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Can the New 2018 Suzuki GSX250R Compete in the Burgeoning Small-Displacement Category?

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The recently announced 2018 Suzuki GSX250R will be in U.S. dealers next April. The price has yet to be announced, but that price will be critical to Suzuki’s ability to compete for buyers in the now competitive small-displacement sport category. Long gone are the days when Kawasaki held court with the only real choice, i.e., the Ninja 250. Now, competitors from Honda and Yamaha, as well as BMW and KTM, offer customers quite a bit of choice.

We have to say we are pleased by the styling of the new GSX250R, and expect reasonable performance and good fuel economy from the parallel twin engine apparently shared with the GW250. Comfortable ergonomics, wind protection and a four-gallon gas tank could make the new GSX250R a fine budget commuter. We will let you know when Suzuki releases pricing.

Here is the full press release from Suzuki:

Brea, CA (November 18, 2016) – Suzuki remains committed to bringing new riders into the sport of motorcycling. That’s the goal behind the all-new 2018 GSX250R. Built to deliver Suzuki’s sportbike heritage to a new generation of riders, this new streetbike has appealing performance and comfort features that will appeal to a broad base of enthusiasts.

This approachable street-sport bike features a proven, twin-cylinder, fuel-injected engine wrapped in stylish full-fairing bodywork. With responsive yet easy-to-control performance, exceptional fuel efficiency, nimble handling, plus a comfortable and roomy riding position, the GSX250R is equally at home on the daily commute as it is on extended outings.

The GSX250R draws its design and performance inspiration from the legendary line of Suzuki Katana sportbikes.  Resonating with Suzuki loyalists and motorcycle enthusiasts in general, Katana sportbikes stood for versatile real world performance, elegant design and practical ownership. The GSX250R will carry on that winning combination and easily position alongside Suzuki’s sport and standard motorcycle line-ups.

A low seat height, slim fuel tank and overall light weight makes the new GSX250R an exciting and unintimidating ride. Ten-spoke aluminum wheels and tuned KYB suspension keep the bike nimble and responsive for city streets as well as open roads. With a four-gallon fuel tank and highly efficient powerplant, the GSX250R Katana has a riding range of well over 250 miles.

Furthermore, this model adds to Suzuki’s offering of small displacement models created specifically to appeal to the growing categories of young, entry level, and returning riders. From the terrific new VanVan 200 introduced over the summer, to the GW250, TU250X and now the GSX250R, Suzuki provides a variety of sensible, accessible models to choose from.

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The GSX250R will be available in Pearl Glacier Nebular White or Pearl Nebular Black colors. The GSX250R will be available in Suzuki dealers by April 2017.

2018 GSX250R                         Pearl Glacier Nebular White No. 2

Key Features

  • New fully-faired, quarter-liter sportbike with aggressive, flowing styling true to the Suzuki Katana heritage.
  • Fuel-injected twin-cylinder engine delivers a responsive, broad power band with class-leading fuel economy of approximately 76 MPG.
  • The GSX250R features a reverse-lit LCD instrument panel, a bright halogen headlight, plus distinctive position lamps and taillight using new tech, surface-emitting LEDs.
  • Comfortable, roomy ergonomics for rider and passenger, with a slim fuel tank that helps the rider easily plant their feet on the ground when stopped.
  • New style 10-spoke wheels, petal-type brake rotors, and quality KYB suspension components round out a chassis ready for any riding assignment.

2018 GSX250R                         Pearl Nebular Black

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2018 Suzuki GSX250R Specifications

Engine

Engine                          Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, parallel-twin

Displacement                248 cm3 (15.13 cubic in.)

Bore x Stroke                53.5 x 55.2 mm (2.10 x 2.17 in.)

Compression Ratio        11.5: 1

Fuel System                  Suzuki Fuel Injection

Starter                          Electric

Lubrication                    Wet sump

Drive Train 

Transmission                 6-speed constant mesh

Clutch                           Wet, multi-plate type

Final Drive                    Chain, Sealed O-ring style

Chassis 

Suspension, Front         Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped

Suspension, Rear          Single shock, coil spring, oil damped

Brakes, Front                Single disc, Nissin 2-piston caliper,

Brakes Rear                  Single-disc, Nissin 1-piston caliper

Tire, Front                     110/80-17M/C 57H tubeless

Tire, Rear                      140/55-17M/C 66H tubeless

Fuel Tank Capacity        4.0 US gal. (15 L)

Electrical 

Ignition                                     Electronic ignition (Transistorized)

Headlight                      12V 55/60W (H4 halogen) & LED position lights

Tail light                        LED

Dimensions  

Overall Length               82.08 in. (2,085 mm)

Overall width                 29.13 in. (740 mm)

Overall height                43.7 in. (1,110 mm)

Wheelbase                    56.29 in. (1,430 mm)

Ground clearance          6.29 in. (160 mm)

Seat height                   31.1 in. (790 mm)

Curb mass                    392.4 lbs. (178 kg.)

