The quarter-litre Gixxer range from Suzuki Motorcycle India currently comprises of the Gixxer 250 roadster and the fully-faired Gixxer SF 250. Both motorcycles were introduced in 2019 with a BS4-compliant motor and they received the BS6 emission norm upgrade in 2020. The Gixxer 250 impressed us in its BS4 guise, but have the newest emission norms strangled the performance and made the motorcycle dull? More importantly, is it worth the premium over its rivals in the quarter-litre space? We rode the motorcycle for this comprehensive review and to find answers to those questions.
Before we get to the performance, let’s talk about the styling and the build quality of the motorcycle. As mentioned in the introduction, the Gixxer 250 was launched in the Indian market in 2019, and it received an all-new design. Thus, Suzuki has retained the styling cues on the BS6 model as well.
The BS6 model, however, gets a new, MotoGP inspired Metallic Triton Blue paint option that looks more appealing than the colours available earlier. Everything else is identical to the BS4 model and the Gixxer 250 BS66 continues to pack features such as an LED headlight, a negative LCD instrument cluster, a muscular fuel tank, split-style seats, an LED tail light, and a twin-pod exhaust canister with a chrome tip and heatshield.
The overall fit and finish is commendable, and the attention to detail is praiseworthy. The plastic and paint quality, too, feels premium. The switches don’t feel like they’re from the Jurassic Era, and they’re ergonomically placed for easy access, with or without riding gloves. They could, however, get a revision for a more modern look.
The digital instrument cluster packs basic information and the Bluetooth-connectivity upgrade is yet to make an appearance on the Gixxer 250. Suzuki may add the feature to its motorcycles in the future, although it is yet to announce a timeline on that update. The current display shows information about the speedometer, tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, fuel gauge, and a gear position indicator. The tell-tale indicators occupy the space around the LCD.
The overall styling is appealing, although, we felt that the headlight design could’ve been sharper. The current setup looks basic on an otherwise stylish motorcycle, and there are far more handsome quarter-litre products in the Indian market that look more desirable than the Gixxer 250. A GSX-S750 inspired headlight assembly would have made the Gixxer 250 an instant hit, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Nevertheless, there are more reasons to love the motorcycle and one among them is its engine. More on that later.
The roadster motorcycle gets a flat handlebar along with slightly rear-set footpegs that deliver sporty yet upright and city-friendly ergonomics. The saddle is sufficiently large for enhanced comfort. The seat height of 800mm is friendly too, and it makes the ground easily accessible. The motorcycle tips the weighing scale at 156kg, which is fairly light, and you can easily move it around. Unlike the SF version, the Gixxer 250 misses any windblast protection, and it’s noticeable while cruising at three-digit speeds.
Now to the question that we asked at the beginning – have the BS6 emission norms made the engine dull? We are happy to report that despite complying with the newest emission standards, the Gixxer 250 still packs the same engaging character as before. The 249cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled motor makes 26.1bhp at 9,300rpm and 22.2Nm at 7,300rpm. The motor is linked to a six-speed transmission.
The engine starts to pull away cleanly from 4,000rpm with a noticeable step-up in acceleration post 6,000rpm mark, and it continues to build momentum even close to its redline. It keeps you engaged without being intimidating, which should appeal the novice riders. The motorcycle feels comfortable to sit at highway speeds with minimal stress on the engine. You can also cruise in three-digit speeds, but as aforementioned, the lack of a protective windscreen makes the windblasts evident. The six-speed transmission feels crisp and smooth, and we didn’t face any issue with it. It does, however, miss the slipper and assist clutch function. The vibrations are well-managed too and you wouldn’t feel them unless you’re revving very close to the motorcycle’s redline.
The braking setup, too, delivers decent feedback but it would’ve felt even better with some more initial bite. The current setup, which comprises disc brakes on both wheels, feels progressive. The safety net is handled by dual-channel ABS.
Another USP of the Gixxer 250 is its handling prowess. It’s remarkably effortless to push around corners or flick from one side to the other. The muscular fuel tank offers enough space to hold on to the motorcycle when leaning into a corner and it’s very enjoyable on twisty roads. The sporty suspension tuning further aids the cause, although it can get bothersome on rough surfaces. Meanwhile, the turning radius isn’t something to write home about, and filtering through bumper-to-bumper traffic takes some effort.
The hardware is premium, but there is a scope for improvement. The LED headlight, for example, delivers a decent spread in low beam, however, the high beam is set too tall. The rear-view mirrors, too, aren’t very helpful, and you would end up staring at your elbows for most of the time. Lastly, the motorcycle misses the safety net of the side-stand inhibitor function, which would have further improved the safety aspect.
The Gixxer 250 BS6 returned close to 34km to a litre during the road test, that, along with the 12-litre tank gives the motorcycle a range of over 400km.
The feature list is nearly at par with the rivals and the Gixxer 250 comes equipped with an LED headlight, an LED taillight, and a digital instrument cluster. On the downside, the motorcycle doesn’t get Bluetooth-connectivity and the safety net of side-stand engine cut-off function, both of which would have improved the practicality and value-for-money aspect of the motorcycle.
Fitness of Purpose
The Suzuki Gixxer 250 is an ideal motorcycle for anyone who is looking for a city-friendly vehicle beyond the 100cc-150cc space. It packs a good amount of mid- and top-end performance while its handling prowess further aids its case. Out on the highway, it can easily cruise at speed limits with absolutely no stress on the engine and sufficient reserves of power for quick overtake.
The Suzuki Gixxer 250 is an appealing package, although it has a few things that the company needs to iron out. An improved headlight performance, rear-view mirror position and the addition of a side-stand inhibitor would make the overall package even more desirable. It also carries a price premium over its better equipped rival, the Bajaj Dominar 250, which may further push away potential buyers.
On the upside, the Gixxer 250 comes with a commendable build quality, a very enjoyable motor, and a hardware setup that makes it an absolute treat to ride, and we’d buy this Japanese motorcycle for those reasons.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi