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2008 Yamaha XT250 Preview



The dismissal of the XT350 a couple of years ago left a gaping hole in the Japanese manufacturer's lineup. Up until now, the XT225 was the only dual-purpose bike offered by Yamaha. This little warrior might be very user-friendly, but it's neither a truly capable off-roader nor a machine for intermediate to advanced riders.

Not one but three
For 2008, engineers addressed the situation by launching a pair of fully armed and dangerous thoroughbreds to take on the segment leaders. The WR250X and WR250R arrived like a breath of fresh air. The folks at Yamaha were so proud to unveil these new bikes to the media during the 2008 lineup introduction that the equally new XT250 was almost forgotten. Yet, it represents one of the brand's biggest surprises this year.

Replacing the XT225, the new model boasts superior styling and performance. The suspension offers more travel and ground clearance for improved trail riding. As for the brakes, the XT250 features a 245-mm front disc and a 203-mm rear disc. According to engineers, the braking system was specifically developed to provide precise control and feel for a more pleasant riding experience.

Simple yet efficient
The 2008 Yamaha XT250 is motivated by an all-new, 249-cc, air-cooled, SOHC single-cylinder engine with a compression ratio of 9.5:1. Peak power is available at only 7,500 rpm while the 14.5 lb-ft of torque are generated at 6,500 rpm. A new MV 33-mm constant velocity carburetor provides crisp throttle response and great fuel economy.

While the engine is mounted high in the frame for excellent ground clearance, the 810-mm seat height is actually low and quite convenient. What's more, this powerplant features an automatic tensioner for increased durability and less maintenance.

Meanwhile, the wide-ratio, 5-speed transmission and manual clutch are well suited to the engine output for easy, relaxed riding in all trail conditions, not to mention decent-revving action on the highway.

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