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Entry-level Yamaha R25 Concept First Look

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Yamaha saved a big surprise for its Tokyo Motor Show display, as the Tuning Fork brand debuts the R25. A 249cc Parallel Twin powers the new mount, which is designated by Yamaha as an “Experimental Vehicle” but appears slated for the ever-growing entry-level sportbike class.


The only technical details released for the R25 are the aforementioned engine configuration and displacement, which will be liquid-cooled. The pictures show suspension is a conventional fork and rear shock. The frame appears to be steel-tubing, with braking a single-disc front with non-radial calipers. The Tokyo concept may be pulling off a racebike look, but the components package screams production ready.

Valentino Rossi pitches Yamahas 250cc sportbike concept model dubbed the R25.
Valentino Rossi pitches Yamaha's 250cc sportbike concept model dubbed the R25.
The R25 apes the lines of Yamaha’s M1 MotoGP mount. Look, ma, no headlight or mirrors! And no passenger seat either. The R25 also sports a purdy Akrapovic exhaust as well. The MotoGP/race bike branding is cemented by the bike’s pitchman, a fellow by the name of Valentino Rossi. 

What precious little press material Yamaha offers on the R25 includes this sentence: “’It’s an all new street motorcycle injected with Yamaha Motor Racing’s pedigree," says test rider and MotoGP racer Valentino Rossi as he grins after feeling the potential of the R25 on his the test run.

An accompanying promotional video (embedded below) includes another grinning Rossi, saying: “This bike really packs a punch.” But The Doctor delivers the tagline in such perfect Vale-ese that it will leave the popolo giallo de Rossi euphoric.

The R25 does sport some sharp lines to be sure, which will make it a worthy competitor in the growing entry-level sportbike class. Currently, Yamaha's entry-level sportbike is the FZ6R. But Yamaha has long produced a small-displacement R-series sportbike for international markets in the YZF-R125. Meeting the tiered licensing requirements in the European Union, the R125 is powered by a liquid-cooled Single.


If the R25 does make it to production, and eventually the US market, all of the Big Four will have 250-300cc sportbikes. Kawasaki’s Ninja 300 debuted in 2013, the Parallel Twin-powered model replacing the Ninja 250 that dominated the segment unchallenged for years in the US. Honda’s single-cylinder CBR250R took on the little Ninja in 2010, and Big Red will presumably bring its stroked out CBR300 to the States as a 2014 model. Suzuki also introduced the GW250 in 2013, a naked standard with comparable performance from its 249cc Parallel Twin.

Expect more news from Yamaha on its new 250cc sportbike platform.

Other Sportbike First Looks
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2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR First Look
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2015 Kawasaki H2 Street First Look
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fivespeed302   December 6, 2013 04:41 PM
I'd park it right next to my R1 with no shame.
sandman   November 27, 2013 08:14 AM
nice looking bike -- please put that motor in a dual sport bike.
AnthonyD   November 21, 2013 09:32 AM
I hope they offer this bike in this form as a package. I wouldn't want to ride this on the street but I would love to have one for track only.
RidingRider   November 21, 2013 07:49 AM
Looks awesome. If Yamaha has the ability to make a 250 that will run with the Ninja 300 and it has the hp and is priced right it will sell on looks alone.

Can't wait!!
cggunnersmate   November 21, 2013 04:51 AM
This would make a wonderful track bike, especially on a tight circuits or for those who want something cheap and easy to handle. This thing would teach you TONS about proper cornering techniques (same kind of bikes GP riders are grown on).

Otherwise this thing will probably sell like hotcakes throughout Europe and even Asia. Most European countries have tiered licensing systems where you start on small displacement backs and work up in increments to larger bikes. This will sell to many young/new riders over there, especially that it looks like the M1 GP bike and Rossi has a massive fan base. Not to mention all the Lorenzo fans as well.

I'd love to have one as a track day bike. Though it'd be great for my 3 mile commute to work too.
counterintuitive   November 20, 2013 09:34 PM
...now all we need is for Suzuki to bring out a 250 that looks like a Busa
counterintuitive   November 20, 2013 09:33 PM
What difference is an extra 50cc going to make? 5HP more at redline? Whooeee! It'll still be as slow as reindeer crap. Which is the whole point of a 250cc bike, you know. The big difference between the Kawi 300 and the Honda 250 is that one is made by Kawasaki and the other by Honda. Two very-different philosophies. And neither of those two bikes looks as good as this bike, admittedly without headlights and mirrors but still. Yamaha has said, "so fine make the Ninja 300 look just like the Ninja 650. We will make our 250 look just like our MotoGP bike LOL"
DanPan   November 20, 2013 12:10 PM
This needs to be pump up to 300, just like Honda and Kawasaki....