Best Dual-Sport 2013: Yamaha WR250R

December 27, 2013
By Motorcycle USA Staff
Videos Our Sponsor

Motorcycle USA gets dirty recapping the highlights of the 2013 riding season in its annual Best of Awards Dirt video– including selections for best enduro, dual-sport and motocross bike, as well as four-wheeled selections in the ATV and UTV segment.

Winner of MotoUSA’s 250 Dual-Sport Shootout, the Yamaha WR250R continues to set the performance benchmark in the quarter-liter DS segment. No, this Yamaha isn’t an ideal bike for the freeway, but it’s the dual-sport that knows how to get dirty best and holds its own on the street.

Praise for the WR250 begins with its liquid-cooled fuel-injected Single. Compared with its 250 rivals the WR bangs out a good 25% more horsepower thanks to its burly top-end. We recorded 117-miles per tank during shootout testing, also not ideal but still plenty good for a bike that bides its time in dirt and asphalt.

But it is the WR’s prowess when the pavement ends that won us over. During our 2013 250 Dual-Sport Shootout test riders were able to hit off-road obstacles at higher speeds and with less effort thanks to the impressive Soqi suspension package. The compression and rebound adjustability pay huge benefits too, and the WR also delivers a comfy ride on the pavement as well. Our tester also rated its braking performance as class-leading.

The WR’s $6990 MSRP is definitely on the high side, in fact it’s almost $500 more than last year’s winner in this category, Kawasaki’s venerable KLR650. But the WR250 is a lightweight dirt bike that doubles as a road bike en route to your favorite trails, and is a head above the rest in the quarter-liter dual-sport ranks.