Picture(s) A Day – Yamaha XT250
Howdy folks! No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet I’ve been busy and tired again. I know it seems to be a running theme lately, but it is what it is and I’m just doing what I can to get by these days. Work’s work and there ain’t a whole lot of time to do much else.
I’m still working on figuring out just which motorcycle I’m going to get. I’ve still got to get my tax return, renew the car registration, get my helmet, go do the MSF course, and make sure I have money in the bank for a few other things before I can get the motorcycle. Yeah, it’s a lot of stuff, but thinking about the motorcycle is what’s kept me going for a while now
My brother was in town over the weekend and we had a great time! We ate lunch at the Pink Taco on Saturday as Mr. Lucky’s was too crowded. It wasn’t cheap, but the food was great – and that’s coming from a San Diego native who knows Mexican food
After lunch, we headed out to look at some motorcycles at the BMW dealer (I made sure to say hi to Kurt) and then we headed on over to a big dealership (which shall remain nameless) with Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, and several other makes. I wanted to check out the Kawasaki KLX250S and compare it to some of the other bikes. Well, let’s just say that I’m glad the KLX wasn’t in motion when it came down along with me. In the showroom.
It was a bit embarrassing, but I don’t feel too bad. The bike was so high that I couldn’t tip toe high enough to get the bike to lean a bit to the left so I could keep my balance while dismounting. The problem was that the kick stand kept getting in the way as it was too long. The sales guy was enthusiastic enough, but not too helpful when I needed him. After the incident that left my right elbow scraped and bleeding a bit (nothing bad), he just kept saying that bikes can be lowered and such. I was hoping he could guide me to some other offerings, but alas it was not to be.
Shortly thereafter, Sales Guy’s manager/closer/whatever came over and his attitude ruined any chance I’d had of buying there. After all I’d dealt with – the salesman I had talked to on the phone wasn’t there when I arrived (understandable), the incident with the horizontal motorcycle (they’re supposed to be rubber side down), and a salesman whose heart was in the right place but just wasn’t getting the job done right, I had to deal with Mr. Serious. I swear the guy had a frown on his face when he asked, “So you don’t have any money down right now?” I’d just gotten done telling him and Sales Guy that I’d be taking my MSF course soon, but that I was around four months out from buying and wanted nothing more than to look and compare bikes. I’ve probably mentioned it a few times before, but I did a couple years in car sales down in San Diego. Mr. Serious wouldn’t stand a chance. I’m assuming that he’s supposed to try to get people to buy something fun and decidedly non essential from his place of employment. I don’t see how that’s supposed to work. The admonition to “be careful with the bikes” as parting words (as I’m standing there bleeding in the showroom) with the same frown was just the perfect topping on a $&#@ sundae for me.
Well, after that whole ordeal, I was still intent on investigating my options. The TW200 is a great bike from all accounts, but nearly everyone remarks on its lack of top speed. I’m not looking to go win a Moto GP race or win the Baja 1000 but I want a bike that will get up and go when it needs to. Everyone says the TW will cruise all day at 55 to 60 MPH and that with a 47 tooth rear sprocket it will do just fine at 65 MPH. That’s good and sounds like it will suit my needs and wants fairly well, but I don’t want to get too much tunnel vision.
I found out about the Yamaha XT250 during the course of my research and noticed that its seat height (very important to me at this point in my riding experience) is only a very small bit higher than the TW’s. The XT’s seat is 31.9″ where the TW’s is 31.1″ and that sounds rather interesting. Hey, this could work!
The big dealer I visited on Saturday is part of an interstate chain which owns most of the stores in town. I wanted to visit someone else in hopes of a better experience and looked up dealers in Las Vegas on Yamaha’s website which is where I found Yamaha of Las Vegas
I headed down to Yamaha of Las Vegas right after work on Tuesday to check out the XT250 and compare it to the TW200. I’d already done all that on Yamaha’s website and you can see what I did by clicking here. The problem is that websites only give you numbers and images on a small computer screen. I wanted to find out what the differences are in person.
Thankfully, my experience at Yamaha of Las Vegas was nearly the exact opposite of my time at the big store on Saturday. I met Matt who was competent, knowledgeable, understanding, and anything but pushy. He had some great insights on the two bikes and was kind enough not only to let me take pics for this post, but also to push the bike into an open area of the floor for better angles
Well, enough blabbering – let’s get to the pics and details!
