Tag Archives: Type

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R | Comparison Test

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R Comparison Test
Dirt bikes like Yamaha’s 2020 WR250F (left) are light, fast and incredibly nimble off-road, but with no license plate to appease the authorities, first you have to get it there somehow. A good alternative is a lightweight dual-sport like the Yamaha WR250R (right), which harnesses much of the F’s ability in a less-expensive package…and it’s street legal.

Life is so simple when you’re young. As teens and 20-somethings we thought nothing of loading up our dirt bikes, gas cans, firewood, chili, beer, chips and more beer in the ol’ pickup truck and heading out to ride in the desert and OHV parks, sometimes for days. Sleep usually came in a camp chair by the dwindling fire, or in the back of the truck. It was all about the riding, and après riding, so all of the effort and time involved just getting there went unnoticed.

Dirt bike riding and ownership is definitely more complicated than living with a street-legal bike, however, and that complication creates inertia that can be hard to overcome when you get older and busier and are dealing with, say, kids, a job and a mortgage. Off-road riding is fun, exciting, challenging and helps build skills you can use on the street, but since the bike can only be ridden off-road in designated areas, first you have to get it there. That requires a truck or tow vehicle and trailer of some sort, ramps to load the bike in the truck, tie-downs to secure it and the skill and ability to do all of that in the first place. Add to that loading up all of your riding gear, water, food, sunblock and first aid kit and you’re good to go…after about an hour’s worth of effort.

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R Comparison Test
The extra weight on the typical dual-sport versus a dirt bike comes from the addition of DOT-approved lighting, wheels, tires, emissions equipment and more, but the weight difference has been narrowing in recent years.

Once you arrive at the riding area—from my house the closest is about an hour’s drive—then it’s time to unload everything, gear up and go riding. Which is heaven! Once you acquire some basic off-road riding skills, either on your own, by riding with friends or at a training school, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of exploring single-track trails, conquering hill climbs, sand washes and desert moguls or dark forest paths between trees. Dirt bikes are light and have big power-to-weight ratios, so just twisting the throttle on one and shooting down a dirt road is a major rush. And once you learn how, many of the hooligan antics—wheelies, sliding, burnouts, etc.—that would land you in jail on the street are par for the course off-road.

Tired and had enough riding for the day? OK, load it all up once again, and unload one more time when you get home. Wash the bike, drain its carburetor if it has one (and the bike will sit for a while until the next ride), get cleaned up and collapse on the couch. Sound fun? It really is, particularly if the type of off-road riding you do and your skill level really warrant a non-street-legal dirt bike. The 2020 Yamaha WR250F we sampled for this story, for example, weighs just 255 pounds gassed up and has fully adjustable suspension with more than 12 inches of travel at each end. Its liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC 4-valve, 4-stroke single revs briskly and makes whopping torque and top end power, fed through a wide-ratio (hence the WR) transmission that’s good for slow technical trails, flat-out flying and everything in between. Lights and an electric starter round out a mission-critical package that can tackle just about anything off-road.

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R Comparison Test
Dirt bikes can still eat a dual-sport for lunch off-road, except when it comes to the amount of time, effort and expense getting there.

But what if you just want to do some off-road exploring, perhaps at a mellower pace, and have no interest in all of the additional expense and logistical hassle of getting you and a dirt bike out to a riding area? Adventure bikes are all the rage these days and can handle some off-road riding, but they’re expensive and most of us don’t have the skills to pilot a 500-plus-pound behemoth down much more than a dirt fire road. Even the smaller KTM 390 Adventure tested in this issue weighs 387 pounds wet—that’s like adding a passenger to the weight of the typical dirt bike.

If your off-road forays are not too far away—or even if they are and you’re OK taking frequent breaks along the way—a good alternative to truck ownership or big ADV machines is a light single-cylinder dual-sport bike. For the least weight and most performance, the European makers like KTM and Husqvarna offer some very serious (and expensive) lightweight dual-sports. But all of the Japanese manufacturers also sell less expensive models in displacements from 200 to 650cc. The 250s run from just 296 to about 321 pounds and still make enough power for riders (who aren’t exceptionally large) to not only tackle a lot of the same terrain dirt bikes can—at a slower pace—but they can also be ridden to the trailhead from home, skipping the whole load/unload/repeat process. More dirt is open to a dual-sport as well, since unlike a dirt bike it has a license plate and is legal on the thousands of miles of unpaved public roads that connect, for example, ghost towns in Nevada and the national forests in Tennessee.

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R Comparison Test
The uniform for dirt riding is generally a little lighter-weight and cooler on the outside due to the extra exertion involved, but I’m protected underneath with an armored shirt, shorts and Fly Racing Pivot knee guards. Goggles keep out dust better than a face shield.

The 2020 Yamaha WR250R we sampled for this story shares much of its WR250F sibling’s DNA, but has far fewer unobtanium bits for racing so it costs $1,900 less. Yet at 296 pounds gassed up, it’s still the lightest of the affordable Japanese 200/250 dual-sports. The WR250R’s liquid-cooled single is based on the F’s 250cc race-ready enduro motor and shares the same bore and stroke, but among other changes has lower compression and mellower cam profiles for more street tractability. Seat height is still quite tall at 36.6 inches, but that’s an inch lower than the F’s, and the R still soaks up the bumps with 10.6 inches of fully adjustable suspension travel at each end. And it averages 61 mpg!

