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Suzuki Goes After Kawasaki and Honda with Inexpensive Parallel Twin – The Inazuma 250

At the Motorcycle Live show in the UK, Suzuki has just introduced the Inazuma 250, a low cost SOHC in-line twin with six speed transmission.

Taking design cues from the B-King, the Inazuma 250 appears identical to a model introduced in Asia just a couple of months ago. Suzuki says it “has been optimized for low-to-mid range speeds ideal for city and town traffic.” Suzuki claims the bike still has enough power, however, to “comfortably deal with any open roads.” Suzuki has kept weight down by emphasizing aluminum parts in the chassis.

Instrumentation includes a gear position indicator, a service reminder and a three-mode rpm prompt for gear change. The latter feature also has an option for “economy mode” that will prompt changing gear to “achieve optimal fuel consumption.”

The bike will be available in Europe next fall and priced to compete with the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Honda CBR250R. It does not appear it will be available in the U.S. next year.

98 Comments

  1. Ritesh says:

    I echo the sentiments of a few others… why couldn’t it have been 350cc and be genuinely usable on the motorway/highway.

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  2. Rocky V says:

    Dan
    great point– if they went with a long stroke slightly larger motor 3-350 the cost to build would be the same and the performance would be through the roof -(so to speak) compaired to the others – and with a long stroke motor as to a short – they would have a nice around town bike with more torque

    don’t forget they did this in the 70′s with the 185 enduro

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    • CBR250R says:

      I agree. But I suspect their reason for releasing a 250cc bike has more to do with licensing requirements and insurance in many countries around the world where they intend to sell the bike. Still – considering that most of their tooling would be paid for – would it be asking for too much to have them develop a long-stroke version of the engine with 350cc for the N. American and other markets?

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      • Dave says:

        The US market is notoriously un-fertile for small displacement bikes. Their market research is likely telling them that there is not enough demand for a 350 that isn’t already being answered by an existing product (scooter, dual sport, etc.).

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  3. Dan says:

    I didn’t mean to gripe in my comments, and DO wish it would be brought to the US asap – perhaps Suzuki US has a warehouse of TUs that they need to deplete first, but really – I’m a SUZUKI fan, have owned 3 (all black, by coincidence ) over three decades and currently have a Wee-Strom in my collection that is my commuter bike (and a great one at that).

    I don’t think it needs more tank capacity – better mileage should yield sufficent range and it’s not a sport-tourer, light weight and modest speeds mean it shouldn’t need bigger brakes or high-zoot suspension and I REALLY like that it’s (mostly) naked – fairings on first bikes are just not a good idea, in my opinion.

    The missed opportunities are: (most importantly) can’t buy one here if you wanted and ( for Suzuki’s market share) a slightly bigger motor (3-350) would give them an edge their established competition (EX250,CBR250) couldn’t assail. – Like the 636 and 675 motors, if you aren’t displacement-class racing why not ?

    But thanks for the tease ?

    Report this comment

  4. David Duarte says:

    I wish they would just put a rear disc brake on the TU250 and bump it up to 500 cc’s. That would rock!

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  5. Mtrhead says:

    Now if Yamaha took the 2012 V Star 250 drivetrain and the 2012 FZ8 frame/suspension pieces they would have a great standard street bike – all the regulatory work is done and the R&D has been amortized.

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  6. Tom says:

    I think Suzuki has coined a new vocabulary word. Instead of saying you are in a hurry you can say I’m inazuma.

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  7. YellowDuck says:

    It actually looks to me like the exhaust cans have replacable, bolt-on sliders. If that’s the case, then hooray for Suzuki. Every newbie bike should have those.

    Report this comment

  8. MGNorge says:

    It’s the old, “Have your cake and eat it too”, thing. Let’s see now, a good starter bike must have the latest Ohlins suspension, upside down forks, radial mount, monobloc Brembo brakes, be lightweight, be low cost, have gobs of power and fantastic fuel mileage. Add to that it must be able to carry a passenger with ease, be able to mount a top trunk and be able to take its rider(s) thousands of miles away on holiday! Does that sound about right..oh yeah, some want it to be a two-stroke! Is it no wonder smaller bikes have such a hard time here in the US?