Colors                          Pearl Glacier White No. 2 –or- Pearl Nebular Black

Warranty                      12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty

Coverage extension and additional benefits are available

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92 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Am I the only one actually happy about the weight and wheelbase?
    As a rider of 35 years (first bike was a 1972 Yamaha DT100, then a Maxim 400 and finally a Maxim 700), I have longed for a smaller bike (best times were on the 400 when riding alone), but not a cramped newbie bike that gets blown around. My friends have had plenty of GSX-R’s R1’s, and Ninjas, but I just want to ride. I’ve been interested in the 250/300 segment for years and what I would actually want is normal, wider tires. I believe there could be a market for a small Katana (preferably a Hayabusa 500 or 600) for those of us who have already stroked their egoes, but don’t want a Harley. Maybe this is a start in the right direction.

  2. teelee says:

    SUZUKI, are you reading these post. Why are you some damn late in doing everything lately. Who wants a 250 when other brands have 300 or more cc’s. This 250 better be better than the other brands or give away you will do or the dealer will loose money to move product.

    • paul246 says:

      Perhaps Suzuki knows what they are doing… not starting a displacement race all over again since it would be counter-intuitive to reestablishing the smaller motorcycle segment.

      I ride a 125cc bike and enjoy it for what it is, I own a larger bike (Interceptor) too. But when I’m on the 125 I don’t long for a 150 or whatever. I also have a 90cc bike, its a hoot, too.

      • Curly says:

        They can’t start a displacement race that’s already several laps old. The reason their bike is a 250 is because that meets the licensing and or taxing laws in the main markets it will be sold in and for some reason unknown, maybe cost or maybe design, they cannot enlarge the displacement of the GSX250R. The reason Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki have chosen to offer larger versions of their 250s here is because of competition for buyers. It costs them no more to make the R3 than it does the R25 or the CBR300R vs. the CBR250R. The little Suzuki is coming in at 20-30 pounds heavier and 6 to 20hp down on the bikes it’s competing against in the market here. The GSX250R appears to be a very nice bike bike but unless it undercuts the prices of the competition by a lot it will be a dust collector on US showroom floors.

        • Dave says:

          Re: “It costs them no more to make the R3 than it does the R25 or the CBR300R vs. the CBR250R. ”

          It does cost them more, as every model & variant does (tooling, production line, carrying costs of inventory, certification, etc.). These costs are why smaller makrets like ours have fewer choices than larger markets. They’ve simply decided to pay for it in hopes that it earns them market share.

          • Curly says:

            The certs cost them on either displacement so no dif at all there. In fact the certs might cost them much less per unit if they sell 15,000 instead of 4,000 because they chose to sell a bike that can actually compete in the market. The parts cost are nearly or exactly the same deal too. If you don’t sell the 250 you don’t have to stock the 250 pistons and rings. The CBR and R3 get larger pistons while being built on the same tooling and assembly lines by the same factory workers. Minimal development and assembly cost difs in this era of CAD and Robotics.

          • Dave says:

            They have to sell the 250 almost everywhere else in the world so the options of “not selling the 250” is off the table. The North American 300 would be a minor volume. We don’t know anything about this engine. For all we know, the engineering won’t allow for more displacement. It’s not as simple as adding stroke (does the crank case have enough volume?) or opening the bore (is there enough space between the cylinder jackets? Will the crank take it?).

            It costs more even if they plan for it on the front end. Simply adding additional colors of the same bikes costs more to do. These small bore bikes are made on tight profit margins and Suzuki is a smaller company compared to Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha.. Everything counts.

          • Curly says:

            I think you’re kind of missing the point Dave. Suzuki is choosing to bring the 250, low powered as it is, to this market and if it doesn’t sell here it will cost them a lot more in storage, free flooring to dealers and rebates than if they had spent the minimal development and engineering cost to bring it as a bike that could compete against HONKAWYAM with regard to power. Also, I did refer to the engineering side above, “for some reason unknown, maybe cost or maybe design, they cannot enlarge the displacement of the GSX250R.” They’re making a bet that a bunch of buyers will fall in love with the looks and value qualities of the bike, we’ll see if they win or not.

