After a long wait and endless speculation, Suzuki has finally introduced the Gixxer SF 250. We got a chance to swing a leg over it at the Buddh International Circuit – here’s why it’s better late than never.
Since the introduction of the Gixxer and Suzuki Gixxer SF in 2014-15, Suzuki has displayed some reservation about launching new motorcycles. In fact, the Intruder, launched in 2017, has been the only one to have come from Suzuki’s stable in all these years.
A quick look at their line-up reveals a huge gap in their product portfolio. There’s literally nothing between the Gixxer Twins and the V-Strom 650XT. Now, that’s a huge void to have, especially given that rivals have already got a head start in the 250 to 400cc space.
But, as they say, ‘better late than never.’ So, Suzuki has just introduced the new Gixxer SF 250, and we got the opportunity to swing a leg over it at none other than the famous Buddh International Circuit. The idea was to see if it really performs.
Cuts like a knife
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 looks exactly like a full-faired 250 bike should – sharp and sporty. The fairing has an extremely clean and edgy outline. A larger windscreen would’ve worked better in making the ride more stress-free though.
We love how the motorcycle it looks in profile. Although the fuel tank holds just 12-litres, it looks large and muscular, which adds to the overall appeal of the motorcycle. The panel right under the fuel tank has been well contoured for the thighs to grip it properly. The grab handles seamlessly blend into the overall design of the motorcycle, which is just fantastic. And the quality of switchgear and panels are good.
In terms of features, the SF 250 gets LED lighting. The instrument cluster is a revised version of what was already used on the Gixxer range. That said, it has a marginally different layout, with a white backlight instead of orange.
Punchy & refined
At the heart of the Gixxer 250 is an all-new 249cc oil-cooled mill. This motor churns out 26.1bhp and 22.6Nm. Interestingly, these figures are identical to the Suzuki Inazuma, which was on sale in 2014. That motorcycle, however, was a twin – the one here is a single.
The motor has a strong mid-range, which should help while riding in the city. Although it isn’t the freest revving motor out there, it doesn’t feel ill at ease even when the digital tacho reaches the 9,000rpm mark. The engine feels impressively refined. There’s barely any intrusive vibrations on the handlebar, pegs or the seat.
All this makes the Gixxer SF a good touring option. You can easily hold speeds of 120km/h without feeling strained. As far as its top speed is concerned, we managed to clock a speedo-indicated 157km/h on the back straight of the BIC.
Just around the corner
For the new Gixxer SF 250, Suzuki has also worked on strengthening the chassis. The frame has been thickened by 0.3mm. Although that may not seem like much, Suzuki claims that it has improved the torsional rigidity by 12%.
The Suzuki sits on telescopic forks up front and a swing arm type monoshock at the rear. The duo has been set up well to ensure that the Gixxer SF 250 feels nimble and planted. Direction changes, as well as mid-corner bumps, don’t upset the motorcycle at all. The MRF tyres that it rides on are wide, grippy and confident – well, they were on the track, at least – but the position of the foot pegs can, at times, play spoilsport.
We rode the motorcycle on the track, so will reserve our judgement about its ride quality until we get to test it out on the road. But still, I’d say that the ergonomics are well suited for long hours of city commuting. Although it gets clip-on handlebars, they aren’t as low as the Yamaha YZF-R15. The foot pegs are rear set, but not very aggressive and the 800mm seat height is manageable for riders of average height as well. In fact, if you’ve ridden the Gixxer SF 155, this would feel quite familiar.
Braking duties are performed by disc brakes at both ends, with assistance from dual-channel ABS. Although the initial bite could have been a bit more, overall braking performance is satisfactory.
Hit or miss?
At ₹1.70 lakh, the Gixxer SF 250 might not seem to offer great value at first, especially given that the Bajaj Dominar is available for just a few thousand more. However, if you consider its direct competitors, the Honda CBR250R and the KTM 250 Duke, the Suzuki suddenly makes a whole lot more sense. There’s also the Yamaha Fazer 25 in its class, but it makes considerably less power despite displacing a similar 249cc.
Coming to the motorcycle itself, the Gixxer SF 250 has such an uncomplicated formula that it’s hard to go wrong with it. The motorcycle feels punchy enough for city duties, as well as the occasional highway trip, plus it has a comfortable riding posture and, above all, looks like a million bucks! It has a good balance of sporty styling and everyday usability. The SF 250 is a good addition to the Gixxer family – one that certainly lives up to our expectations.
- Suzuki Gixxer SF 250
Engine: 249cc / single-cylinder / oil-cooled
Power: 26.1bhp @ 9,000rpm
Torque: 22.6Nm @ 6,500 7rpm
Price: ₹1.70 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
X-Factor: Whether touring or in the city, the Gixxer SF 250 feels very much at home in both environments.