OLD, NEW BORROWED & BLUE
Yamaha sure are hitting a purple patch right now. Wrapping up the 2015 MXGP title was something special, that’s a nice bit of silverware to slot alongside Jorge Lorenzo’s MotoGP crown – and to win the two most prestigious motorcycle racing titles in the same year, that kind of says something. And to back that up, Jeremy Martin’s second (consecutive) AMA 250cc motocross title proves their 250 and 450cc four-stroke motocrossers are the cream of the crop at this time.
But that’s motocross, not enduro. Only to be fair, Yamaha are coming good here, as well. Their new WR250F, launched in 2015, shares so much with the YZ250F and is without doubt a very competitive machine and has certainly set the E1 class alight. Then there’s a new WR450F for this year and that’s quite something, too, it just needs a rider of equal stature – being the big powerful beast that it is.
Whether any of that has any relevance to this test we’re not so sure but certainly Yamaha are looking increasingly ‘on message’ so any time they do anything we need to take notice. So when we hear that – of all things – they have a new 250cc two-stroke enduro coming into the European market, then we need to check it out, ASAP.
Only it’s not exactly a ‘new’ 250cc two-stroke, and not quite a full-fat WR either. And actually, for the record, it’s been 18 years since Yamaha last sold an enduro specific two-stroke, the 1998 WR250 being the last. This new WR has nothing to do with that bike, understandably, instead it’s another chapter in the continuing story of the long-standing YZ250.