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YAMAHA WR250R Review

by Craig Hartley

 

FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING BUT AN OPEN LICENCE.

When Phil Hodgens asked me to come along on a 3 day adventure ride, naturally I thought a great idea,
then he asks me to ride the new fuel injected WR250R Yamaha, not quite what I am used to but I agreed
it could be a good test as with the new 250cc licence laws, this bike could fill a gap for the whole family
to ride in every aspect of off road riding, especially the growing trend of adventure riding.


The morning of the ride I’ve got to admit I felt a bit stupid surrounded by 15 KTM950’s and three or four
450 to 650 size machines.


We were straight in to some Glass House mountain trails and even with the swag, saddlebags and other
gear strapped on the little WR, it did show a lot of promise, obviously being more nimble in the tight
stuff, it was eating 950’s for breakfast, knowing this was a short lived experience I made the most of it.
A drowning and a thrown chain with dire outcomes on one of the bikes due to mud holes cut our trail
riding section short so it was straight on to gravel and bitumen roads and wet forest trails, they were not
real high speed and the WR still held it’s own very nicely.


Overall I was enjoying the WR with the motor which felt and sounded like an electric motor powered
machine.


The end of the first day saw us having to buzz a hundred k’s down the bitumen in the rain, we were
cruising on about 105 k’s, never being one for that type of riding I slowly started winding up the pace
and passing the bigger bikes, my theory is if you have to sit on bitumen roads and in the rain, you may as
well get it over and done with as quickly as possible, so the torture test began, 130 k’s and just cruising
and all was happy. The WR had been geared down for trail riding to a 45T rear sprocket so I was happy it
did not have a tacho to show me what engine revs it was cruising on.


The next 2 days was a fine selection of gravel tracks and forest trails and the WR250R torture test never
failed to surprise all on the ride with it’s gutsy little heart. Ken Allen from Maryborough led us from
Biggenden to the coast, this took us over several good hills with decent climbs. While riding the WR, I
was playing with holding it in a gear higher than you would expect for a 250cc to test the torque of the
fuel injected motor, once again it surprised me the torque it would generate when put to the test up
hills.


Overall the whole package is great, brakes are good, shock and fork action is very smooth over all
surfaces be it rocky or corrugated and if there was a complaint here, it would only be that it is a bit soft
over big hits and it could have a touch more rebound adjustment on the shock, don’t forget I had it
loaded for adventure riding, motor is great, you could fit a muffler but then you have all the noise to
match the high engine revs it loves to play at and this could be annoying, better to just let her rev, and
the light is very good for night riding.


This is one surprising bike that is good fun to thrash, the saying that I came up with on the way to Phil’s
the night before the ride certainly looked to ring true, “THE BIKE FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING
BUT AN OPEN LICENCE”

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