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The 10 Best 250 cc Motorcycles of All-Time

Best 250 cc Motorcycles

Throughout the history of motorcycles, the 250 ccs have been a popular choice for motorcyclists of all kinds. From road bikes to motocross, this engine size has been the preference of some riders who enjoy the power of the bike with its sizing and weight. It's a good fit for a broad expanse of the population. To celebrate the 250cc motorcycle, here are the 10 best models of all-time.

10. 1962 James M25 Superswift

1962 James M25 Superswift

You can still find examples of the James M25 Superswift offered on the classic collectibles market. This is a vintage dirt bike that was designed and manufactured in Britain. This is an important bike in the history of the UK motorcycle industry. The manufacturer started in 1897 and continued through 1966. The Superswift was a later model offered by the company with its strong handling and performance and stylishness that made it a popular model. The bike was produced from 1962 until 1966 when James went out of business along with many other smaller manufacturers of the time.

9. 1994 Aprilia RS250

1994 Aprilia RS250

The Aprilia RS250 was first released in 1994. The bike was also offered in a 125 model to enter the racing circuit. It was uniquely designed for Grand Prix racing and the bike didn't disappoint, winning a title in the racing circuit with rider Max Biaggi. Aprilia considered detuning the engine to make the racer a road bike but the engineering challenges were a bit too much for any real gains, so it remained one of the most popular racers in the mid-1990s. This is an iconic vintage bike and you can still find a few of them around on the vintage bike market.

8. 1974 MZ 250

1974 MZ 250

The MZ 250 was made by the Motorwerk Zschopau company in Eastern Germany. The manufacturer was well-known for its 2-stroke motorcycles. It served as reliable transportation throughout Europe, imported into the United Kingdom during the 1970s and '80s eras for commuter bikes. The brand offered two popular models in the TS250 and later the ETZ250. This was a simple bike with an air-cooled single-cylinder 250cc engine with no pretensions. Although reviews have been mixed through the decades there was a cult following for the MZ 250s. It became one of the most inexpensive models used in British racing circles. That reputation spread throughout the world to make the MZ 250, arguably, one of the go-to options for racers who didn't have a lot of money to spend on a high-performing quality bike.

7. 1988 Yamaha TDR250

1988 Yamaha TDR250

The Yamaha TDR 250 is one of the most iconic throwback bikes from the 1980s. The classic two-stroke was a best-seller because of its strong reputation in racing. Yamaha made a name for itself from the 1960s through the 1980s. This bike came along after Yamaha was the next big thing for motocross. It had a good long run of wins and she riding pleasure for track enthusiasts. It was one of the waves of Japanese racing bikes that took the world by storm. It's one of the most beloved sports bikes in the history of the brand. The bike was first launched in 1988 and although improvements were made through the years, this was a breakthrough bike with a retuned engine and top-end power that made it a winner.

6. 1980 Suzuki GT250X7


1980 Suzuki GT250X7

The 1980 Suzuki GT250 X7 enjoyed a brief run before changes in the regulations made it illegal without significant changes. The X7 delivered on the track when it first came on the scene in 1978. It was rated as the best air-cooled bike of the 1970s. It was lighter and arguably faster The bike was well received with speeds of 100 mph which during the time was considered fast in its class. When learner laws were changed in 1983, there was a switch to the 125cc which effectively ended the short reign of the X7250.

5. 2014 Honda CRF250L

2014 Honda CRF250L

The 2014 CRF250L is one of the best 250s ever made. The bike is regarded as one of the most balanced between street riding and taking it out on the trails for some off-road fun. It's a single-cylinder fuel-injected bike with an electric starter with a curb weight of 320 pounds. It's a light and zippy bike that offers all-around fun and riding enjoyment.

4. 1986 Kawasaki Ninja 250R

1986 Kawasaki Ninja 250R

The 250R is a bike that appealed to fans of the Ninja bikes who prefer the smaller size. The lower seat height was a popular feature at 30.5 inches. This was a fast bike with great acceleration that moved it from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds. Riders also liked its 61 mpg fuel efficiency.

3. 2020 Yamaha WR250R

2020 Yamaha WR250R

The Yamaha WR250R is a pricy bike but riders think it's worth the extra. It's one of the more popular dual-purpose bikes in the brand's lineup. It's suitable for use either on or off-road but is preferred for use as a dirtbike. It offers a good view with a seat that sits at 36.6 inches for a better view. It moves from zero to 60 mph in 7 seconds and achieved a fuel efficiency rating of 71 mpg.

2. 2017 Suzuki GW250

2017 Suzuki GW250

The 2017 Suzuki GW250 is billed as an intelligent bike. It's a quarter-liter model with sporty aesthetics that ranks it in the class of eye candy. It's a bike that is made for riders at all skill levels with the intention of offroad us. It has a curb weight of 403 pounds and although not the fastest, it goes from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds. The fuel efficiency is 71 mpg.

1. 2014 Honda CBR250R

2014 Honda CBR250R

The Honda CBR250R is one of the brand's best-selling models in its class. Riders like the giddiness of the bike and its responsiveness. It's a fun bike to ride with a low curb weight of 359 pounds. The low seat sits 30.5 inches from the ground. It's zippy enough moving from zero to 60 in 8 seconds with a fuel efficiency of 71 mpg.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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