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Happy New 2 Wheels Good Year!

Illustration for article titled Happy New 2 Wheels Good Year!

Just rode this little guy home, it was really hard to find a notary open on New Years Day. 2008 Yamaha WR250R. 40 miles on a 55mph highway, and it doesn’t like to go much over 65 with the aftermarket shallow cog that’s on it.


But, I didn’t buy it for highway cruising...

I had been doing a bunch of research on a dual sport bike that was really off road capable, not just dirt road type capable like most so-called adventure bikes that weigh 500+ lbs. I was initially looking at the Yamaha XT250, Honda CRF250L and the Kawasaki KLX250, but then in my periphery of research, the WR250R kept coming up in comments and videos. Apparently the WR250R is in whole different class than the other three bikes in terms of actual offroad capability, with significantly more ground clearance, suspension travel and better damping particularly over washboard stuff at speed; despite this it still weighs ~290 lbs wet. New it costs nearly $2k more than the other three because of the higher spec suspension and other features, but I snagged this single-owner example with 2900 miles on the clock for less than half of MSRP. The WR250R is essentially unchanged since 2008, so I’m not missing out on new features or components either (aside from the newer model year forks that are gold-anodized instead of silver).


It still has the original tires, which were apparently not that good even when new, and now they’re almost dangerous because they’re hard as rocks after a decade and not grippy at all. First order of business is to put some Dunlop D606s on, do an oil change, flush the coolant. The brake fluid looks nice and clear, so I’ll let that go for awhile.

At less than 300 lbs, I should be able to take this thing where big ADV bikes fear to tread. At the moment, the bike is far more capable than me because this is my first offroady motorized contraption. Once the new rubber is on, I’ll start my learning.

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