We’ve been playing with our Yamaha WR250R, but not so succcessfully. Our Adventure Bike Buildup wasn’t the best path for our little Yamaha unless you were one Pete Peterson and wanted to let the neighbors know you were leaving for work.
So friend of the magazine, Lance Tidwell asked to borrow the little Yamaha since he was looking to upgrade from his current Honda XR400. The WR’s electric starting, fuel injection, lower seat height, soft suspension and mostly the street legality attracted him to the bike. But he really wanted to know if it would handle the trails he likes to ride.
The first thing Lance did to the bike was toss the stock rubber and mount up a set of real knobbies, some Bridgestone M403/404s. He said he’d worry about them not being DOT knobbies when that time came. Then he started taking off parts and pieces that he didn’t need, losing a whopping six pounds off the bike without really trying much, he hadn’t even drilled a hole in anything yet. And these retired guys have nothing better to do with their idle garage time, trust me, I’ve seen some of their work. Now that the mirrors, buddy pegs and a few reflectors were missing it was time to go and ride the bike.
Lance was impressed with the bike enough to ask me if he could do a few more things to it to make it better (since the bike was soon to be returned to Yamaha). He was impressed with the stealth-like non-exhaust note of the bike and the fact that it still had plenty of power, though he did have to rev it a little more than he was used to. Also the bike handles with a really light feel considering that it isn’t that light on the scale. It turns way better than his old Honda and slides like some of his old desert bikes, since it is a little lower and longer, like those bikes tended to be.
Now he wants to lower the gearing and put on a good set of handlebars (Flexx bars since his son works at the company) and some wrap-around handguards. So we’re going to try and get the Yamaha even more dialed and see if we can’t create (in Lance’s words) the ultimate Geezer bike. Which for the rest of the world is a tough little trail bike for real world trail riding.
We’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. And if you know someone who makes a plastic gas tank for one of these let us know. Have you felt how much one of these gas caps weighs?