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2013 Suzuki GW250: MD Riding Impression

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In Florida recently to attend the AIM Expo, MD had an opportunity to conduct a very brief test of the 2013 Suzuki GW250, which is finally arriving at U.S. dealers after some delays. This little 248 cc twin will compete directly with Honda’s CBR250R and Kawasaki’s Ninja 300, although the GW250 is a naked rather than a faired machine.

This fuel injected machine features a six-speed transmission and non-adjustable suspension (other than stepped preload on the rear shock). Disc brakes front and rear transfer force through narrow tires, including a 110/80-17 front and a 140/70-17 rear.

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A comfortable, upright rider triangle blends well with a 3.5 gallon fuel capacity, which delivers well over 150 miles in range. A curb weight of 403 pounds and a longish wheelbase lend a stable, big bike feel to the ride.

Instrumentation is very thorough, and includes twin trip meters, clock and fuel gauge readouts, among other information.

Styling from the front is reminiscent of the brutish B-King naked. A relatively low seat height of 30.7 inches means most riders will fit comfortably aboard the GW250. That seat is actually flat (it doesn’t force the rider into the tank, unlike so many others these days) and provides good support.

Clutch action is smooth, light and precise, while the transmission is typical Suzuki, i.e., excellent with easy, sure shifts. The twin cylinder engine probably dynos somewhere between the single cylinder CBR and the high strung Ninja 300 twin, but it delivers the power in a smooth, almost sedate manner.

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We saw an indicated 92 mph before backing off, and felt this quarter liter machine could make a good freeway commuter.  With only a single disc up front, braking power is adequate, if not exceptional.  An inexperienced rider could grab a healthy handful of front brake without locking the front wheel in dry conditions.  The rear brake is a different story, which will lock without too much prodding.

The suspension is surprisingly firm, and gives good feedback. Overall, damping rates seem well chosen, and the GW250 can be pushed hard while remaining composed. Good job, Suzuki.

This is an easy-to-ride bike that never feels twitchy. It is a stable platform for beginners and experienced riders, alike, but also turns relatively well and holds its line while on its side.

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Suzuki has given the engine more flywheel weight than the competition, but the spread of power through the mid-range, and the smooth engine response, simply add to the rider-friendly nature. While Kawasaki and Honda may provide a more intense, exciting experience, the GW250 strikes a good balance for less experienced riders.

The fit and finish of the Suzuki GW250 is excellent. The paint, chrome and engine castings all exude an air of quality and attention to detail.  At a U.S. MSPR of $3,999, the 2013 Suzuki GW250 offers good value, as well, as the price of the competition creeps higher and higher. For additional details and specifications, visit Suzuki’s web site.

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107 Comments

  1. todd says:

    I want to get one just to rip all that ugly plastic off and install a round headlight.

  2. BarryB says:

    I thought it was made in Malayasia rather than China but whatever, it is basically a bike styled to appeal to Asian buyers that has been offered to the West at a relatively high price for what it is and IS as ugly in the flesh as it is in the photos. In engineering terms – mph,mpg show no improvement over, say, seventies CB350K. It does not have the determined engineering of the new small Hondas which have gone to extreme lengths to sweat out as much engineering for the money as possible, something Honda perfected in making millions of step-thrus and selling them as basic but fun transport in Asia.

    • Dave says:

      You’ve tested this bike?
      It has FI, disc brakes, liquid cooling, radial tires, emissions equipment, all of which make this far more robust with engineering content then a 70’s anything.
      MPG can only be truly improved with weight reduction ($$) or aerodynamics.

      • Yoyodyne says:

        Not radial tires, according to specs on Suzuki website (note lack of “R” in listed tire sizes).

        • bikerrandy says:

          I don’t find radial tires any value over bias ply tires. On cars radial tires last longer, not so on MCs.

        • Dave says:

          “Not radial tires, according to specs on Suzuki website..”

          I assumed it did, whatever.. It’s still far higher tech than a 70’s air cooled bike. These are real benefits. I don’t think anyone would want to go back to carbs, points, and condensers given the choice.

          • todd says:

            um, I don’t know; an old RD250 weighed 308 lbs dry, made 30hp, but-alas- only got 50mpg. Those things were super reliable. I don’t remember having any problems with carbs, points, or condensers. In what ways are they bad?

