2010 Yamaha WR250X Adventure Touring Project Bike - X-Country at 100 + MPG

Discussion in 'Street and Performance Bikes' started by xcel, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    After passing through Astoria, OR, I began heading west on US 30 towards the faster but far less scenic I-5 while headed towards Seattle. Dan and Krissy invited me up to stay with them at their vacation home on Whidbey Island for the evening. As night took over the day, I reached the ferry in Mukilteo, WA for my first ferry ride across Puget Sound. While dark, I had no idea what was in store the next morning and I am still ticked I did not take a single pic of their backyard view over the Sound with Mt. Baker in the background :ccry:

    The WR250X goes on a Ferry Ride

    I really need to learn how to focus this Canon manually in strange lighting :rolleyes:

    Dan, Krissy, their son Johann and their dog Rocky (I think their pup’s name was Rocky?) were there to greet me as I rolled into the neighborhood. And although already late in the evening, they waited to have dinner until I arrived.

    And I was provided yet another fantastic feast! Maybe it was too many breakfast bars and fast food on the way across but the excellent BBQ the day before and real home cooked dinner and a huge breakfast the next morning was a welcome addition to the end of the Adventure :)

    That night, Dan and I stayed up until almost 04:30 AM while having the best and most engaging conversation I have had had in months. While way too late for the next day’s almost 1,200 mile ride to LA, I would not have given up that time for anything in the world. Thank you Dan for the hospitality, discussion and view that I wish we all had a chance to experience when we wake up in the morning :D

    Dan (Wri Consult’s) Family

    Johann, Dan, Krissy, their dog Rocky​

    After saying my goodbyes, it was time to hit the road and hit it hard. The Garmin showed 1187 miles to Cypress, CA and it was already noon with a wait for the Ferry and ride across the sound before I could really get moving. In addition, it was Friday (think Rush hour) and I was going to try and meet up with Garth in Olympia after traversing downtown Seattle on the I-5. I had already decided it was best to skip a meeting with Mark Harris of the UK Times so off I went.

    I was on dry land and moving by 01:05 PM. I arrived in Olympia at 02:30, well after my intended meet with Garth so that was a lost opportunity. I still have to apologize to Garth for that one…

    This portion of the adventure was almost a blur and not a very fun one at that by comparison to my previous weeks with the WR250X. Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia, WA as well as Portland, OR were in my rear view well before sunset. Portland traffic on late Friday afternoon was a bit intense but nothing I have not experienced in Chicago thousands of times before… Eugene was hardly a bump in the road as the time flew by. The only time to rest occured when filling with fuel.

    Through the evening, Medford, OR was reached and into the wee hours of the morning, Redding, CA was in my sights.

    Somewhere about 100-miles north of Sacramento, my Gerbing’s heated gear controller gave out. It is still in CA and until I get it back, I will not know what went or maybe it was a simple connection. In any case, I decided to stop for a few hours of rest (almost four to be exact) on a picnic table at a Rest Area on I-5. I woke up to the sun just creeping over the horizon and began the trek anew.

    Sacramento, Stockton and Bakersfield came and went and while crossing the Tejon pass, the Garmin showed 1,091 miles traveled as the clock ticked by the 01:05 PM starting point from the day before. That is the farthest I have ever ridden in just 24-hours and it was actually easier than the WR250X’s first Iron Butt ride from Chicago to Boston performed two months prior.

    With a little rain on the pass to wash 5,000 miles of road grime and dust off the bike and myself, it was down into LA where Lane splitting helped me through traffic jam after traffic jam. Riding a bike in LA is like no other experience on the North American Continent. “Amped Up” would be a mild description of what it is like to slice and dice with the cagers at 70 + mph on a wall to wall packed Interstate system (the Slab).

    I reached Yamaha HQ at 03:10 PM (an hour early actually!) where Yamaha Security was awaiting my arrival.

