Suzuki has thrown a new competitor into the small-capacity market with its 2017 GSX-250R. Styled after the flagship GSX-R1000, the 250R offers a more relaxed, comfy and manageable riding experience for learners and small capacity sportsbike fans.
Suzuki used the 14th annual Chinese CIMA motorcycle trade show to launch a smart new small capacity sportsbike that is rumored to be coming to several Western markets as well as Asian buyers.
The 2017 Suzuki GSX-250R is a heck of a looker, especially in blue, where it does a great job evoking the storied GSX-R1000, 750 and 600 bikes that make up Suzuki's supersport flagship range.
Under the skin, things get a little less exciting. The parallel twin motor appears to be a generation behind the recently released Honda CBR250RR. It seems to be a lightly worked over version of the GW250/Inazuma engine, making just 24.7 horsepower (18.4 kW) and 17.3 lb.ft (23.5 Nm) of torque.
So realistically, it's closer to Honda's single-cylinder CBR250R, and viewed that way it's probably no bad thing. The looks may be pure supersport, but the riding position looks a step back towards comfort and control, with raised clip-on bars and a fairly upright riding position that should make it friendly for learners and shorties.
Single disc braking and basic suspension are unlikely to set the world on fire on a racetrack, but should be good for the road, and they're an indication that the bike's built to a price point. The digital dash looks pretty nice, and includes a fuel gauge and what appears to be a shift light, so that's nice too.
The GSX-250R looks like a solid, if uninspiring, addition to the small capacity bike mix, and it should sell well, particularly in Asia and India. But perhaps of more interest is the other bike that popped up at CIMA, a DL250 small-capacity adventure tourer with full luggage racks.
Suzuki didn't release any photos of this wee-strom 250, but it's expected to be unveiled at EICMA Milan in a couple of weeks. We can see it selling well. Lord knows, the adventure category could do with some smaller, lighter and more manageable machines. Heck, if it sells cheap enough, it might help people get over their fear of scratching their 30-grand adventure juggernauts and encourage people to actually take these things off the beaten track like they do in the ads.
Stay tuned for more details when EICMA opens in November.
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