On August 29th 2009 we purchased a new Yamaha WR250R from San Diego’s “House
of Motorcycles” (619 229-7700). Sean Warner, General Sales Manager, arranged for
delivery of the new “in the crate” unit and Kevin Bosley, their fine prep guy, did the set-
up work right down to filling the tank with the called for premium grade petrol.
Our initial plan was to forge ahead with the development of and reporting on the new
unit, but other more pressing matters came along, including the building of a very
special KLR650A/B for “Cuco” of Mexico City (more on that later).
With the help of Michael Hlavka, Brent Athy, and Henry Nottingham at “House of
Motorcycles”, we were able to obtain some important parts (one from Japan) and
proceed with the project.
As of December 2010 we have installed the following parts on the WR:
- Factory “blue shark fin.
- Factory rear rack.
- New muffler tip (www.gravessport.com)
- Two-tooth larger rear sprocket.
- Improved (+2 links) D.I.D. Gold drive chain.
- Unicross knobbies (on balanced wheels).
- 2mm thick tubes.
- Motion-Pro lite weight rim locks.
- Motion-Pro sticky rim strips.
- Last but profoundly not least, a Cogent Dynamics customized stock rear shock.
We will discuss the affects of everything we’ve done to the WR250R in a series of
articles, but for now we’ll start with the break-in procedure.
Upon taking delivery of the WR250R I rode it the 12 miles to my garage mostly on
surface streets. Once inside the garage I drained the set-up oil from the engine
overnight and installed Spectro Platinum 4 full synthetic 15w – 50. Ever since being
advised by Jim Hackl of Millennium Technologies (the N.S.C. people) to skip the cheap
oil when breaking in a N.S.C. coated cylinder bore, we have followed his advice with
great results. Not only did we avoid vertical scratches, but oil consumption is at its best
Our WR250R which now has 4,700 plus miles on the clock had its oil changed again at
600 miles. The exact amount called for was installed and run to 3,500 miles when it was
once more drained overnight and measured carefully. I was astounded to find that the
engine had burned just slightly over one ounce of oil in 2,900 miles.
The most important thing we can tell you about the WR250R is – don’t buy one if you
weigh over 200 pounds and plan on pushing a windshield and carrying lots of gear,
especially in side boxes. It just doesn’t have the ponies.
Todd Vosper, Rod Morris and I each weigh slightly over 200 lbs dressed to ride. A tool
bag on the rear rack and gear in a back pack add another 30 or so pounds, but no
significant increase in wind drag. With 2 additional teeth added to the rear sprocket and
6 speeds to work with, the little WR goes about 65 miles off road on a gallon of premium.
The key is to always run smoothly in the middle of the power band.
In our next WR250R article we will discuss proper suspension set-up. We’ll give you a
hint; the front end properly broken in and adjusted is fine as is, but if you want the
cheap rear shock to be serviceable and work like an Ohlins you’d best memorize this
website address: www.motocd.com.