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Suzuki’s 250cc motorcycle was long time due. After the Inazuma 250 debacle, Suzuki has made a strong comeback in the 250cc segment after five years. They have had the Gixxer and the Gixxer SF as 155cc offerings, but nothing briding the gap between this and their superbikes. With the Gixxer brand’s strong fan base in India, Suzuki has launched the all-new Gixxer SF 250. But is the bike too late to the party? We got a chance to ride it on the Buddh International Circuit to find out.
Suzuki has developed an all-new oil-cooled, single cylinder 249cc engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The Gixxer SF 250 makes 26bhp at 9000rpm and 22.6Nm at 7500rpm. The engine sits in a reinforced downtube frame from the much-loved Gixxer and Gixxer SF. The bike gets traditional telescopic forks and a monoshock at the rear. Dropping the anchor is a front disc of 300mm and a rear disc, aided by a non-switchable dual-channel ABS unit.
The Gixxer SF 250 gets a very mature design. There are a few aggressive slashes and cuts and overall looks very proportionate. The clip-on handlebars coupled with the split seat, give this bike a sportier look. The LED headlight and the tail lamp look slick, however, is the same as the Gixxer SF. This bike too gets a small windscreen. It is a sharp, aggressive design, however it isn’t polarizing and should be palatable to a large mass of people.
Hop on to the motorcycle and you’ll notice that you sit a bit high on the bike. However, despite being a supersport, the handlebars aren’t super aggressive and it doesn’t get uncomfortable. The pegs are swept back but aren’t too high-set either. As we started off from the pitlane, the bike felt smooth. Around the track, at full chatter, the Gixxer SF 250 was a hoot. The bike’s acceleration is linear, rather than being outright manic. It remains tractable at the bottom end, however, the real shove comes in at the mid- to top-end. It’s quick objectively as well – I could manage to get the bike to 154kmph on the straights at the BIC.
Even in the corners, the Gixxer SF 250 was comfortable and inspired confidence. It tips in quick, and through the corner, it remains extremely stable. The brakes on the bike too are good and with the ABS, the bike shed speeds without any drama.
The track is not the best place to test the ride quality of the bike, but the bike offers a crisp ride, just like the Gixxer SF. Vibrations do creep in after 8500rpm but are something you can live with. The puny windscreen though is a problem. Unless you are crouched, the windscreen isn’t of much help. Suzuki should certainly consider giving the bike a bigger windscreen, at least as an accessory. Another grouse are the pegs – they scrape too easily and limit how much you can go at it in the corners. This was especially apparent because we were at a track like the BIC, but should be more manageable on the road.
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a bit late to the party but in no way, is it a disappointment. It is not an all-out track machine and offers a blend of sportiness and comfortable everyday usage. We’ve only ridden it at the track though, so we’ll have to give you a detailed review about its usability at a later date. With performance numbers similar to the CBR 250R, the bike takes the competition head-on. With a price of Rs 1.71 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) the Gixxer SF 250 undercuts the Honda by a good Rs 23,000 and brings something fresh to the segment. It should make for a comfortable everyday hustler with whom you can go out for some spirited weekend rides, and won’t shy away from the track either.