Suzuki V-strom 250

Suzuki’s V-strom 250 sets out for a mini ad­ven­ture but gets lost along the way…

RiDE (UK) - - Contents - Words Jon Urry

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”

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