The XR250R is a trail bike used for off-road purposes. It is a 4-stroke, SOHC, 249 cc bike. It is a very reliable, capable motorcycle off road and does exceptionally well. The XR250L was a heavier, street legal version. The Latin American version of this bike is known as TORNADO.
The engine in both the XR250R and XR250L are identical. In the United States the L has a 3mm smaller header pipe and a different carburetor to satisfy emissions regulations, though both carbs have a 30mm throttle body. The engine has a four valve head with splayed rocker arms to actuate the valves. Unusual for a single cylinder engine, it has a two-into-one header pipe, after 1996 this became a two-into-two. Throughout its production XR250R has weighed less than 113kg, whereas the XR250L typically weighs close to 123kg dry. They are both kick-start, feature six speed transmissions with chain final drive, and have digital ignition. For the pre-1996 models the suspension travel was 260mm front and rear.