  3. DorsoDoug says:

    I don’t want to go 92mph on a street legal 250.

  4. Robert kazee says:

    Do an article on the New Cushman II

  5. Gronde says:

    A mini GSX-R 250/300 would sell 10X better than this offspring of a B-King. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to design a bike that will appeal to enough riders to make a decent profit. The Ninja 250 is one of the best selling bikes because it offers looks, speed and is rather affordable to younger riders. This little GW-250 will be compared to other 250’s and will be left languishing on the sales floor.

    • Dave says:

      The US is a minor market. Look at the bikes Hero makes for a perspective on where this comes from. Suzuki has not yet made a small bike for the US.

  6. x says:

    +1 one the 403 lbs, should be 100 less. The B King is 50% heavier and 5 x the power. Not the same target but 403 isn’t the target either.

  7. Yoyodyne says:

    403 lbs is really just ridiculous.

  8. Bob says:

    I started riding in the early 70’s when my dad agreed to buy me a new Yamaha R5B 350. It was an awesome bike but I sold it in 1973 for the ill fated Yamaha TX750. Anyway, I do believe that this bike is more attractive than many of the old bikes, even the ones we lusted after, like the Bridgestone GTR 350. I’m glad that the manufacturers are again building some small bikes, but I honestly believe that those glory days will not be repeated. Young people now lust after i-phones, not Bridgestones. I guess this is called getting old.

    • MGNorge says:

      At least in the old days we didn’t camp out for days before a new Honda showed at the shop!! We waited until it was on the floor and then stormed the door!

      Most of my buddies and I started with minibikes and go-karts. The smell of oil and gas was as intoxicating as a woman’s perfume (what did we know about women at that age anyway?) Anything engine powered held us captive with its smells and sounds. We tinkered with carbs until we knew how they worked simply by tearing them apart so many times. Our first bikes tended to be dirt bikes and any vacant lot or power line/fire road was fair game. Our dads would take turns driving us and our bikes mounted to fore and aft bumpers out to riding spots and leave us until dusk when we’d be picked up. There were no cell phones or other distractions. It was ride, ride, ride until we’d stop to wolf down a quickly made sandwich and then ride some more. Never could get enough of it. Those riding spots are nearly gone and those that remain are further out. Occasionally we’d take a spin down some asphalt but only if it connected two or more dirt riding areas. I still believe that dirt riding is the best way to learn riding dynamics and bike control. Then when you advance to street riding, if you can call it that, you were prepared for all kinds of surface dangers and could spend more time watching the idiots on the road. I would have killed for a 250 when I was young but didn’t have the money. But I sure am glad I started with the small stuff. Doctor says I will likely have this disease for the rest of my life! I can live with that.

  9. Mike Simmons says:

    Well done, Suzuki! Well done!

    Mike

  10. Dale says:

    Its that front fender that kills the looks for me…. it looks like a bottomed out dirt bike front end.

    • Blackcayman says:

      that is part of the problem; headlight and forward thrusting bodywork a’la B-King finishes it off.

      that and the weight – geeze.

  11. sl says:

    I am not against this bike, especially with the price, but I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. Everyone, yes everyone, I know that has had a 250 street bike sells it in about a year or less. Why not buy an SV650, EX500, or any other bike similar. The power won’t scare you and after a month of riding to work you won’t regret buying something that leaves a lot to be desired.

    • motowarrior says:

      That’s sort of the point. You buy a bike like this, learn to ride and then you move on. I have several friends who bought 650 BMWs and Suzukis for their wives, only to have them drop the bikes and never ride again. A bike like this is not intimidating. That why they use similar bikes in MSF courses.

      • sl says:

        You should never buy a bike if you can’t hold it up, but if a GS500 is intimidating than start on a scooter.

        • Mr_dirtrider says:

          You don’t learn to shift on a scooter. To a kid that has no idea how to use a clutch, even a 500 is a bit barky. I just watched a 18 yr old about drop my Vulcan 500 when he dumped the clutch. He bought a street legal CRF230 the next weekend. He can get a bigger bike next year.

