Articles

Published on December 20th, 2006 | by Boris

BINACROMBI BIKES

Yamaha WR250

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

This was the bike I lusted after more than any other prior to the weekend. It has been labeled “The Ultimate 250” by some of the press and I know more than one rider who has traded down from a larger bike to one of these, and never been happier. The new alloy frame completes the package but I found myself a little underwhelmed. The bike did nothing wrong and rode superbly but it was massively overshadowed by the Husqvarna 250. The motor was strong but a little asthmatic and the handling precise. Suspension worked better the harder you pushed it and it was also the only one I bottomed out all weekend which suggests I pushed it harder.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The bike that could be that much more. Yamaha’s WR250F is very hard to fault, and once I got a chance to push it hard, made me look fast. I feel that this bike would respond very well to a bit of tinkering and fine-tuning. As it is, it isn’t as compliant or precise as the TE250.

Mick (Large and Fast):

Lovely light bike and so easy to ride quick, virtually everywhere, it was in serious company so was slightly over-shadowed. Turned in well and had good horsepower down low which made it easy to ride over giant rocks, which was the go all weekend! If you were looking for a good all round 250 that had serious potential this would be my pick.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

This was a surprise to me, I was expecting more bang from a bike I had heard and read so much about.  Well the mighty WRF 250 didn’t do it for me. There was nothing wrong with it, it was a very competent 250, but no more than a 250,  unlike the Husky.  It had a fair spread of power and would take everything asked of a modern 250 in its stride, but it felt more dated than it looked, with its new alloy frame. Maybe if I had spent more time on it I would have found more to like.

Husqvarna TE250

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

This is a little motor with big ambitions. It is also the loudest. What surprised me the most was its desire to rev and rev and keep on revving. For a 250 I was amazed that it would loft the front wheel as soon as I got on the gas after landing a jump. This was new territory for me on a smaller bike. Lower down in the rev range it did have a dead spot when cracked open but this was only an issue up until you understood its appetite for revs. After that you learn to use the top end and feather the clutch when you catch it out of its comfort zone. This is a bike I could love and my number two pick of the weekend.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The bike I want now. The Husqvana TE250 just does everything far better than it should. The suspension is compliant enough to ride all day, but can still soak up the big hits with ease. The steering and braking were not an issue. This means that they are very good. The motor was lovely up top – I could not believe how fast it was when you let it have its head. The only time it felt a bit slow down low was if you had just climbed off a bigger bike; then again any 250 would. It was also by far the prettiest bike of the lot, which counts for more than most blokes will admit.

Mick (Large and Fast):

15 kilos lighter than the 510 and power up the top like a 400. Fell into corners and when on the gas would hook up and launch out. All the power up top and had to be kept on the boil, only once ran out of power and that was carting my 110kilos up a huge great slippery hill. In the company it kept was definitely the pick of the 250s.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

Did someone say this was a 250?  I think they’re fibbing, this is a screamer. I could ride this baby fast all day and it was fast.  It was a little …fluffy… lower in the rev range, but hey, who uses lower in the rev range on a 250?  I’m sure this could be fettled out with a little know-how, so no big deal in my book.

Honda CRF450X

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

This bike was exactly the same as the 250 right up until you opened the throttle. It even had the same dead spot at low revs. You had to look at the swing arm to know which was which. I liked this bike a lot, but I always knew in the back of my mind that it was a thoroughbred hankering to bite me on the backside. To its eternal credit, it allowed all of us to bi-pass the helicopter ride as long as we rode it within our means and that is a fabulous quality for a big bore weapon. Any level of rider ability could pilot this bike but only a few could give it its head. I sadly am not one of them but remain eternally grateful for its hospitality.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The bike to scare yourself with. Big power is what the Husqvarna TE510 is all about. While the suspension and the brakes are more that up to the task set by this awesome motor, few mortals are. You will be able to pick one of these up cheap in a few years time when the blokes who bought them realize that their balls aren’t that big after all. “Must sell due to family commitments”. Surprisingly, I found it was reluctant to wheelstand. Turning the throttle did not so much lift the front wheel up, but dragged the distant horizon towards you in an alarming way. The extra weight of the bigger motor can be felt in tighter trails.

Mick (Large and Fast):

Awesome power, would be simply unreal with a less restrictive pipe, fairly neutral handling, great brakes, in fact I won’t say anymore about brakes on any of the bikes as they were all excellent.

The seating position felt high and the bike felt long, but it steered beautifully and felt stable over the nasty high speed stuff. The latest greatest suspension from Austria, so you know it’s good, and it was, getting me out of all sorts of bother, time and time again. It was 15 kilos heavier than the 250 yet you only noticed it when you jumped from it onto the 250. Hugely confidence-inspiring package and my pick of the litter.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

Pick of the bunch.  Looks fast standing still, always a good sign, great noise, and when I asked Scotty in the engine room for warp 5 I got “Aye-aye Capt’n!”  The suspension coped and the brakes never even whimpered, I thought I could live with one of these. The only thing I didn’t like about this bike was giving it back. It had little annoyances like all stock machines, which I like to think the manufacturer puts there for the new owner to cure so they can feel that they had a little input into the machines capabilities and thus secure a deeper relationship with their new pride and joy.

