Suzuki V-strom 250
Suzuki’s V-strom 250 sets out for a mini adventure but gets lost along the way…
ON FIRST IMPRESSIONS, the Suzuki V-strom 250 certainly ticks all the right boxes. Designed under the philosophy ‘massive and smart,’ the new mini V-strom is pleasingly large for a small-capacity bike and comes very well equipped. As standard you get ABS, an LCD dash with a fuel gauge and gear indicator, 17-inch wheels, a screen and a solid metal tail rack. Add lots of optional extras to make this already really practical bike even more so and, at £4695, it seems a bargain. But there’s a catch.
Powered by the same 248cc parallel twin engine as the firm’s GSX250R, which is effectively an Inazuma motor made Euro4-compliant, you only get 25bhp and 17lb·ft to play with and, on a bike weighing 188kg, it isn’t enough. And it’s a crying shame because if it just had a bit more grunt the V-strom 250 would be excellent. The rest of the bike is spot on.
Even taller riders will find the V-strom comfortable and roomy, the single disc brakes are perfectly acceptable in their bite and the fact it comes with 17-inch and not off-road sized wheels gives it agile and secure road-holding. It’s just chronically lacking in performance and struggles to top 70mph. Add a pillion or luggage and it would be worse. The motor may be frugal — a claimed 88mpg and tank range of 300 miles — but to ride it is to be left wanting. At the moment, Suzuki is frustrating; it builds fantastic all-new machines such as the GSX-R1000, and GSX-R125 and GSX-S125 (see p7) models. But then it cuts corners and leaves buyers short-changed with the likes of the GSX-S750 and the recent lazy update to the SV650. The V-strom 250 falls into the latter category. The chassis, riding position, concept and handling are all spot on — but Suzuki has attempted to save money by using an outdated motor and it ruins the bike. For the sake of increasing its capacity, Suzuki has dropped the ball on what could have been a brilliant mini-adventurer.
“To ride it is to be left wanting”