are enthusiast are can be geeks too. We talk in numbers, models, riddles and secretly, we love it. As we all know these enthusiasts come in all different levels and on the top step of the podium in geekiness level is reserved for followers of Yamaha’s V-twin TZR250.

Yamaha produced eleven different versions of the V-twin TZR250 between 1991 and 1999. To most of us they all look identical, but to those in the know there are significant differences that make a big difference in value too.

The mid 80s was the last great era when new two stroke motorcycles appeared with gusto. Trying to pick the best early 1990s two-stroke 250 GP replica is a bit like deciding which Playboy bunny model you want to take for dinner. They’re all brilliant… make that absolutely brilliant. And they are all special in their own ways.

29 years ago, this was a revolution. 29 years later it’s still a unique experience that challenges your riding ability and rewards the effort when you get it right.

The TZR250 may have lost out Kawasaki and Suzuki on the track, but it was more suited to the real-world situations that road riding throws up (even if its racey looks suggested otherwise). The TZR250 could even take a passenger, but I’m afraid your pillion will get off and leave you after less than five miles.

This was no new bike with an old engine, the TZR250 model featured a freshly designed lump, and shared no obvious parts with the RD350YPVS that still sat in Yamaha range – it has a compact water-cooled unit with a six-speed gearbox of closely geared cogs. Kick start was the only starting option. 50bhp was quoted for the new unit, though 45bhp was more believable. It featured Yamaha’s YPVS set up, which allows the shape of the exhaust port to change via a servo that pulls a pair of cables mounted on the end of the power valve, giving the 250cc motor some much needed midrange Engine is tiny and torquey. The extra torque doesn’t sound much, but is 10-20 per cent up on the TZR’s competition.

Yamaha claimed that the V-twin TZR’s crankcases (like the frame) were identical to their 250 GP bike. It was very close, but I think the use of the word identical may have stretched the truth a little. Unless they have started putting side stands and footpegs on race bikes now ??

The TZR-R had the sharpest steering geometry, shortest wheelbase and least mass of any of the 250s. It also had the most cramped riding position and, in standard trim the suspension was good, but not spectacular. Ridden with commitment, a fit and healthy TZR250R will out-turn pretty much any other roadgoing motorcycle. And the midrange power lets it pull away from the other 250 two-strokes exiting the corner too.

When launched in the 90’s the way this TZR stopped was amazing and was just about the best you could ever experience. Twin four-piston calipers with only 126kg to stop had a relatively easy time of it. Fast forward to 2019 and braking technology has improved hand over fist. It’s one of the biggest differences between old bikes and new ones.

With a set of appropriately sticky tyres and freshly rebuilt calipers a V-twin TZR will still stop well though. Here’s hoping you still weigh the same ten stone you did as a teenager.

None of the 250 race replicas were built for comfort, but a little discomfort on a TZR250R is a price worth paying because you only ride it for 50 miles at a time before stopping for a rest anyway.

The TZR250 bristled with cutting edge technology when it was launched, at its heart is the Deltabox alloy box-section frame: strong and light. The lines of the frame dominate the bike’s look, like a TZ racer for the road. The neat touches like alloy bars and the cute side mounted choke lever add to the bike’s charm. The build quality is good, and even the clockset is clear and purposeful.

Fun factor: the TZR is still cracking riders bike. Looks: It’s a classic, prices are already reflecting this. Cheap to maintain: For a two stroke the design is quite basic, easy to work on, and parts are readily available.

The TZR250 fits nicely as an investment bike. Prices are much cheaper than earlier LC and YPVS models but won’t always live in the shadows. Buy the best you can find, look after it and watch its value increase.

How much you pay depends on which version you buy, where you get it from and the condition it is in. Just like any other used bike. The difference here is that the choice is much smaller and so you might have to wait a while (and/or compromise on your requirements) to find the right bike for you at the right price.

This bike was originally Yellow but had a much needed colour change to Red/White in 2017. This is a registered on log book and with DVLA.Original service book seems to have been misplaced and we have a replacement book with services in 2018 and 2019 since the colour change.

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