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  9. andy1300 says:

    I like it, would be a great starter bike. I hope it comes to the U.S.A too *

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  10. John says:

    250s are just too small. And it’s not like they cost less to build than a 350-400cc bike anyway.

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  11. falcodoug says:

    Come on people it’s a budget 250 already.

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  12. Canuck papa says:

    Ugliest and unbalance design ever created. Looks like a monkey draw it. total lack of fluidity huge gaps and esthetic noice and those forks looks like they were taken from a RD350 28mm.

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  13. Rocky V says:

    It’s nice –but i think the Honda is a better bike

    now if Triumph comes out with a 3 cylinder – inverted fork — i’m buying a 250

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  14. Kentucky Red says:

    All around, I like it, but there is one reason I would definitly not buy this bike: the front forks. Did they get them off of a bicycle? I’m 220 pounds, and there is no way those things can take my weight. I learned my lesson about forks on a GS500; good ones are worth their weight in gold, bad ones ruin an otherwise great motorcycle.

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  15. jc says:

    looks like a good backup bike and around town/commuter. I like the looks too, not as extreme as the B king’s under seat exhaust. Here’s that UJM everyone has been asking for, it’s styling is subdued but it won’t put you to sleep either, I can see a tuning community growing around this bike, sorta like the Honda Civic crowd. I hope it gets over 80 mpg.

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  16. JimW says:

    What are they smoking at Suzuki? An awesome bike (B King) flops because of horrible styling and they bring it back on another one?

    If they had any sense they would bring the B King back with less bizarre styling and sell a bunch of them (at least one-to me!)

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    • Kentucky Red says:

      Really? Not a fan of the B-king look? Other than the tailpipes, which were clearly fugly, I really liked the B-King. If there was some way to transplant some more terrestrial pipes (off of an R-1, per se), I’d be happy to buy one.

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    • ze says:

      Agreed. Would like to own a bike with t bking specs but until the style is as it is.. NO WAY !!
      And that massive tank is actually very small, only 16 liters: RIDICULOUS !!

      Suzuki: Raise the tank capacity and remove those air entries, change those pipes and that front,
      it’ll look much better and you’ll save material.
      Ahh, hayabusa also one the worst designs ever with that beetle tail…

      Report this comment

    • ES says:

      Grey import a GSX1400! .. so sexy.

      Report this comment

  17. chornbe says:

    Wow, some whiney nay-sayers in this thread. It’s a cool bike.

    Report this comment

    • Ruefus says:

      Ain’t that the truth. Good Lord,

      Report this comment

    • neil says:

      Yeah I don’t get those integrated front signals. Hideous. I just sold a TU 250 that looked better even though the motor was not as up to date. I am actually thinking of getting a CBR250R. I don’t like high bars when the high tail and seat of the bike do not let you move back on the seat for longer rides. But for the new rider it may be safer to keep them in the front spot over the front wheel.

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  18. Hewlett Hermit says:

    In the discussion of modern 250cc motorcycles a bike that always seems to be forgotten is the Hyosung. These are very good motorcycles. I’ve had a Hyosung GT 250 for about 5 years. Fun to ride, no service problems, and more than 60 mpg. What’s not to like?

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    • johnny ro says:

      What’s not to like on my 2004 GT250 is the carbs do not work. Horrible stumble at 3/4 throttle. Its odd, they are Japanese Mikunis. Resist any form of repair/mod/rejet.

      Newer ones are FI and they stumble until you buy new control unit. Not sure about 2011s.

      Anyway, thats what not to like about a Hyosung GT250. Otherwise its pretty decent.

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  19. Mickey says:

    I’m old school.I think twin mufflers on a bike give it a balanced look. My ST 1300 has twin mufflers. My Nighthawk 750 has twin mufflers. My FZ-1 has a big ugly single muffler and I so wish it had a nice looking set of twin mufflers. I realize twin mufflers add weight, and could lead to potential damage to either side. I’m willing to live with that in exchange for a better/more balanced looking motorcycle.

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  20. Dave says:

    I’m liking that someone has brought forward a modern, small displacement standard. Seems like the only other choices for us yanks were Ninja 250/CBR 250 (plastic covered sport bikes) and dirt bikes (uncomfortable for more than a few minutes at a time) and the Nighthawk 250 (drum brakes…). Hope it’s big enough for taller guys. Most small bikes are exactly that, small.

