Last year, Suzuki launched an update to the legendary GSX 1000 R. While their creative juices were flowing, Suzuki asked their designers to craft a new cloak for the dull looking Inazuma 250. They came up with the GSX 250 R, and proudly presented it at the EICMA motorcycle show in 2017.
It uses the same 248cc liquid cooled parallel twin as the Inazuma and it churns out a very underwhelming 25hp. Their focus, however, was the commuter market and the parallel twin engine produces enough midrange grunt to keep you ahead of most of the four wheeled menaces on the road. The gearbox is a bit of an anomaly. Third and fourth are almost identical cogs with only a slight change in tone indicating that you have, in fact changed gears. In sixth, running into the limiter, the GSXR could only manage around 140km/h.
If you are new to riding, this is probably a good thing. Here in SA, where the highway limits are set at 120km/h, 140km/h is more than adequate. You will, however, probably buy this bike on looks alone. People almost always mistake this for a bigger capacity bike than what is printed on the side.
17” wheels front and rear and the long wheelbase makes the 250 slightly sluggish to turn in, but for a beginner rider the little Suzy will be more than capable of inducing a smile and building confidence.
Braking is in the form of a single disk up front and one at the back, and I was rather surprised when I saw the ABS sticker on the front fender. I am happy to see the smaller capacity bikes starting to incorporate ABS as standard equipment.
The riding position is sporty, but not overly so. The handlebars are raised ever so slightly so the end result is an upright, but sporty riding position.
Instrumentation in an inverse LCD, meaning it is black with white letters. This makes it legible in the harshest sunlight.
The GSXR has a soft, almost murmuring, rumble when you start it and once the revs rise, the sound the baby Gixxer makes is not at all unpleasant to listen to.
On the road, the Gixxer goes about its business with a minimum fuss. Faced with a corner, you can easily fling the bike in with confidence. If you are upgrading from your 125, the GSX 250 R is a step in the right direction, and on looks alone I would buy this bike. I just wish Suzuki changed the engine to a 300 while they were at it, so you can just get that extra little oomph!
Words and Pictures – Brian Cheyne