The WR-R’s design can’t take the pounding that its tougher enduro-inspired sibling can, but unlike many dual-sports it was built more for off-road than road, so you can tackle some pretty gnarly single-track terrain, ruts, rocks and jumps if it’s not too heavily loaded. The trade-off, of course, is its lower level of on-road comfort. Though it’s surprisingly smooth at highway speed and cruises right along at 65-70 mph without the engine feeling like it’s going to blow up, the seat is tall, narrow and hard, and the bike can get blown around in high winds. I have no problem riding it on the highway for a couple hours at a stretch before I need a break, though, and the aftermarket offers more comfortable seats, soft luggage (see the review on page 62) and suspension lowering kits as well as lots of bolt-ons to upgrade its off-road chops. Gearing can be easily raised or lowered depending upon how much off-road riding you actually end up doing, and the suspension beefed up as needed.

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R
The uniform for dirt riding is generally a little lighter-weight and cooler on the outside due to the extra exertion involved, but I’m protected underneath with an armored shirt, shorts and Fly Racing Pivot knee guards. Goggles keep out dust better than a face shield.

Thirty years ago, I would have chosen a dirt bike every time for any kind of off-road riding. Today convenience and cost are more important than speed and ultimate capability, which makes a bike like the WR250R dual-sport the obvious choice. 

2020 Yamaha WR250F vs WR250R Comparison Test
From their appearances alone it’s easy to see why the WR250F (right) is the superior machine for off-road riding. But the WR250R can follow it nearly anywhere at a slower pace, and keep going when the road requires a license plate.

Mark’s Gear (WR250F):
Helmet: Fly Racing Formula Vector
Goggles: Fly Racing Zone Pro
Jersey: Fly Racing Kinetic K120
Pants: Fly Racing Evolution
Boots: Fly Racing FR5

Greg’s Gear (WR250R):
Helmet: Shoei Hornet x2
Jacket: Scorpion Yosemite
Pants: Scorpion Yosemite
Boots: Alpinestars Corozal

2020 Yamaha WR250R/WR250F Specs:

Website: Yamaha
Base Price: $6,699/$8,599
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled single, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 77.0 x 53.6mm
Displacement: 250cc
Fuel Delivery: EFI
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 55.9/58.3 in.
Rake/Trail: 26.7/27.2 degrees; 4.4/4.6 in.
Seat Height: 36.6/37.6 in.
Wet Weight: 296/255 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 2.0/2.2 gals
MPG: 91 AKI min (avg): 61.0/NA

Source: RiderMagazine.com

2020 KTM 390 Adventure | First Look Review

2020 KTM 390 Adventure
2020 KTM 390 Adventure

The ranks of lightweight, entry-level adventure bikes will grow by at least one in 2020 with the introduction of KTM’s new 390 Adventure. Ready for touring and light off-roading at a claimed 348 pounds dry with a 33.6-inch seat height, the bike’s high-performance heart is the liquid-cooled, 373cc DOHC single with four valves from the 390 Duke, which has EFI, a balancer shaft, PASC slipper clutch and a Ride-by-Wire throttle for smoother and more refined response. The engine is carried in a steel trellis frame with a bolt-on seat subframe and die-cast, open-lattice swingarm similar to the larger 790 Adventure’s.

2020 KTM 390 Adventure
2020 KTM 390 Adventure

The 390 Adventure’s WP Apex 43mm upside-down fork was originally developed for enduro riding and features 6.7 inches of travel with a spring on both sides; compression and rebound damping are separated into the left and right fork legs respectively. The WP Apex shock has 6.9 inches of travel and adjustable spring preload and rebound damping. Extra robust cast wheels — a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear — are fitted with tubeless Continental TKC 70 tires for a blend of street performance and off-road grip.

2020 KTM 390 Adventure
2020 KTM 390 Adventure

The 390’s Bybre brake package includes a 320mm front brake disc and 4-piston radially mounted front caliper, and a 230mm rear disc with a 2-piston floating rear caliper. An ergonomically designed 3.8-gallon fuel tank gives the 390 Adventure a claimed range of more than 249 miles. Rider aids include Off-Road and Cornering ABS and Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC), and the 390 Adventure comes standard with an adjustable windscreen, LED lighting and KTM My Ride, which allows for a Bluetooth connection to control incoming calls and an audio player through the full-color, 5-inch TFT display with multifunctional dashboard. An up/down Quickshifter + is optional for the 390 Adventure, along with a number of KTM Power Parts accessories. The 2020 KTM 390 Adventure is priced at $6,199; availability is TBD.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916 | First Look Review

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
The limited-edition Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916 celebrates the silver anniversary of Ducati’s most iconic motorcycle. (Images courtesy Ducati)

On any list
of iconic motorcycles of the 20th century, Ducati’s 916 holds a place of
prominence. Delivering the 1-2 knockout punches of stunning good looks and
blistering performance, the 916, which debuted for 1994, is considered one of
the most beautiful motorcycles ever designed. The beauty was also a beast,
winning 120 races, eight constructors’ titles and six rider championships in
World Superbike during its 10-year production run, which includes the
larger-displacement 996 and 998 models. Closely associated with the 916 is
British racer Carl “Foggy” Fogarty, who won 43 World Superbike races and four
championships on the 916 and 996.