          • Dave says:

            Re: “They’re making a bet that a bunch of buyers will fall in love with the looks and value qualities of the bike, we’ll see if they win or not.”

            It’s a pretty conservative bet. They can see what’s selling and know what their dealers want (a small displacement sport bike). As long as it’s even a little cheaper than the competition, and they didn’t over-forecast, They’ll do just fine.

      • teelee says:

        I truly wonder if Suzuki knows what is going on. I rode a 250 Ninja in 1990 and this is 2016 and NOW Suzuki comes out with some competition in the small sport class. Bike looks good as all Suzuki’s do but you are too late [to much competition].

  3. Rusty Nail says:

    Nice to see so much interest in small displacement bikes. From a 50+ year prespective there is something lacking in all the mentioned motorcycles compared to Suzuki X-6 Hustlers, Yamaha 250 Catalinas, and Honda 305 SuperHawks. In the mid 60s they were the cats meyow, or else, for an affordible ride, and we were happy. They were all about 600 bucks, and Triumphs were about 1200 bucks. Not the same ratio now. Remember the Yamaha howl when wide open throttle. Where is the pizzaz ?

    • mickey says:

      yes but we didn’t keep those bikes long either. My 305 was replaced after 1 year by a 350, then a 450, then a 750, then a 1000, then 1300. I still ride the 1300 and an 1100 because they have enough power to satisfy my wants and needs. No 250 or 350 can or will after riding bigger bikes. For the vast majority of people now, a 250 would be a stepping stone, not an end game.

      and I don’t think the ratio is far off now a 300 is what $4500? a 600 (twice the displacement as a 305 Honda and 650 Bonnie) about $9000 twice the CC twice the cost

  4. stinkywheels says:

    My 2 cents. Too little too late. They’re last in line and they chose to go low? Low displacement, low performance? I don’t see many leaving the showrooms.

  5. thrus says:

    I’m ignoring every spec and fact in this except one. IN APRIL OF 2017 THEY WILL BE RELEASING THE 2018 MODEL THAT THEY ARE ANNOUNCING IN 2016! If the model year means nothing stop including it! this crap is getting retarded, I used to joke that at some point you will be able to buy a 20xx model in the year 20xx minus two it is getting far to close to being true for my comfort.

  6. Tim C says:

    I find it interesting that so many comments are focusing on weight. There ain’t a huge amount of difference in weight between small- and medium-displacement engines. It’s everything else that matters, so that’s why a 250 doesn’t weigh that much less than a 750 (or 690 or whatever the FZ07 is since that one has been mentioned more than once). And to subtract weight, add money – until there’s a market for the most awesome track toy imaginable* (a 300cc full-physical-size supersport), forget it.

    * In my opinion – I still miss the crap out of my first bike, a N250 with suspension mods.

  7. ellis tomago says:

    Overweight and outgunned. Probably sell lots of them to training programs.

  8. Gary says:

    Not a good beginner bike (too much plastic – one simple drop and it’s hundreds in repairs) and not interesting enough for an experienced rider looking for a competent small bike.

    Right now, it’s hard to beat KTM in this category.

  9. Bigshankhank says:

    While I agree that this bike, if priced below its competitors, will be successful as an entry level bike, what a lot of people are missing is that the KTM 390s and R3 and Ninja300 also appeal to experienced riders who want a bike with a better power:weight ratio, but not so much power that it is wasted on the street. And that is where this bike, being so under-powered and heavy compared to its competitors falls short. Perhaps that is not the market segment Suzuki is aiming for, but its a growing segment and they are leaving it for their competitors. Odd.

  10. TexinOhio says:

    One of the questions a new rider should pose to themselves is, “Will or when will I outgrow this bike?”

    Is it better to look at say a CBR500 rather than a 250 or 300? I started with a 500 rather than a 250 back in 1997 as a first time rider. I looked at the 250 and 500 Ninja and asked myself that question.

    Yes there is the resale market, but isn’t it better to have something to grow into. I know that takes self-discipline, and a willingness to ride something that may initially intimidate a new rider as a trade off.

    At this point of 19 years of riding I’m all about the liter bikes, primarily for easy of use. I’ve demoed the R3 and the Ninja 300 extensively, and at this point still come to the same conclusion. I made the right choice by purchasing a bigger bike to grow into. Rather than have a smaller bike that I would find lacking and underwhelming far sooner.

