The 250cc motorcycle segment has always evolved ever since it started, and it has been growing progressively, with the competition getting fiercer. And Suzuki wanted to go down this route with its new Gixxer SF 250. After having noted that the Gixxer 150 didn’t have a great impact on the market, Suzuki intends to achieve what it couldn’t with the 150, with the 250 instead. We can’t think of an entry-level Suzuki that has won hearts over, but we’re taking the SF 250 out for a spin to see if that changes.
We like sharpness
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 definitely looks the part, and is bar far, Suzuki India’s best-looking product. Most Japanese bikes look like baby versions of their sportsbike avatars, while the Gixxer SF 250 from Suzuki Bikes, draws inspiration from the previous generation GSXR-1000. From up front, you will notice a new LED headlamp, giving one the impression it’s an arrow mark. This is one design element that really helps the motorcycle standout. You’ll find both sides of the headlamp extending into the fairing, while the lower half of the headlight forms a sharp beak-like look. It even features a ‘chin spoiler’, inspired by MotoGP bikes. The fairing is also larger and the tank somewhat reminds us of Gixxers of old; those deep grooves in the tank being signature styling elements. Then there are the body-coloured panels in between the tank and the fairing. The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is sold in two shades: matte black and cloudy silver, the former giving the bike a stealthy look. The tail section gets an LED tail lamp and the split seat is new as well. The exhaust gets a chrome finish and the bike features a fully-digital LCD backlit display that provides clear information, which includes a big section for speed, a clock, fuel gauge and a tachometer above.
Smooth and fast
Since Suzuki Bikes have called this a sports-tourer, it has been produced bearing in mind one of its rivals: the 250 Duke from KTM, a bike that has the same capacity motor. Powering the Suzuki Gixxer is a new 249cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine that features fuel-injection and uses a four-valve, SOHC head. The engine produces 25bhp and 22.6Nm of torque, figures that aren’t particularly impressive, especially if you had to consider the power the competition has to offer. Start the engine, blip the throttle and that’s when you’ll notice the engine doesn’t mind being revved. Mated to the engine is a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and we aren’t upset at the absence of a slipper clutch. We managed to push the Gixxer all the way to its top speed of 154kph without any hesitation; however, the rev limiter kicks in at 10,000rpm. If outright speed is what you’re looking at, then the SF 250 is likely to disappoint a bit. Power is very manageable, even for first-time riders.
We’d call the SF 250 a decent handler; it isn’t aggressive during turn-ins, but it will lean if you want it to. The Gixxer SF and Gixxer SF 250 share the same frame as the previous-generation Gixxer bikes; however, the central tube is broader and the suspension mounts and steering head have been tweaked too. The bike feels agile, but that is mostly down to the difference in weight, compared to the SF 150. Even the 41mm telescopic fork is from the previous models, but the springs are new. The suspension prove to be quite capable under hard braking and instant direction changes. The monoshock at the back is a bit stiff and the brakes don’t bite promptly. The bike features clip-on handlebars, meaning you won’t to lean forward too much.
The rider is also seated in a perfect position, with not much stress on your wrists or shoulders, but you will have to lean forward a bit, giving you the committed sportsbike rider-like look. The footpegs sit a little too low, meaning you are going to be scraping the ground when you lean too much around a bend.
Suzuki has definitely churned out a good product in the form of the SF 250, and this could perhaps turn things around for the Japanese motorcycle maker in India. The pricing is quite competitive and its rivals are priced closely. The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is undoubtedly a promising purchase, thanks to its sleek profile, comfortable ergonomics and its engine that’s full of grunt. Youngsters would certainly take to it easily and unlike all the pricier KTMs that demand more in terms of riding skill, the SF 250 ensures you’re safer and satisfied, both. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming bikes, only at autoX.