    It is sad to say goodbye to a trusty steed

    The mighty 2010 Yamaha WR250X at Yamaha HQ in Cypress, CA.​

    I pulled all the accessories off that I could leaving the pegs and tank for their techs as I sent the OEM gear to Yamaha a month ago and did not have access to complete the conversion. At ~ 05:00 PM, I said goodbye to the WR for the very last time and headed off to a bus stop in order to get back into downtown LA to meet up with Tarabell for the night.

    LA Public Transit System -- Let us just say I love the LA public transit system as you can traverse the entire county to get from point A to B. The time to travel those 25-miles on three different busses exceeded 3-hours however… I was grateful for the ride in any case.

    The next dinner -- After arriving at Rani’s home in downtown, she suggested we go to a local Korean restaurant. Not being a connoisseur of Korean cuisine, I had no idea what was in store but just like the BBQ in Sisters, OR and both the dinner and breakfast at Dan and Krissy’s vacation home north of Seattle, I was in for yet another treat!

    While I still cannot pronounce the name of the dish, it was a fantastic soup with chunks of Prime Rib, bamboo shoots, noodles and some kind of green vegetables thrown in for good measure. In addition, there was a sampling of 7 or 8 dishes on the side with 5 of them being to fantastic for words. I hope the next time we are all out in LA we can visit the same place again!

    With almost 1,200 road miles and 4-hours of sleep behind me, 2-hours of wrenching on and under the bike with the broken wing on a cement floor, a 3-hour + bus ride and a dinner meant for a very overweight king, I was simply exhausted :D

    Early the next morning, it was off to LAX for a noon flight (a seat was broken and we had head winds so did not get in until almost 07:00 PM) and yet another BBQ dinner (a local place called Famous Dave's) with my mom and aunt as they picked me up from Milwaukee’s Mitchell field…

    Tarabell at her home in LA


    The only thing left are the conclusions...

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  2. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    Welcome back :)

    (Which is a bit ironic to say as I'm at a very different point of the Earth :D)

    I'm back from the Eastern side of Hungary too, got rain on the way back but my 'new' boots proved much better than the previous one. And avoiding the freeways Ciliegia didn't give the lows Teresa reached on our last such trip (3.065 and 3.31l/100km - 76.7 and 71mpgUS respectively). It was cold on the way though and unfortunately we have to start heating in the house, it was 14C (57F) in the warmer room when we got back :eek:

    I have a favourite among your new pics too: the last Oregon coast shot :)
  3. beatr911

    beatr911 Tightwad

    Whew, heck of a trip Wayne. I'm tired of sitting in the saddle just reading about it. I'm really glad the rest of the trip went off without problems.

    Deepest restpect for the tenacity of completing this endurance ride! The drone down I-5 is terribly boring and after starting from an already tired state, my hat is off to you! Sorry we didn't hook up, but glad you got to stay with Dan and family. Maybe some other time/place.

    Wayne, as a reference to other bikes in similar conditions, what were the speeds and mileage figures while blasting down I-5? I'm sure you weren't hypermiling this leg so it won't be held against you.

    At 80+mph the Concours drops from 54mpg to a paltry 38, so I'd guess about 60mpg for the WR250X at maximum speed?
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alvaro:

    It sounds as if you had an interesting adventure of your own across Hungary last week :) And thanks for the welcome back!

    After completing a true adventure to wherever we are headed in life, I am sure most think to themselves that it was too long and arduous a journey to conceive of doing it again in their lifetimes. With a few days of rest and looking back with a fresh perspective, the hope and dream to do something similar again begins anew.

