In a world full of cruisers and naked motorcycles, fully-faired sports bikes definitely have created a safe spot for themselves in the Indian market over the last few years. Their peppy engine, agile handling, eye-catching design, futuristic features and easy ergonomics are the biggest reasons all biking enthusiasts never think twice before investing in them.
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As technology improved over the years, the customer demand in the fully-faired sports bike segment also witnessed a massive spike. It resulted in several two-wheeler manufacturers putting in every ounce of blood and sweat in order to enter this segment in India. Taking a leaf out of this book, Japanese bike maker Suzuki also introduced a sports bike in the Indian market to take forward the brand’s unmatched legacy. It was nearly a decade back when the company launched the ‘Gixxer 150’ range in the country, however, the 250cc version, that we have reviewed in this piece, couldn’t see the light of the day yet.
Finally, five years later in 2019, Suzuki launched the Gixxer SF 250 in India. Initially, it was unable to create a good impression in the domestic market. And hence a year later, the company made a handful of cosmetic changes along with updating the engine to BS6 emission norms, but again it didn’t reap rich dividends for the brand.
Now, after a gap of three years, Suzuki has given yet another shot to the Gixxer 250 SF by doing a substantial makeover to the motorcycle which includes stylish graphics and better performance. It is also compliant with the BS6 Phase-2 regulations. And guess what? The overall response this time around is decent as all the petrol heads are welcoming it with open arms and wide smiles on their faces.
Recently, I got the opportunity to test this mean machine. When the keys to the sports bike were handed over, I was filled with a lot of excitement. On one side, I was thrilled to test the 249 cc oil-cooled engine. And, on the other side, I was thinking that the Gixxer 250 SF is going to stay with me for nearly a week, so where should I take it to assess its full potential? Without thinking twice, I took it on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. I rode it somewhere around 500-550 kms during its stay with me.
Before I begin with the detailed review, let me tell you if you have any plans to purchase a 250 cc bike, and are spoilt for choices, then you need not to worry as by the time you will finish this piece, it might give you some sort of clarity about these choices and who knows, you might end up putting Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 on your purchase list! So, let’s go ahead and see if the bike is a DOPE or NOPE.
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ride and Handling
Let’s start with the riding position and seating comfort as it plays a very important role in the purchase of any bike. Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 comes with an 800 mm seat height, which was somehow comfortable. But, those who are not familiar with forward-inclined seats, they might end up torturing their back and thighs. Similarly, with the clip-on handlebars, if they are not gripped with a proper technique, the riders might start feeling pain in their arms and shoulder. But, hey! This, by no means, is to scare you but to give a sense that once you start spending more time with this Gixxer SF 250, it will definitely start treating you well.
The bike measures 2010 mm in length, 740 mm in width, 1035 mm in height while having a wheelbase of 1345 mm and ground clearance of 165 mm. The bike has a kerb weight of 161 kg, which helps the riders to launch and shoot the motorcycle without putting in much effort.
As far as the sound was concerned, the exhaust noise is throaty but could have been better. Meanwhile, the front telescopic and rear swing arm suspension surely deserves a standing ovation as it helped me a lot throughout my ride in Delhi, where potholes becoming the new norm in the city due to unfinished construction work.
Let’s move towards the most crucial part of the bike - the braking system. As Delhi was witnessing unprecedented rains for the past few days, a lot of bikers were afraid to go out due to inclement weather. That is when I risked it all and went out on the wet roads with Gixxer SF 250, and put it through ordeal.
The dual-channel ABS in accordance with the disc brakes at both ends somehow could not live up to my expectations. It was supposed to prevent the bike from skidding on the wet road. But, there were occasions when I witnessed the bike getting out of control during hard and sudden braking. It’s high time Suzuki should introduce a switchable traction control system (TCS) with the bike now to avoid this skidding phenomenon on slippery surfaces while it will ensure better ride quality.
Though, as far as dry roads are concerned, the braking system responded in a totally opposite manner, which was exemplary to say the least. The tyres too were grippy enough to give confidence while leaning into corners or taking sharp turns. Sitting on a diamond-type chassis, it rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, which allows the riders to have full control of rough terrains.
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Engine and Performance
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 comes with a well-refined 249-oil-cooled engine, which churns out a max 26.1 bhp at 9,300 rpm and 22.2 Nm at 7,300 rpm. The engine has been linked to a 6-speed gearbox. I couldn’t figure out any issues during the gear shift as it responded really well on every shift. As it was the first time I was riding the Gixxer SF 250, I was highly impressed by its brutal acceleration and the kind of adrenaline it provides to a rider. The feeling is hard to put into words. The bike can easily clock at a top speed of 150-155 km/h in no time whatsoever. The engine also responds well on every gear. However, when the top gears are engaged, you might notice a few issues.
Now, here comes the most important question ‘Kitna Deti Hai’ (mileage). Suzuki claims 38.5kmpl but it gave me somewhere around 25 kmpl in city traffic and around 28 kmpl on highways.
Gixxer SF 250 Design and Features
In terms of design, I would rate the Gixxer SF 250 a ten as it comes with appealing looks and stylish design, which will definitely land you in a situation where passers-by are going to be staring at the bike. Upfront, it has a sleek LED headlight while the rear end boasts LED tail lights. The front is sharp with a thin smoked windscreen, and the fuel tank is well shaped that grabs most of the attention. With the BS6 upgrade, Suzuki also added additional colour options, which was the need of the hour. Now customers get Metallic Sonic Silver/Metallic Triton Blue trim which boasts a mix of blue and silver livery with subtle red decals.
Apart from this, the company also made it a Bluetooth-enabled bike, which means riders can now monitor their important calls, messages and alerts on the instrument cluster while on the move. This update resulted in a price hike of Rs 10,000.
The 2023 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250’s handling, performance and power are on the expected lines as it serves the purpose for which it has been introduced. The motorcycle somewhat checks all the boxes as claimed by the brand on the paper.
Since the motorbike isn’t particularly heavy, it feels even more light while riding. On the engine front, it is well-tuned and responded well throughout the ride. I did not feel any vibrations on the foot pegs or handlebar while testing it to the edge.
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 would be a suitable choice if you currently own a 150 cc unit and are looking to upgrade.
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