First Ride 2003 WR250F!!!

Feb. 01, 2003 By Mike Hobbs
Not Your Dad's 4-Stroke

After months of waiting we finally got to throw a leg over Yamaha's all new electric start 2003 WR 250F. Just as Yamaha made everyone play catch up in 1998 with their release of the high performance YZ400 four-stroke, they've done it again but this time in the middleweight 250 class. It's electric start and engine that revs to the moon with excellent handling make it a formidable off road machine. You can literally hop on this bike and within a few turns be comfortable enough to ride it fast.

Pushing the start button brings the WR to life with a quiet exhaust note. Then a quick twist of the throttle lets you know this isn't your daddy's 4-stroke as the engine revs to 13,500 RPM. Put her in gear dump the clutch and hang on! I'm a pretty big guy at 6'0" 215 pounds in my birthday suit and the WR250 just about yanked my arms from the sockets when it hit the power band.

Besides having an almost 2-stroke like punch the suspension works well and the horizontal seat let's the rider make rear to front seat movement effortlessly. You do however pay a price for the ease of seat transition with a somewhat firm seat. Smaller riders will be at home with the riders compartment but bigger riders will find it somewhat cramped. Ride it like you stole it types will absolutely love the way the WR250F likes to be ridden, high in the RPM's and in full attack position. Less aggressive riders will also like this machine with its nice suspension, handling, quick turning ability and supple low-end power.

As with its big brother the WR450F, the bone stock WR250F does need some tinkering to impress you. To import the WR's from Japan Yamaha must meet a boatload of requirements so, yes, you guessed it, bog city as delivered from the showroom. Even though the stock bike is castrated it still does not meet the standards in California to receive a green sticker. For those wishing for more power then the stock machine delivers Yamaha has you covered. Your first two modifications are free, remove the throttle stop and boot from the air box. The next one will cost you $39.95.

New sound requirements (96dBa) limit you from running a wide-open exhaust so Yamaha's "GYT-R" came up with a muffler insert that keeps the noise level below the standard and makes more horsepower then the tiny OEM insert. Yamaha dealers should have the trick looking inserts in stock, part number GYT-5TJ93-75-00 (muffler insert). With these modifications and a skid plate for off road use this one nice off road weapon!

In 2003 the WR 250F didn't get all of the upgrades of the YZ 250F but did get an electric start so the trade off will make most off road's happy.

Notable WR250F Upgrades:
Newly designed crankshaft was beefed up for reliability. (Ty Davis is the only person I know of that blew a crank out of a previous model)
Crank Web
Crank Pin
Crank Taper
Crank Length


  • Redesigned airbox features all-new retaining bracket for improved sealing. It also is tool less! Three tabs and you can access the filter.
  • Larger-capacity radiator and louvers ensures maximum cooling efficiency and minimal horsepower loss.
  • Super-strong twin-spar frame redesigned with reduced weight and greater lateral rigidity for minimal flex and scalpel-sharp handling.
  • All-new tapered swingarm features less weight and greater rigidity for more compliant rear suspension action.
  • Recalibrated front fork settings deliver improved damping force with less bottoming for a smoother, more compliant overall stroke.
  • Rear shock refinements include improved actuation, a new linking ratio and enhanced damping force.
  • Removable aluminum rear subframe constructed of square-section pipe for reduced weight.

  • All-new, lighter-weight front and rear master cylinders and calipers, combined with 250mm fully floating front and 245mm rear disc, delivers stronger stopping power with greater, more progressive control and feel.
  • The rear master cylinder is a one-piece unit with the reservoir built into it.
  • Retooled steering crown combines with all-new bodywork - flatter seat, fuel tank and radiator shrouds - creates a more aggressive riding position while allowing optimal rider movement. Handlebars were moved up 10mm.
  • More weight savings come via all-new, two-piece (part aluminum, part plastic) engine protector plates and thinner-walled engine guard construction.
  • All-new automatic decompression system eliminates manual lever, ensuring easy restarts in any gear.
  • All-new hot start system features convenient, handlebar-mounted lever.


  • Liquid-cooled, 249cc, 5-valve, DOHC, 4-stroke with trick, factory team-spec titanium valves produces tremendous, hard-hitting low- and mid-range torque and a broader powerband tuned specially for enduro/off-road performance needs.
  • Lightweight forged piston reduces reciprocal mass and friction for faster revving and greater durability.
  • Stratospherically high, 13,500-rpm redline means incomparable, competition-crushing pulling power.
  • 37mm Keihin FCR flat-slide carburetor with throttle position sensor (TPS) ensures ultra-precise fuel/air mixing and lightning-quick throttle response.
  • Digital CD ignition system delivers more precise spark and monitors engine speed to ensure optimal timing for faster, stronger response during hard acceleration. A direct coil is used. The ignition coil is built into the plug wire.
  • Lightweight exhaust system with specially shaped header angle maximizes engine power and allows hassle-free replacement of oil filter. Exhaust is all Titanium!
  • Electric starting and kick starting with integrated hot-start button ensures easy restarts in any gear.
  • Slick-shifting, wide-ratio, 5-speed transmission with heavy-duty, multi-plate clutch geared specially for broad, off-road/enduro power delivery and features an involute spline set-up for smoother shifting, instant hook-up.
  • Dry sump lubrication system uses frame as oil tank, helping to create a more compact engine and chassis for superb handling performance.
  • Magnesium cylinder head cover helps shave weight.
  • Trick, works-style clutch lever features race-spec barrel adjuster for on-the-fly adjustability.


  • Lightweight 46mm inverted Kayaba cartridge fork features 11.8" of travel with compression and rebound damping adjustability.
  • Low-friction outer tubes and aluminum piston rods ensure smooth, compliant fork stroke for superior handling and light steering.
  • Rear suspension system features fully adjustable Kayaba shock with 12.4" of travel and separate adjusters for high- and low-speed compression damping.
  • Lightweight 21" front and 18" rear rims provide exceptional durability and help reduce unsprung weight for optimal suspension performance.
  • Premium Dunlop 739 knobbies offer unbeatable, competition-spec traction and excellent wear.
Additional Features:


  • Enduro-legal lighting front and rear increase versatility by maximizing nighttime and low-light visibility.
  • Large, 2.6-gallon fuel tank ensures excellent range.
  • Resettable tripmeter allows rider to keep track of both mileage and fuel reserves.
  • Wide, cleated, folding cast alloy footpegs provide excellent comfort, grip and ground clearance.
  • Cleated rear brake lever and folding shift lever tip offer superb grip and excellent durability.
  • Lightweight aluminum kickstand adds convenience and tucks up high when not in use.
  • Repackable exhaust silencer.
  • Durable, comfortable handlebar grips.
  • Stainless steel clutch cable for longer life. Newsletter
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