Suzuki’s entrance into the Indian quarter-litre segment was totally worth the wait. We inferred the same after a day at the Buddh International Circuit where we spent plenty of time with both the SF 250 and its younger sibling SF 150. But with our agonizing traffic and terrible roads, the whole supersport faired bike vibe does not resonate with everyone. Hence, Suzuki came out with a street naked version of the same bike in order to fit the bill, the Gixxer 250.
First off, how much does the bike differ from its faired sibling? The Gixxer 250 comes with a regular handlebar, unlike the clip-ons on the SF 250. Which means you manoeuvre the bike better without that much of a committed posture. The wheelbase is shortened by 5mm. Which makes the bike all the more agile in traffic. Also, with the fairing and its associated knick-knacks off the table, the Gixxer 250 sheds around 5kg than the SF version.
So what about other key aspects? Well, the engine, the chassis, the suspension and the brakes are pretty much the same from the SF 250. Which means I can keep going about how it fairs on paper, but that’s not what we are really here for, because what we really need to find out is how well all aspects of the Gixxer 250 come together and serves the purpose to be the better ones on the street.
In urban conditions, where the bike is intended to thrive, the Gixxer 250 showed impressive performance with the right amount of torque in the low as well as –mid-range. The 26.2hp from the motorcycle’s 249cc engine proves to be more than enough for anyone who is upgrading from a 150-cc bike.
The telescopic suspension setup at the front and monoshock at the rear is set on a slightly stiffer side which makes it a bit difficult for the motorcycle to absorb the undulations on our bad roads. However, during corners, the same suspension set up works in your favour inspiring more confidence to carry more speed.
Speaking of confidence, we thought that the brakes on the Gixxer 250 could have done with more bite. While this might be enough for your daily city commutes, it is enough to take out the fun during spirited riding.
With its raised handlebar and slightly rear-set footpegs the Gixxer 250 provides one of the best ergonomic position that lies in the sweet spot between committed and comfortable. However, what weighs it down are the stiff seats that might give you a soar rear during long rides. We wished he seat had a bit more cushioning that would have only added to the comfort.
So to sum it up, the Gixxer 250 might not be as dramatic or aggressive as the orange ones in the market, but it does have the ability to please the beginners as a bike that is much forgiving and does not need an expert’s hand to operate. All the aspects in the Gixxer 250 come together to make up for a bike that is a hoot on the highways and not bad at all on the streets. Yes, it is true that this motorcycle comes at a premium of nearly 26000 Rs than the FZ25 but considering what it brings on the table, the whole package is definitely a good value for money.