    Thinking back to the 450 mile hypermiling ride through the night to Al’s home in Pittsburgh, PA, the flat near the PA/OH border, the lengthy ride into the wind and rain through central Iowa, the “Antelope Incident” in Douglas, WY, the reversal of fortunes in order to begin the quest again late last month, the multitude of unpaved roads encountered, the almost desperate search for a campground in Yellowstone, and even the almost inconceivable 26-hour, 1,187 mile ride from north of Seattle to south of LA, they were all simply small hardships that provided flavor to an Adventure I would not have traded for the world. Well maybe not the “Antelope Incident” anyway ;)

    In each case, I learned about the capability of a bike that in the world of motorcycling would not normally be given a chance to achieve the goals we set out to achieve plus I learned a little about my own endurance along the way. To see, smell, feel and experience the USA along with meeting and talking with its diverse citizenry in a manner like never before makes the adversity encountered seem like nothing more than a speed bump in addition to making the Adventure’s conclusion that much more enjoyable. In other words, when can we do it again and who else wants to come along :D

    Garth, I am so sorry I did not get to meet you while passing through the Olympia, WA area twice! It may be a while before I get out that way again so a visit with you will be my highest priority the next time I am in the Pacific Northwest. I was so darn close yet could not connect and it was simply excuses that got in the way. Please accept my apologies as I so much wanted to go riding with you given the plans you had made.

    Regarding the FE during the "Race Back to LA", during one 130-mile stretch, I was almost WOT pushing 75 mph for most of the distance. The climbs were WOT and either in fourth or fifth to maintain a higher average speed in fact! While I did not have time to record any of the tanks distance and fuel consumption details, I did do mental calc's at each fuel stop. That single almost WOT run achieved a pitiful ~ 53 mpg IIRC :rolleyes: The best was 84 mpg so although I am not complaining, after that "worst tank" I backed it down to the mid 60 mph area on the flats and backed it way down in the truck climbing lanes over the many ascents encountered near the Tejon Pass area for the rest of the trip to LA...

    Good Luck

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  5. alvaro84

    alvaro84 Homura-chan's selfishness

    Not really an adventure, it's more a necessity.

    (It takes ~5 hours - more like 6 in the darkness/rain - by motorcycle so I don't even think about going by public transport - it would include a bus thats schedule has 2-3 hour holes, a train, then underground, and 2 more trains or buses, would take a whole day and a price that could reach or exceed the expenses of the 2-up ride including maintenance and a proper share of purchase price and taxes. Enough to scare us away... And if it doesn't rain and I don't suffer from massive sleep deprivation from the 'nigh shifter' week I can even enjoy the ride itself :D)

    When we go on an adventure, I'll let you all know ;)

    But that 26-hour, 1,187 miles sounds really something... and now that I heard the 'run like crazy' mileage of the WR250X I'm even more curious about your techniques when reaching those 100+ mpg tanks... a year and a half ago I had a similar run with Teresa as an experiment (mostly ran at 130-140km/h by speedo, sometimes over, once I even tried her top speed of 175km/h indicated at the 7000rpm redline) and got a pretty similar FE.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  6. beatr911

    beatr911 Tightwad

    "After completing a true adventure to wherever we are headed in life, I am sure most think to themselves that it was too long and arduous a journey to conceive of doing it again in their lifetimes. With a few days of rest and looking back with a fresh perspective, the hope and dream to do something similar again begins anew."

    True words!!! After circumnavigating the eastern half of Austrailia on a 400 in 1990 I vowed to ride around every continent in the world before I die. Not much progress made yet. I've now become a little more obsessed with NOT burning fuel for my own enjoyment, or maybe it's an excuse because now I'd rather spend time with my family. I don't know for sure, probably some of both.

    Wayne, no apology needed. Things have been a little stressed around the house what with the construction and whatnot. Other folks in the house didn't really want to present to a guest such disarray, so it's probably just as well. I'm just glad the ride went well. There are always future possibilities.
  7. Poik

    Poik New Member

    I ran across this thread while researching the WR250X, debating between it and a KLX250SF for a commuter. This thread is epic, and I have made up my choice now.

