Suzuki GSXR 250

When I heard that Suzuki was re-releasing a new GSXR 250, I was very excited.

The original GSXR 250 was a big hit in Japan in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Using a liquid cooled four stroke four-cylinder engine it produced 45hp. Based on the GSXR750 with its box steel frame, dual front callipers and fully floating rear end, it was a teenager’s wet dream. Unfortunately not many were imported to the UK, so they are rarely seen outside of Japan.

I am not a teenager (despite being told I frequently act like one), but I am a big Suzuki fan. When it came to riding Suzuki’s new A2 compliant “sportbike” I was filled with hope and optimism. Had they recreated the legendary small CC GSXR 250?

A glance at the spec sheet seems very impressive for an entry-level bike. KYB front suspension, a modern LCD litre supersport looking dashboard and MotoGP inspired styling.

With pricing starting at £4300 (or £100 extra for GP colours), it’s very reasonable for the spec list. I would save the £100 and have it in black pearl and put the £100 towards an end can.

The only downside is the power figure. It produces 25HP from its 250cc parallel twin engine. Far from the originals 45hp.

I was excited to take it out until I found out what else was coming out with me. With a fleet of new GSXR1000’s (Read about that bike here! https://ridewithpeaks.com/suzuki-gsxr-1000r-2017/), accompanying me. I thought it was going to be me playing catch-up the whole journey. The excitement faded a little bit.

We had a small stretch through town to start. The 250 felt extremely nippy and agile perfect for darting through streets and in and out of traffic. The dash was very clear and concise and comes with everything you would expect, speedo, rev gauge, gear indicator.

Suzuki claims the frugal motor will do 92MPG, so fuel stops are not a thing. I used this fact to catch up with the litre class bikes while they guzzled their fuel.

We went exploring some twisty roads in south Cheshire, the 250 held its own, much to my surprise. The most significant shortfall on the bike was always going to be its lack of power. Despite this, it was still very capable of keeping to speed limits. The gearing is perfect for the power that it has. You’re not up, and down the gearbox all the time, you do have to drop it a few cogs when overtaking.

One significant plus factor to small bikes is wringing them to within an inch of their life. The throttle becomes an on or off switch keeping it pinned to the max. Planting your head on the fuel tank and tucking your arms in as tight as they will go to achieve every last mph.

The brakes are as good as they need to be, using a single 290mm front disc. The suspension feels soft on both the front and rear. I had to keep reminding myself that this is isn’t ever going to be a track bike.

The riding position is comfy but unfortunately being commuter style footpegs, they are not adjustable. The bars sit in a sporty riding position.

It does come with a pillion seat; I mainly used this as a stop to rest my arse on in corners to sit back off the tank. The bike has a commuter style seat, which is good fun; it’s nice and slippery. I’m not going to lie I was hanging off it as much as I dared. The guy following me on a DL1000 asked me if I was enjoying myself, and yes I was!

The Road winner tyres were good and had a positive feel at slow speed and around town. When increasing the pace up, they do let the bike down, mainly due to a lack of rider feedback. The weather turned to a massive storm, and the Road Winners dealt with the water well.

Overall verdict

It feels like a solid step up from a 125. With A2 riders needing two years riding before being eligible for A training, it would be a solid buy to pass the time in between.

I would have liked more power, an extra 10-15 horsepower would transform the ride. I was hoping for around the 35-40hp to make it competitive with its A2 compliant rivals.

It’s understandable that Suzuki wants to keep the GSXR 250 cheaper for youngsters. Perfect for the commute to college or work and back and still have a good laugh, and more importantly, look relatively cool.

For more information hit the link https://bikes.suzuki.co.uk/bikes/sport/gsx250r/

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