You want to ride around, maybe do some trails, or even cruise down to Cruella’s Croissants for a cuppa. But you don’t need fancy water-cooling, a dizzying array of camshafts and valves, or the price tag that goes with it all. You need the XT250. It has a fairly old-school air-cooled 249cc single backed by a five-speed transmission tucked into a basic steel frame. The conventional fork and shock yield modest wheel travel, the seat height is a reasonable (for a dual-sport) 31.9 inches, and starting is via push button rather than a kickstarter.
Despite being bred for casual riding, the fuel-injected XT250 can actually accomplish a lot, such as bouldering in Moab, weaving through the Alabama woods, or even making long highway treks. Matching tires to the task helps, but where the XT250 falls short of its more sophisticated WR250R sibling is in outright engine performance, suspension and braking capabilities, handling, and, well, you get the picture. The XT250 is a capable basic bike that knows its limits. And if your limits and interests are likewise moderate, you’re a match.
Likes: Bargain price includes fuel injection, front and rear disc brakes
Dislikes: 291-pound curb weight; Sandy Beige paint is far from exciting
Verdict: A basic streetbike and a basic trailbike, all in one