2012 Dual-Sport Shootout - Video

2012 Husqvarna TE250 vs. 2012 Suzuki DR-Z400 vs. 2013 Yamaha WR250R

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Street/Dirt Bike Summary

“You have to be a dedicated dirtbike rider to justify the $1,400 price increase the TE demands over the Suzuki,” Tom states matter-of-factly.

Put a different way, if you’re looking for the dual-sport motorcycle that is biased toward the street side of things, yet is at home and capable where the pavement ends, the Suzuki DR-Z400S is the bike here that doesn’t over-commit to one extreme at the cost of the other.

2011 Yamaha WR250R Off-Road Riding

Where the DR-Z is the political moderate, the Husqvarna TE250 is unabashedly an extremist. The Husky has an agenda, and that is to get to the trails ASAP. While the DR-Z is a competent off-roader, in the hands of a skilled dirtbike rider, the lightweight, athletic TE250 will sprint away like a March hare, doing high-flying tailwhips along the way, and the DR-Z rider likely won’t see the TE again until the trail ends.

2012 Husqvarna TE250 Front Left

The Husky is a capable motorcycle on the street; the same traits that make it such a good dirt bike (light weight, quick steering, stable chassis, excellent brakes, etc.) also make it entertaining on pavement. The difference between the Suzuki and Husqvarna’s street worthiness comes down to a matter of which bike is more comfortable for the rider to spend time aboard for extended paved mileage. That bike is the DR-Z400S. But we knew this going in; no grand revelations have unfolded during this comparison of the obvious.

Yamaha’s WR250R was sorely missed as a real competitor, rather than one imagined. But we have enough factual info on the WR to know that it falls somewhere in the middle of this group.

However, experience with all three bikes tells us that the Yamaha, while fairly capable as a streetbike, doesn’t have the Suzuki’s extra horsepower and torque, and its 20-something pounds weight savings over the DR isn’t significant enough that most riders could discern an advantage. An 0.8-inch lower seat than the DR-Z might be helpful to some riders, but the WR isn’t quite as cozy for the rider.

The WR will be easier to manage when in the dirt, helping justify its $500 premium over the DR-Z400S, but the difference won’t be huge to anyone who does only mild off-roading. And now that we know the Husqvarna is the off-road king in this group, for the dirtbike junkie, the $900 gap from the Yamaha to the Husqvarna is a no-brainer for getting the best dirt bike here, the TE250.

The WR250R is the middle child, but also last in line.

2012 Suzuki DRZ-400S Street Riding

By the Numbers
  Husqvarna TE250 Suzuki DR-Z400S Yamaha WR250R
MSRP $7,599 $6,199 $6,990
Engine Type liquid-cooled four-stroke Single liquid-cooled four-stroke Single liquid-cooled four-stroke Single
Displacement 249.5cc 398cc 250cc
Bore & Stroke 79.0 x 50.9mm 90.0 x 62.6mm 77.0 x 53.6mm
Compression 13.6:1 11.3:1 11.8:1
HP (BHP or Rear Wheel) 24.3 rwhp 31.6 rwhp 26.8 rwhp
Torque 13.4 ft-lbs as tested 23.4 ft-lbs as tested 16.7 ft-lbs as tested
Frame cro-mo single-tube steel, cradle-type steel, cradle-type cast & forged alum, w/steel sections, semi-double-cradle-type
Wheelbase 57.0" 58.5" 55.9"
Front Suspension 48mm USD Kayaba w/11.8" travel 49mm USD w/11.3" travel 46mm USD w/10.6" travel
Rear Suspension fully adjustalbe Kayaba monoshock w/11.6" travel monoshock w/11.6" travel fully adjustable monoshock w/10.6" travel
Front Wheel spoke-laced 1.6 x 21" spoke-laced 21" spoke-laced 21"
Rear Wheel spoke-laced 2.15 x 18" spoke-laced 18" spoke-laced 18"
Tires 90/90 x21 front, 140/90 x 18 rear 80/100 x 21 front, 120/90 x 18 rear 80/10 x 21 front, 120/80 x 18 rear
Front Brakes dual-piston single caliper w/260mm wave rotor dual-piston single caliper w/250mm rotor dual-piston single caliper w/250mm wave rotor
Rear Brakes single-piston caliper w/240mm wave rotor single-piston caliper w/220mm rotor single piston caliper w/230mm wave rotor
Fuel Capacity 2.25 gal. U.S. 2.6 gal. U.S. 2.0 gal. U.S.
Weight 246 lbs w/o fuel 317 lbs curb weight 295 lbs curb weight
Seat Height 35.8" 36.8" 36.6"

Related Reading
2012 Husqvarna TE250 Review
2012 Suzuki DR-Z400S Review
2011 Yamaha WR250R Review
2009 Yamaha WR250X Review
2008 Yamaha WR250R & WR250X Review
2008 Lightweight Dual-Purpose Shootout
All Things On-Off Road on Motorcycle.com
All Things Husqvarna on Motorcycle.com
All Things Suzuki on Motorcycle.com
All Things Yamaha on Motorcycle.com

View all Photos PHOTOS & VIDEOS

2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_4879
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_4879
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5229
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5229
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5220
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5220
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5223
2012 Dual Sport Shootout IMG_5223
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