    I would even go so far as to say it would be great if manufactures could build a bike that provided a certain amount of displacement based on the key in the ignition.

    • Bigshankhank says:

      “I would even go so far as to say it would be great if manufactures could build a bike that provided a certain amount of displacement based on the key in the ignition.”

      Interesting, kind of like the “Hot” key in the Mustang Boss cars.

      Something I like about my 390 Duke, is after riding Harleys and litre bikes and sport-tourers, the little Duke has usable power, super lightweight and is a blast to ride. Unless I wanted to wildly exceed the speed limit, I do not need to grow in to it, nor will I grow out of it. This Suzuki looks like its performance capped too low, meaining new riders will grow out too quickly and experienced riders will have no interest.

      • TexinOhio says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I added a Z125 to my pack so it hangs out in the garage with it’s big Z1000 brother. The 125 is great for me to go to work on since I take all arterial streets no higher than 45MPH posted. it’s very fun in it’s own right for putting around surface streets.

        I would never try to take the 125 on the highway during heavy traffic times(I have taken it on the freeway on say a early Sunday morning before people get out in droves).

        When you’re buying you first bike which will probably be your only bike for quite awhile it makes sense to go a little bigger.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Just about any new model motorcycle could provide that. That is essentially what many ride modes accomplish. A bike with ride by wire throttle in particular could be made as newbie friendly as anyone could want.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “At this point of 19 years of riding I’m all about the liter bikes, primarily for easy of use.”

      same here, but for me it’s the ease of achieving WARP 9.

      ENGAGE…!!! (Picard voice)

  11. Provologna says:

    Forget the looks, quality differences, maintenance, etc.

    Just comparing performance from one fuhreekin HALF CENTURY AGO: Honda’s glorious CB305 air cooled Superhawk twin, making more power and weighing less, w/higher top speed, even lacking a fairing, at least so says Wiki! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_CB77

    OMG this Suzuki is fail! How can this possibly be true? Is this a rebadged Kymco in new clothes?

    Other than that, it looks nice and comfy….

  12. Tom R says:

    So, a 390-pound street motorcycle is “porky”. You guys crack me up.

    You are supposed to ride it, not bench-press it.

  13. Randy S. says:

    If you spend some time in a motorcycle dealership, I think that you will find that when a rank newbie comes in looking for a beginner bike, these are going to be the only things that they really care about with regard to a bike in this class:
    1) How much it costs
    2) How nice it looks (including the instrument cluster)
    3) How comfortable the handlebar relationship is to the seat
    4) The height of the seat
    5) How heavy the bike feels at rest while being sat upon
    6) How light the clutch pull is

    We won’t know about all of the above until the bike is available for sale. Note that any single one of the above can and will instantly disqualify any one of the competition. For instance, if a newbie pulls the clutch in and it takes too much effort, they can and often do immediately disqualify that bike. Same with seat height, etc. If this new Suzuki looks and feels good to newbies in-person, it will be very competitive in this class, with no regard for its power and actual weight. Power (including displacement) and weight are what experienced riders look at, newbies tend to have different priorities.

    • Fred says:

      Good Post Randy, agreed.

    • mickey says:

      RAndy I pretty much agree with what you said however having worked in the industry for 17 years I can tell you a huge factor on what a newbie buys that you left out

      What his buddies are riding

      If they are riding 600 supersports, you are not going to close the deal on him on a 250 or 300 class bike. Now if his buddies are also riding 250/300s then there is a chance you can talk him into this one.

      • paul246 says:

        That is what is fundamentally wrong with our regulations for beginners on this side of the pond. We have left young riders with very little choice in where to start…. and they should NOT be starting on 600cc sport bikes. How many parents have watched the idiot squids running around and refused Johnny to go anywhere near a bike let alone helping him to purchase one? We need a properly structured graduated system such as what exists in Europe/Britain to educate properly and safely as well as help build a market for the small and fun lower displacement bikes.

        • mickey says:

          Agree Paul but doubt you will ever see that here. When my wife took the MSF classes they learned on 250s. But many of the men in the class (old but still beginners experience wise) already had brand new full dress Harleys at home to ride once they graduated the class and got their license.

          Even if ” the law” said you had to ride a 250 for 6 months, and a 600 for a year, none of those men would have paid any attention to that. They’d have just ridden without a license.

