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.
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.
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.
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.