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  21. mxs says:

    It’s a respectable effort for newbie commuter. The problem is they are way too late to the game, and it definitely is not a game changer, unless they ask ridiculously low price for it (doubt it for a new model …)

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  22. Agent55 says:

    Yikes, sooo the interns designed this one then?

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  23. Dan says:

    I don’t mind the styling – it’s not awful, anyway. I do wonder about the 2-exhausts and low-ish spec looking components – definately built down to a price, I know.

    My wonder is: “Why 250 cc ?” Suzuki is so caught up in convention on this. If built/marketed as the over-dog in the entry level field with, say a 300-350 motor they’d have a niche all to themselves like they enjoyed with the SV-family. Perhaps in the intervening 1-2 years between this release and eventual US-introduction they’ll come around – it would leave the TU250 as the simple, low-cost starter bike and offer an up-sell for clients that want ‘a bit more’. I suppose it’s all driven by Euro-regs.

    DW

    • Bud says:

      I’m with ya – it’s time to revive the econo 400cc twin class like we had in the late 70s – early 80s.

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    • Kentucky Red says:

      couldn’t agree more.

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    • johnny ro says:

      Its a 250 because they want it to be a 250.

      They see it will sell in many places as a 250.

      They are not bringing to US? That could change. They sell out the relatively few TUs allocated to US. I think they will maybe allocate a large handful of these to the US sooner or later.

      Other countries are more used to riding 250s and that is where it is targeted. US? Small bike is a 600 with 100hp or a liter size fat boy slob dob cruiser.

      Cheers!

      PS I also want a super sherpa, low fender version. Have an eye out.

      Report this comment

  24. Pat Walker says:

    Dual exhaust on a little 250 – added weight, added cost and guaranteed to damage
    an expensive part no matter what side the bike is dropped on.

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  25. Kevin H says:

    Another fine example of the Japanese simply NOT listening to the U.S. Market desires. While they have “time” to re-dress the Hideous V-Stroms, they don’t have time to bring in a great beginner/commuter bike like this…Ridiculous, little wonder Suzuki USA is on the brink of going away.

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    • Randy Singer says:

      This bike was just introduced. It may be that a version for the U.S. will be forthcoming. Only with styling, features, maybe even displacement that is more closely tailored to American tastes.

      I’m very encouraged just to see an all-new design from Suzuki. I’m even more encouraged by the fact that Suzuki decided to offer something that isn’t exactly like what Honda and Kawasaki offer.

      I’m willing to withhold any criticisms of Suzuki until we learn more about this bike (it’s weight and price in Europe), and see if Suzuki has more new bike in store, especially for the U.S.

      Report this comment

  26. Morris Bethoven says:

    Bring on the 250′s! I think that it’s great that we’re getting more options in the small bike segment. I think that this bike will be offered in the USA in the near future. It’s all driven by fuel prices and everyone knows what direction those prices are headed. It would be nice to see some performance/HP numbers as I’m curious how they all stack up.

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    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t think motorcycle sales in the US are driven that much by fuel prices. If that were the case, we would see much more sophisticated engine management systems on mainstream bikes than what is available now.

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  27. Trent says:

    It’s fuel-injected and even has a gear position indicator. My only question would be how much it weighs. Looks like a good bike, especially a good first bike.

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  28. moto says:

    Looks like a decent MSF platform. Should be single muffler to save weight and reduce the cost of tip overs.

    Beginner bikes should be designed to tip over and have cheap replacement bumpers/frame sliders that impact the ground first.

    The cowling around the front of the tank should go – just more plastic to be replaced.

    Yes, the heat shields are not done very well at all.

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  29. Jay says:

    Well, like it or not, you won’t be taking one because Suzuki doesn’t like us enough to export it to the US. It kind of ticks me off, but hey, I guess that’s business.

    You know, Kawasaki makes a bike called the Super Sherpa that I NEVER see reviewed, mentioned or discussed. It’s a 400, but it’s sold here and it would be the answer to many wish lists.

