It is such a delight to see a change in the queries we get online about motorcycles. They’ve gone from most of them asking about ‘kitna deti hai’ (what is the fuel economy) to what are the ride dynamics like or how comfortable is it for long-distance or should I buy the naked or fully-faired? The affordable motorcycle segment has grown and performance has become a focal point, also for buyers looking for something below Rs 2 lakh mark. And Suzuki happens to have a brilliant product in the category – the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. It’s been refreshed with cleaner emissions and also a new paint job that is stealing the show.
The sekkei (design) and styling of the Gixxer SF 250 are every bit of sports motorcycle that you’d want it to be. Moreover, it gets a sharply designed LED headlamp housing and the tail lamp is LED as well. The fuel tank is well sculpted and the front is edgy with a small smoked windscreen. Suzuki also introduced new colour options for the SF 250 with the BS6 upgrade and the Suzuki Ecstar colour theme is just what it needed. It looks bigger and sportier in Suzuki’s official colours.
The pafōmansu (performance) delivered by the Gixxer SF 250 left us impressed even in its previous generation. The power and torque figures may have gone down very slightly in decimal points and that surely does not reflect. The throttle response is still sprightly. It is properly quick for a single-cylinder engine and is capable of a top speed in excess of 150 km/h.
A common misconception is that the more weight a motorcycle has, the more planted it is on high speeds. But the Gixxer SF 250 breaks the myth. It is super lightweight and remains planted at speeds above 120 km/h as it does at low speeds.
There’s ample torque in the lower rev range which means city riding is effortless, but it will demand comparatively more gearshifts than something more torque-biased like Bajaj Dominar 250. However, that just does not come across as a problem. Also, the gearbox is capable of keeping up with spirited riding. Expect fuel efficiency of about 35 kpl in the city and a wee bit higher while touring.
The raidodainamikusu (ride dynamics) ensure a mix of sporty and casual. While one can easily pull off a knee down on this motorcycle on a good corner, it does not really demand a very committed riding stance.
If I have to put my finger on the one thing that impresses the most about the bike, it would be the way it handles. It is effortless to switch directions but it could feel a tad lazy if you have the ‘racetrack mode’ switched on in your head. That is because the suspension is set up soft enough to take on undulations of real-world riding and that’s what makes it comfy.
The brakes are very bitey at lower speeds but as it picks up speed, braking feels a bit squidgy. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a seat as a pillion on it so would perhaps refrain from commenting on whether a friend would be at peace on the Gixxer SF 250’s rear seat.
Engine – 249cc 4-Stroke, 1-cylinder, oil-cooled
Power – 26.1 hp at 9,300 rpm
Torque – 22.2 Nm at 7,300 rpm
Ground clearance – 165 mm
Seat height – 800 mm
Front tyre – 110/70R17M/C 54S
Rear tyre – 150/60R17M/C 66S
Kerb weight – 161 kg
Fual tank capacity – 12 litres
Price – Rs 176,140 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
MotoGP Edition – Rs 176,941 (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The final hyōketsu (verdict) remains quite the same as it did for the previous generation Gixxer SF 250 with the addition of the fact that the new colours look absolutely smashing. The engine is super duper refined, there’s ample power and the delivery on the throttle is crisp but also accessible, it is a great blend of sporty behaviour and comfort, is still more affordable than some of its competition, and it is surely a looker.
At a price of Rs 1,76,140 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Gixxer SF 250 comes across as a steal and is fit for a first-time buyer or someone who’s done with 150cc class.
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