1976 Yamaha XS250 from United Kingdom


Rubbish. A jelly mould on wheels


Big end failure at 22,000 miles.

Would NOT start again if the engine was even slightly warm, unless bumped down hill for 50 yards or more.

General Comments:

What a load of rubbish this bike turned out to be.

It handled like a sack of potatoes with the acceleration of a snail, the fuel consumption of a V12, the reliability of a chocolate tea pot and the top speed of a kiddies tricycle.

0 to 60 needed a 45 degree down hill slope and a gale of wind behind, and don't bother to use the engine, otherwise it wouldn't get there.

I'm sorry to say that this was THE most disappointing machine that I have ever ridden. The lights were OK, as were the brakes, not that they were ever used much as it just didn't reach any speed high enough to need to use them. Nothing, except the big end, wore out, but then again there was no stress on any of the component parts as acceleration was abysmal.

In the 7,000 miles that I drove this machine I never had to tighten the chain as there was not enough power to stretch it. I did not need to replace any tyres for the same reason. If I ever did get it up to a reasonable speed the ride was akin to sitting on a jelly mould at the funfair. I had checked the frame for cracks and lose nuts and bolts on more than one occasion, but found nothing so I concluded that the frame must have been made from a new rubber impregnated steel and that was an end to it.

Even though the oil was changed every 1,000 miles, the big end on the left cylinder failed at a paltry 3,000rpm in 3rd gear after only 22,000 miles. I just couldn't be bothered to repair it, so I gave the machine away to some enthusiastic kids who just wanted some wheels for a school project, so I told them it was the whole machine or no deal. They took it and I heard no more.

I have ridden other Yam's since then (RD 250, RD-LC 350, 500 singles) and have not experienced anything even remotely that bad. I think I might have been just unlucky with this machine, but I would not buy another XS250 for fear it might happen again.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2007

24th Jun 2008, 06:42


So, it would appear from your exceptional report that, the boys at Yamaha created a series of increasingly ghastly machines that are XS!

Do you think that they may have been inspired by a desire to create a base line. A datum. A bottom. An absolute zero from which every bike subsequent to it, or even preceding it, could not under-perform, even if they tried.. hard?

My only other question is; do you think that the XS series improved with engine size, or just demonstrated 'true evil' across the CC spectrum?

22nd May 2012, 18:35

Sometimes I wish I lived in Britain, just for the humour. Well, maybe not live, a layover between flights perhaps.