    • Vroooom says:

      The Super Sherpa used to be a 250 (I bought one for my wife), and it was sort of a down scale version of their KLR250 with a lower seat height and a bit softer suspension. I don’t think they still make it, at least I didn’t see it on their website when I looked.
      I agree with you, we need more bikes like this to give new riders and those who just want and efficient commuter something to ride.

      Report this comment

    • Trent says:

      The Super Sherpa is a 250, not a 400.

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  30. Philip says:

    Well, at least they designed something new in Hamamatsu! Not made for the US market but they could sell a few here. It looks like a good MSF course platform.

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  31. Yoyodyne says:

    The heat shields on the exhausts look terrible, really cheapen the look of the bike, but otherwise it’s quite spiffy.

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  32. JoBu says:

    Suzuki – Please bring this bike to the US. I will purchase one if you do. My g/f is looking for her first bike and she loves my BKing…so, the choice is easy (if only it was available).

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  33. steveinsandiego says:

    wow, i’ll take one. and it looks like y’don’t hafta remove the tank to change the spark plugs – huge plus in my hate/can’t-do-much-maintenance-myself persona. hey, dual exhausts are killer – go easy, folks. i wonder what the valve adjustment schedule is.

    it can share the garage with my ninja 650 and – shh – i’m looking at an HD street bob or honda fury, too. LOL.

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  34. Wormjello says:

    Do you remember the first time you rode a motorcycle? It was probably a 250 and it was the most amazing thing you ever felt. Also, it wasn’t half as good as the Inazuma!

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    • Mickey says:

      wormjello…my first street bike was a 50cc Aermacchi. You’re right…I would have died and gone to heaven if I had had a 250. The 50 was followed by a 90 and then a CB 160. My first “big bike” was a 67 305 Scrambler. It opened my eyes to the world of going out of state and back.

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    • MGNorge says:

      Wormjello, most likely being a little older than you my first bike was a Honda Sport 50. Back in the mid-sixties there were all kinds of sizes and types of bikes below 250cc. In fact, a 250cc bike almost, it did, seem like a far off dream. Such power, such speed.
      We came from lawnmower engine powered minibikes and go-karts and just to have something with a gearbox and suspension was the most amazing thing for us. A 250cc bike makes a great around town bike and will take you out to the country for a nice ride too. I think many people’s perspective needs to get grounded again before these bikes will find large acceptance here in the US.

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  35. Mickey says:

    That’s a great looking little bike IMO. I agree with Kjazz very 599/919 looking. I’d much rather have that, than the TU250, although if I did I’d probably change out the front fender for something smoother looking. Wish they’d have posted a head on and rear views. No matter, I doubt it’s coming here.

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  36. mookie says:

    that’s a cute little bike.
    i’d like to get hold of that headlight meter pod once someone crashes one…

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  37. Pat Walker says:

    With that styling I hope it sells better than the b-king.
    Then again how hard could that be?

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  38. Tom says:

    Interesting bike, but whoever is in charge of naming bikes at Suzuki should be fired. “Inazuma” sounds like something you need a vaccine for. Not to mention previous strange names, like “Intruder” (really?), “Volusia” (with no offense to south Florida, the name mimics the sound a toliet makes when you flush it), “B-King” (still waiting for the special Disney “Lion King” version). And of course the V-Storm, oops I mean Strom.

  39. MarkF says:

    I’d rather have a TU250. Make mine a Scrambler as long as we’re wishing.

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    • Justin says:

      Same here. Now if I could get this engine in a TU250, then we’d really be talking! But if Suzuki wanted to go sportier, they should have made the twin a V.

      All that said, their own DRZ400SM is still a far better urban bike.

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      • Dave says:

        There are a couple of V-twin 250′s out there(older VTR250, Hyosung, etc) but for simplicity and cost the inline twin makes more sense, one set of cams, one timing chain, one cylinder casting, simple exhaust, etc. Engine size is smaller.

        I would like to see a 400cc (twin or single) street bike. The DR is cool but it’s a dirt bike with road wheels.

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    • XXrider says:

      That’s a GREAT idea! Suzuki should have heavily revised the TU250 single into that concept instead. That would have been a great entry level bike in all ways.

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  40. MGNorge says:

    Coming from an era when there were so many choices in the sub-500cc classes I applaud the extra competition here. It’s all about choice.

