Yamaha XTW250 Ryoku: 21st century adventure

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This is the first ADV-style motorcycle to successfully break the GS mold, striking out with design and mechanical configuration all its own. One part Lego and one part Tonka truck, Yamaha describes the Ryoku as “a reliable tool for people who love the outdoors.” And they do mean tool. The engine guard detaches to form a handy shovel.

We’re the only people with these high-res images.

Words like “toughness” and “heavy-duty utility” are used to describe the 250cc Ryoku. That capacity may not strike a chord with American riders, but the concept is intended to explore interest in Asian markets where that engine size will make it accessible and affordable for a wide group of potential riders.

The yellow engine guard forms the blade of a shovel; you can see the handle protruding to the rear. It detaches with DZUS fasteners. If you’re going to carry a heavy shovel on a motorcycle, this is pretty much an ideal location, it’s as low as possible.

In addition to that shovel, other surprisingly practical touches abound. The rear luggage rack detaches to make room for a pillion seat. There’s side stands on both sides, allowing you to choose which side is best when stopping in rough terrain. The windscreen folds forwards, like on on old Jeep. The headlights are detachable in their heavy-duty tubular aluminum mounts, freeing up that space for hauling tools or other luggage. Two 100V plugs are standard.

It’s not just the styling or the features that dares to break the GS mold either. The Ryoku is given a fat rear tire and a very low center of gravity. Think rugged simplicity instead of high-tech priceyness. Where the GS and its ilk are challenging and intimidating to ride off-road, the Ryoku should act like a friendly puppy, it’s fat rear tire helping it cruise through mud and other soft terrain without spitting you off. Combine that with the ability to easily attach pretty much any type of luggage to the exposed racks and what you have here is an extraordinarily capable tool. One that probably makes more sense for more riders more of the time than bikes like the Super Tenere.

  • Glenngineer

    Love. Common Yamaha, make good on these concepts…

  • markbvt

    Interesting. Sort of a modernized, pre-farkled TW200. Looks like those tires are even Teedub sizes.

    Funny how at first glance, I thought, “WTF is that thing? Fugly!” But after looking at it for a bit, I’ve started to kind of like it.

    • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

      I sense Teedub and a newer Toyota FJ in the lineage.

      • dux

        I sense a great fusion marketing campaign…

  • pplassm
  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    Okay, I found Dolly in the two full side shots, but not in the two 3/4 shots. Shall I continue to go blind, or is she not there?

    Oh, that’s a cool bike and one that would serve me well in the coming zombie apocalypse.

    • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

      Check the panel under the windshield on the 3/4 shots.

      • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

        Ahhh. Good eye!

    • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

      wait is the logo now officially called dolly?

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        If Harry’s calling it that then I think that’s as close to official as it gets.

  • Campisi

    So that fat back tire actually serves a real purpose? I’d always figured that Yamaha used those tires on the TW200 to make it look less intimidating for new riders.

  • Gene

    Dude. If this was a 650… all the KLR folks would have seizures.

    • Gregory

      +1

      This is what I want my KLR to be.

      -gceaves
      Portland, OR
      2008 Kawasaki KLR 650

  • Jon B.

    Modern Classic. Build it.

  • Will

    Upsized modern Motra? Yes!
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CT50_Motra
    Obviously, build it. An adventurer without pretension!

    • The Other Will

      Had to change my name. Couldn’t handle another Will.

  • Myles

    One of the best looking motorcycles I’ve ever seen. Wow.

  • http://www.twowheelsplus.com/ Anders

    The Land Rover bike. Want one, but not in yellow. White would be perfect.

    • Jon B.

      +1 or OD Green.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        USFS green.

      • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ Andy Gregory

        I’m a sucker for white bikes, although OD green was my first thought too. Camo even maybe? I think it could actually work with this bike.

        • http://www.twowheelsplus.com/ Anders

          I was thinking sun-faded Acerbis white.

          • ak

            RealTree all the way.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

              RealTree!? Go wash your mouth with soap right now.

              • Jon B.

                +1

              • Alix

                Yeah, Mossy Oak’s way better anyway

  • http://www.mcfw.com/ quint7

    OD green or desert tan for sure!
    Looks like a modern (and rear wheel drive only) Rokon. I would buy this. It would live in the bed of my little Chevy and travel the country with me. Seriously. Perfect for exploring the dirt roads of middle America, putting around a city, a National park, whatever. Drive away from this hellhole runner-up in the Golden Snowball Contest and see more of America without the need for a tall or heavy bike in the truck like now.

  • Devin

    If this came with an actual, real-world pillion seat (even as an option), not just an “emergeny carry Wes to the hospital seat”, I would be willing to spend real dollars on this.

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      Wait is ECWH seats a thing now?
      Things go so fast these days…

  • Lawrences

    When does it go on sale?

  • Your_Mom

    Any specs? Tank capacity in particular – and weight? Brilliant.

    • GGno

      +1

  • muckluck

    So is it an XT250 engine in a modified TW frame. I’ve always wanted a TW it would be great with a little more oomph.

  • Chuck

    If the price was right (and it was available), I would buy that bike tomorrow.

  • Thom

    So…….

    Yamaha is two for two in the concepts race

    Question is …. will they build either of them AS IS and at a reasonable price , or as someone suggested earlier will they either not build them at all : or build something that vaguely resembles the brilliance of the concepts at an asinine price ?

  • filly-fuzz

    I’ll have one in olive thanks.

    • Lacubrious

      Furealz. If they make this. I will have it.