Husqvarna TE510

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

This bike was exactly the same as the 250 right up until you opened the throttle. It even had the same dead spot at low revs. You had to look at the swing arm to know which was which. I liked this bike a lot, but I always knew in the back of my mind that it was a thoroughbred hankering to bite me on the backside. To its eternal credit, it allowed all of us to bi-pass the helicopter ride as long as we rode it within our means and that is a fabulous quality for a big bore weapon. Any level of rider ability could pilot this bike but only a few could give it its head. I sadly am not one of them but remain eternally grateful for its hospitality.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The bike to scare yourself with. Big power is what the Husqvarna TE510 is all about. While the suspension and the brakes are more that up to the task set by this awesome motor, few mortals are. You will be able to pick one of these up cheap in a few years time when the blokes who bought them realize that their balls aren’t that big after all. “Must sell due to family commitments”. Surprisingly, I found it was reluctant to wheelstand. Turning the throttle did not so much lift the front wheel up, but dragged the distant horizon towards you in an alarming way. The extra weight of the bigger motor can be felt in tighter trails.

Mick (Large and Fast):

Awesome power, would be simply unreal with a less restrictive pipe, fairly neutral handling, great brakes, in fact I won’t say anymore about brakes on any of the bikes as they were all excellent.

The seating position felt high and the bike felt long, but it steered beautifully and felt stable over the nasty high speed stuff. The latest greatest suspension from Austria, so you know it’s good, and it was, getting me out of all sorts of bother, time and time again. It was 15 kilos heavier than the 250 yet you only noticed it when you jumped from it onto the 250. Hugely confidence-inspiring package and my pick of the litter.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

Pick of the bunch.  Looks fast standing still, always a good sign, great noise, and when I asked Scotty in the engine room for warp 5 I got “Aye-aye Capt’n!”  The suspension coped and the brakes never even whimpered, I thought I could live with one of these. The only thing I didn’t like about this bike was giving it back. It had little annoyances like all stock machines, which I like to think the manufacturer puts there for the new owner to cure so they can feel that they had a little input into the machines capabilities and thus secure a deeper relationship with their new pride and joy.

Yamaha TTR250

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

I like this bike because it transcends time and is as loyal as a working dog. It goes and stops and goes and stops allowing the novice to play without feeling like the poor cousin. Well credentialed, it can be registered unlike the CRF230 which means you can take it anywhere. This also extends to some of the more challenging trails where I saw it do its thing without hesitation and lots of grace. If I were looking for a registered chooky for a novice friend to join me then I would buy this one without hesitation.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The bike we were unfair to. The Yamaha TT-R 250 was way out of its class. This is a very capable bike for commuting and playing around in the dirt. There are a few TT-Rs out there showing how fast they can be made to go in the dirt with a bit of work, and thousands out on the streets showing how tough and reliable they are for day-to-day riding. We just took it right out of its league by asking it to play with the competition-based machinery.

Mick (Large and Fast):

One of two air cooled bikes on board, felt heavier than the WR but this may because it was delivering less poke. Sure steady solid beginners bike, a proven workhorse in the bush just like all the XRs that have beaten the trail. In an expert’s hands this little beauty still had enough power to get up and boogy on all but the stupidly insane stuff.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

I know you can do a lot to these to make them win ISDE’s and the like but I am just telling how it is straight out of the box as we tested it.  To me (and I am a self confessed horsepower junkie) this felt like it weighed 200kg and delivered 4 horse power. I kept looking behind me to see if I was towing a caravan.  This bike has been around for quite a while now and I have ridden them in many stages of tweak and tune but until this weekend I had never ridden one as they come from the shop, and hope never to again. So I take my hat off to you tweakers and tuners for your ability to breathe that oh, so well needed, life into this little mill; and so should Yamaha, as I feel production would have ceased many moons ago without your help.

Honda CRF230

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Ian (Moves Quickly, Considering):

This is a great little weapon in the bush. It is unfair to compare to the TTR because it is not bogged down with ADR anchors such as lights, blinkers and a restricted exhaust. The CRF230 is basically a big kid’s motocross bike and it breeds confidence. Honda will homologate this in the near future I hope and they will sell loads of them. It starts easy, stops turns and jumps and then backs it up again tomorrow with a minimum of maintenance.

Rob (HART Instructor):

The little bike that could. The CRF230 is the bike that you traditionally give to girls who can’t ride in the dirt, because they are small, non-threatening and well, girly. This is why there is now a generation of girls who can ride very fast. When Ali finished with it (oops) and let the boys ride it, the little red bike surprised a few with how capable it is. Without doing anything special, it just works very well. Make sure you ride one of these before you knock their size and their twenty-five year-old design. Dollars for fun, by far the best deal of the lot.

Mick (Large and Fast):

The smallest of our bunch and a perfect first timer, with a low easy to steer chassis and light weight. We still jumped it over the same enormous airtime ramp that all the others were subjected too and it handled it beautifully. No kick-start so totally reliant upon the electric leg/battery start. A storming little motor, with bottom end and top end grunt. With Honda’s track record of reliability I’m sure these little gems will be around for many years to come.

Dean (Expert Weasel):

It is unfair to say this was my fifth choice. I only came to this conclusion because this bike isn’t aimed at my demographic…

But hey give it to an adolescent with ADD and gut full of red lemonade and this little gem will go off!  I got a lot of pleasure from it myself and I take drugs for my ADD. You can describe this little machine in three words, Fun Fun Fun. It hauled my 90kgs round the tracks and through the air with great ease and didn’t bottom out on landings.  I think the secret to its big heart is that it hasn’t been suffocated by ADR requirements… yet! Yes, there is a whisper it is soon to be belted with the ADR stick, A shame yes. But what they put on we can take off!

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About the Author

is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.



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