I was attending the grand opening of Motorsport Plus today in Saint John, which is happening all week, so please drop in for a donut, coffee, buy a new sled, ATV or bike. If you remember from a previous posting, MSP is the life long dream turned reality for my friend Tim Hovey. So being the nice guy I am, I dropped in to once again congratulate him, and for my own selfish reasons, to look at shiny new bikes, plus they had free coffee and donuts. While I sipped away on that free java, Tim and I discussed the newest, let's get dirty, offerings from Yamaha and Suzuki.
Let's kick it off with the newly designed WR250F, Yamaha's four-stroke enduro bike. So what's been changed from the old one, well the big change is fuel-injection, and from what I can gather ( I am not a real technical guy, more of a get on a go type of fella) the engine is now based around the current generation YZ motocross one, plus there are numerous cosmetic changes and the bike looks really kick-ass now.
Here is what Yamaha has to say:
We've taken our revolutionary YZ four stroke motocross technology and applied it to the enduro world. Rearward slanted engine, reversed cylinder, forward mounted fuel injection and a compact chassis are just some of the key features found on the new WR250F. Delivering light, agile handling on tight trails, the new WR with its excellent reliability record is also a great choice for the experienced recreational rider too.
The new bike is now really the little brother of the WR450R. If only Yamaha had made this street-legal like a KTM EXC, I would then be in line to get one. My days of trailering bikes to to go ride is over. The good part.....MSRP $8799 CDN Pesos. Imagine if you could get this plated for the road at this price.
What really surprised me this year was Team Blue's new YZ250FX. At first I thought it was gonna be some kind of stock freestyle MX bike, which would be weird, not sure there is a large market for that, or even a minute market.
Harescrambles have become quite a popular form of racing in the last few years, and other than the offerings from the Orange side and a few select Euro manufacturers there really isn't a true dedicated HS bike offered by the Japanese....until now. I have to say I did not see this coming, and it's refreshing to see this. Oh and yes folks it comes with both a kickstart and an e-start, all for the low price of $8749.00
The high flying, high paced action of motocross is not for everyone. As a result, the slightly less intense world of cross country / harescramble racing is experiencing solid growth and interest. Yamaha is pleased to announce the YZ250FX, a cross country focused model with the performance potential of the YZ250F. If you are serious about winning, the new YZ250FX could be the machine for you.
Suzuki doesn't have much to announce other than their new Vstrom 650. Well, when I say new, I mean new styling, essentially the bike remains unchanged other than wire wheels, the new beak, and long name.....Suzuki VStrom 650X ABS EXP. The EXP comes with some addition goodies, luggage, crash bars, skid plate, hand guards, etc. Pretty much roll out of the showroom and head around the world on your next adventure. It does come with a price tag of $11,399 though. You can still buy a standard, no frills 650 for $8999.
I was hoping Suzuki would revamp there dual sports. Since they were designed back in the 80's, and they are getting long in the tooth. I don't imagine sales of DRZ's and DR's are very big anymore. Fuel-injection anyone??? Maybe some modern styling. Jeez, not too much to ask for.
I'd also like to see Honda come out with a CRF650L too.
So why all the dirty bikes, well there may just be a documentary in the works for next year.......trails, dual purpose bikes and a week of dusty, muddy, rocky, sandy travel. That's all I'm divulging yet.