WR250F as a Dual Sport - Reliability?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Ian640, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Ian640

    Ian640 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    UK
    Hi,

    Has anyone used a Yamaha WR250F as a dual sport machine? With plenty of street riding? If so any reliability issues?

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. Milhaus

    Milhaus Made in Denmark

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,010
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I wish I had some first hand experience with this but I don't...not exactly. I have a 2001 YZ426F that has a dual-sport kit on it and it has been 'stone-cold' reliable since day one (minus some jetting issues I had).

    I just recently added the YZ450 exhaust cam to the bike to get rid of the decomp starting. With the engine apart, I measured as many surfaces as I could and they were all well within spec. I don't see why the bike wouldn't be a reliable platform for dual-sporting. I would add an oil cooler to increase oil capacity, but other than that, I don't see why you couldn't do it.
    #2
  3. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    Location:
    SE PA
    valves are 40 buck (US) a piece and there are 5 of them...:eek1
    #3
  4. dirty dave

    dirty dave Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,086
    Location:
    milwaukee wi
    my wr250 has thousands of dual sport miles, no problem, just gear it properly for what your doing and it shouldnt give you any problems.
    #4
  5. jesusgatos

    jesusgatos fishing with dynamite

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,448
    Location:
    on the road
    #5
  6. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    Location:
    SE PA
    That's good news! I'm trying to convince PennDOT that my WR can be on the road.
    #6
  7. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    I've done it in the past with my 2002 WR250F, though not thousands of miles on pavement, maybe 1500 miles. Not the most street friendly vehicle, you really have to rev the heck out of it to get any decent speed for the roadways. Even tough the engine is pretty smooth compared to KTM LC4 or XR650R, the vibration does get to me after a day of 60 miles distance on the pavement. Maybe I'm just getting old.

    But reguarless, the WR250 engine is plenty reliable for dual sport use, change oil/filters often, you'll be alright.
    #7
  8. drop

    drop XR650R Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Canada
    You'll be sorry when your motor grenades and you realize how much a new top end is. You'll have to junk the bike. Do it, if you don't mind the idea of a disposable motorcycle. These aren't for sustained high speed riding over long distances.
    #8
  9. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,874
    Location:
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    You've seen a WR250F topend explode?

    What's sustained high speed or long distance for you?

    How much is a new top end, do you know?

    Have you even ridden a WR250F?

    All motorcycles are disposable, whether or not replaceble is the difference.
    #9
  10. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,668
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    I bought my WR250F in `01 and have ridden it 1000's of miles in the dirt. I started putting more pavement miles on it a few years ago, and started worrying about the reliability factor as well. The oil gets changed and the valves get checked on an almost obsessive-compulsive schedule, and I've had no problems whatsoever with the motor. I did have to replace a few valves last year, but not bad considering how long and how hard I've been riding it. I put sticky street rubber on it and ride the piss out of it up in the Sierra and all over the state. I'm usually chasing down a WR426 with an ex roadracer aboard so it gets put through the wringer. The gearbox on the 250 gets hammered on the street, though, as it needs to be shifted constantly to stay in the sweet spot. And with no cush drive and no knobbies to soak up the lash I wondered how long it would last. I had a problem with no oil flow a while back, and traced it to clutch plate debris blocking the oil filter screens on the bottom of the motor. Had to split the cases to clean them out. I also got tired of getting smoked on the fast stuff so I picked up a KTM 450 EXC a few months ago. Much nicer on the pavement, especially for those occasional long stretches of highway, and the motor is a blast in the dirt, too.

    I would say that if you already have a 250f, go for it and enjoy it. Stay on top of the maintenance and it should be no problem. But if you have a choice of bikes, I would go with a WR450, though. As an aside, the WR426 has been positively bullet-proof. Had I known then the direction my riding was going to go in, I would have gotten the 426 instead.

    But what do I know...


    WoodsChick
    #10
  11. kenaroo

    kenaroo I am because i ride

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    892
    Location:
    Austin Tejas

    the rise of the urban myth. the 250 4 strokes have been around for over 6 years and have been proven to be very reliable. most dual sport riders will not test the engine half as much as a pro mx racer. just because it's a smaller cc bike doesn't mean that it will granade if you take it on road.

    Proof tested....Tim Morton won his class a few years ago at the Baja 500 on a crf250x against XR650s and other large displacement bikes.
    #11
  12. Ian640

    Ian640 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    UK
    This is generally sounding very positive.

    Actually, I've no intention of buying a WR250F, but I I'm seriously considering a Scorpa T-Ride (details here: http://www.scorpa.fr/actualites.php?actu_id=22), apparently released in September. It appears to have a motor based on the WR250F, so I thought I'd ask WR250F owners what their experience of the motor was.

    My intended use is mainly in the classic long distance trials we have here, possibly a few timecard enduros and general trail riding. Probably a maximum of 500 miles mixed road/trail going each outing. It won't get hammered on the road.