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  41. Denny says:

    Two-fifty and twin? Noooo, that does not make sense. And the styling? No inventivness whatsoever. Where is the thing made? In Thailand, India? Shame on wasted effort.

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    • Tim C says:

      “Two-fifty and twin? Noooo, that does not make sense.”

      What what WHAAAT???

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    • Tim C says:

      To elaborate on my previous comment, Shirley, you must joking. I don’t think I need list the 250 twins that are/have been nicely successful, and nice to ride. On the styling, while I concur with those that dislike the “junior B-King” look, I wouldn’t say it’s not inventive, just that the Japanese often are inventive in a different way – so saying it’s not inventive is a big ??. As far as where it’s made, you may note lots of bikes are going that way … which just comes down to the mfg making sure they stay on top of quality control….

      Report this comment

      • Denny says:

        I am projecting my own view Timley, maybe little too vigorously. Oh yes, one time all jap 250s were twins. Why? To be smoother and nice to ride, as you say. To look more plush and ‘cultivated’ than euro bikes of the time. But those times are gone. People (now not just everyone who looks for transpotration, but quite narrow and defined crowd) want bikes with character. Singles have it!

        As far as appearance? Well, I was quite mild; it’s otright crappy.

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        • TimC says:

          No DennyLeyPupkins,I was merely calling you on the inaccuracy of your criticisms, not how vigorous they are etc. If you think 250 twin “doesn’t make sense” then you are seemingly unaware of many sensible 250 models that use twins (of various configurations). If you think twins (do you include v-twins) lack “character,” say so.

          As for appearance, you said the styling lacked inventiveness, not that it is crappy.

          Thanks for being another llama that attempts to stagger across the information superhighway, otright crappy typing skills and all.

          Report this comment

        • AndrewF says:

          ‘people want bikes with character’? Clearly from the context of your post you actually mean, ‘bikes that vibrate’… well, maybe it floats your boat, that’s fine. I don’t pretend to speak for ‘people’ but I will say it is definitely not what I want.

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          • Denny says:

            They all do vibrate no matter how many cylinders they have. My 4cylinder Hornet vibrates, no matter how ‘smooth’ it may be. However, as you may be aware this is commonly treated by balancers. Whatever remains is called ‘character’.

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  42. Tuskerdu says:

    I was never a big fan of the B-King styling. Suzuki would have been better off giving this bkie cleaner, simpler lines.

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  43. clasqm says:

    Well, the B-King styling makes it look like a 5-year old walking in her mommy’s shoes. Still, if there are more beginner’s bikes to buy, perhaps fewer beginners will kill themselves on a 600cc race-rep.

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  44. Vladimir says:

    Engine type 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC
    Bore x Stroke 53.5 mm x 55.2 mm
    Displacement 248 cm3
    Compression ratio 11.5 : 1
    Fuel system Fuel injection
    Ignition system Electronic ignition, fully transistorized
    Starter system Electric
    Transmission 6-speed constant mesh
    Suspension (front) Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
    Suspension (rear) Swing arm, coil spring, oil damped
    Brake (front) Disc
    Brake (rear) Disc
    Tire (front) 11 0/80-17M/C 57H
    Tire (rear) 14 0/70-17M/C 66H
    Fuel tank capacity 13.3 L
    Headlight 12V35/35W
    Overall length 2,145 mm
    Overall width 760 mm
    Overall height 1,075 mm
    Wheelbase 1,430 mm
    Grand clearance 165 mm
    Seat height 780 mm
    Curb mass N/A

    Report this comment

  45. bikerrandy says:

    I see it’s watercooled. Not interested in 1, but isn’t competition great ?!

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  46. Kjazz says:

    Very Honda 919 looking. Which is to say, pretty solid!!!

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  47. Gordon says:

    I think it would go a long way toward selling as a commuter bike if they made it so it would easily accept a top case.

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  48. MUSTAFA says:

    Sure looks like a DOHC to me…

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  49. Steve D says:

    What a fantastic motorcycle class this could be if they would only bring back 2 stroke engines larger than 50cc. I’d love to drop and RZ350 in this chassis and then really have some fun. otherwise… yaaaawwwwnn..

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  50. Kawatwo says:

    Yes please, we need as many fun beginner bikes as we can get. Wondering what the seat height is.

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