YAMAHA YBR250 (2009 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 21 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: Low (304 lbs / 138 kg)


New £3,799
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

With no roadster to fill the void in Yamaha’s range between a learner 125 and something like an 80bhp XJ6, the Japanese firm have decided to bring the YBR250 in to the UK as a limited run. It’s friendly, practical and swift enough to have some fun - plus it's 33bhp licence-friendly too.

The appeal of the Yamaha YBR250 is simple - 90mph, reliable transport that's a gob-smacking group 5 to insure.


Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The YBR250 is one of the easiest machines you’ll find to ride anywhere. It has a very natural, spacious riding position and all the controls are light and simple to use, from the clutch to the throttle to the gears. There’s a good view out of the mirrors and over the traffic, the steering is light enough to let the YBR250 nip in and out of town traffic, and the seat is low enough for shorter riders to get both feet down on the floor at junctions.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you’ve stepped up from a restricted 125, you’ll notice a healthy dose more ‘big bike’ acceleration and enough top-end go to be able to cruise along a ‘real’ motorway speeds on the Yamaha YBR250. The power delivery from the 21bhp, 249cc single-cylinder motor is smooth and easy to get along with. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Styling-wise the Yamaha YBR250 is very ‘belt and braces’ but it has an air of city style about it, and a few nice touches thrown in for good measure too, like the like swoopy tail unit and tank scoops, and the faired-in rear lights. Build quality is on the budget side, but the engine should go on forever.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The YBR250 doesn’t have the presence or the power of the 33bhp race-replica Kawasaki Ninja 250R, but it comes in at £500 cheaper. Just like other ‘big bike’ Yamahas, the YBR250 comes with a two-year warranty, one year’s RAC cover and the first service for free. Find a Yamaha YBR250 for sale.


2 out of 5 (2/5)

Built down to a price, you won’t find any bells and whistles here, the YBR250 is pretty basic. Styling is also basic, but it looks good for it - classy is the word. Compare and buy parts for the Yamaha YBR250 in the MCN Shop.


Engine size 249cc
Engine type 2-valve, single
Frame type Steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 138kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Non-adjustable
Front brake 1 x 282mm disc
Rear brake 130mm drum
Front tyre size 100/80 18 in
Rear tyre size 130/70 17 in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 52 mpg
Annual road tax £52
Annual service cost £100
New price £3,799
Used price -
Insurance group 5 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 21 bhp
Max torque 15 ft-lb
Top speed 90 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 260 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

2009 – Imported into the UK in limited numbers

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA YBR250 (2009 - on)

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA YBR250 (2009 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA YBR250 (2009 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 3.4 out of 5 (3.4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
4 out of 5 Good and cheap. Not many like this one.
30 January 2023 by Carlos Silva

Year: 2009

I trade my XJ6 for this smaller bike. I was looking for something more fuel efficient, lighter and agile to ride in traffic. It is very easy to ride and compared with the XJ6 it's like bicycle. I'm very happy with it but i miss the power on sloping roads. It is very also easy and cheap to maintain and if you like to learn to fix your motorcycle this is a very good option.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Brakes just enough to stop, not much power. With two persons even worst.

Engine 5 out of 5

It is war horse. I know this engine from the Yamaha Serow 225 and it is a great engine, but It needs a bit more power going up.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Because i live near the ocean it has some superficial corrosion.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Only oil and filter every 3000 miles, i make my own maintenance.

Equipment 3 out of 5

One thing that made me choose this motorcycle was the analog style gauges. I switch the Pirelli OEM tires with a brand new pair of Michelin Pilot Street, much safer in wet weather. The central stand would be welcome. It has the brackets but it is almost impossible to find a central stand. In general it is very hard to find accessories to the YBR250 unless you go to the south american motorcycle part stores.

4 out of 5 Buy it, ride it, love it, keep it.
09 December 2021 by Pianofingers

Year: 2009

Annual servicing cost: £100

Bought this from new and have used it on both long mainland journeys and short island trips - I live on an island, which is 26 x 13 miles, lots of hills and twisting, narrow roads , which are rather poorly maintained. This machine takes them all in its stride. The brakes are excellent, although not used often, as the engine braking is excellent too. The gearbox is silky smooth, especially when you learn how to use it. Gear engagement is not felt, they just 'float' in if done slowly. I've got so used to this machine, and it has served me so well for 12 yrs now, that I can't sell it. The engine has a sweet spot at 58 mph and that's plenty fast enough for me. It has a lot of traction. I took it in to have its tappets adjusted, but they didn't do them and charged me anyway (£70), as a result, the performance may be a tad down, but not enough to cause me any concern. It used to vibrate when the oil was cold, but then smoothed out. I dropped the SAE down to a 5 - 40 oil and that cured it; this is never allowed to get dirty and is changed every couple of thousand, as it requires so little. This is a very economical bike to run, especially if you take things steady.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The riding position is extremely comfortable, it being upright with a slight lean forward. When at speed, around 50 or 60 mph, there is no weight on your arms, so no fatigue. A 200 miles trip at around 58 mph saw me arrive quite fresh. In my seventies, that's saying something. This bike is an armchair, and deceptively so. The brakes are quite hot. I did one emergency stop from 50 mph and was amazed at how quickly it stopped, it being well short of where I thought it would end up ... glad nothing was behind me! The back brake is unusually effective, but I don't use the brakes very much and they have never been re-lined in 12 yrs.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is with a 'brain', in that it takes into account so many factors, exhaust backpressure, temperature, mixture ratio, alpha knock, rpm, road speed, feedback from tacho and it varies the ignition advance and retard. It will pull away from a very low rpm ... not nice to do this to an engine, but it is best to change down and open up at 5000 rpm, when it will pull a house down. I've often been surprised at how it pulls up hills, but you must give it chance and keep the rpm above 5000. I normally get a return of about 56 mpg, using small throttle openings and little or no brakes, coasting into situations and accelerating slowly with just a touch of throttle. I enjoy riding, not record breaking. It has never missed a beat, save on one occasion, when the spark plug gave up the ghost and it started missfiring.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The quality of build is fair. My machine is garage kept and when I come back from a wet run, I clean it down and dry it off - after the exhaust has cooled! All the bright parts have remained good. The downpipe of the exhaust has now blown a tiny hole. The exhaust gasses on this machine are extremely hot, as they are recycled and the 'cat cracker' requires those temperatures for efficiency of fuel burn.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

