The quarter-liter sports motorcycle market is taking a good direction in India. While about six-seven years ago, there were only two 250c in the country – the Honda CBR250R and Kawasaki Ninja 250R, it's safe to say that the craving for mass market performance motorcycles was rather very tiny before these two came along. Now the scenario has changed and Suzuki has had a contributor to it – the Gixxer series. The Gixxer and Gixxer SF found much popularity in India and now the manufacturer has added a bigger, much faster Gixxer to the family – 2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250.
The new Gixxer 250 SF is being pitched as a sports motorcycle and undoubtedly it looks the part. There are plenty of sharp edges and sculpting all over the body, and the dimensions render it proper looking sport class bike. There's a hint of the larger GSXR's design on its face and I can see some of the Suzuki Burgman in it too. Point being the overall design and styling is working very well for the Gixxer SF 250.
Suzuki invited us to have a go at the new Gixxer SF 250 on the Budh International Circuit. Why does a manufacturer invite the media to ride a motorcycle, which is really going to spend all of its life on the real-world roads, on a Formula 1 racetrack? Unless they're sure the bike can handle it.
To say the least, the Gixxer SF 250 didn't feel all that out of place on the race track. On the straights, it'll do a top speed of 150-155 km/h and is rather quick off the line as well. The engine responds well in every gear but the mid-range of RPMs is where most of the brute comes from, coupled with very civilised and smooth gearshifts. The exhaust note is most definitely throaty but is rather subdued.
The suspension set up of the Gixxer SF 250 is stiff enough for a race track and allows swift directional changes. However, it felt a wee bit lazy while flicking from side to side, but it shouldn't be a problem if you're not going to be on a race track. This laziness on the track could just mean it'll promise comfort while on the roads combined with a large and well-cushioned seat.
Braking from the discs at both ends is crisp and we could depend on them to take more distance with the throttle pinned before hitting the brakes hard before entering a corner. The dual-channel ABS works well in the background without intruding the ride much.
The tyres are grippy enough and instill confidence while leaning into a corner. A 110 section up front and a 150 at the rear means you can get good lean angles on this bike. It should make entry and exits from highways and roundabouts rather fun. Not to mention, the Gixxer SF 250 should be great on a twisty road up in the mountains somewhere.
|Engine||249cc 4-Stroke, 1-Cylinder, Oil-cooled|
|Power||26.5 hp @ 9000rpm|
|Torque||22.6 Nm @ 7500rpm|
|Fuel System||Fuel Injection|
|Transmission||6 Speed, MT|
|Ground Clearance||165 mm|
|Seat Height||800 mm|
|Kerb Mass||161 kg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||12 L|
|Suspension (front)||Telescopic, Coil spring, Oil damped|
|Rear||Swing Arm Type, Mono Suspension|
|Tyres (front)||110/70R - 17 M/C - Radial Tubeless|
|Rear||150/60R - 17 M/C - Radial Tubeless|
The highlight of the 2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 I'd say would be the way it handles. The motorcycle is not very heavy, to begin with, and while riding it feels very light on the handlebar as well, making spirited riding a strong feature on its CV. And not to mention, the engine responds well and is refined as well. Vibrations transferring to the rider through footpegs or handlebars is not a problem with this one.
If you happen to own a 150 Gixxer SF and have been looking for an upgrade, the Gixxer SF 250 could be a good candidate. It looks smashing – those pictures for your social media feed will look fantastic, handles very well – it can teach you how to corner better, goes fast – it'll do over 150 km/h but stick to the speed limits kids and lastly, it isn't too heavy on the pocket either.