Yamaha history question

DougRoost

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#1
Whatever happened to the Yamaha IT line? I remember really wanting an IT250 in the early '80s but was still in college. Did the TTR's sort of replace them? Or did Yamaha buyers just buy YZ's? It seems like the modern day answer to the IT is the WRF.
 
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#2
Yamaha discontinued the IT line after '86. For a short time they offered the WR 200 in the early 90's but it didn't stick around very long. The YZ 250 was available in an off road version as the YZWR in '88 or '89, the name was then shortened to WR in the following years . Yamaha also came out with the WR 500 which was a YZ 490 in a different frame (I believe).

It seemed like back in the 80's Yamaha just decided to quite competing with Kawasaki in the 200 class. Fortunitly Kawi kept producing and updating their 200. I was sad to see the IT go away since I had an '85 200. It is too bad that Yamaha doesn't make something to compete with the KDX today since I would probably still be on a Yamaha as the Yamaha dealer in my area is much better than any of the Kawasaki dealers. Oh well, I guess I still can't bring myself to seriously consider the WR 250F with it's just under 6 grand price tag and sky high, 39.3" seat height.
 
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DougRoost

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#3
Thanks for connecting the dots! I agree with you on the sky high seat height of the new Yamaha's. I seriously considered a WR250F until I threw my leg over one (I'm 5'8"). One question: is the WR line still around or is it only WRF's now?

I rather lucked into my KLX. I was looking for a used XR250, or maybe XR400, and a guy who had an XR400 also had this KLX he was rebuilding. It really seemed like an excellent value, kind of a taimed down WRF with a better frame, so I jumped at it (no regrets). I only later learned about the KDX, else I would have given that a strong look. Then again, I did ride a KTM 300 E/XC and have to admit I was biased to a thumper.

In fact, this month's Dirt Rider has a getting started insert that does a quick review of all brands. On Kawasaki, they note the KLX300 is probably the best handling 4 stroke out there as well as the best choice in 4 strokes if you're somewhat vertically challenged! They also say great things about the KDX. It would appear the main competitor to the KDX is the KTM 200 E/XC (which a friend of mine has and is awesome). If only Kawi would update these bikes a little...
 
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#5
The KLX is a great bike and very underrated. My brother has one and I fell in love with it the other night. His bike showed me that I have to do something to improve the handling on my KDX i.e. stiffer front springs. If you haven't already done so, check out www.planetklx.com, that site has all kinds of useful info for the bike. Right now it looks like they are working on the site but hopefully it will be back up soon.

As far as the WR line, the last year for the two stroke WR 250 was '96 or '97. That bike went away when the YZ and WR 400 came out. '94 was a good year for the WR 250 but they seemed to have a problem with detonation. I had a '93 WR 250 and it was a beast. Super fast, very powerful, would have been a great bike for wide open spaces. I replaced it with my KDX. Far more fun for my conditions.
 

DougRoost

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#6
Agree with you on both. I had never even considered a Kawasaki, thinking only Honda or Yamaha, until I discovered the KLX300. And the KDX is a great bike as well, though it is universally loved in comparison to the KLX. The only reason I'll ever sell my KLX is to buy something like a KTM 400 E/XC (if I decide I want the added acqusition and maintenance costs).

I can't wait until the PlanetKLX site migration is done. Fortunately I had saved some of the images to disk before it was taken down (Spodekill's 365, the Mikuni carb install, etc.). I had also bookmarked MotorcycleOnline (especially like this review of the KLX300 vs. the XR400: http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcdirt/klxvsxr.html). Still, we miss it and hope it comes back better than ever soon.
 
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#7
Yeh, the early IT's were great bikes, I had both the 81 YZ and the IT 250's, I like the IT better, and as far as the IT 200 goes, it weighed 205 lbs and ripped ! If only Yamaha could do that again with a modern bike, the ero's would be in trouble I think. How about if Kawaski instead of offering a 200 and a 220 offered the same 200 and a real race 200 like a 200 motor in a KX 125 rolling chasis or something simular to the GasGas or KTM 200's, They would sell them all, come on Kaw. get us a KXE 200 or a KDXR 200, R is for RACE !:D