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6-min read

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 First Ride Review: The Wait has been Worth it

We have been waiting for Suzuki to come out with a quarter-litre motorcycle for quite some time now and finally, they have come out with one called – the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. But does it match the expectations?

Manav Sinha | News18.com@manav_sinha

Updated:June 10, 2019, 8:10 PM IST
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Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 First Ride Review: The Wait has been Worth it
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)
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You have been asking for it, we have all been eagerly waiting for it and finally, seems like Suzuki has heard us as they have come out with their 250cc full-faired offering. It is the Gixxer SF 250 – the bigger sibling to the already well-known and popular Gixxer SF 150 – and we got a chance to give it a go for a few hot laps at the mighty Buddh International Circuit. Here’s what we found.

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Now one of the things that that really work in the favour of the new Gixxer is the styling. Yes, it is a subjective matter but when it comes to how we feel about it, then well, it looks better in real life as compared to how it looks in pictures. And we quite like the way it looks.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-6Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 looks fantastic. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

When you look at it, it does not feel like as if the motorcycle is an afterthought that came in once the company made a street naked motorcycle, but rather, like something that was intended to be this all along. What immediately catches your attention is that LED headlamp unit which is sharp and swoops down to an almost pointed edge. Then, there’s the fairing which looks rather as nice too.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-9The LED headlamps and the fairing of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 instantly catch your attention. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

You also get LED tail lights, split seats and the only use of chrome which can be seen on the double-barrel exhaust that gives it a familiar Gixxer family look.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-7Suzuki Gixxer SF 250's LED tail light is minimal yet looks great. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

The only bummer is the fact that if you just spent the extra bit of money to go for a bigger quarter-litre motorcycle from Suzuki’s garage as opposed to a smaller version of it, well, your motorcycle ends up having a look that’s almost identical to the Gixxer SF 150. A little bit of differentiation would be nice, there is some if you look closely, but just not enough.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-5The one at the back is actually a Suzuki Gixxer SF 150. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

Also, we cannot wait to see how the MotoGP edition of this motorcycle will look once it comes out later.

Moving on, the instrument cluster is, well, decent at best but it is important to note that it does have good visibility and is easy to read too. So all in all, the new Gixxer really does have the looks of a sporty motorcycle but if that makes you think, oh that’s going to be a pain to ride every day, well, you might be in for a surprise.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-8The chrome-finished muffler of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 has a familiar Gixxer family feel to it. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

One of the first things that you will notice once you are astride the Gixxer SF 250 is the riding position. The footpegs are pretty much centre-set, they are not as rear-set as a Yamaha R15 V3.0 or a KTM RC 200. The handlebars are clip-on but they are pretty high enough. So, it’s more of a sports-tourer kind of a riding position than an all-out super-sport, and we really like that.

So, yes, it looks the part and it also falls into the list of one of those motorcycles that manage to hit the sweet spot when it comes to striking a balance between a sporty feeling riding position and still not being too harsh on your body. But does that mean you are comprising when it comes to performance?

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-1Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a good handling motorcycle. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

Now one of the highlights of the Gixxer SF 250 other than the styling, of course, is the engine on board. It is a single-cylinder unit, makes about 26.5 PS of power and the way it delivers power makes it fun to ride.

One of the most interesting things about this engine is that it is oil-cooled but before you write it off, well, Suzuki claims that their cooling system is so efficient that they did not even need to have cooling fins on the engine and that’s something that’s really new.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-3Suzuki Gixxer SF 250's true heat-combating capability will have to be tested in everyday riding conditions. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

As of now, we will have to test it out on the roads to see how it fares in the city and the same goes for the suspension setup but since we are at a race track, there is one thing that we can talk about for sure – and that’s the performance.

Now there are two things that really give the Gixxer a character of its own – power and the handling.

Starting off with power, it is one of the most powerful motorcycles in its segment but the engine is not exactly lively when ridden at the top of the power band as most of the punch is delivered by mid-RPM. And during those slower corners, the low-end acceleration was actually pretty impressive. There are only minor vibrations but nothing that would put you off and be a problem. The gearbox is a 6-speed unit and offers crisp gear shifts that are smooth and left nothing to be complained about.

Now coming to the handling bit, well, the Gixxer SF 250 has a new chassis which has been strengthened to carry the extra weight of the 250, as compared to the 150, and the same goes for the suspension too. During corners, the motorcycle feels planted and there’s not a lot of drama going on, however, during those quick direction changes, the motorcycle isn’t exactly nerve-wracking and is rather gentle. One big problem, though, is the foot pegs which scrape just way too easily and the bike doesn’t have enough cornering clearance to really be pushed hard. But that’s at a race track, on regular roads, you should be alright.

Suzuki-Gixxer-SF-250-4The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 has its own character and is a feel-good motorcycle. (Photo: Suzuki Motorcycles India)

Lastly, the brakes. The Gixxer gets disc brakes both front and back and also comes with dual-channel ABS as well. But when it came to braking performance, well, the progression is nice but it could have used a bit more bite, and that is what was immediately evident as we were on a race track. And in case you pull the brakes too quickly and too hard, the ABS is way too eager to kick in. However, on the streets, we expect them to be sufficient.

Before wrapping up the entire experience, we have to talk about the price, which for the Gixxer SF 250, is Rs 1.70 lakh. Yes, it seems a bit expensive at first but when you consider the entire package that you get for the money and especially, a motorcycle that hits the sweet spot of being just enough sporty to let you have fun and can still be ridden every day, the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 more than makes up for it.

GEAR COURTESY: REDLINE RACING

| Edited by: Manav Sinha
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