We had the opportunity (Thanks to Eddie at Motorcycle World) ride the Suzuki GSX250R this past season. Several of us rode it on the street, track, and everywhere in between. We even let some students ride it. In the end we put about 3500kms on it. So is it a worthy first motorcycle?
Walking up to the Suzuki it is beautiful (or handsome depending on what sex you determine your motorcycle to be). We named our Gemma as it is very pretty. Suzuki kept with the design cues of the GSXR lineup. This does not look like a 250cc motorcycle. The LED taillight looks good and illuminates nicely. Which brings me to a gripe about LED and bulbs. This applies to all motorcycles. LED is by far the sexier option for motorcycle lighting. Either go full LED all around or none at all. Mixing them just looks cheap. We have the manufacturers cost cutting engineers to blame. The lines of GSX250R really do flow nicely and this is probably the best looking small cc sportbike or a tie with the Yamaha R3.
Getting on the motorcycle you’ll quickly think it is a heavy motorcycle but the angle of the kickstand is too blame. I am not sure why they made it lean over so much. Once you get the motorcycle upright it’ll feel just as light as it’s competitors. So don’t let that turn you off from the motorcycle. It weighs 178kg/392lbs which is within 5% of all other smaller cc sportbikes. Seat height is similar to others so if you’re shorter than 5″4′ it might be a little tall for you. The Ninja 300 with the lowering link is still the easiest for shorter riders. The fully digital display is well laid out and easy to read (even in the sun). You even get a gear indicator. The fit and finish of the motorcycle feels good and feels like quality as well.
Riding the Suzuki feels comfortable. Thankfully all the small cc motorcycles are not too aggressive so they are reasonable for comfort. If you are shorter, you will feel more leaned over than someone who is taller. A twist of the throttle and it does not feel like a 250cc motorcycle, the power is smooth too. Given that the competition is all 300ccs or higher, why Suzuki brought out another 250cc is interesting. I can see why Suzuki brought out the 250cc as it is used in their GW lineup, but why release a 250cc in a field of 300cc+ motorcycles? The 250cc engine will keep up with the 300cc engines in it’s class. Suzuki geared the engine for more low end power so the only thing you’ll be short on is top speed. The top speed is about 140km/h which is about 10-30kmh lower than everyone else. So if top speed is your thing, look elsewhere. This bike will do everything you need it to do in city streets and highways.
On the track this bike really shines. It loves corners and will give you lots of confidence to lean it over. Like most suspensions in its class it is fairly basic but with my 6’2″ 200lb frame it did just fine. Cornering felt great and any bumps I hit along the way were not enough to upset the bike. You will be shifting gears quite a bit which is common among smaller cc motorcycles. Just more so with the 250cc engine. This is an excellent motorcycle learn cornering on. It’ll give you great confidence once you’re ready to upgrade to the larger sportbike.
Pricing is $4699CDN which is on the lower end in comparison with others. While this is a good deal, a couple hundred bucks more and you can get 300ccs and ABS. That might be too good to pass up. There is definitely a place for the Suzuki GSX250R in your garage or as a first motorcycle. Suzuki was quite late getting its iconic small GSXR to the public but they did a great job, it is just quite competitive out there.