This great little bike is from an era when 250cc bikes were the king of the “Learner rider” castle. Yes the RD’s, KH’s and Gt’s back then with their screaming 2 stroke engines were quicker than their 4 stroke rivals but they went through fuel, oil and your money like it was the last keg of beer at a free bar on Southend seafront!
All the big four manufacturers offered an alternative 4 stroke for those that wanted more reliability, electric start, a more solid feel to their bike etc, one that would get them to work every day, no fuss just get on with anything you threw at them. Yamaha’s XS 250/400 range did just that. The knock on effect of this was that they were used in all weathers, often clocking up horendous mileage and in the case of the 250, abused by many novice riders until eventually being scrapped or dumped in a garage and forgotten about.
Now things have changed, the resurgence of interest in the small CC engine bikes out of Japan is amazing, who ever thought an FS1E would be selling for 7K plus!! People are now looking to buy and restore these early 4 stroke machines, which is exactly what was intended for the XS250 we have with us now.
With only 5K on the clock this great running and riding 1979 UK example has been sat waiting to be restored for a decade. Check the mot history register and you will see its been out every year for its mot, someyears it even did 100 or so miles!! Covering just 450 miles in the last 12 years which is as far as the on line register goes. Cosmetically the paint on the tank has had an amatuer blow over at some point years ago, looks ok but with the worn transfers etc you would look to respray the bike. Original exhausts have excellent down pipes but one silencer has had a repair underneath, the other is loosing its chrome at the outlet end, both are perfectly useable otherwise. Then apart from some strange head light mounts (guessing it had a nose fairing at some point) the rest of the chassis is good, especially the engine and box which starts first press of the button and selects gears smootly, infact having now riden it i have to admit that i was pleasantly suprised just how nice it was to ride!
So there you have it, ride as is and just enjoy it, or restore it your choice? Currently MOTd till next year even though it no longer needs it due to historic status. Grab a bit of Japanese bike nostalgia while still affordable to mere mortals.