    Woodschick: how frequent do you change oil/filter and check valves?

    drop: did you have problems with your WR250F? What happened and after how many miles?

    Thanks.
    #12
  13. drop

    drop XR650R Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Canada
    I just know what I saw happen when I was riding with a friend on her WR250F. I think the piston hit a valve and the repair bill was going to run her $3000. The bike is a lawn ornament now. These are race bikes, not dualsports. There are 5 titanium valves in there. If your looking for a bike to ride hard and put away wet look elsewhere. If you don't mind doing a preventative rebuild every season or two then go nuts. Otherwise you'll pay through the nose when it seizes. If you really want a lightweight street legal race bike and don't mind the maintenance that comes with it then I'd be looking at something oranger. It's a shame that Honda did away with the XR's like they did. You know why they did though...they last too long!
    #13
  14. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,603
    Location:
    NWA
    Sure, that's the reason. :rolleyes
    #14
  15. comes naturally

    comes naturally renewed hope

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,894
    Location:
    SE PA
    Details?? What was her maintenance routine? What type of terrain was it ridden in?
    #15
  16. drop

    drop XR650R Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Canada
    I realize that's not the reason. They sell more CRF's. It's what the people want. The absolute lightest most high strung thing they can get their hands on. Reliability and maintenance schedules takes a back seat for most offroad riders. For dualsports though it should be a priority.
    #16
  17. drop

    drop XR650R Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    Canada
    Sorry I don't have that information. Like I said it's not my bike. I was just making the point that race bikes don't make the most reliable dualsports. I'm guilty of it too. I ride a XR650R that's plated. It's a race bike designed for high speed riding over long distances. Still it's not an ideal dualsport. Oil changes every 1000 miles, small fuel range, etc. People buy bikes with their hearts not their heads. If a WR250F for the street is what you want than make it happen. Just make sure you post some pics when your done so we can all see. :1drink
    #17
  18. WoodsChick

    WoodsChick Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,668
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Sorry, drop, but the information you can't supply us with is very important in determining why a motor would fail. A piston slapping a valve, if indeed that is what happened, could be caused by numerous things. I can guarantee you it was not caused by an inherent flaw in a new-generation (as opposed to XR's) 250 4-stroke motor, or by said motor being ridden on the street. These motors rev very high and the valve clearances need to be spot-on and monitored. If you check your valves regularly (every 400 miles or so with single-track riding, more frequently with dual-sport use) and make sure they are correct, there will be no grenading or pistons slapping valves. And that is just a valve check, not a valve adjustment. If you know what you're doing, it doesn't take long. If this seems excessive to you, you need to remember this is a small motor that revs to about 12k-13k. It's not a low-stress motor like your 650.

    Preventative rebuilds every season or two? Absurd. If you're doing your maintenance, there is no need for a rebuild whatsoever. I rode my WR250f for 5 years before it needed any motor work at all, and then it was only 1 valve (the center intake valve, keep an eye on this one as it always tightens up, same as on the 426 motor) and 5 valve guide seals and ended up costing me a grand total of $200 for the head work. This hardly seems like excessive maintenance to me.

    How often do you check the valves on your 650, drop?

    And as far as going orange for a dualsport, I can comment on that as well, since I actually own and ride one: I also have a KTM450 EXC with a plate, and it gets ridden quite a bit. Our last 2 day ride was 1/2 dirt and 1/2 pavement and totalled 500 miles. The motor is almost twice the size, it weighs about the same (or feels like it when I pick it up) but the maintenance schedule is almost more intense. The valves have lash adjusters, as opposed to shim-under-bucket on the Yamaha, and they tend to need adjusting more than the 250 Yamaha motor.

    Both bikes get oil changes at about 300 or 400 miles, petroleum based, not synthetic.


    WoodsChick
    #18
  19. holycaveman

    holycaveman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,403
    No its not the ideal road bike either.

    I have rebuilt many, many wr/yz 4 strokes. 1200 dollars was the most expensive rebuild yet! And that was with new cases. Yea, at a dealer ship it will run you 3,000.

    You DO have to change the oil quite frequently, especially if you run it on the road(putting longer hours on it)

    I don't see why it would not be reliable on the road though. There might be better choices. But really it should be pretty reliable.

    Now a honda? Thats another story. I wouldn't use a crf for a dualsport. Not unless you did some headwork right off the bat. Then it might be ok.
    #19
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,603
    Location:
    NWA
    It really depends on what your type of dual sporting involves. I don't want to spend anymore time then I absoulutely have to on paved roads. I only want to ride on gravel roads to get to the single track stuff which is what I really want to ride on. I use non DOT tires. I gear the bike for hard off road stuff. Because of the type of riding I'm doing, a WR/KLX/EXC makes perfect sense. I was going to get one of those bikes and get rid of my DRZ, but after a ride a couple weekends ago I guess I had a change of heart. The DRZ, while not a power house, and on the heavy side is still a lot of fun to ride. Of course, I might have a change of heart tomorrow since I'm riding the CRF. :lol3
    #20