Quite where MCN got 80mph from, I have no idea but they obviosly didn't actualy ride one to the top speed (unless the rider was obease & they went uphill into a 50mph wind). Most 'stock' WR250X's (including mine) are good for 85-90mph. The power is available all through the rev & speed range. Noticably more than a learner restricted 125! Mine has a dep pipe, with air box flap removed & does a genuine 100mph.
Handling was a little vague on the stock suspention settings but winding the rear preload up 3mm (I weigh 12 stone) cured all the problems. No chicken strips on my back tyre. It now handles like a dream & out corners all but the very brave. Sub 100mph there is little to beat it. It's very light, under 80 it flicks side to side better than any other bike I have ridden, including a few well known road racers. The super handling is paired with good rubber but this does need to be properly warmed (a few minutes) before you get the best out of it. If you doubt my comments, check out youtube to see footage of this bike being used to great efffect on go cart tracks & at 'handling' comps.
MCN score this 2 stars for equipment. The main gripe being the seat. As others have stated, this softens up. For me this was at about 1k, after that, it felt as good as any other low capacity trialer. The controls are basic & functional, what more can you ask for?
Quality is top notch & realiability will only be proved with time. The bike is reletively new but since it's inception ('08) has suffered no specific problems other than early models having a 7% low spedo. Aledgedly being set incorrectly, as it reads from the crank & didn't compensate for the difference in gear ratio & tyre/wheel size from the 'R' version.
Basicallly you get what you pay for, this is a quality hi-tech bike. It don't come cheap. Of course you can get larger capacity, more powerfull bikes for less money but they are unrefined, heavy & dull in comparison, lacking the tech & quality.
I am unimpressed by MCN's 'ameture' review of this bike. At best it is a 'shallow' & hurried attempt to get 'something' to press.
I would have thought they would have taken the time to at least set the suspention up & take it to a suitable location to test the handling & top speed. Their review is ill informed & misleading. I have to say that on the face of this review, I wouldn't trust any other oppinions they put to press.
Not a good situation for such a well thought of publication.