When it comes to motorcycles in India, the quarter-litre category plays a key part in helping manufacturers realise the importance of catering to a buyer looking for this type of motorcycle. The aim for most 250cc motorcycle makers, is to offer a bike that is pocket-friendly and offers premium quality.
There have been fully-faired sports bikes offered in this segment for quite some time; the KTM 250 Duke and the Yamaha FZ25 being examples. Suzuki has jumped onto the bandwagon with the Gixxer 250: a naked bike that targets the young buyer. Now, while its fully-faired sibling has created quite an impression for itself, we’re yet to see what its naked derivative is capable of.
When Suzuki launched the SF 250, the brand targeted buyers who were willing to ride long distances whilst sticking to practicality as well. The Gixxer 250, on the other hand, lures someone who prefers staying within urban conditions, commuting to work on a regular basis. Both motorcycles use the same chassis and engine. An affordable quater-litre naked bike from a Japanese brand sure sounds exciting since it will be easy to mend and use.
Sharp and naked
The Gixxer 250 is offered in two matte colour themes: matte silver along with a matte black tank and all-black. Both colours are easy on the eye and will appeal to a mature audience, unlike the previous-generation Gixxers. The alloy wheels sport a different pattern, and we like the bronze-themed mid-section and engine casing.
Apart from the colours, most of what you see is identical to the Suzuki Gixxer 155. At the front, you do not get a fairing; instead, you get an oval-shaped LED headlamp – and the absence of a fairing also means the neatly designed oil-cooled engine is visible. At the back, the up-swept, sleek-looking tail is again from the SF250, and with that split-seat design, the bike looks very sporty. Suzuki Bikes have given it a masculine appeal that certainly gets attention, and we like how the tank, handlebar and rear seat are all in line. In terms of build quality, the Suzuki Gixxer 250 offers good levels of fit and finish.
In terms of ergonomics, the rider triangle is quite comfortable, but large-sized adults might have an issue. The foot pegs are set in the middle but the seating position isn’t to our liking. You get easy access to the handlebar and you tend to lean forward a little. The rear-view mirrors provide a good view of what is behind, but the instrument cluster is positioned a bit low.
Power and all..
The Suzuki Gixxer 250 is powered by a 249cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled engine, producing 26bhp and 22.6Nm of torque. What impressed us most was the punchy mid-range, making riding in the city quite a hoot. Most of the power and torque can be felt post 5000rpm – in fact, you’d be surprised at how effortlessly the bike pulls, taking you all the way to its redline at an impressive speed. The Gixxer manages to sprint from 0-100kph in close to 10 seconds.
Braking performance is good, but feedback could’ve been better. The chassis of the Gixxer 250 is shared with the SF250 and fits our riding conditions well. The seat is nice and mellow, which helps mask the stiffness of the suspension. Your back is in an upright position, giving you a good riding posture – and this is where you’d prefer having the 250 over the SF250. It’s also the easier of the two to handle and corners well at speeds. The 6-speed gearbox works quite seamlessly, thanks to the precise shifts. The bike puts power down onto the road easily.
On the road
The Gixxer 250 feels perfectly agile, and its light weight is beneficial too; it changes directions quickly and confidently and maneuvering through traffic is never a problem. It’s perfect for the city, and with its blend of prompt power delivery and nimble handling, the Gixxer 250 moves quickly without any fuss.
However, at higher speeds, the bike tends to get a little unsettled because of its low kerb weight – and this tends to rob the rider of confidence. Also, because of the suspension having been setup towards the firm side, corners seem to be a cakewalk and the MRF Zapper rubber used provides ample grip. It lets you push it harder and the ride quality isn’t so bad, for as long as you don’t crash through the deep ruts. Also, read the latest bike comparisons, only at autoX.