[Features]

2020 Yamaha WR250F: 10 Reasons It Rips

3 weeks ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Yamaha Motor Australia, Salvatore Aloisio

The early 2020 arrival of Yamaha’s 2020-model WR250F on Australian dealer floors may have come a few months after initial expectations, but this completely revised machine quickly established that it had taken a quantum leap forward from its predecessors. In addition to incorporating a bunch of recent updates made to Yami’s MX models, the 2020 WR250F also came with a raft of enduro-specific mods to position it closer to the racier end of the enduro bike spectrum. Which is why trailriders and enduro racers alike were salivating over its impending arrival like never before.

Having had a 2020 WR250F on our project bike fleet for a few months now, we’ve already painted a glowing picture about its step-up in performance and component spec, and improved tunability. But let’s revisit the 10 key reasons this landmark little machine has reasserted itself as the benchmark for 250cc enduro machines, and represents such good value for money.

1. GENUINELY ‘NEW-GENERATION’

Everywhere you look, the 2020 WR250F boasts updates. Sweeping mods to the engine and alloy perimeter frame are accompanied by slimmer and more streamlined bodywork, a lower seat, increased tunability, updated suspension, and a bunch of refinements to protective parts, sidestand and instruments. In other words, this model is much more than a refinement to its predecessors; it’s a genuinely new-generation machine. Yamaha’s design goals were all about making it faster, lighter and more agile, without compromising its notorious stability. And the designers have ticked all those boxes.

2. THE PRICE

Priced at $13,999 ride away (that means the price includes GST, plus 12 months registration, all statutory costs, freight and pre-delivery charges), the 2020 WR250F is closer than ever to the industry-leading YZ250F, providing superior handling and increased steering precision, while retaining high-speed stability. It’s not often a manufacturer brings out a new-generation model without a price hike.

3. ITS HERITAGE

Originally launched as a 2001 model, the high-performance quarter-litre enduro racer was developed for Australian conditions by legendary ISDE competitor Geoff Ballard, alongside YMA enduro riders Steven Cotterell and Peter Payne. The current model retains its Antipodean connection by continuing its development under Peter Payne with assistance from former World MXGP rider, Josh Coppins.

4. SMARTPHONE TUNING

Onboard WiFi provides easy tuning for different track conditions via a smartphone. The downloadable Power Tuner app allows the rider to make fuelling and ignition timing changes instantly. The app also records ride/race log information as well as monitoring a range of data such as maintenance and system diagnosis, engine run time, and more.

5. ENGINE MAP SWITCH

A bar-mounted dual engine map switch enables changes in the engine power delivery characteristics on the fly. This switch allows the rider to select one of two engine maps at the press of a handlebar-mounted button to cater for changes in the riding environment.

6. HIGH-PERFORMANCE ENGINE

The engine is based closely on the winning fuel-injected YZ250F design, featuring a rearward-inclined cylinder and reverse cylinder head. Enduro specific settings provide a high level of winning performance, further boosted by the fitment of a dual-electrode spark plug and revised exhaust muffler. The airbox is situated in front of the rider and the fuel tank located at the centre of the bike – a unique configuration that contributes to the bike’s mass centralisation.

7. SIX-SPEED TRANNY & A LIGHTER, TOUGHER CLUTCH

The six-speed transmission is designed to handle a wide variety of terrain, from technical rock climbs to full-throttle blasting along forest tracks. Plus, there’s a new lighter and tougher clutch to ensure it can handle the extreme demands of enduro riding.

8. SHARP HANDLING

The WR250F now runs the same bilateral beam frame as the sharp-handling current-model YZ250F. To achieve a rigidity balance with the amount of flex needed for enduro riding, the engine mount brackets have been altered.

9. INDUSTRY-LEADING KYB SUSPENSION

It’s fitted with the same KYB air-oil-separate (AOS) closed-chamber upside-down front fork as the YZ250F, but with model-specific enduro settings to provide stable damping force. The rear shock absorber is also based on the YZ250F unit and features enduro model-specific settings.

10. OFF-ROAD COMPETITION KIT

For the Australian market, the new WR250F is supplied fully ADR compliant and in road-registrable condition. A free competition kit is also supplied with the bike and can be easily fitted for closed-course use. The kit includes:

  • CCU for smartphone tuning capability;
  • Lightweight LED taillight and licence-plate holder;
  • Competition-spec larger diameter exhaust muffler outlet;
  • Full power, full travel throttle stopper screw kit;
  • YZ air filter holder guide;
  • Wiring connector for headlight;
  • ‘Brake Snake’ kit;
  • Wiring connector for rear brake light; and
  • WR-F Barkbusters handguard set.

Click here for more information about the 2020 WR250F’s features, benefits, and specifications.


More on Yamaha’s 2020 WR250F

2020 WR250F: 5 REASONS TO TRADE UP

2020 WR250F: BANG-FOR-BUCK MODS

2020 YAMAHA WR250F: THE PERFORMANCE

2020 YAMAHA WR250F: COMPONENT CHECK

TESTED: 2020 YAMAHA WR250F

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