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FIRST RIDE: 2018 Yamaha WR250F | Bike Reviews | Features | News

Blink and you’ll miss it. Yamaha’s WR250F, touted as “all-new”, has flown under the radar in 2018, until now.

Yamaha Australia launched the ’18 WR250F at the Sunny Corner Rally near Lithgow in NSW, claiming the bike underwent significant surgery to improve an already impressive machine.

On first appearances the 2018 WR250F seems the same as the 2017 model. However, the changes are largely internal, with the aim of closing the gap between the WR and YZ-FX models. Technology taken directly from its MX brother, the YZ250F, the 2018 WR250F receives a bunch of important technical changes such as an all-new reverse cylinder head, aimed at delivering increased performance and enhanced rideability.

And these changes and upgrades are noticeable as soon as you plant your arse behind the handlebars. Gone are the days of feeling like you need to derestrict the quarter-litre machine just to enjoy the ride. The 2018 WR250F revs to the moon, and will beg you to just get on and ride all day. The major standout was the torque it now produces, especially in second gear on difficult hillclimbs. The ’18 WR250F just seems to climb and climb and climb without any issues. It’s an impressive and significantly improved motor for 2018.

2018 WR250F

To compliment the vastly improved motor is a new refined suspension package, which almost outshines the engine! Activate8 Yamaha team riders Josh Green, current AORC E1 champ, Wil Ruprecht and myself threw down some race pace laps around the awesome grasstrack loop that was laid out for us and I was impressed with how well the suspension package worked, no longer feeling too soft like it’s predecessors have.

G-outs, uphills, downhills, off-camber turns and a big jump were all part of the test loop, and the WR250F out performed the previous model in all areas. Even the chassis was a noticeable improvement. And it wasn’t just at race pace that the chassis worked well, it flexed where it should to and was rigid when you needed it to be.

The 2018 WR250F is by far the fastest WR250F that Yamaha have produced and is a hell of a lot of fun to ride. Good motor, good chassis and proven reliability. Is the new 2018 WR250F the best one yet? Stay tuned for the full in-depth write up in an upcoming issue of ADB.

2018 WR250F

2018 WR250F main engine changes
• New high efficiency cylinder head
• Larger intake valve diameter
• Revised intake and exhaust port shape
• Higher lift intake and exhaust camshafts
• New piston and pin
• New valve spring design
• Newly designed con rod
• Revised throttle joint
• Modified air cleaner joint design
• New big bore exhaust header
• New ECU with revised map and rev limiter settings
• High strength crankcases – no kickstart mechanism

WR250F main chassis changes
• Refined aluminium bilateral beam frame
• Revised suspension settings
• New front disc rotor
• New shroud and fender graphics
• New headlight, blue rims, graphics and Barkbuster handguards

2018 WR250F specifications