          No 50 year old guy here in the U.S. is going to ride around on a 250 or 600 for even a day

          • mickey says:

            Should add an addendum that it would be an excellent idea for those under 21 years of age moving forward IMO

          • todd says:

            Mickey, displacement limits don’t work so well. I’ve ridden both a Ninja 250 and a H-D 883 and the 250 has the edge in acceleration and ability to achieve illegal speeds sooner than the 883. Where the problem lies in the 883 is its significant heft. I can imagine a newbie dropping it coming out of a driveway or in the middle of a u-turn. 600s should be reserved for pro’s and 1500cc bikes are beginner level power friendly but mass again rears its ugly head.

          • thrus says:

            My issue with this is like other the cruiser bracket, not everyone likes sport bikes. In the 250 bracket how many non sport/naked bikes are out there, yes some are technically standards by the peg and bar layout but still styled to look like a sport. and again in the 600ish range you hit a wall with them as well as there are far more around 900 for that bracket as they tour better then the 600 with a rider and bags plus windshield.

          • Dave says:

            Because of our market size (small), small displacement choices are driven by the priority markets (Asia, S/E Asia, Europe) where cruisers aren’t as popular, and more small displacement, non-performance oriented riders happily choose scooters.

            Honda has served the market over the years with Rebels, Nighthawks, and have just released a 300 & 500 cc cruiser variant. Hyosung (yeah, I said it..) also has a 250cc cruiser.

          • mickey says:

            Todd I’m not really sure how they do it in Europe HP Limits? A beginner can only have x amt hp for x amt of time? (certainly doesn’t take bike weight into acct)

            The US could use some kind of tiered lic system, don’t you think so newbies aren’t sold FZ-10’s

            Heck my first street bike for 1 1/2 years was a 50cc 2 stroke 3 speed Aermacchi. Talk about starting at the bottom lol

  14. John says:

    Good lord. It weighs more than the FZ07. Is the seat made of brick?

  15. dman says:

    As an entry bike for the US market. its fine. However, if anyone had hopes that maybe Suzuki would raise the bar above the Yamaha R3, with a quality lightweight sport bike, this isn’t it. I started street riding on a 175cc two stroke 42 years ago and after slowly going up the food chain (and yes, I had a GPz550) up to liter bikes, my favorite ride in my current stable is a 650 thumper. But after riding a friend’s R3, I’d seriously consider downsizing another notch. But this is not the bike I’d pick.

  16. dt 175 says:

    It’s wheelbase is an inch longer than a TL 1000S…

  17. My2cents says:

    I wish only that Suzuki would not build motorcycles in China.

    • GMAN says:

      All manufacturers make their entry level bikes in China/R.O.C/Thailand, that makes them more affordable. Basic economics.

      • ONE UPPER says:

        Actually the Honda 300/500 Kawasaki 300 is Thailand.The R3 is out of Brazil along with the BMW 310 and the Hyosung 250 is in Korea.

        • Random says:

          BMW’s 300 still not made in Brazil as the factory was just opened (if I remember well it’s by TVS in India). R3’s are indeed made here but probably not exported. And who knows where the parts came from (most of it from China probably).

        • Curly says:

          The R3 the US relieves is assembled in Indonesia.

  18. TF says:

    It was interesting to watch my wife this past summer when she took the MSF course and then proceeded to buy her first street bike at 55 years of age. She tried (rode, or at least sat on) all of the competition that this Suzuki will face and never once did she mention engine size or power. The most important thing to her was how confident she felt on the bike (seat height, riding position, controls, etc.). She really liked the looks of the (white/orange) Duke but it did not fit her well. In the end, the R3 was the bike she was most confident on. She loves her R3 and constantly remarks about how comfortable and confident she is riding it. I don’t think I have ever heard her comment on the engine performance. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a deal maker or breaker for a new rider. That said, I’ll bet that if Suzuki senses a strong enough market, the 250 will become a 300 for the next MYR.

    • bmidd says:

      ^^This^^

      Believe it or not, not everyone cares that one goes 80 vs 83mph or takes 2 seconds longer to get to 60. Riding should be fun and every time I see someone on an old Ninja 250 or CBR250, they seem to be having fun. Honda sells truckloads of CRF250L’s. The world doesn’t constantly need a displacement bump every new MY. It’s like this with everything we do, no one is ever satisfied just having fun, it has to be newer, bigger, better,faster…

      • todd says:

        I wholeheartedly agree. However, just the other day I blew way past 83 mph on a borrowed Ninja 250, it didn’t break a sweat. The only thing that kept me from exploring triple digits was traffic and a little head wind. These little bikes rock.

