It’s no secret we here at MD—editors as well as readers—are fans of single-cylinder streetbikes. Our article on the Asian-market Kawasaki Ninja RR Mono got a lot of attention as well as plenty of comments. And why not? A Single promises less weight, flickable handling, predictable power delivery and best of all, a cheap admission price. Sadly, we don’t think this bike will come to the USA.
And then one plugged-in reader—Gary—told us Hyosung would be bringing a new sport-oriented Thumper into the States, the GD250N. “Nonsense!” said my professional moto-journalist brain. Nobody had told me about this, and I’m friends with a guy who works at Hyosung. He would have called me…except, as Hyosung’s Garrett Wong told me, Allan didn’t work there anymore. No matter—Gary was right: the GD250N would indeed be coming to America, later in 2014. Tell me more, said I.
Garrett pointed me to the S&T Motors homepage (the Hyosung corporation is separate from S&T Motors, but S&T uses the Hyosung name) for more details. The specs of the bike are modern, unlike some of the Korean company’s current offerings, which are based on very old designs. The motor is a modern-looking fuel-injected, liquid cooled dual overhead cam 4-valve Single with oversquare 73 by 59.6mm bore and stroke dimensions. Peak output (at 9500 rpm) is 28 horsepower, very competitive with Honda’s CBR300R and other small-displacement Singles, especially considering the bike weighs in at a claimed 345 pounds wet. Hyosung’s current 250 Twin, the GT250 and GT250R makes less power and weighs in at least 50 pounds heavier.
There are a surprising number of quality features on the GD (which I’m pretty sure doesn’t stand for “Goddamn”). The swingarm is aluminum, the front brake disc measures 300mm and is gripped by a four-piston caliper pumped via braided line. It looks like there’s a tapered aluminum bar—nice touch. The rear radial is a fat 150/60-17 and handling should be good—the engine is a stressed member of the sexy diamond-trellis frame and the mass should be nice and low thanks to the underslung exhaust. Think supermoto with a comfy seat and manageable, 31.1-inch seat height. Wheelbase is a neat 53 inches.
Hyosung is proud of its new Single, showing it off at the Cologne Intermot show last year. It shared space in the booth with a fully faired concept sport model, and S&T hints of sponsoring a race series—can it challenge KTM in the quarter-liter class? That’s ambitious for a company better known for making clunky, old-tech commuters, but the world is changing rapidly. Expect the GD250N to carry a pricetag similar to the GT250′s $3799 when it rolls into Hyosung showrooms.
Thanks for the tip, Gary! I’m looking forward to saying, “Goddamn! That’s a fun bike.”
Gabe Ets-Hokin is the Editor of City Bike Magazine, and a frequent freelance contributor to MotorcycleDaily.com.