    • MGNorge says:

      I also am in favor in starting small but realize that’s not everyone’s plan. As pointed out by motowarrior, I happen to know of just such a case where a friend and his wife bought a 650 Kawasaki with the intent that she’d ride it. She dropped it, could not pick it up and she never went back. Shame. When you ease into it you gain confidence, like being in the shallow end of the pool. Then as time and skills go further one can venture into deeper waters at their own pace. Contrast that with immediately jumping from the high dive and I think you get the idea. I rode sub 400cc bikes for years and would never trade the experience. In fact, I’d love to own some of them again just to relive a time in my past.

      • Craig Jackman says:

        I’m not buying that someone can’t pick up a bike. They just haven’t been taught to do it correctly … which is yet another reason why everyone should take a rider safety course from the start. I have seen a little grandmother pick up a 1300 Yamaha. She was so stoked she was ready to drop her husband’s Gold Wing just to pick it up.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      Funny, as an experienced rider lately I’ve been eyeing the recent crop of small displacement bikes and thinking how much fun they look like they’d be. Of course that would probably mean riding it a 3/4 helmet in a t-shirt and shorts, too, because who wants to spend 10 minutes getting geared up to take a tiddler for a spin? The weight on this particular bike does seem out of proportion with its displacement and performance, though. Probably went into building a tough frame that could handle the loads that these small bikes are often called upon to carry in some parts of the world.

  12. mickey says:

    I’d take this over a Royal Enfield any day. The Enfield may look better, but the Suzuki probably runs better out of the box and will still be running 20 years from now. A lot of you guys forget how exciting it was to have bikes like an C110, S 65, S 90 CB 100, 125, 160, 175, and 200 Hondas, GT 185 GT 250 Suzuki, RD 125, 200 Yamahas, and the myriad of other starter bikes we had in the 70’s that weren’t near as nice as this bike, yet they were good enough to enflame a passion in many of us that has lasted a lifetime.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      I remember.

    • bikerrandy says:

      My 1st bike was a Yamaha TD1 250 twin that had a top speed of 85 mph in the mid 60’s. I still remember what it felt like and which I still had it now. A few years later I traded up to a YDS2 250 twin w/5 more hp and a 5 apeed tranny. Loved to blow off 305 Hondas with it. 8^ )

    • Oilhead says:

      After starting on a TS185, I moved on to an RD400. The chambers went silent at 115 indicated after she seized a cylinder, and that taught me a hard lesson in jetting. Ah, the good old days. Someday the not-so-young will be sitting around reminiscing about their CBR250Rs, Ninja 300s, and GW250s…

      • bikerrandy says:

        Had a `74 RD350 and took it on a cross State weekend trip in the mid-70’s. Just before the trip I changed it’s tranny oil. Got a little confused in how much oil to put in it(qt. vs. liter). Didn’t put enough oil in it I found out later. By the time I got home 5th gear was whining. Cost me $45 to replace the gears I hurt. Ahh……….the good old days. 8^ )

      • Just Tom says:

        But will they really reminisce? I’m not so sure. Seems that small bikes purchased by younger folks are just a mere stepping stone for hardly a year before a 600cc+ super-high performance machine replaces them. I’m just don’t believe there is even enough time for that bonding to occur, unlike many near misty-eyed posts I read on this site (and I have my own, so I’m right there with all of you :)

        Perhaps the challenging economic times will help coerce people to keep their small-bore steeds for a longer period of time, and possibly help kindle that passionate long-term relationship with a two-wheeled machine that becomes the love of riding v the relentless pursuit of faster/cooler looking/’what are my buddies riding?’ disposable philosophy that I frequently see these days.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “But will they really reminisce?”

          nope. modern design has ironed out the quirks and the foibles rendering them all but unmemorable.

          re: “I’m just don’t believe there is even enough time for that bonding to occur”

          here in the 21st century we have 10,001 choices. the flip side of having all these choices is it breeds/begets/cultivates ADD in humans. squirrel…!!!

          re: “Perhaps the challenging economic times will help coerce people to keep their small-bore steeds for a longer period of time”

          in practice, what challenging economics times DO is force liquidations. this, reflected by a graph of craigslist postings trending upward.

          re: “help kindle that passionate long-term relationship with a two-wheeled machine”

          breaking news, the things actually that’ll “help”…? won’t come from within, they must come from “with-out”. due to the aforementioned “options bonanza”, human beings (ie. sheeple) left to their own recognizance will not make these choices. it must be forced upon them by an external driver equal if not GREATER than all the other external stimuli present in their environment.

          this outside force…? yup, tiered licensing (effectively a narrowing of options). and even that’s 50/50 considering sudden freedom restrictions (from a once free condition) tend to be a kiss of death. damned if you do.

