.
Durable and wide front fender is designed to keep mud and dirt off the rider when exploring off-road.
Frame-mounted passenger footpegs provide two-up riding capability.
Enduro-style, 60/55-watt halogen headlight features a cool new 133mm lens for excellent visibility at night.
Flex-mounted turn indicators for greater durability against breakage.
Retractable brake and shift pedals deal with tough trail obstacles.
Durable front boots help prevent rocks and debris from damaging fork sliders.
Standard dual rearview mirrors.
Easy-to-use choke lever.
Air-induction system helps clean up emissions, and a spark arrestor makes the XT trail ready.
Dependable, low-maintenance battery.