It is hard not to think at dirt racing when riding the Yamaha WR250F as this bike is a great reminder of the 2009 Yamaha YZ250F even if not being necessarily ridden on the motocross track. Very adaptable and easy to work with, the 2009 model year unveils all benefits of riding on an aluminum frame that meets a perfect balance between resistance and rigidity.
The biker gets familiar with her/his ride fairly quick, but at least we know that the machine makes all the possible for things to be that way. No wonder, as the start button ensures quick engine starts at all temperatures, the seat is positioned only 38.6 inches from the ground and there’s an aluminum kickstand with which those who come from motocross will have the joy of getting used too.
Surprisingly, the seat isn’t that narrow and at least at the start of the day it feels pretty well accommodating. The bars are positioned at quick reach and the pegs were also built with ergonomics in mind. These features culminate into kind of a ‘get up and go’ riding position that is similar to the one of motocross bikes. That’s good as long as you weren’t expecting for an enduro model, but not vice-versa.
Relying on a 249cc liquid-cooled, DOHC four-stroke engine with five titanium valves, this WR’s powerplant is enormously capable and still not fuel injected. No problem. Fed through a 37mm Keihin FCR flat-slide carburetor, a simple twist of the throttle in any of the five gears (preferably the first three) unveils the engine’s torquey character and healthy exhaust grunt. From what my sensors can detect Yamaha aims at both experienced and beginning riders with the WR250F. So it can provide an adrenaline rush to those who seem unconscious, but know what they’re doing and stand as a light and versatile dirt bike for those who are just starting.
Hill climbs are children’s play for the quarter-liter Yamaha, but this bike enjoys descending as much as it does ascending. The Kayaba inverted fork offering 11.8 inches of travel front and the single shock standing for 12.2 inches are there to make sure that even chubbier guys won’t come off of this bike with broken backs after a more aggressive jumps session. Also, the 21-inch front and 18-inch rear proved adequate for harsh riding terrains and the tires gripped really good to slippery surfaces, even rocks. That’s good, especially when being needed to stop. Otherwise, the motocross-like brakes worth nothing even though they only need to stop a 260 lbs + rider mass.
Handling feels light and responsive and the WR-F remains stable at high speeds and under strong acceleration. You really can’t query the compact motorcycle’s ability to go fast and safe around the corners as you can’t query any of the off-road abilities of this thing.
The headlight is very helpful for those who can’t get enough of this bike and ride it till dark falls and you can always buy one of those street legal kits that I keep hearing about. That when you’ll be simply unstoppable!
With a price tag of only $6,699, the Yamaha is a great bang for the buck, leaving you trying to find another one with five valves per cylinder at this kind of money. In fact, no matter the amount, your search will be in vain. The Yamaha WR250F is also green sticker approved for California.
Not highly improved for the present year, but very well balanced and with power to spare, the Yamaha WR250F has its future trail days sorted out, something that we can’t say about all of the similar Japanese models. So it has to find its competitors in Europe and prove to them what a blast it is.