        • Scotty says:

          That disposable philosophy is an anathema to me. If you like a bike and develop a bond with it, why change?

    • brinskee says:

      I remember.

      My first bike in 1990 was a 1985 Honda CB125. As a 6 foot tall 15 year old and skinny I’m sure I looked completely silly on it but I didn’t care. Everything was so magical about it, filling it up with gas for the first time, getting caught out in the rain in back home in Florida for the first time, riding to work in the freezing cold without enough warm gear on (it was Florida… Who needed warm weather gear!?) and most importantly getting all the attention from the girls when I showed up freezing cold and shivering at work.

      Racing my older buddy in his 1977 Camaro and smoking him up to about 70MPH while he was in complete disbelief and demanded another try. Going on joyrides with no particular plan or place to go. Showing off (and crashing) for friends. Fixing crash damage for the first time with homemade parts (anyone else try to repair broken turn signals with rubber gasket sheets held on by hose clamps?). Getting my first ticket. The sheer panic of riding too fast in the rain and almost loosing control.

      Rolling her into my own spot in the shed and locking her up safe at night and not being able to sleep because I couldn’t wait to taste the freedom of the open road again.

      Learning the importance of proper tire pressure from Dad. The pure, honest, unfiltered litless joy of riding with Dad (on his ’86 GS 850) on Sundays and then when far enough away from Mom him letting me ride the 850 and being absolutely blown away by The Power. Being protected under the umbrella of Dad’s approval when Mom was not happy with the whole motorcycle riding idea. Teaching my sister how to release the clutch and watching her wheelie across a parking lot and crash into my buddy’s 1977 Camaro. Watching my buddy “show us how it’s done” in the same parking lot and wheelying it across the parking lot and crashing into an air conditioner. Learning how to bend handlebars back into shape. Becoming an old pro at filling her up in the gas station. Selling her when we moved downtown and it was no longer safe to ride in the city. Crying quietly at night over the loss of freedom and sense of self when she was gone and vowing to get another one as soon as I could and never feel that way again.

      I’ll never forget those years. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Michael H says:

      Nailed it. My first bike was an 870cc Yamaha two-stroker. Did I care about top speed and cornering? Not at all. At 16 all I cared about was being able to buzz around the town where I lived, and hang out with my buddies on their 50cc 90cc Hondas, the odd Suzuki, and the kid with the rich parents who gave him a CB160 Honda. Worked my butt off one summer so I could graduate to a 100cc Yamaha two-stroke-twin, which felt like a land speed record bike to me.

      We make the mistake of imposing our viewpoints, skills and knowledge on young, first-time motorcycle owners. We want perfection; they want freedom, mobility and fun.

  13. goose says:

    Wow, this is a tough crowd. Its not that ugly, geeze guys, it just kind of looks like what it is, a cheap bike.

    This seems like a nice simple bike for newbies and people who need/ want a really cheap ride. I bet it will sell well outside the US, maybe not so well here. I’ll side with weird crowd and say I like the fact the fenders might actually keep water and mud off the ride in a rainstorm.

    Goose

  14. Martin B says:

    The advantage of a twin is having more flexible performance. By that I mean a single has a narrower power band, and is not tractable at low revs (in the modern design idiom, not the old school British way). The GW250 is less likely to stall at the lights (very important for a newbie), but might need to be revved a bit harder to get acceptable acceleration. It will also spin higher than a single, giving a power advantage at both ends of the power band, but will not give quite the same degree of torque “slug’ at mid range revs. Purely a matter of style. The twin will generally be smoother as well, but this does depend on the success of the counterbalancer design. This Suzuki is something I would have laid my money down on if I were starting out on bikes now. I like the flat seat, comfortable ride position, and generally pleasant demeanor.

  15. Norm G. says:

    re: “In Florida recently to attend the AIM Expo, MD had an opportunity to conduct a very brief test of the 2013 Suzuki GW250…”

    …and got an elbow down.

