After briefly testing the Suzuki GW250 in Florida several months ago, we asked Suzuki for a bike that we could ride here in Southern California. As you probably know, the U.S. market for smaller displacement bikes is relatively strong, and we felt Suzuki’s entry into that segment needed more seat time.
All the technical details related to this bike are discussed in our initial riding impression here. In summary, this is a six-speed, fuel injected twin displacing 248 cc. Competing with Honda’s single-cylinder bike in the same category, and Kawasaki’s high strung Ninja 300, the GW250 offers something a bit different.
This feels like a bigger bike in the sense that it handles a bit slower than the competition, and has a relatively long wheelbase. It takes some effort to turn in, but the reward is excellent stability and predictability that will be valued by less experienced riders, in particular, and commuters who are just looking for a comfortable, easy to ride and economical mount.
The twin-cylinder engine is tuned for excellent low and and mid-range power, something that separates it somewhat from both the Honda and the Kawasaki mentioned earlier. Frankly, for commuters and most street riders, the Suzuki GW250 might have the best powerband in the segment. It feels peppy at rpm levels where the other bikes in the category might just be waking up from their nap.
The suspension is surprisingly good, because this is a budget bike, after all, and it does not feature adjustability. Suzuki did an excellent job of compromising between comfort and control, and the GW250 offers sufficient stiffness for spirited riding for more experienced riders, while still being smooth enough on the highway to satisfy commuters.
Speaking of commuters, we recorded an average of 61 mpg during our test. Coupled with the 3.5 gallon gas tank, the GW250 offers good range. With the very comfortable seat and upright ergos, you could ride this bike all day.
Although it is a naked, something about the design of the headlight and mini-fairing helps keep some of the pressure off your chest at high speeds. This makes freeway commuting a bit more comfortable than it would be on many other nakeds.
We think Suzuki was smart to stick with relatively narrow tires, including a 110 section front and a 140 section rear, which helped the bike feel lighter under the rider, despite weighing roughly 400 pounds wet. This also helps keep unsprung weight down to improve suspension action, acceleration and braking.
The predictable handling makes the GW250 very fun to ride. Novice riders can feel like a hero on this bike. As for more experienced riders, well … you know that saying about riding a slow bike fast being more fun.
The brakes are up to the task, but certainly not at modern sport bike levels of performance. They haul the little GW down competently and without drama. The six-speed tranny was slick, and we don’t recall missing a shift.
The clutch is smooth and predictable, adding to the bike’s easy-to-ride nature.
We were pleasantly surprised by the little Suzuki. The GW250 has very thorough instrumentation, as described in our earlier article, that contributes to its practicality (along with the good gas mileage and comfortable seating position). It is easy to ride for both beginners and experienced riders, with a twin-cylinder engine tuned for real world performance. There is a good dose of fun to go along with that practicality. If you are looking for the most nimble, sporty handling in the segment, the GW250 probably isn’t for you, but for many other riders, at an U.S. MSRP of $3,999, the GW250 represents good value in today’s market. Visit Suzuki’s web site for further details and specifications.