Yamaha’s legendary WR250F has been completely revised for 2020 to maintain its status as the machine of choice for E1 enduro racers and super-fast trail riders.
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 development under Peter Payne with assistance from former world MX rider Josh Coppins.
For 2020, WR250F is closer than ever to the industry-leading YZ250F, to provide superior handling and increased steering precision while retaining high-speed stability. It’s now even better at what it has always been best at – carving through singletrack like a hot knife through butter.
High performance YZ250F-based engine
The engine is based closely on the winning fuel-injected YZ250F design, and features a rearward-inclined cylinder and reverse cylinder head. Its 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, which plays a pivotal role in achieving light and agile handling.
The reverse cylinder head design allows the use of a straight air inlet for higher levels of intake efficiency. Locating the fuel tank centrally permits the use of a long, flat seat that allows the rider to shift their body weight quickly and easily.
Other features include a new high compression forged aluminium piston, revised valve angle and exhaust cam timing with revised balance factor – all based on the current YZ250F, but with enduro specific settings to provide a high level of winning performance. That performance is further boosted by the fitment of a dual electrode spark plug and revised exhaust muffler for 2020.
New 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 free Yamaha Power Tuner app also allows owners to record ride/race log information and monitor a range of data such as maintenance and system diagnosis, engine run time and more.
Engine map switch
A bar-mounted dual engine map switch has been adopted and positioned next to the left lever to enable 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 button to cater for changes in the riding environment.
Free flow air filter
The high seal and tool free air filter element features reduced airflow resistance and intake noise combined with increased reliability. The new filter and the length of the intake funnel contribute to an excellent feeling of traction and linear characteristics during acceleration and deceleration. Dust filtering capability is increased by adding rubber seals to the centre positioning pin.
Six-speed box and lighter, tougher clutch
Equipped with a six-speed transmission designed to handle a wide variety of terrain, from technical rock climbs to full throttle blasting along forest tracks. A new lighter and tougher clutch can handle the extreme demands of enduro riding. Now with new heat-resistant friction plates, this durable clutch has a super-light lever pull and is built to perform consistently and effectively for long periods in the toughest terrain.
Mass centralised starter system
A lightweight starter motor contributes to mass centralisation. Also, a garter spring is adopted for the one-way starter clutch to reduce horsepower loss – a 60% reduction in load compared to the outgoing model.
Sharp handling YZ250F bilateral beam frame
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. The upper-side mounts are the same as on the YZ250F, while two-plate type mounts are used for the front-side mounts.
Industry leading front and rear suspension
Fitted with the same KYB air-oil-separate closed chamber upside-down front fork as the YZ250F but with model-specific enduro settings to provide stable damping force. This suspension is acknowledged to be the best available on a production dirt bike and responds particularly well during the transition between the compression and rebound strokes. And because the suspension holds up well in the stroke, ground clearance is improved over the outgoing model.
The outer tubes are the same as the YZ250F, however, the mid-speed valve (MSV) that provides damping in the mid-speed range has been changed from a coil spring type to a leaf spring type. This mechanism responds to even the slightest amounts of oil flow and so delivers excellent damping feel at low speeds.
The rear shock absorber is also based on the YZ250F unit and features enduro model-specific settings. It features a coil with a higher fatigue strength than the 2019 model and with an 11.5mm wire diameter achieves a weight reduction of approximately 350 grams. The capacity of the reservoir has been increased by 30cc to run cooler and achieve a more stable damping force.
More protective bashplate
A more protective plastic resin engine guard has been designed to help prevent damage to the frame, engine, water pump, and hoses when running through ruts, or from impacts kicked up by rocks.
Larger fuel tank
A newly designed 7.9 litre plastic resin fuel tank reduces the frequency of refuelling. The current YZ250F’s tank was used as the developmental base, and the lower portion has been extended toward the centre of the bike to improve mass centralisation, and to increase the tank’s capacity.
Flatter, lower seat
A redesigned seat with stiffer seat foam is fitted to aid rider maneuverability and to make getting on and off the bike easier. A slimmer design through the shroud/knee contact area helps further improves rider ergonomics.
New forged aluminium sidestand
A lighter and less obtrusive forged aluminium sidestand is positioned to ensure plenty of ground clearance when riding through ruts. The new stand sits higher and the amount it juts out from the chassis is reduced which helps prevent snagging. The weight of the stand has also been reduced by about 100g.
Sleek new headlight cowl
The new headlight cowl sits lower and closer to the rider. It contributes to centralisation of machine mass and helps to create a light, agile impression for the machine.
Lightweight speed sensor with high-precision display
A new lightweight front wheel speed sensor connects to a highly precise speed display. No more speedo drive means front wheel changes are easier.
18-inch rear wheel and high grip tyres
The 18-inch rear wheel allows for a wide range of tyre fitment. Standard high traction Metzeler 6 Days Extreme enduro pattern front and rear tyres are standard fitment, making this new bike ready to race straight from the showroom.
Off road competition kit
For the Australian market, the new WR250F is supplied fully ADR compliant and in road registerable condition. A free competition kit is supplied and can be easily fitted for closed course use. The kit includes:
- Lightweight LED taillight/ and licence plate holder
- CCU for smartphone tuning capability
- Competition 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
- WRF Barkbuster handguard set
2020 WR250F main features and benefits
- Engine based on current YZ250F
- Free flow air filter gives linear response
- Smart phone tuning
- Engine map switch
- Lighter, tougher clutch
- Wide‐ratio six‐speed transmission
- Mass centralised starter system
- Sharp handling YZ250F bilateral beam frame
- Lower, flatter seat and slimmer ergonomics
- Industry leading front and rear suspension
- Bigger bashplate
- Larger fuel tank
- New forged aluminium sidestand
- Sleek new headlight cowl
- Lightweight speed sensor with high-precision display
*Pricing quoted is correct at time of publication on 23 January 2020.