  16. Frank says:

    Ugly…? Put down the tooth brush, and back away from the mirror guys. Good looking standard Suzuki! Next time out, a 300-400 version please..

    • jake says:

      The Zook only wished it looked as good as I do in a mirror with a toothbrush sticking out my mouth. The Honda Reb has been around how long? There is obviously an eternal, unending customer base for that bike and that thing is even uglier than the Zook.

      Judging from how long the Reb has been around, people looking for naked 250’s seem to like ugly, non-descript, generic looking bikes that are really, really cheap. As long as the Zook can steer this unending customer base over to itself and its superior bike, the Zook will be a sales success.

  17. Agent55 says:

    Holy s***, ever since the SV650 Suzuki has been positively tone deaf with their naked bikes. Did they let the interns design this thing?!

    • denny says:

      One really must wonder why they do not put their currency into Burgman instead of this. After all 250cc IS size of average scooter engine.

    • Mike G says:

      “””Holy s***, ever since the SV650 Suzuki has been positively tone deaf with their naked bikes. Did they let the interns design this thing?!””””

      I tend to agree. The SV650 was (and still is) such an amazingly pure machine, with a hint of seriousness in it that is so sadly lacking in other entry level bikes. The early SV’s frame, seat, and tank are things of beauty, and it really bothers me that Suzuki doesn’t understand this, to the extreme point that they produced the Gladius.

      This 250 is OK, I suppose, but it’s obvious that it could be so much more inspiring. Suzuki certainly knows better.

  18. Jeremy in TX says:

    They should have taken cues from Honda and Kawasaki and wrapped it in plastic. They are probably also shedding a few tears over the fact that the small bike market just went to 300cc’s just as they bring this 250 to market.

    • Gpokluda says:

      Never trust a bike that you can’t see through. They did good with the standard rather than another lame plastic entombed racer wannabe. Because it is a standard, I don’t think buyers will care about the missing 50cc.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Because it is a standard, I’d wager the Ninja and CBR will each outsell this bike at least 4:1. There are more wannabe racers than wannabe mechanics.

        • Dave says:

          ^Well said sir.

          I’m a little surprised at the reaction to it’s looks. I think it looks ok, certainly nothing offends me. The “B-King side shrouds cover the radiator and give the turn signals a place to go.

          This is likely an Asia market bike (over-sized front fender is common there). The US market continues to be too small to command unique models.

      • tmaxgixxerblur says:

        well, the “racer wannabe” riders are majority young-videogame-extreme sports wannabes-thank you very much! they’re the ones that are going to buy it so it’s the eyes you want to attract. so having said that, suzuki’s sale on this bike might not do well against kawasaki and honda’s. the new riders today are all about the plastics and racer look.

        • Dave says:

          RE: “the new riders today are all about the plastics and racer look. ”

          The average age of new motorcycle purchasers was 49 last year. Decidedly not the sport bike crowd.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            49 may be the average age of a new motorcycle buyers, but do you think it is the average age of buyers of quarter-liter machines? I’d bet not.

          • Dave says:

            At an *average* of 49 across ~500k units, I bet that number is higher than you think.

  19. John says:

    I actually like the looks and as a Ninja 250 owner I love small twins. But I sure hope that 402 pound weight figure is with the bike soaking wet – don’t the Ninja 300 and the CBR250R (obviously with fairings) only weigh 360 pounds each?

    The engine block must be made of depleted uranium.

  20. motowarrior says:

    It is evident that this bike isn’t for the typical reader of Motorcycle Daily, but it seems to me that it is a great bike for those learning to ride. Too often experienced motorcycle guys buy big bikes for their wives or recommend big bikes to their friends with predictable negative results. A bike like this solves that problem. Once you have mastered this bike, you can sell t to another newby and move on. It is also a great alternative to a scooter. If you are looking for urban transport, this will do the job for less money than a typical larger scooter, an probably be more fun in the process. There is a place for this bike, and Suzuki should not be slammed for offering it, even it it isn’t your cup of saki.

  21. allworld says:

    It seems like a nice bike, however that tail sporting more plastic than a Tupperware convention is butt ugly. If the designer used the resources, for a rear wheel huger and cleaned up the license plate bracket and directions the bike would have a cleaner, more upscale look.