  • http://krtong.com KR Tong

    cult bike in the making

    • Will

      Heh, I thought the same thing. It’s the new Ruckus.

    • AHA

      The urban fashionistas in London will love this. Apply spray-on mud and ride to the coffee shop. Yup, and I’m buying one too.

  • Johndo

    It’s got kind of an 80′s twist to it, but in black could look pretty cool. Certainly refreshing to see something different…

  • Nik

    So sick!! I could even deal with that yellow.

  • DoctorNine

    This is like that chubby little college girl that you weren’t too sure about, until you took her camping, and learned to love the way she jiggled when she got muddy and sweaty…

    As long as you don’t need to get there fast, this bike can probably get you most anywhere you might want to go.

  • Ed

    If they don’t build this, I’m going to find me a TW and start building my own. This would be perfect for buzzing around the valley and bomb up and down the logging roads. I’ve been looking for a 250 cc to cross the Dark Divide. I could load this up with camping gear, take it down highway 14, then up into the Giff.

    BTW: I’m all for Tonka/CAT Yellow. Looks good with dirt.

  • Scott-jay

    Yamaha jumped the adventure bike shark, or is XTW really moto-satire?
    Styling caricature-cues & amazing details abound: over-wrought rear rack, twin computer fans directed at cylinder head, giant heavy-weight tires, two side-stands, fantasy-muffler … and a shovel!

    • http://www.mcfw.com/ quint7

      In a lot of the world bikes like this are the only transportation. There are bikes sold with ‘livestock’ racks mounted from the factory to the handlebars so you can carry a goat or lamb or crate of birds. If you haven’t paid attention to the world in the last 20 years it is the Toyota pickup and small do it all bike that has been used to fight most of the wars, not 5 ton 6x trucks and M1 tanks.

  • 10/10ths

    It’s the perfect bike for the zombie apocalypse!!!

    Sling your .22/.410 survival rifle over your shoulder, ride away from the hungry throngs, and live off the land in two wheeled style.

    Awesome.

    Olive drab or desert sand…..hmmmmmm.

  • Squid_Squidly

    FUCK.

  • todd

    Lame-

    Id rather have an actual dirt bike with suspension, clearance, power and then custom farkle it myself with racks, lights, bigger gas tank, whatever…. thinking DRZ400 type stuff

  • Beale

    Fuck. Yeah.

    I love the shovel. My dad told me that in the old days of desert racing that people would use a scoop shovel with the handle removed as a skid plate. This brings it full circle.

  • http://mansgottado.tumblr.com/ Andy Gregory

    I want one. Cody Lundin would approve. I could definitely see this being a hit with the TEOTWAWKI guys.

  • oldblue

    Bloody hell.

    Even my wife likes it. Yamaha have my permission to build this bike on the condition that they make me a 600cc version….

  • slash5alive

    This thing could sell like hot cakes here in the states. Offer some other displacements as in larger, up to 650. Offer lots of color options, from camo to dayglo. It would be like the old honda trail 90…you’d see one strapped to the back of every rv. Very cool!

  • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

    For all the people saying how great this is and how you’d buy one, you do know that the TW200 has been around for like 25 years, right? Is it just that you couldn’t figure out how to carry a shovel on one?

    • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

      They’re also protection, underseat pump, handguards, lights, mounts…

      Saying this is like a TW200 is akin to saying a R1200GS is a R1200R with knobby tires.

      • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

        Those are all accessories. Accessories that plenty of TW200 owners have installed over the years already. It’s a pre-farkled TW200, as someone said earlier. All cool stuff, for sure, but the underlying bike looks virtually unchanged from the ancient TW200.

        • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

          And that’s bad because?
          Are you angry when MV Agusta sells a faired Brutale as an F4?

          You said it yourself, there’s cool stuff on it and you don’t have to spent time and money to figure out how to do it yourself, some see that as a good thing.

          • DoctorNine

            +1

          • http://vtbmwmov.org Eben

            I wasn’t saying it’s bad at all. I’m just genuinely surprised that some bolt-on accessories can get people so excited about what appears to be just a TW upgraded the XT250 motor. And I’m not knocking the TW, either. I nearly bought one this past summer and I still think it’s a very neat little bike.

            My original question is sincere. Were these people getting worked up over this concept unaware of the TW200, or do the styling and accessories really make that much of a difference to them?

  • Aienan

    What I love is the fact that I could ride this thing to a trail, ride it as it should be light enough, then ride home. I can’t do this with my GS because I’m too much of a chicken to take it off road because of the weight and COG.

  • okto

    fi?
    how many gears?

    that’s why people are buying the wr250r/x

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    It’s like a Rokon Scout had a 3-way with a TW200 and Big Rukus. This is the bastard offspring.

    I love the concept and this would make a very good urban battle-bike.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    This bike makes tons of sense for Japan. In Tokyo, I used to see tons of TW200s modded and personalized to the nth degree.

    In the US, I’ve seen one TW200 — ever. And I actually tried to buy one as my first motorcycle, but no dealer could get me one. I settled on an XT225 — pretty much the same bike (I think) but in dual-sport form.

  • David Dawson

    I’d love to see this make it to the production and eventually to the states, particularly if its fuel injected and there’s more than one or two rear tire choices for it.

  • Steve

    What motorcycling used to be about back in the 70′s… our local MSF course supplies TW200′s (among a few other brands/models of the approx. same size) for the BRC- great intro to riding, I’m all for more of the same. Go Yamaha!