In terms of general dimensions, again the new YZ250F doesn’t seem so different to the WR. Wheelbase on the YZ is 1475mm, on the WR it’s 1485mm. Rake and trail - the YZ’s 26.5º/118mm compares with the WR’s 26º/113mm. Even the fuel capacity is separated by just 0.5 of a litre. The big difference then, is in the weight. The YZ250F now weighs in at a claimed 105kg compared to the WR’s 117kg - that’s fully loaded too, yep - oil and fuel included.
You can see the potential. Obviously enduro-ising the YZ motor will take off a few peak horsepower, and some power will be lost in order to meet emissions regulations. But if you’re starting at 40hp, chances are the new WR could still be left with a strong 32+hp… which pitches it right in 250EXC-F territory, and then some.
Now let’s talk about weight. We’ll add 2-3kg for an electric start, then lights, a sidestand, a heavier silencer, a speedo-computer, but there’s not much more. Say all-up that’s plus 6kg, making a new WR250F in the region of 111-112kg. Or in other words, exactly like-for-like with the 250EXC-F. So that’s an equivalent mass and slightly more power than the KTM. Let’s be generous to KTM and say neck and neck for the E1 title. It would all come down to real world performance.
Riding the 2014 Yamaha YZ250F
For now the 2015 WR250F doesn’t exist, so we’ll have to ride the motocrosser and see what it has to offer and then figure out how it’ll convert. And there’s a lot on offer...
First impression with the 2014 YZ250F is the incredible lightness. It’s light to pick off a paddock stand - probably because aft of the swingarm pivot there’s so little mass, with the exhaust pulled 190mm inboard, with no airbox (it’s behind the headstock), there’s just the lightest alloy subframe, a seat, mudguard, the swingarm and wheel. The overall weight is actually not that far from current MX state-of-the-art at 105kg, but like Yamaha say, it’s properly centralised.