  22. ApriliaRST says:

    Suzuki is smart to offer something significantly different from the other manufacturers’ offerings in the 250-300cc class. Even though some of this class’ race-replica bikes actually sit more like standards, the perception is different and will attract different buyers.
    Some of this site’s readers reliably scream “ugly” (or “beak”) at each newly released bike, but I’ll guarantee every buyer– and there’ll be plenty– will enjoy looking at this motorcycle sitting in their garage/driveway.
    This bike is not only a great offering for an entry-level rider, but would also make a great ride for more experienced riders who no longer want or need the size, weight or complexity of most of today’s motorcycle market.
    Well done, Suzuki.

  23. Tom R says:

    Don’t understand the “ugly” comments. I think it looks good and tough, more appealing than the smooth and feminized looks of other recent new bikes lately.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      Well, you see, “ugly” is in their vocabulary because it has only four letters and is thus easy to speel. ;)

      Besides, as everyone knows, you should never say anything positive on the interwebs.

      • stratkat says:

        hmm… since when does having a great vocabulary have anything to do with taste.
        this bike is ugly, as are most of the entry level Hondas. the design is insipid, tepid.
        the Grom is even cheaper and a great looking machine, i really like it. just because you need to hit a price point doesnt mean it has to look awful.

        • mickey says:

          Seriously? The Grom looks like an overgrown Honda Z 50 mini bike. At least the Suzuki looks like an adult motorcycle.

    • Norm G. says:

      I don’t understand the ugly comments either…? it’s $3,999. if you want a talented designer to spend precious time away from his or her family in a clay studio somewheres sweating the details…? then you come off the dime to the tune of $65 grand for a Superleggera. that’s how it works. no free lunch.

      • xlayn says:

        Men, that almost sound rational… but as previous commenter said ” as everyone knows, you should never say anything positive on the interwebs” (just kidding)

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Well, they could have given the designer of this bike a lot more time with his family by dropping a parts bin round headlight and fenders on this thing and ended up with a better result. That may have even let them drop the price to $3,910!

      • brinskee says:

        Hmmm it sounds a little far fetched to think that we either have ugly (and she really is ugly) and cheap or beautiful and expensive. The world doesn’t look binary to me. Hmmmm…

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “The world doesn’t look binary to me.”

          unfortunately this isn’t the world… this is the niche business of motorcycling.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            If anything, this Suzuki is over-styled. Brinskee is correct. An appealing design is not dependent on the final price of the bike. It doesn’t have to have the lines of a Brutale or have all of the trick bits of an 1199 Superleggera to look good.

            Both the Ninja and the CBR are nice looking bikes. The Suzuki TU250X is also a nice looking bike. I personally think the Grom looks sharp. Sure, the price point dictates that the design may look somewhat generic and suggest “budget”, but that doesn’t mean it has to turn someone to stone when they look directly at it.

            That said, this Suzuki may be considered a looker in the markets it was truly designed for.

  24. Nobade says:

    A 400 pound 250? At half that weight it might be pretty fun to ride.

  25. Kagato says:

    I suspect this scoot looks better in person–very pleased to see another small bike available. Put your 14 year old on this and they’ll be a much better car driver when they hit 16. If they survive that is. In Alabama 14 is licensed age for scoots : – )

  26. brinskee says:

    Ugly… And wtf? Why are we reviewing a bike that no millennium or under would EVER consider buying? Let’s not encourage lazy design principles with the Big Four or, really any other manufacturer for that matter. Go away Suzuki, until you can give us something to talk about…

    • GMan says:

      Wow, you are an angry person. Its just a motorcycle man!

      • Hot Dog says:

        Smoke em’ GMan! I like it, I like the design flow and I like the price. Most of us aren’t men enough to be seen on one of these. I think it’s a really nice machine. How cool would it be to peel your arse off one of these after a 500 mile day, just as your buddy pulled up along side you in his pickup, with his bike on the trailer. He could swagger and be manly, whilst you talk about your ride that day. He’d whimper and tear up later that night knowing he was a wussy.

  27. xlayn says:

    In the photo after the speedo you almost bottomed the front suspension…. that’s the worst situation possible for finding a hole on the street (on your side and without sus travel)

  28. Bud says:

    Styling tweaks on the matte black side covers, fairing and front fender and you’d have a good looking bike. So close! :(
    Looks like an excellent beginner bike, though.

