The XR250R is a trail bike used for on- and off-road purposes. It is a four-stroke, SOHC, 249 cc bike. It is a very reliable, capable motorcycle off-road and does exceptionally well, PARIS DAKAR being one of the known rallies the bike has done exceptionally well in. The XR250L was a heavier, street-legal version. The Latin American version of this bike, known as TORNADO, possesses a DOHC four-valve engine and gives out 23 horsepower.
The engines in both the XR250R and XR250L are identical. In the United States the L has a 3 mm smaller header pipe and a different carburetor to satisfy emissions regulations, though both carbs have a 30 mm throttle body. The engine has a four-valve head with splayed rocker arms to actuate the valves. Unusual for a single-cylinder engine, it has a two-into-one header pipe; after 1996 this became a two-into-two. Throughout its production, XR250R has weighed less than 100 kg (220 lb), whereas the XR250L typically weighs close to 123 kg dry. The R version is kickstart only, features a six-speed transmissions with chain final drive, and has stator ignition. For the pre-1996 models, the suspension travel was 260 mm front and rear. The XR250R is the enduro (competition) model; however, the L version is electric start, with pillion pegs, softer suspension and lower seat height. The changes between 1998 and 2005 consisted of decal updates.
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