    Lots of incredible pictures and information in this thread, but I think the most incredible fact is you broke your collar bone and somehow got back on a bike a month later. I broke my collar bone about two years ago and after a month I had just manned up enough to put my shirts on without wincing.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Poik:

    Welcome to CleanMPG and you are not going to go wrong with the Yamaha WR250X. It is truly an exceptional bike amongst a sea of pretty good ones. Namely the KLX 250S and SF.

    Regarding the collar bone, let's just say I am both stubborn and stupid because the darn thing still hurts like hell when I take the brace strap off ;)

    Good Luck

  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    My approval for the first 1,070 mile Iron Butt Ride from the IL/WI border to Boston was approved!
    I did not bother with the second 1100 mile IB ride from north of Seattle to south of Los Angeles during the same Adventure because it was redundant.

    In any case, a Yamaha WR250X can do the distance just like the big bore bikes when pushed and did so quite easily as well :)

    Good Luck

  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    To conclude the 2010 Yamaha WR250X Cross Country ride write-up, the IB certificate for the Chicago to Boston segment along with the associated magazine arrived in the mail today.


  11. regie

    regie New Member

    hey, that was awesome, but you cant get out of it that easily...

    I'd luv 2 kno some details...

    *lookin at all those mods and dyno work those guys are talkin bout in the WR250R/X forums, my head is still spinnin round. Maybe this forum can clear things up a little. I am no techie but I reckon most of the performance mods detailed there are designed to get more air into the engine. Is this true? And how does this increase performance anyway? I am thinkin that the way the fuel injection is programmed is what is causing the performance increase - if it senses more air it injects more fuel. Is this true? and would that be detrimental to the engine and reduce its lifespan? I read somewhere that it wouldnt because the engine would run cooler. What do you guys think? If this is true, I am assuming this is because the engine does not expand and contract as much. True? I suppose if we look at the total cost to the environment we have to consider these points as well.

    *following on from this...is the better performance gained at the cost of fuel efficiency? could the rider modify riding style to maintain the original fuel efficiency, but still have the better performance at hand when they need it?

    *if the mods do decrease fuel efficiency, what is the effect then of introducing a new fuel programmer and adjusting the map? Sounds like you go the full circle. Back to square one! Why do the mods in the first place? Rhetorical question.

    *somethin else i read - one guy (admittedly only one) somehow accidentally discovered a 10mpg increase in fuel efficiency when he left the lid of his airbox:


    When he put the lid back on it dropped back down. That's gotta be worth investigating! and kinda opposite of what i read in this forum.

    *do fuel injected systems require alot of maintenance to keep them at their optimum performance? seems to me with all the electrics, sensors, computer chips, propper air flow etc there are a multitude of things that can go wrong and tryin to find a replacement sensor in the middle of the Gibson desert...well, thats another story.

    *so of-course, my own selfish reasons for posting will now be revealed - i am gonna buy a WR250R coz i think they would make an awesome adventure bike. For me, anything bigger is overkill and i absolutely luv the versatility, fuel efficiency of smaller bikes. Also, they're quieter and less intimidating - good for nature and small peaceful villages. I'm planning some rides in the australian deserts and central asia. Both environments require at least 500km range (more on some tracks in oz, and at least a couple of roads I know of in western china, but this is what i am going with). So, I'm thinkin 14lt tank, 5lt fuel bladder, 1lt that comes with my stove (for emergency). 500km / 20lt = 25kmpl (hence my interest in fuel economy). But we're talkin off-road, off-track, single-rack, corrugations, sand, bull-dust, altitude etc. Hey, but not all the time. Alot of the time decent hard surfaces. Anyway, given this scenario, i think maybe gearing (front/rear sprockets) should be my focus. What do you guys think?

    Oh, and weight.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Airflow increases did help for power on engines with carburetors. More air could be pulled through the venturi and draw more fuel through the jets. Add bigger jets and it could add more power up to a point.

    Pulling more fuel is the negative effect of what we are shooting for. More air could help efficiency to a point as well.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Regie:

    More air into the engine provides more HP but not FE as long as there is no constraint that would create more pumping losses.