    • denny says:

      Regarding ‘styling tweaks’ I agree. The main one needs to be as you say AND the headlight. That part may not look so offensive if just simply leans back such as on some Italian bikes. They need Italian stylist, indeed.

  29. SecaKid says:

    Looks like the B-King’s ugly kid.

  30. VLJ says:

    Hey, look! An eight-speed!

  31. jake says:

    This is like a new and improved Honda Rebel 250. The styling ain’t much, but even here, it is a modernization and improvement over the outdated Reb.

    As long as the gap in price between new 300’s and this bike is at least $500 or so, then there is a place for this bike. It’s basically the replacement for the Reb which Honda has neglected to do.

    The bike is ugly as hell but that seat sure does look comfy – even for a fat person with big ole butt.

  32. skybullet says:

    Ugly isn’t quite strong enough, but it is similar to some of Suzuki’s other offerings.

    • denny says:

      Absolutely agree, Sozook just does not have functioning styling department. IMO, way out of it would be to ‘internationalize’ such as |Honda did.

  33. denny says:

    This is definitely the ugliest from small bikes, but appearance is not everything. It actually does not mean much once you are in saddle.

  34. xlayn says:

    Interesting, 92mph from a 250 machine it’s a lot… probably enough for the average joe rider if you are not one of those “I’m fvck!ng fast” even for small trips around the not so much city.
    Fairly small engine probably a recent design, water cooled, disc front and rear, good manners, good riding position.
    Probably a good enough day to day machine, so sad we always want to have a 40% power reserve under our driving conditions to have some playroom.
    Made in japan?
    Let’s see how it sells.
    Styling looks good

    • xlayn says:

      thinking it twice I just remember that speedometers are total liars… so probably much more like 80mph, still 140kmh, probably riding with two will tax it outside of fun ballpark…

      • GearDrivenCam says:

        I agree with you xlayn. Never trust the speedo. Readings can be off as high as 8-10%. I find reporting speeds based on speedometer readings to be useless unless it has been calibrated against a GPS – particularly when GPS units are so readily available and would allow for an easier comparison of speeds across different bikes.

        I was also surprised by this statement in the article: “The twin cylinder engine probably dynos somewhere between the single cylinder CBR and the high strung Ninja 300 twin.” Why was I surprised? Because the stock CBR250R claims 26hp at the crank and this GW250 twin apparently claims 24 hp at the crank. And the CBR250Rs seem to be putting down between 22hp and 23hp at the rear-wheel on the dyno while the CBR300R seems to be putting down about 34-35hp at the rear-wheel. Unless Suzuki is really under-rating the power of this engine (which is unlikely) – this bike will not be producing more power than the CBR250R at the rear-wheel. But then again – this is a twin right. Twins must be more powerful than singles no matter what. ;)

        • xlayn says:

          “The twin cylinder engine probably dynos somewhere between the single cylinder CBR and the high strung Ninja 300 twin.”
          Ceteris paribus men, just change a variable a time, took the three to the same dyno, the same day on the same place (atm issues) with the same gas annnnnnd there you measure power at the wheel

          “Twins must be more powerful than singles no matter what”
          short story: yes it should

          long story: well, yes and no, if they are rotating at the same speed with the same tech (and by this I mean, both are equally aspirated, both are 2 or 4 or 3 valves at the head, similar techs like v-tech or toyota vvti or similars, similar actuated valves hidraulic/chain/springs, similar exaust and carburators, similar anti-friction systems, similar engine cooling, similar compresion ratio, bla bla bla) yeah.
          but a lot will differ between the twin and the single, mostly on the torque vs rpm, single more torque but less peak rpm and the opposite the more pistons.
          And in general the more torque the less rpm speed, less valves, different stroke/dia ratio.

          nice nick, gear drive cam… I think engines should be designed with no chains inside… gears all the way… oh dear gear drived cam VFR800 where did you go?

          • MGNorge says:

            By use of the word torque I presume you mean low-end oomph? Maximum torque of any engine is most reliant on displacement and to a lesser degree engine tune. Of more importance than a maximum figure might be torque spread throughout the rpm range. A twin such as this most likely will sacrifice some low end torque for higher power further up the scale compared to a single. Both may have similar peak torque figures, within 1 or 2 ft./lbs., but at different points along the way.

