Although much of the attention at Yamaha's AIMExpo exhibit focused on the affordable YZF-R3 sportbike and C-Spec version of the Star Bolt, the tuning-fork company also took the wraps off the 2015 WR250F, an all-new dirtbike designed for enduro competition and aggressive trail riding.
Like the YZ250F and YZ450F, this WR250F now has an engine with a rear-slanted cylinder (with a rear-facing exhaust manifold and forward-facing intake tract), which helps to centralize mass and make the bike more nimble in the woods. The 249cc fuel-injected DOHC motor, with four titanium valves, teams with a beefier clutch and a new wide-ratio six-speed gearbox to help the electric-start engine stay in the thick part of its powerband while also improving traction. Of note, an electric radiator fan is standard, and the 44mm Keihin throttle body is tuned for smooth throttle response and easy starting.
Yamaha says the new WR250F's aluminum bilateral frame is "nearly the same" as that of the YZ250F motocrosser, and it features a square-section removable aluminum subframe. Suspension is from KYB. The inverted fork has metal springs and Kashima coating, along with what KYB calls its "air/oil separate Speed Sensitive System." The shock, also featuring Kashima coating, has a large 50mm piston. Yamaha says the WR250F has 12.2 inches of travel in front and 12.4 in back. Tuning, naturally, is geared toward enduro riding.
Other details include a 2.1-gallon fuel tank and a claimed weight of 258 lb. for the bike in wet, ready-to-ride form. And in addition to a standard headlight, taillight, skidplate, and onboard computer (featuring a speedometer, odometer, average speed, and a clock), the new WR250F is also fitted with a sidestand. Lastly, Yamaha says that the 2015 WR250F is emissions-compliant in all 50 states, and that the GYTR Power Tuner is available. This accessory lets owners adjust the air/fuel mixture and ignition maps to match engine performance to the rider and race conditions via the push of a few buttons.
With the new 2015 WR250F, plus the even more potent 2015 YZ250XC, Yamaha is showing that it’s even serious about challenging the Austrians for off-road supremacy.