Due to stricter licensing regulations pertaining to motorcycles in Japan, small displacement machines under 400cc are incredibly popular among both beginners and veteran riders alike. More specifically, models in the 250cc range, particularly sportbikes, are favored by performance-oriented aficionados.
All four of the big Japanese manufacturers have their own 250cc sportbikes. Suzuki has the GSX-R250, while Honda markets the sporty-looking CBR250R. Of course, the Ninja 250 has been around for quite some time now, and so, too, has the Yamaha YZF-R25. In the U.S. market, the YZF-R3 takes the place of the R25 as Yamaha's entry-level offering in the sportbike segment.
Moving back to Japan, however, Yamaha has updated the YZF-R25 for the 2023 model year with a new colorway called Dark Blueish Purple Metallic 3—similar to the recently released colorway in the U.S.-market YZF-R3. The purple colorway is sleek and elegant, while at the same time giving the bike a throwback aesthetic—kinda like the old colorways of sportbikes from the '90s. Check out the 1994 Yamaha FZR1000 below, pretty cool, right?
In addition to the new purple colorway, those of you with more subdued tastes can still opt for the Deep Purplish Blue Metallic and Black Metallic colorways. Meanwhile, the Vivid Orange Metallic colorway has been retired. Style-wise, the YZF-R25's bodywork and underpinnings remain unchanged, and are identical to that of the YZF-R3 sold stateside.
On the performance side of the equation, the Yamaha YZF-R25 employs a 249cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine. It cranks out 35.5 horsepower and 19 lb-ft of torque, giving it fairly decent performance in both the city and on twisty roads. Yamaha markets it in Japan as a "superbike that you can ride everyday," and it's pretty clear to see why this is the case. Apart from the fairly docile engine, the bike's rearsets aren't as aggressive, and the clip-ons aren't that low, either.
In terms of pricing, the 2023 Yamaha YZF-R25 retails for 690,800 Yen, or the equivalent of $5,246 USD. For reference, the YZF-R3 retails for $5,499 USD stateside.