          • xlayn says:

            That’s indeed right sir, a common example on I4 racebikes, were low end torque is sacrificed for high rev hp (we are looking at you extremely hard valve springs).

            and of course another milliard of factors, crank weight, rotating masses, etc.

          • David Duarte says:

            it all boils down to how many gigawatts you can push through to the flux capacitor

          • GearDrivenCam says:

            What weighs more? 26 lbs of feathers or 24 lbs of lead? What my previous post was supposed to highlight was that a bike rated for 26 hp at the crank has MORE power than a bike rated at 24 hp at the crank – regardless of whether the latter is a twin and the former is a single. To say that the GW250 will likely produce more power on a dyno than a CBR250R is simply inconsistent with the reported specifications for both bikes.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          A 24 bhp rated bike can indeed produce less rwhp power on a dyno than a 26 bhp rated bike. Happens all the time.

          There is a lot of stuff between a crankshaft and the ground, and plenty of things can affect the horsepower at the rear wheel. You can reduce the rwhp of the same bike just by replacing a sport tire with a knobby one. Just because one engine would make a more powerful generator doesn’t necessarily mean it will get more peak hp to the ground.

          • GearDrivenCam says:

            Thanks Jeremy. Absolutely true. And plenty of things CAN affect horsepower at the rear-wheel. Like friction and drivetrain losses. And that’s why Honda engineered the CBR250R from the start to address these issues. They actually put some thought and R&D behind it. This includes adopting a DOHC with reduced valve weight, thinner valve stems, lowered valve spring load, forked roller rocker arms, low-friction piston, and offset cylinder centerline to reduce lateral resistance) which enables it to dyno consistently at 23 hp, despite only producing 26 crank hp. Compare that to the previous Ninja 250R twin that boasted 32 crank hp, yet only showed 25 hp on the dyno. I can’t seem to find any new or advanced tech on the engine of this Suzuki GW250, but it does sport an ancient 2-valve configuration….which is designed to “look” like a 4-valve head. Impressive tech there. But wait!! It has two cylinders – so disregard everything written above, because it MUST unequivocally produce more power than a single (sarcasm added for emphasis).;)

            I guess I’m just a little disappointed that Suzuki didn’t put more effort into this bike, and find it hard to understand how they feel it will be competitive in this market. I suppose it can compete on price. But with the GW250, you are getting considerably less bike for only a slightly lower price.

          • Dave says:

            Re: two valves per cylinder.

            If maximum flow & power is not the goal then valve count doesn’t matter much. This bike is not meant to be a maximum performance piece. It was developed to be a cheap, reliable urban commuter for Asian markets. That is what they spent their effort on.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I wouldn’t discount their decision to use two valves. This engine is actually undersquare unlike its competition. The 2-valve chamber, along with the relatively long stroke, implies an engineering goal to achieve a fatter low and midrange torque curve which is best achieved with one intake valve, especially on such a tiny bore.

            I’m not saying “cheap” wasn’t on their minds when they were making these decisions, but it looks like torque from the bottom was a goal from the outset with this engine and would definitely make for a more user friendly powerband than the Ninja 250 for around-town use.

          • johnny ro says:

            I also agree. I picked up on the sarcasm early.

            If Suzuki had wanted this to generate 40-50 safe reliable long lived rwhp it would have and it. Think GSX-R250 of ages ago. Not part of the design brief.

            Sorry but I find it ugly. Its not the worst I have seen.

            A plain large round chrome headlight would be an improvement. As would a 1950s style full front fender. I am an old man.

    • Selecter says:

      You’ll have to find the other write-ups on this bike, but it’s wholly assembled in China, rather than Japan. It’s actually been on the Chinese and SE-Asian market for a year or two now. I’m under the impression it’s quite popular in its home country, too.

      • Randy says:

        Thick Chinese steel – 403 pound 250cc

        I’m totally not impressed

        • Dave M says:

          Agreed! Heavier than all other 250 or 300cc competition…Honda moving their CBR to a 300 (well, 285 or whatever) next year. And it’s only saving grace could have been besting the competition with the lowest seat height for the shorter ladies…but nope, no win there either. Suzuki, looks like you have a loser on your hands…sorry to say. =(