Suzuki recently upgraded both their 650 and 1000cc V-Strom models. As they were on a roll, they decided to dress their Inazuma model in hiking boots and adventure clothing. What they came up with was the Suzuki DL 250 V-Strom. It competes against some serious contenders, and yet Suzuki sent their small warrior into battle with a slight disadvantage. The 248cc parallel twin only develops around 25 horsepower. However, the way it delivers it may just count in the small DL’s favour.
These little machines are primarily earmarked as commuters with some very light off-road ability. Because of that, the gearbox is geared for short bursts in and around town. The parallel twin is silky smooth and spins eagerly to the 10500 rpm redline. In 6th, the DL can maintain the national speed limit and even have something left to push it to its maximum speed which is just shy of 140km/h.
So the performance is not earth shattering, but that made my wife fall in love with the Strom. She loved the upright seating position, the light clutch and the sedate power delivery. So, you see, power is not everything. Riding the small Suzuki for a week, I soon got used to riding it. If you adapt your style of riding just a little, the back of the DL is not a bad place to be. With your upright position and the small screen that does a surprising job of keeping the wind off you, you can go pretty far before you will need a break.
Although the styling is the same as its bigger siblings, the 250 has a round headlight which does a pretty decent job of lighting up the road. The brakes are ABS assisted and have a decent amount of bite.
The instrumentation will be a familiar sight if you have ever ridden a smaller Suzuki. It features an LCD with black background and white letters. It makes the screen readable even in the brightest sunlight. It also contains a surprising amount of information.
In a very crowded small-capacity market the Suzuki has the pedigree of having a reliable engine and two underrated bigger brothers. It even comes with mounting points for luggage and a 12V socket already fitted. You will probably not go to Cairo with it, but if you choose your destination wisely you can probably venture far enough off the beaten track to make your own adventure.
Words and Pictures: Brian Cheyne