Yamaha is looking to corner the market for small-displacement performance dual-sport motorcycles. We test rode Yamaha’s two new motorcycles in the high deserts of So Cal. Check out our 2008 Yamaha WR250R First Ride
- 2008 Yamaha WR250R/X
- The suspension is stout enough to handle almost any speed the motor is capable of, and the tires, believe it or not, are great at limiting how far you can comfortably push the suspension and chassis.
- The WR250R is the more versatile of the two newest offerings.
- A dual-piston Nissin caliper squeezes the larger rotor and a single-piston rear unit both provide ample stopping power in all situations.
- We wouldn't even try to seat-bounce most small dual-sports, but the 250R instills a sense of adventure and playfulness.
- The standout feature that establishes the WR as a performance oriented bike is the well-sorted suspension components.
- The wheel/tire arrangement is the primary focus that really separates the R and X models.
- Off the highway the engine actually feels a little peppier since the rear end can loosen up and spin the piston more freely.
- Automatic decompression and an 11.8:1 compression ratio make bike easy to start with the electric-only system.
- The motor doesn't produce enough power to cause too much trouble, but it will hold its own equally while zipping around town or hitting the trail.
- Even though it's pretty heavy for such a small bike, the center of gravity feels low and it is certainly nimble considering all the extra street-going hardware.
- Slow-speed, technical riding can be a bit troublesome with the tall gearing and mild motor. Beginners especially will probably want to change the final gearing.
- A set of 21/18-inch wheels with the impressive Trail Wing 301/302 combo give the 250R a legitimate purpose off-road.
- Yamaha is looking to corner the performance market share of small-bore dual-sport machines.