In order to compete price-wise with the Honda CRF250L
and the Kawasaki KLX250,
Yamaha offers a second model
in the 250 dual-sport vcat-egory. The XT250 has an air-cooled, two-valve motor. It has
more basic suspension compared to the WR250R and uses
a CV carburetor. The transmission is a five-speed.
Yamaha has a timeless
classic in the TW, which
has been around since the
late ’80s. It got a number
of changes, including electric start back in 2001, but
otherwise still offers the
same low seat height and
stone-cold reliability it did in
the Reagan years. The TW’s
fat but small-diameter tires
have become its most distinctive trait over time. ❏
This model has only been
in the U.S. market for a couple
of years and is clearly inspired
by the long-term success
of the Yamaha TW200. The
VanVan has retro styling with
a low seat height and is aimed
primarily at campground-level
recreation and around-town
street use. The motor is similar
to the one in the DR200S but
has fuel injection.
SSR has bikes manufactured in Asia for the U.S.
market and, unlike other
import companies that
have come and gone, has
good support and warranty service over here.
The XF250 has an old-school, air-cooled motor;
a very low seat height; and
a 12-month, 12,000-mile
warranty. It’s available in a
more street-oriented configuration as well.