Yamaha Gives New Life To An Old Favorite

First introduced in 2001, the WR250F has seen some changes through the years up to and including 2014 — most notably the alloy frame introduced in 2007, improved suspension and some ergonomic tweaks — but for the most part, it had gradually fallen from being a hot ticket to same-old, same-old mediocrity. That changed in 2015. With updates in technology, including the revolutionary rearward slanted engine, an added sixth gear and wide-ratio transmission, twin-chamber fork and fuel injection, the WR250F is a hot ticket once again in the Enduro world, where Yamaha hopes to revive interest in the 250 cc market that has been waning since they essentially quit updating the WR250F in 2007.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha WR250F.

  • 2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
  • Year:
    2015- 2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 titanium valves
  • Displacement:
    249 cc
  • Price:
    8099
  • Price:

Design

2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
- image 739821
While the 2014 model was slimmer in the waist and had a lower seat height, the throttle responsiveness, nimble handling and agility of the 2015 model made it more a bike that rises to your skill level rather than one that needs to be wrestled into submission.

Based on the YZ but with a whole lot of "Enduro-fication," the WR 250F features electric start, an all aluminum bilateral beam frame, a 3-D mapped, electronically controlled fuel injection system, and suspension tuned specifically for Enduro riding. While the 2014 model is slimmer in the waist and has a lower seat height — which helps you on really aggressive hill-climbs — the throttle responsiveness, nimble handling and agility of the 2015 model made it more a bike that rises to your skill level rather than one that needs to be wrestled into submission.

A tripleclamp-mount front fender leads off in typical MX fashion with fork guards that shield the inner fork tubes at the bottom and a combo headlamp housing/flyscreen up top. The low-profile fuel-tank bump and rise at the tail creates a gentle swale for the saddle and a near-flat playing field for the rider’s fifth point of contact. Yamaha finishes out the tapered subframe with a tucked-away LED taillight. The onboard Enduro-tuned computer handles operation of the instruments mounted in front of the handlebar, which include speedometer, odometer, average speed and clock.

Chassis

2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
- image 739826
The engine and fuel tank placed close to center mass lend a nimble responsiveness to the bike -- a responsiveness that you want when churning up the off-road terrain.

Modeled after the race-proven YZ250F, the bilateral frame for the WR250F is constructed of lightweight square aluminum tubing. The engine and fuel tank placed close to center mass lend a nimble responsiveness to the bike — a responsiveness that you want when churning up the off-road terrain. With KYB components in the suspension — 12.2 inches of travel in the front and 12.4 inches in the rear — the WR250F utilizes fully-adjustable, Kashima-coated air/oil separation Speed Sensitive System forks and a single, fully adjustable, 50 mm rear shock.

A single, 250 mm hydraulic disc in the front and a 245 mm disc in the rear provide stopping power for this aggressive little beast. All this off-road wonderfulness rolls on knobby 21-inch front and 18-inch rear Dunlop MX51 tires.

Suspension / Front: KYB® Speed-Sensitive System; inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: KYB® Fully adjustable single shock; 12.4-inch travel
Brakes / Front: Hydraulic single disc brake, 250 mm
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245 mm
Tires / Front: 80/100-21 51M
Tires / Rear: 110/100-18 64M

Drivetrain

2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
- image 739861
The accessory GYTR® Power Tuner lets you adjust engine performance characteristics to suit you and your riding conditions.

All new from 2015, the engine in the WR250F — a rearward-slanted, 249 cc, liquid-cooled four-stroke mill — cranks out the power. With four titanium valves in the DOHC system and the 44 mm Keihin throttle body handling air-fuel induction for the fuel-injection system, the WR 250F gives smooth throttle response and ignition timing tweaked specifically for Enduro. It comes with an electric starter for convenience, but true to its roots, retains the kicker for backup. Mate this little high-performance engine to the six-speed, wide-ratio transmission and then add the accessory GYTR® Power Tuner to let you adjust engine performance characteristics to suit you and your riding conditions, and how can you go wrong?

