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Old 17 Jun 2010
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xlr 250 Baja - whats it like

Anyone any thoughts on this bike, it appears to be rare in the UK and I am looking for a Greenlane and commuter bike, plus the option of getting it to take me across to the HUMM.

I appreciate that its going to be better off road than my XT600 in every way, but whats it goign to be like on the motorways across France and into Spain?

I obviously appreciate that I will have to be travelling very very light! but will she sit at 70 all day?

also any thoughts ona reasonable price for it?

many thanks in advance


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Old 19 Jun 2010
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Few years back, I had a Jap import 1994 XR250 - lights on all the time kick & electric start, low milage in good nick. It was a nice little bike, but lacked power for open road stretches.

It was great for the back lanes & B roads, but get out on dual carriage way & beyond and the poor little thing was being thrashed to keep up with the traffic - and it was on stock gearing too!

IMHO if you intend to do some high speed miles, consider a few more cubes

Should pick up a tidy bike for about a grand
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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I am guessing the UK version of this bike is what we call the XL250R ?
This is the dual sport/road legal version of the XR250R. Or did the UK get a different bike?

I owned a 2003 XR250R. This was the Off Road only version. It had a head and tail light but no signals, brake light. Race bike actually and incredibly capable and long lasting. Honda stopped importing the XR250 and XR400 to the USA in around 2004, the XL's (street legal) stopped in about 2000 or so.

The "L" (XL Version) was a bit heavier, different carb, cam timing and de-tuned a bit from the XR250, still a good bike!

My XR250 had a Wide Ratio 6 speed trans, but off road gearing, not road gearing like the XL version. I think the XL250R has a 5 speed WR trans? I don't recall. Should be able to sit on 65 mph or maybe 70 mph.

If you get an old beater you will most definitely have to go through the suspension and bearings (link, swingarm and head). Well worth it as this bike will be magic on the trails in the Pyrennes if its straight and sprung correctly for your weight. I was so impressed with the XR's off road capability. (this coming off racing two strokes and four strokes)

Excellent on tight, technical trails. Not so good in fast desert riding but no problems really, just a bit down on power. My bike did pretty good in Baja.
(2 trips there) But really was at its best in tight woods, dodging trees and slamming off berms and going straight up ... and straight down ... on very steep trails. Firm up the suspension, you will love this bike. Keep oil in it, do not overheat or over rev and it will last for many years. Good luck, buy a good one, not some old beater. Worth it.

A well set up XR250 eats rocks up ... easy on the rider.

Not great on the high speed stuff but great in rocky trails and deep sand.

A true tight woods bike. Easy to ride fast in these conditions.
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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maybe this baja is more your style !
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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To be clear it is an XLR250 Baja

Thanks guys, got it for allot less than mentioned here and elsewhere.
To clear up some confusion it is an XLR250
Kick only, with indicators and brake lights

Its a big version of the little bike above this post, with two massive headlights than seriously illuminate anything in front of you, quite unusual for me to be riding at night and see things!

There are some faults-

1>There's a little electrical gremlin associated with the headlights and I presume heat / speed, causing the bike to cut out, and is rectified once the headlights are switched temporarily off...

2> The oversized fuel tank, though designed for the XLR250 from Acerbis has the petcock mounted only one one side about 3 litres above the lobes, so effectively 6 litres of fuel can be used - its actually worse, because about 5 litres on the right Lobe is unusable... any thoughts anyone?

means my magnificent 23 litre tank is useable for only 13 litres!

The headlight surround has a crack in the aluminium and there is an oil leak on the right hand side engine casing but I presume that this is due to a hashed up gasket, as it had a messy silicon budge to keep it from leaking.

Soon after passing my Bike license I realised that under powered bikes were a liability, and I maintain that with this bike, but having a limited amount of power means that I can gain some confidence dumping the clutch and revving like hell....

For the HUMM, I cant see myself making it to Spain from the UK on a 250cc bike.
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Old 20 Jun 2010
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dont know what the "baja" bit is about, so i googled a pic. probably just the aforementioned headlights. the XL250 is a good reliable bike, wont set the world on fire but if your greenlaning in britain you will have to pick it up ten times and expect it to start afterwards, so its ideal for that. and because you will be dropping it all the time the big tank shouldnt be filled anyway,(ebay a normal tank?) and take the indicators off. and above all, have a laugh

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Old 21 Jun 2010
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Hi, i hired a 250 Baja in Sri Lanka for 10 days. It was a good wee bike on and off road but not great for sitting at 70 mph. The seat was extremly uncomfortable. AndyB
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Old 22 Jun 2010
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I had a late 80s XLR250 which I think is the same bike but without the big headlight. It was like an XR but with pillion pegs, indicators, metal tank and a rear drum brake.

It was a cracking little bike. It had been well used but well looked after and was super reliable.

I think the 250 RFVC engine is sweet.

I did a couple of years of hard trailriding on it before buying my Dr. Zed.

Wish I'd had the room to keep it

The only problem I had was identifying parts sometimes. My model year was a bit of a parts-bin bike using a mix of XL and XR parts.
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Old 23 Jun 2010
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I had an XLR250 last year, got rid because of the kick start and poor starting from the engine being hot. I now use a Yamaha TTR250, fantastic bike, has 6 gears, so with the right sprockets can do 70mph, plus go up mountains, leccy start, plus i fitted additional lights.
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