Suzuki Unveil The GSX-250R & V-Strom 250…But Not For The US…
Two Unveilings From Suzuki: The Suzuki GSX-R250R & Suzuki V Strom 250
Updated August 15, 2018
Suzuki has unveiled not one but two new small capacity machines at China’s recent CIMA show. First up, we’ve got the baby GSX-R (named the GSX-250R) which we were already expecting – we saw the 125 version at Cologne’s INTERMOT show. Then, Suzuki threw a curveball and unveiled something quite unexpected: a 250cc V-Strom.
Sadly, both of these bikes won’t be making it to US shores, it does offer an interesting insight into the future of motorcycle development. Smaller capacity bikes are starting to be pushed into the spotlight. With BMW’s G310R platform, Ducati’s smaller Scramblers, and the usual offerings from Honda and Yamaha, Suzuki are also joining the ranks of the sub-500cc class. And when you’re looking at the future of the automotive industry, China is a good place to search for clues. In recent years in the car industry, manufacturers and designers have taken the power of the Asian market into consideration, and the design language has changed to accommodate it.
Riffing off of a statistic from a few years back, it seemed that more luxury cars were being sold in China than anywhere else in the world. On top of that, most of the rich elite who could afford a luxury vehicle could also afford a driver too – so the drive experience was no longer the main draw; passenger comfort was instead. And it’s no surprise that long wheel bases became the norm. In the bike segment, things aren’t quite the same, but there’s been a recent increase in the number of smaller capacity machines being produced to meet the demands of the Asian market. Think of the Scrambler Sixty – it was almost specifically designed for the young and wealthy Chinese segment. The same thing is happening with Honda’s South East Asian-only CBRs. And now perhaps with Suzuki’s latest efforts. Although these will hit the shops in the UK and Europe. Just not here in the States.
And that’s a shame really. There are plenty of people who would feel more encouraged to pull a helmet over their heads and get on two wheels, but are too daunted by what the American market classes as “entry level” bikes. 600cc and up is quite daunting for a newbie rider – especially as we all know how fast and furious a 600 can be. A broader choice of smaller bikes would be a great thing for the American market.
The 2017 Suzuki GSX-250R isn’t much to write home about though. It’s a slightly higher spec’d Inazuma 250 wearing sportsbike clothing. But the V-Strom 250 however, now that’s something worth looking at. It’s not a pocket sized bike, and it has been designed to accommodate the full sized human without making the rider look like a giant. With the right proportions and a modest 250cc motor, it’s likely to be a hit with part-time adventure riders and full-time commuters. It ticks the “big” boxes and comes with the efficiency of the “small.”
On top of that, the DL250 Suzuki V Strom will also come with all of the optional extras, like top boxes and panniers, but also with LED lights as standard, decent fuel efficiency, and all of the trappings of a large sized adventure tourer but at an affordable price. We’ll be keeping our eyes out for more details as soon as it gets its western unveiling at EICMA next month. We’ll also have some more concrete info on the GSX-250R too, which will have a different specification for the European market…