Yamaha has added three entries to the small-bore parade for 2018, echoing a movement among manufacturers to roll out a greater assortment of entry-level bikes suitable for non-riders. Two of these entries are dual sport models: the wispy XT250 that is a street-legal trail bike, and the bulging TW200, which bears an unmistakable resemblance to Suzuki’s Van Van 200.
The third new model for 2018 is the V Star 250, with a very Sportster-like profile and, interestingly, the only V-twin in its class. Yamaha places a fuel efficiency estimate at 78 miles per gallon for the air-cooled engine with a 66mm stroke. If correct, that translates to a range of nearly 200 miles. With its lightweight and 27-inch seat height, Yamaha is indeed marketing the V Star 250 as a trainer or as a purchase for those looking for a smaller, easy-to-ride package. MSRP: $4,349 The TW200, with its tractor-like tires, also has a low seat and compact ergonomics, driven by an air-cooled, 196cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, and has a 6-speed transmission. With its digital ignition and electric start, plus more than six inches of telescopic fork travel, it appears to be well suited for plunking around the ranch or in the woods. MSRP: $4,599
The XT250 also has the makings of a useful trail bike, with its 249cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine. The XT has fuel injection, e-start, spark arrestor, a 5-speed transmission, nearly nine inches of front fork travel and more than 11 inches of ground clearance. MSRP: $5,199. yamahamotorsports.com March 2018