    Running an engine at higher HP and torque for performance always reduces lifespan. Having extra HP and torque capability and not using it does not reduce engine longevity.

    More Performance and FE? It depends. Simple airbox mods will improve performance but FE will stay the same. Change gearing or tires for more performance and you will see a huge loss in FE as demonstrated with the Avon Distanzia tires we attempted to use initially.

    Mods on the WR are to improve performance first and foremost. Anyone performing them has generally seen a loss in FE.

    FI is far more robust than a carb. It is also far more fuel efficient no matter the altitude traversed. This is one of the Yamaha WR250X’s secrets. Climbing from sea level on the Atlantic coast to over 11,000’ while crossing the Bear Tooths and back down to sea level on the Pacific with no screwing around with jets and no loss in performance other than the thin air reducing maximum HP is FI’s ace in the hole.

    Yes, the WR would be a great addition to your transportation fleet. If there was one fly in the ointment, it would be its top speed while running the wide open spaces of Australia’s outback. Tapped out in a tuck, she’s good for over 80 mph/130 kph but any headwind or grade and she will drop back to much lower speeds.

    Good Luck and you will indeed love your WR :)


    DELSURFIN New Member

    New guy,

    Buying a used 2009 wrx--ordered the 14 tooth--digging around for a 40 tooth.
    Thanks for the fantastic info which has saved me sooooooooooooooooo much research and trial and error.
    I will be using the bike primarily for commuting. 35 miles one way-60 hwy 40 city.
    Maybe an occassional Blue Ridge Run. I am about 120 miles for the parkway.
    Getting rid of my 900 lb Royal Star Venture (2000)
    11 Mororcycles in 8 years. Quest for a bike I can keep.
    Goals-Ergos that fit /economy. Sat on the wrx--will get the risers you suggest,
    Sprockets-Risers-windscreen-brush guards-in that order.
    I left Hammond Indiana in 1966-drafted-now live in Williamsburg,Va.
    Question-oem chain ok on the 14/40?
    Thank you
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Ed:

    Sorry I missed your post earlier… The 14/40 Sprocket combo fits with the OEM chain just right.

    And you are going to love the WR250X for a commuter bike. It will not be an all-out speed demon as mentioned throughout the thread but it has enough to get out of its way and does so while offering a good deal of fuel economy and "fun" in the process :)

    Good Luck


    DELSURFIN New Member

    Thank you again
    I will keep you posted on my progress and my experiences.
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    An eerily familiar incident only this one was caught on tape…

    Evan van der Spuy, a mountain biker competing with Team Jeep South Africa, was hit by an antelope while racing through the savanna of KwaZulu-Natal province. The video has went viral on YouTube garnering over ten million views and counting.

    As seen on the video, Van der Spuy is riding through the Albert Falls Dam and Game Reserve when a Red Hartebeest appears from outside the view of the camera and t-bones the unsuspecting rider.

    Van der Spuy is thrown completely off his bike and is slammed to the ground with the wild buck landing on top of him. The cyclist was treated for a minor concussion and whiplash and released from the hospital. He sent out a message via Twitter letting his followers know that he was doing well, except for a stiff neck.

    Fortunately he faired a bit better than I did but oh boy do I know how that one felt...

  18. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I will also point out that van der Spuy has credited his (now-destroyed, of course) helmet with saving his life.
  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Harold Olaf Cecil, the owner of Giant Loop, asked for some detail about the bike taken across the Continent almost 4-years ago via twitter. Still the best ride I have ever done and it was cool re-reading all of the above.

  20. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I recently thought about getting back into motorcycles. I love this Yamaha , but it may be too tall for me to handle easily.
    I like the KTM 690 or even 790 Duke , but the 390 Duke is probably plenty of power for a guy who may never go above 55 MPH , lol.
    I also like the Honda 670cc twins , they might be very efficient.
    BillLin likes this.

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