Hyosung Aquila GV250

31 March 2014, 09:42 AM Ninad Mirajgaonkar



Touring is becoming a fashion among Indian motoring enthusiasts. And why should it not? We have vast expanse of open lands, bio diversity worth experiencing and some really good roads that are connected by many miserable ones with the difficulty level equivalent of playing Ping Pong with a Chinese national, giving riders a sense of achievement like no other.  Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson have been capitalizing on this pretty well for a while and it is time that few others ride the wave, even if that won’t dent the sales of the two. Hyosung is the front runner among the alternative premium motorcycle brands for cruisers and this time we test their new entry-level model, the Aquila 250.


Looks & Styling


Styling is a very important part of the cruiser’s identity and the Aquila 250 scores pretty well on this front. It may not be big, at best you can call it stout – but it is proportionate with a good amount of detailing giving it the very necessary classic touch. 


The front is like any basic cruiser, only smaller and shorter. It gets the standard round headlamp and two piece instrument cluster complete with mandatory chrome plating. In fact, it seems Hyosung is convinced that chrome has no alternative and everything from levers, mirrors, side panels, oil reservoir, gearbox cover, rear shock, exhaust pipes and almost everything else get more than their fair share of chrome. 

The Aquila 250 looks the best from the side angle; the decent rake angle, big front and rear mudguards (although only fiber), split seats and two into one exhaust give the bike a nice strong character. The rear, however, is not so enticing, both the emblem-ish tail lamp and number plate sit on weirdly designed rear panels that look aftermarket. 


Whatever the case, it attracts lot of attention. I was gawked at all through the two days that I rode this bike and in India this generally means job well done!

Engine & Performance


Like the name suggests, the Aquila 250 gets a twin-cylinder 250cc oil-cooled fuel-injected motor. It is almost thesame motor that powers the GT250R delivering 26.5bhp at 9,500rpm and peak torque of 21.4Nm at 7,000rpm. Now these figures are perfect for an entry-level sportbike, but the demands of a cruiser are completely different. Where constantly redlining sounds a lot of fun on sporty bikes, need of a cruiser is healthy mid-range torque that would help in quick overtaking and getting close to triple digits without down shifting too often. 

The peaky power delivery of this engine means it has to be revved hard all the time if the intention is to maintain speed in triple digits. Shift below the peak torque delivery and you will struggle to cross 90kph in fifth gear and that is not a very nice attribute. The 500cc Royal Enfields let you cruise at 90kph and that too for a fraction of a price. But the end result is the same – if you embark upon a 750km journey from Mumbai to Udaipur and are a little late to start in the morning, you will have to wake up the innkeeper for a room. The refinement levels are pretty ok till 90kph, after which annoying vibrations can be felt at the foot pegs and the handle bar. Gear shifts are light and easy, although getting it back to neutral can be a bit of a pain at times. 


On the other side, at times when you intend to go fast, the Aquila won’t let you down. Pin the throttle and it will rev cleanly to the redline of 10,500rpm in each of the first three gears getting to a speed of 120kph in under 15 seconds. Continue riding this hard and the Aquila will still return close to 25kpl and well-mannered riding will get you astonishing figures for a twin of close to 30kpl.


Ride & Ergonomics


This motorcycle is relatively light for a cruiser at 179kg and with its extremely low stance managing it in traffic conditions is very easy. The flip side, of course, is that low ride height means limited suspension travel and that offers negligible amount of protection against the abundant potholes and speed-humps on Indian roads. The seating position is quite nice and will allow you to ride easily for hours or at least till the end of usable fuel from the 14 litre tank. 


The Aquila 250 turns quite well, on an absolutely smooth surface there is no problem pushing through the corner. The suspension set up is stiff courtesy limited travel but that is a big plus at high speeds. Be careful though, cause even a bit of rough patch can unsettle this bike very quickly.  The braking power is not all that great, the single disc at the front and drum brake at the rear are not good enough to stop this bike in time, especially when compared with motorcycles that demand a similar price. 


The instrument cluster is basic and the electronic bits are too small. The backlight is useful when riding beyond dusk, but that cannot be said about the headlamp – the light is inadequate and an upgrade is a must for highway rides. The rear seat is a very bad place and I am not even complaining about the missing back rest. The material is hard and the slanted suspension fails to provide any kind of comfort to the independent back seat.



The Aquila 250 looks and feels way premium compared to any of the Royal Enfields, plus it is a head turner, which is a very important factor in the Indian market. Talk purely about performance and this motorcycle has more than its fair share of flaws especially if you are a touring enthusiast looking for a relatively budget option for your long distance travel. The 500cc single cylinder models will do your job equally well and let you save some money for the next trip.

However, if Sunday rides tops your list and you are looking for something premium that will grab attention as you ride around in the least possible budget - look no further.  And if you look at it from this perspective, Hyosung has got the formula right because the first lot of 250 bikes is already sold out!



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