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Yamaha Poised to Enter 250cc Battle with R25: “Concept” Takes Bow in Tokyo


Looking very much like an early stages production model, the Yamaha R25 concept is on display at the Tokyo Motor Show. With Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki all playing in the 250 cc Sport market (the Kawasaki now punched out to 300 cc), it is now time for Yamaha to join the battle.

Like Kawasaki and Suzuki, Yamaha has chosen a parallel twin engine configuration.  Fuel injected and with a six-speed transmission, Yamaha is revealing no other detailed specifications at this point.  Naturally, it is using Valentino Rossi and MotoGP to sell the concept (see the video below), which will likely see production in the latter part of 2014. We don’t see why Yamaha won’t eventually bring this model to the U.S. market.




  1. idhuy says:

    I’m from Indonesia and many motorsport lovers waiting for Yamaha 250 cc, because Honda and Kawasaki is already first selling 250 cc motorsport in here.

    I found speculative rendering from our local website, here it is —>

  2. MGNorge says:

    ‘Spose Yamaha purposely chose to show this bike more in racing form than street on accident?

  3. xlayn says:

    Now put the turbo there….

  4. Geo man says:

    that looks like fun, If my lanky frame fits I am going to buy one to race 🙂

  5. gumbi says:

    Looks like Yamaha emptied the “ugly jar” of humiliation on Vale by placing him in this ad. On the other hand, he should be the preferred rider for the blue team if he’s the one helping move the product out the door.

  6. Brian says:

    Wow!!! Thanks goodness Yamaha emptied the “ugly jar” on the MT series, because there isn’t an ounce of it on this bike! This is the best looking R bike in a good while. Hope they take the MT engines and put them in something that looks like this!!!

  7. Brian says:

    Slick looking little bike, styling and fun factor over the Honda in my book for 250’s market. that would like cool in the garage next to the Fiat R-1.

  8. Provologna says:


    I might not be the only one who’d purchase this best looking bike in its class just for the pure joy of looking at it, even if it had slightly less performance than a competing 300.

    But I also agree, a 400cc version of this class would fully erase any desire for something bigger/heavier.

    This genre has a direct analogy in the car world. BMW’s small 3-Series owned it’s market niche of one for oh, about thirty years or so. Only several years ago did other car makers start to compete directly with BMW for this market niche.

    Motorcycle makers ignored this market for far too many years (except for the earlier mentioned 250 Ninja).

    • Dave says:

      BMW’s 3 has traveled a similar trajectory as modern sport bikes. It began as a small but quality car at a decent price and gradually grew into a premium, expensive car that replaced the 5-series’ position in the market until the 1 series released and the cycle begins again.

      Same with sportbikes: From 600cc high performance/value bikes with steel frames and simpler but effective components to $12k + bikes with premium parts.

      I think we’re seeing the emergence of the moto-world’s 1-series. If history is any indication, we’ll eventually get our 400cc bike (we did before), especially if the KTM is successful.

  9. Glen says:

    “this a bike really packs a panch”

  10. pat dep says:

    looks awesome !! Been riding for 25 years and love the 250 300 cc category. Now lets see how it will look in the end with the sore elements like; mirrors, stock exhaust, chain guard, lights. Just love you’re website.

  11. todd says:

    I want one. Now.

  12. kawatwo says:

    Looks awesome. Looks more hardcore than the other entry level sportbikes. Probaby very light and premium suspension. Keep it around the price of the ninja 300 and it would sell.

  13. xlayn says:

    Well the R125 was also really nice looking…
    No comments on how nice sounds the engine?

  14. oro-oro says:

    jrosss! I guess it’s light for commuter bike…

  15. joe b says:

    I like it a lot, think that this will be a hotly contested market! and I am not a Yamaha guy…

  16. Gary says:

    I like the looks of this bike. The 250/300 class is really taking off, be interesting to see some comparisons. Also, don’t discount the up and coming Hyosung X-5 250 both in street fighter and sport bike configurations. The street fighter version just trounced the 250 class in a recent Korean road race. It won up against 14 Honda CBR250’s.

    • Tom Shields says:

      Now that the U.S. will have what everyone has been clamoring for – lightweight, small-displacement sportbikes – we’ll see if there is truly a demand.

      • Dave says:

        The Ninja 250 has always been one of Kawasaki’s top selling model in the US. There was always demand.

        • Tom Shields says:

          For sure, Dave. Now we’ll see if the market is big enough for 3 manufacturers to play in.

          • todd says:

            It’s a bigger market than liter bikes and they don’t mind making those.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “It’s a bigger market than liter bikes…”

            …in the 3rd world.

          • todd says:

            it begs repeating. Kawasaki’s Ninja 250 was their best selling bike by a fair margin. Just a hunch, but I’m pretty certain their 650 outsells the big bikes too.