I usually start off photo posts like this with an overall view of the bike, but I figured I’d change it up a bit tonight
One of the differences between the XT and the TW is the dash. Where the TW has three lights (blinker, high beam, and neutral indicators) and an analog speedometer/odometer/trip meter, the XT has a more modern setup with a digital display (speed, odometer, two trip meters, and a clock) and a much newer appearance for the indicator lights. The TW’s old school, it works, and I like it. The XT’s newer, fresher, and more advanced. I have no problems with it, but aside from seeing my speed easier at night I’d call it a draw. Except that there’s something that’s just nicer about the XT’s display that I can’t quite put my finger on… Of course, having two trip meters would be nice on a longer ride so that you could have total trip miles on one and miles since your last refueling on the other.
If I do end up getting the TW200, I plan on adding a Vapor gauge by Trail Tech which would give me a digital dash for all of about $130. Either way I end up with a set of digital gauges. Actually, I’m leaning toward the TW200 for this one as I wouldn’t be duplicating anything and it would look nicer
You didn’t think I’d just concentrate on small details for the whole post did you ? Well here’s a couple of pics of the entire bike
I happen to think the XT250 is rather good looking all the way around. The round headlight’s more modern looking than the TW200’s square unit for one thing. The XT’s fender is mounted higher up as well. Of course, those much more standard width tires look much different than the TW’s wide ones too.
Something you can see if you look closely in the top pic (right side of the bike) is the XT’s rear disk brake. That’s quite a difference from the TW’s rear drum that hasn’t changed (and I’m not joking) since the Reagan administration. I really don’t see a problem with a rear drum on a bike this small and (usually) slow, but a disk is nicer and better in many ways.
Another plus with the XT is its 2.4 gallon fuel tank. That’s .6 gallon more than the TW’s tank which might not sound like a big deal at first. What some people don’t realize is that Yamaha claims that the TW will get about 78 MPG and that the XT gets about 73 MPG. That works out to a 140 mile max range for the TW and 175 mile max range for the XT and those extra 35 worth of fuel in the XT’s tank might just come in handy when you least expect it.
The controls are nearly if not completely identical on the handlebars of the XT and TW and look to be very well placed and easy to use. You’ve got all the basics – high beam for the headlight, turn signals, and the horn on the left with the starter and kill switch on the right.
One thing I noticed and asked Matt about was the two lines coming from the throttle. Matt says Yamaha uses dual throttle cables for the throttle so that one’s always pulling when actuating the throttle in the carburetor. I don’t know if this is a big deal, but it sounds more reliable when closing the throttle so I don’t have a problem with the few extra ounces of weight it adds to the bike
One of the biggest differences between the XT and the TW aside from their tires is their engines. The TW has a 196cc single cylinder while the XT has a 249cc single cylinder. I can’t find reliable numbers online to compare the horsepower and torque, but I have a feeling that a 249cc engine will have a bit more power than a 196cc. Both engines have a reputation for reliability and longevity and I like that they’re air cooled which means no radiators to spring a leak some place like Death Valley.
Getting down to the foot controls and such, the XT250 has about what you’d expect and it’s pretty similar to the TW200. It does come standard with a folding shifter. If you look at the shifter, you can see how the end of it is made to fold rather than bend when you drop your bike out in the dirt. Yes, I can get a similar folding shifter for the TW, but I’m trying to keep things as inexpensive as possible.
The XT250 is another great bike that’s made my decision quite a bit more difficult. I really wish I could just go and buy one today – that would make life much easier as I’d have it over and done with Oh well, I’ll just keep saving up until I can finally buy one. I would love to hear what y’all think of the choice between the two bikes – I really am stuck on this one. I love the low seat, big knobby tires, and character of the TW, but there’s quite a few good points for the XT as well. At least I have a good choice to make – which bike to get
Once again a big THANK YOU goes out to Matt and Yamaha of Las Vegas for being such gracious and helpful hosts
That’s it for now, but I’ll be back again before too long Have a great night everyone
3 comments to Picture(s) A Day – Yamaha XT250
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