Engine Type: Liquid-cooled DOHC Four-stroke; 4 titanium valves
Displacement: 249 cc
Bore: 77.0 mm
Stroke: 53.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 13.5 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) Keihin® 44 mm
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: Wide-ratio constant-mesh Six-speed; multiplate wet clutch

Pricing

2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
- image 739855
Warranty? We don't need no stinkin' warranty.

MSRP on your 2017 WR250F is $8,099 and guess what colorway. Yup, Team Yamaha Blue and White. Yamaha gives you a 30-day limited factory warranty; because, let’s face it, they know you’re buying the bike to beat the crap out of it. That’s the whole point, right?

Warranty: 30-Day Limited Factory Warranty
Color: Team Yamaha Blue/White
Price:
2015, 2016: $7,990
2017, 2018: $8,099

Competitors

2015 - 2017 Yamaha WR250F
- image 739851
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- image 739862
Suzuki steps up the program just a tad with an air-spring front instead of a heavier coil-spring arrangement on the Yamaha.

As one of the Big Four, Suzuki also builds a similar ride that targets the same rider bracket and comes more-or-less ready for competition right out of the box, the RM-Z250. Built purely for track and trail, the RM-Z shuns all forms of lighting in favor of a flat number plate up front and clean-as-a-whistle finish to the subframe.

Much like the WR, Suzuki’s ride carries a minimal rise at the fuel tank with a gentle swale for the saddle. An aluminum-beam frame forms the main structure, and like the WR, fully-adjustable KYB components provide the suspension, but Suzuki steps up the program just a tad with an air-spring front instead of a heavier coil-spring arrangement.

The rest of the chassis components are close enough for government work, as are the powerplants. Suzuki uses a 249 cc engine to drive its RM-Z250, but as much as the two have in common, Yamaha gets a huge leg up with its electric starter, and I’m sure its worth the extra weight to be able to push-button start on the track.

In a trade-off, Suzuki runs with a Holeshot Assist Control that gives tiered help on takeoffs, and Yamaha doesn’t seem to have an answer for that on the WR250. Suzuki ekes out a win at the checkout with a $7,699 sticker, just under the $8,099 tag on the WR.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "As much as I like watching Supercross races, I never learned to appreciate Enduro racing. Having said that, as a mechanic, I fully appreciate the mud, sweat and gears Yamaha put into revitalizing this model, and am impressed with the result."

She Said

"In my mind, the two heavy-hitters in Enduro are Yamaha and KTM, with the KTM 250EXCF also going head-to-head with the WR250F, especially now that Yamaha has pumped new blood into the line. This new generation of fuel-injected 250 cc bikes may reignite passion among folks for these underrated and overlooked off-road beasts."

Specifications

Drivetrain:
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled DOHC Four-stroke; 4 titanium valves
Displacement: 249 cc
Bore: 77.0 mm
Stroke: 53.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 13.5 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) Keihin® 44 mm
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: Wide-ratio constant-mesh Six-speed; multiplate wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Suspension / Front: KYB® Speed-Sensitive System; inverted fork; fully adjustable, 12.2-inch travel
Suspension / Rear: KYB® Fully adjustable single shock; 12.4-inch travel
Brakes / Front: Hydraulic single disc brake, 250 mm
Brakes / Rear: Hydraulic single disc brake, 245 mm
Tires / Front: 80/100-21 51M
Tires / Rear: 110/100-18 64M
Dimensions:
Length: 85.2 inches
Width: 32.5 inches
Height: 50.4 inches
Seat Height: 38.0 inches
Wheelbase: 57.7 inches
Ground Clearance: 12.8 inches
Details:
Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gallon
Wet Weight: 258 pound
Warranty: 30-Day Limited Factory Warranty
Color: Team Yamaha Blue/White
Price:
2015, 2016: $7,990
2017, 2018: $8,099

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, suzukicycles.com

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