At 7000 miles it required a new rear suspension pin. At 10,000 miles it blew a hole in the exhaust's downpipe, which is very thin and becomes incandescent i.e. just a little less than dull red. I lubricate the chain quite a lot ... every time I go for a ride, but they only last a few thousand miles. The teeth never wear, but they change the sprockets as a matter of course.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The equipment is sparse, as this bike is built down to a price. I've had three sets of tyres fitted, but liked Bridgestone best. Due to the low speeds that this machine is driven at, there is little to tell between one make and another. The under-seat tools have never been used, as the machine is so reliable, but suffice to say, it space available for them is large enough to get you out of trouble, as it will carry a number of tools.

Buying experience: The machine was bought from a dealer and back in 2009, the price was £3000 ... and it was the best three 'K' I'd ever spent. I didn't test ride it prior to purchase, as it was freshly arrived and came in a crate. However, upon climbing aboard, within about 50 yds, I just knew I was going to keep it for a very long time . Insurance was cheap.

4 out of 5 Commuter
11 October 2020 by Yam 250 rider.

Version: Standard UK model

Year: 2010

Good overall more below.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Great, as said I'm a heavy rider, I've not bottomed out the suspension and the pre load on the rear mono is on 3 so its pretty good, that's on bumby roads the front forks have about a miles worth of travel I've banged it down some pot holes to test it and soaks it up with ease, the seat is nice and comfy about 80-100 miles before you take a break is about right but by that time you will be stopping for fuel or for some other reason anyway, (i take a break every 100 miles regardless rest my mind for a moment), brakes are ample, don't expect to have the rear wheel off the ground, but they stop a lump like me at an okay rate, the bike isn't a sports bike so you don't have to stop quickly from great speed so you won't be in any bother and I've not managed to lock up the rear yet.

Engine 5 out of 5

Bomb proof, automatic cam chain tentioner too, 21 horses push you a long nice and smoothly up to a nice cruising speed of 60 at 6,250 revs even in face wind and uphill it'll pull from 60 to overtake lorries or other slow moving vehicles, I wouldn't want to hold it there but 70 or more is attainable, the gear box can be a bit hit and miss going from neutral to first and first to second however I add I have little feet so it could be me not pushing the lever far enough other than that the gear box engine clutch switches are all fine.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Built nicely, doesn't feel or look cheap in the slightest, really solid little bike, only corrosion is on the down pipe (not stainless) so keep it clean, I'm stripping it down to bare metal to spot any rust marks and deal with it immediately, look also on the drum brake linkage and gear lever link, something to watch out for is the cut off circuits, it has a throttle sensor which cuts out the bike if it thinks you're trying to rev it while or just after starting, a lean sensor, a sensor in the fuel cap, a clutch sensor and something in the gearbox as well i think, its never let me down and runs a dream.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I've no idea what a full service will be as I've only had it a short while all I've done is oil change so far chain tightened which is a doddle due to the marks on the swing arm, as is adjusting the rear brake lever play, everything is easy to do. I've not worked out properly the mpg but I'd say with gentle running you'd get around 65mpg possibly more and I'm a heavy rider.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Well i can't really rate this as its designed to be a basic commuter bike so it doesn't come with heated grips and seat, or sat nav built in or anything, but as a work horse little bike that's as reliable as a brick then its excellent.

Buying experience: 2 grand for a low mileage 2010 version without a single scratch on it and runs like a swiss watch pretty much I'm happy as a pig is wassname.

4 out of 5 Ideal city runner
31 August 2016 by Vladimir Montenegro

Year: 2009

Owner for 4 years. Made 10.000 miles, extremely reliable, with very low runing costs. Rear brake is shit, and it needs more power uphill and in overtaking. On longer journeys strong vibrations from one cylinder engine become a problem. Looks very nice and attractive.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Rear brake is useless.

Engine 4 out of 5

If it was a little bit stronger...

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Lcd display with lot of information... everything that you need from this kind of bike, center stand would be nice to have

Buying experience: Bought from the first owner very cheap

4 out of 5 Easy rider
01 February 2011 by westinch

Primarily a great bike for zipping through the traffic, but it's still at home on twisties. Cheap to buy and cheap to run too...

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Back to top