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Dirt and Trail Dec 2019

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South Africas Enduro, Adventure and MX magazine.


THELITTLEYamaha XT 250.Honda CRF250L.GUYSDid you know that in South Africa, bikes under the500cc mark dominate the sales charts? True story. Smallbikes are all the rage at the moment because theyrepresent such great value for money – and they areeconomical to run. We borrowed two of South Africa’sbest-sellers and took them out for a little ride…Neither bike needs much in the way of introduction,both have been around for a while with Hondaadding this pretty black colour scheme, the StealthBlack.Linex Lifestyles XT 250 is in the traditional blueguise, and they mounted an aftermarket Givi screenup front.Our Juan rode the XT on our Gyppo Tuesdayadventure ride, the thought was, that if anyonebattled, we’d have a smaller bike along to help out.As it happened, one of the guys on the ride had somebattery issues, so he used the XT for a short leg untilwe got his bike charged up and sorted.Juan rode the XT with the bigger cc bikes – andin the terrain we rode, the big bikes could not reallygo that fast, so he had no problem keeping up andeven skieting ahead when some photographs wererequired - and while some of the guys on the biggerbikes were sweating a bit – he grinned the whole waythrough.We didn’t take the Honda along because it wasbrand new and once we had run it in a bit, we pittedthe bikes against each other.Back at the office we sat around chatting aboutthe bikes.Guys and Girls. Not only are Small cc bikesgreat as work tools and commercial vehicles, butthey are awesome fun to shoot about on. Small,unintimidating, really low maintenance – and theyare so easy to ride. In fact – a few years ago, we66 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

loaded all of the small cc farm bike we couldfind and headed to Lesotho for the weekend.That was one of the funnest times we havehad on motorcycles.Anyway: We took these two out all overthe back roads in our areas – and we hit somelekker dirt trails…In the adventure segment – the simple factis that for most new riders, a bike like one ofthese is just perfect for getting into the sport.We’ve seen riders buy the biggest baddestbikes around – and to be frank, they areusually scared witless the first few times thatthey get near a patch of dirt. Little bikes likethese are the perfect learning tools – and canbe just as much fun as their bigger brothers.Except on long freeway trips.The beauty of a big cc bike is the fact thatthey are almost as fast as superbikes on theway to your favorite off the beaten tracksdestination. On the little bikes, there is nogetting around the fact that long commutescan be a bit frustrating because of ridercomfort and the lower speeds at which thesebikes run. But hey! You get to see the flowersopen as you go along…If you want a bike that can easily do shortlegs to work and back – and a bike that canexplore the myriad of gravel roads aroundSouth Africa, or even the back roads and veldareas where you live, then a bike like this is,absolutely a great option.The Yamaha XT250: R67950.00This one from Linex Lifestyle Centre(011) 251-4000Yamaha has been building the XT250 since1980 and we’ll bet that a lot of you reading thisweren’t even born yet. Another bit of uselessinfo: In 1982, Rambo rode one in a moviecalled First Blood. The bike is tough enoughto carry Sylvester Stallone, so you know it isgood enough for us mere mortals.With a wide-ratio five-speed and an aircooled250 cc engine, the XT250 is a properlittle dual-sport machine.Two things that we really love.The low seat height and the good groundclearance. We rode it everywhere and neverbashed the skidplate out. The XT250 handlesso nicely, even at low speeds - it has a shortwheelbase, with a super-tight turning radiusthat makes it so maneuverable. And it’s lighttoo at only 132kg’s.The compact LCD instrument panel is neat,with green background lighting. It has framemountedpassenger footpegs for those timesyou want to take off with your buddy, butunless you are quite small, it is a tight fit.As far as the highway goes, you’re okay. TheXT250 tops at around 120kph without havingto wind it up too much, but - if you can, ratherstay off the freeways. As a commuter or abopping-around-town bike - it’s awesome fun.For heading off for some light off-road funand farm roads, you’ve got it made.You’ll need to decide if the 10 litre fuel tankis enough for your travels.DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 67