Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Review
Now, the Gixxer SF 250 is an extension of the smaller Gixxer SF. Using the same blueprint, Suzuki has fortified the 250 moniker with a strengthened chassis, powerful motor and contemporary styling.
Pros: Butter-smooth motor, comfortable ergonomics
Cons: Short windscreen, poor brakes
A few months ago, we rode the all-new Gixxer SF 250 at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) where our editor, Vikrant, found Suzuki’s newest quarter-litre supersport to be at home with its friendly and exploitable nature. While the motorcycle ticks most boxes when it comes to riding on a racetrack, on public roads is where it will spend most of its life.
Now, the Gixxer SF 250 is an extension of the smaller Gixxer SF. Using the same blueprint, Suzuki has fortified the 250 moniker with a strengthened chassis, powerful motor and contemporary styling. The task at hand for the Gixxer SF 250, in the real-world environment, is to strike a balance between sportiness and everyday usability, be powerful enough to not get bored too soon, make its way through traffic with ease and last but not the least, fulfil the fun quotient.
So, does the new Suzuki fill the cup enough for a motorcycle that one can live with comfortably on a daily basis? To answer that, here’s the road test review of the all-new Gixxer SF 250.
For a manufacturer whose product portfolio starts directly with a 125cc scooter and a 150cc motorcycle, it is a strong indication that the brand doesn’t believe in compromising on quality. And that is precisely the case with the Gixxer SF 250. Take a walk around the motorcycle and it speaks of premium appeal thanks to the good quality plastics and other materials. The finish of the panels is smooth around the edges while the overall fit and finish are pleasing to the eyes. The switchgear might not be the best in its class but it has a solid feel to it. Next are the sweet looking machined alloy wheels that are satisfying to look at from every angle.
Also, not to forget, there’s the oddly attractive matte black colour scheme which doesn’t look tacky or sub-standard, for that matter. In fact, it gives the motorcycle a stealth look. However, the two oddballs that stick out like a sore thumb are the chromed tip and shield on the exhaust canister. A matte treatment for the same would have synced in rather better. And second is the virtually useless windscreen that doesn’t aid even a bit in deflecting the windblast away from the rider.
The purpose of a supersport is to strike that balance between a sporty persona along with everyday usability, and Suzuki seems to have got it right with the Gixxer SF 250. The raised fuel tank and pillion seat accompanied by the full fairing portrays a strong sporty character to give the illusion of an aggressive riding triangle. However, it’s the opposite. The tall proportions hide the raised handlebars and the saddle position which, at 800mm, is comfortable for the average Indian. Swing a leg over its tail and you are welcomed by a riding posture that hardly takes any time to get accustomed with. You are leaning forward but not too much to remind you of your back, nor are the two-piece bars aggressively positioned to make you wring your wrists every time you stop at a traffic signal. The foot-pegs are mildly rear-set which feel apt for everyday riding.
The Gixxer SF 250 has a split-seat design, which apart from looking sporty is also comfortable, for the rider at least. There is sufficient space to move back and forth to find that sweet spot, and also provide enough room when crouched low. The Suzuki is suspended by telescopic forks at the front and swingarm-mounted monoshock for the rear. The setup is on the stiffer side which is apt for a motorcycle of this class. On straights, the bike feels poised making lane switches a fun factor. The same extends while executing corners too, where it maintains a good balance should one have to address a bump mid-way. On pothole-ridden roads, while there is not much scope for ride quality, the motorcycle feels integrated and strong, further strengthening the factor of comfort and quality.
On a racetrack like BIC, one might ask for more power from the Gixxer SF 250’s mill, but out on the road, you’ll seldom ask for it. The all-new 249cc single-cylinder, oil-cooled powerhouse, to be precise, is one gem of an engine. With the redline set at 10,000rpm, maximum power is available 1,000rpm earlier, while peak torque is available at the 7,500rpm mark. These factors contribute to a strong mid- and top-end, typical of a supersport.
Furthermore, the six-speed gearbox is super-slick with positive shifts regardless of whether you are shifting up or down. The powertrain, on the whole, is apt for daily commuting in the city as one can comfortably ride in fifth gear at speeds as low as 33-35kmph. And for open roads, while 110-120kmph are comfortable speeds, with the throttle whacked open, the bike’s top speed maxes out at 150kmph.
The only chink in the armour here are the brakes. Despite the all-disc setup with dual-channel ABS and larger rotor for the front disc (compared to the Gixxer SF), a stronger bite with more feel would have been welcomed.
Keeping with the competition, the 250 features LED head and tail lamps, but conventional turn indicators which don’t look that bad. The digital instrument console has been lifted directly from the Gixxer SF but gets an inverted display that is easier to read in sunlight. The list of information provided includes speedo, tacho, fuel gauge, odometer, two trip meters, clock, gear position indicator and a shift light beside the standard tell-tale lamps.
The Gixxer SF 250 managed to return an impressive mileage of 35.2kmpl in our fuel test. With a 12-litre fuel tank, one can cover a distance of around 422kms before running it dry.
Fitness of Purpose
The Gixxer SF 250 is a motorcycle that is comfortably fast, has the appeal to justify a second look, packs a surprisingly smooth engine that one can’t enough of and a riding stance that doesn’t expect too much from the rider either.
For its asking price of Rs 1.71 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Gixxer SF 250 sits comfortably between the competition comprising of the Yamaha Fazer 25 and the ageing Honda CBR250R on one end and the premium KTM RC 200 on the other. However, considering the pricing of the competitors, It would be an even sweeter deal had Suzuki priced it about Rs 3,000-4,000 lesser than the current sticker price.
For a motorcycle, the Gixxer SF 250 strikes an ideal balance between sportiness and everyday usability, combined with solid cycle parts and a potent motor making it a strong proposition to consider for buyers in this segment.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi
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