  17. Don Fraser says:

    What part of “concept don’t ya’ll understand? Yamaha probably won’t bring it here anyway, look at that nice new 670 crossplane twin for Europe.

  18. frank says:

    Lights! .. We don’t need no stinkin’ lights!
    Oh Yeah, I ride at night…a lot. Yamaha, where are the stinkin’ lights!

    That is one beautiful motorcycle. Now make it a 350 or 400 please!!

    • thoppa says:

      Oh yes please – my perfect race to work bike – 400cc twin should be good for 50 ponies, 25 ft/lbs and 350lbs – which would just leave one question – where do I sign ?

  19. frank says:

    ‘…we now have to duct tape a flashlight onto our helmets to ride at night?’ .. lol!
    Thanks for that image and the laugh.

    If you do decide to go that route Jake, ya might want to think about styling it up with a ‘helmet Mohawk’ taped on top…I know I would. 🙂

    Nice looking bike. 350-400…yes!

  20. Bobby says:

    Kawasaki and Honda have already moved to roughly 300cc’s for their small displacement, entry-level sportbike. Yamaha better either hit this one far outta the ball park or be prepared for lower sales or punch out the engine to a comparable displacement.

    • lynchenstein says:

      As long as they price it correctly I think it’ll do fine. At least here in BC, the insurance rates take a large jump over 250cc, then again at 400. Anything 249cc and lower enjoy relatively affordable insurance premiums…and that makes it an attractive purchase to new riders or those on a budget.

      • jim says:

        250 would make sense for EU sales to match licensing but why would you sell it as a 250 in the US unless it has a unique selling advantage over the 300’s – price, weight, handling, or user/dealer configurable displacement?

  21. Matt says:

    The cost of insurance for 600’s and bigger has gone through the roof. I am 41yo,clean driving record. Last sportbike I had was a 2006 GSXR 1000. My insurance on it was $750 a year full coverage with $500 deductibles. I just got a quote on a 2012 GSXR 1000 and all the companies quoted me between $2400 and 3400 a year. I know several owners of motorcycle dealerships around the country. They are not selling many sportbikes over 1000cc because of insurance costs

    • Matt says:

      I meant sportbikes over 600cc

    • Matt says:

      I meant they are not selling or having a hard time selling anything over 600cc’s because cost of insurance

    • chillychan says:

      make up your mind lol! j/k.

    • Dave says:

      I got a quote like that on my Superhawk 10+ years ago but switched companies and came in @ $550/yr. I don’t think prices like that are very new. A staggering percentage of sportbikes get crashed and generate claims.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The cost of insurance for 600′s and bigger has gone through the roof.”

      next time you see your local wheelie boys/”stuntas fo’ life” harassing SUV drivers, be sure to stop and thank them.

  22. Nick W says:

    Put me down for a 45 hp, 375cc, 3 cylinder.

  23. Dan says:

    Found this info:
    Yamaha today unveiled the ‘R25 Concept Bike’ at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013. The production model would be powered by a twin-cylinder 250cc engine, which is expected to develop max power and max torque of 28 BHP and 25 NM respectively. Expected price tag is INR 1.75 lakhs.

  24. Norm G. says:

    behold, the precursor to a full on M1 styled R1. this is the tease.

    • Norm G. says:

      …if you please.

    • jake says:

      So you are basically saying the next R-1 will not be an I-4. No way an I-4 could look so thin.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I think he is just saying that this bike is clearly styled after the MI (which looks like a pretty lithe I4 to me BTW) and that we can expect the next gen R1 to be styled after the M1 as well. Seems like a definite to me.

        • Dave says:

          I think it was Honda that said admitted years ago that they over-style the street stuff because without a logo-heavy paint job, a functional, gp style bodywork wouldn’t sell to the majority of sportbike buyers. Even this 250’s body has many more facets/edges than the M1.

      • Norm G. says:

        see, billy idol… err… texas jeremy get’s it.

  25. jake says:

    Looks like a Ysr50 on steroids, and I mean that in a good way. But where’s the headlight? Surprised no one else has noticed.

    Is this part of the new austerity plan – we now have to duct tape a flashlight onto our helmets to ride at night? Or is it hidden in what looks to be a huge air intake duct up front?

    • Dan says:

      It’s missing mirrors and turn signals too. Race version?

    • Bud says:

      I don’t there is a headlight hidden in the air inlet because of the lack of other street legal stuff but it could go in there. A 250 doesn’t need an air inlet that size!

  26. RAD says:

    This in a 400 would just be insane .
    I remember the FZR400 very fondly.

    The styling on this looks high $ .

  27. Mike G says:

    Enough with the 250s!!! Make it a 400!!!

  28. Jeremy in TX says:


  29. Nick says:

    Looks like a great choice for the aspiring sportbike rider or the the more seasoned rider who appreciates a light bike. It doesn’t look cheap at all.

  30. Tom says:

    Yamaha knocked the styling outta the park on this one.

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