1994 Ducati 916 Stradale
The bike that started it all–the 1994 Ducati 916 Stradale.

To celebrate the 916’s 25th anniversary, Ducati has unveiled a limited-edition Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916. Based on the Panigale V4 S, the 25th Anniversary edition has been upgraded with racing content from the Panigale V4 R such as the Ducati Corse Front Frame, the dry clutch and even more track-specific electronics, such as Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2 and “predictive” Ducati Traction Control EVO 2.

2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R | First Look Review

The special
Panigale’s livery is inspired by the Ducati 996 SBK (winner of the 1999 World
Superbike Championship) with forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels, a titanium
type-approved Akrapovič exhaust and a wish list of carbon fiber and billet
aluminum components. Limited to just 500 examples, each bike comes with an
authenticity certificate that matches the laser-engraved ID number (XXX/500) on
the top yoke with the engine and frame serial number.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Four-time World Superbike champion Carl Fogarty with the limited-edition Panigale V4 and his 1999 Superbike race machine that provided inspiration.

Dedicated
equipment for the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916:

  • “916 25° Anniversario” color scheme
  • Numbered (xxx/500) machined-from-solid aluminum top yoke
  • Front Frame with Ducati Corse specifications
  • Two-tone rider’s seat
  • Forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels
  • Dry clutch
  • Titanium Akrapovič type-approved silencer
  • Ducati Traction Control EVO 2 (DTC EVO 2)
  • Ducati Quick Shift EVO 2 (DQS EVO 2)
  • Racing screen
  • Carbon fiber front mudguard
  • Carbon fiber rear mudguard
  • Carbon fiber heel guards
  • Carbon fiber/titanium swingarm cover
  • Racing grips
  • Adjustable billet aluminum rider footpegs
  • Billet aluminum folding clutch and brake levers
  • Brake lever guard (supplied)
  • Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) kit with GPS module (supplied)
  • Open carbon fiber clutch cover (supplied)
  • Special “25° Anniversario 916” bike cover (supplied)
  • Billet aluminum racing-type filler cap (supplied)
  • Plate holder removal cover (supplied)
  • Billet aluminum rear view mirror plugs (supplied)
  • “Shell” and “Foggy” logo stickers (supplied)
Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916

The Panigale
V4 25° Anniversario 916 is powered by the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale. A
MotoGP-derived 90-degree V4 with Desmodromic timing, it features a
counter-rotating crankshaft and a Twin Pulse firing order, and it produces 214
horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 91 lb-ft of torque at 10,000 rpm. The engine is
enhanced with the adoption of a dry clutch and type-approved titanium Akrapovič
silencers.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
Foggy hasn’t lost his edge. He look right at home on the Panigale V4.

From a
chassis viewpoint, the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 has it all. The front
frame, which exploits the Desmosedici Stradale engine as a structural chassis
element, is the same as the one on the Panigale V4 R but differs slightly on
account of the lighter, machined sides. The frame is coupled to an Öhlins
NIX-30 fork, an Öhlins TTX36 rear shock and an Öhlins steering damper, all
managed by the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 control system. This gives the rider access
to next-level dynamic bike control, augmenting on-road safety and shortening
on-track lap times. Ultralight forged magnesium Marchesini Racing wheels carry top-drawer
brakes, with two 330mm Brembo discs with Brembo Stylema monoblock front calipers
and a single 245mm disc with a 2-piston caliper at the rear.

Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916
In addition to the special livery and limited-edition numbered plate, the racing screen includes a nod to Sir Foggy.

The Panigale
V4 25° Anniversario 916 has a latest-generation electronics package. Based on a
6-axis Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), it features controls designed to
manage every aspect of riding. The electronic package includes:

  • Bosch Cornering ABS EVO
  • Ducati Traction Control EVO 2 (DTC EVO 2)
  • Ducati Slide Control (DSC)
  • Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO)
  • Ducati Power Launch (DPL)
  • Ducati Quick Shift up/down EVO 2 (DQS EVO 2)
  • Engine Brake Control EVO (EBC EVO)
  • Ducati Electronic Suspension EVO (DES EVO)

Furthermore,
the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 comes with the Ducati Data Analyser+
(DDA+) kit with GPS module. DDA+ is a telemetry system. Similar to those used
in competitions, it consists of a data acquisition device (via CAN line) and
analysis software that takes its inspiration from professional programs. The
device records ride parameters such as cornering lines, RPM, gear, throttle
aperture angle, front brake pressure, DTC intervention etc. and geo-locates
them on the track. Once disconnected from the bike and connected to the PC via
the USB port, the software lets the user upload the acquired data feeds and
analyse on-track performance.

For more information, visit ducati.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com