  19. WSHart says:

    When the “modern” 550cc class came to be in the early/mid 80s with the Seca 550, the GPz550, the GS550E and ES and the Honda 500 Interceptor enough people were thrilled at first and all seemed well. Here at last were lighter bikes of lessor displacement with great handling and braking and they were greeted with descent sales. All too soon the moto-journalists began to convince their readers of the rightness of the dreaded “if only”…

    And so displacements and weight began to rise along with renewed anticipation and sales. Of course HD’s tariff on certain displacements gave birth to a bastard 700cc class and this further made choosing between a so-called lightweight and a middleweight more difficult for some. But there was one…

    For years Kawasaki soldiered on with its lone 250cc Ninja. And then it “finally” became a 300cc which made the recent offerings of Honda seem all the more moot. A 300cc twin is surely superior to a 250cc thumper!

    Which brings us to this newest GSXR.

    “It’s only 250cc and a twin at that!”, yelp the whelps of the two-wheeled world! “Heresy!” squeal the detractors. “Too small, too heavy and too late to make a difference!” cry the whiney bench-racers and specification hounds whose manhood is measured in their knowledge of lap-times, wet-weight and quarter mile times.

    Pathetic. And such as these make fun of Harley riders as judging a man by the bike he rides and boldly stating that the bike makes the man who and what he is. This bike is more than enough for the vast majority of riders out there on the street because the truth is that they imagine themselves Pee Wee Gleason but their reality is more in line with Pee Wee Herman.

    A bike like this, a 250cc motorcycle as nice looking and capable as the GSXR250R is more than big enough. Except for your egos.

    • nickst4 says:

      Tosh, mostly. Capacity makes a massive difference to the rideability of bikes. Unless, of course, you are content to ride in the gutter and let the rest of the traffic go past.

      • Lonerider says:

        The era of the GPZ 550. I was drooling for one when i was too young to have a permit. Since the mid 80’s, bikes becomes stronger. 60 hp became weak for a lot of people.

        In 1987, Yamaha USA tried to revive the small bike with the SRX250, an air cooled thumper. The same year, Honda Canada tried with the equivalent CBX 250, another air cooled thumper. Sales were almost none.

        i’m very happy to see the comeback of the little bikes. To get a greater choice is always a good thing.

        • Curly says:

          The SRX250 could have been a lot more successful had Yamaha not lowered the bike from 28hp down to 22hp for the US market. Why they did it, I’ll never know but they took a millimeter of lift and a lot of duration off both cams compared to those on the JDM version and that just took all the fun out of it. How do I know? I have one and all it took was a set of XT250 (XT350 cams will work too) cams and suddenly the power was there plus another 1500 rpm before the curve for that power flattened out. I still have that bike because it’s so much fun to ride. Five years ago I swapped in a TT350 engine by modifying the cases to remove the swingarm boss. Now it makes around 31hp with a big bag of torque. Fun!

      • Tom R says:

        Did Ninja 250 riders have to “in the gutter” because their bikes were 250cc?

    • TCurly says:

      The problem is not the actual level of performance but rather that the performance will be compared to other bikes in the same displacement and price class. I expect it will come up short and be passed over. It’s not that you can’t have a great time riding this bike, heck if you really are hooked on motorcycling which most of us here are then you can have fun on just about anything with two wheels. When it comes to people parting with their money for a new bike this one will be a hard sell.

  20. Mindspin says:

    I’m at best disappointed with this offering from Suzuki. The 300 class is now hotly contested and this bike is not competitive. It’s a twin (GW250 old engine) that has less horsepower than the CBR300R SINGLE which is going to be replaced by a twin RR variant based on the 250RR released in the Asian market. Suzuki also just released the GSX-R125 which is now king of it’s class in power to weight with an all new engine and chassis with features never before available on a 125, but it will not be sold here because we don’t have an A1 license requirement. Explain why they didn’t want to accomplish the same feat and instantly topple the Ninja 300 and R3 with the best 300 twin they could make. At least they didn’t call it a GSX-R. Katana sure is a fitting name to bring back with this bike as it will be mostly ignored. Their only hope is pricing it around the $3999 mark.

  21. ONE UPPER says:

    This is a nice bike but a lil to late..With the new BMW along with the Benelli with 38hp and really nice suspension and brakes..3899.00 ..Hyosung also new 250 is a contender .. Suzuki should of went with a 329cc ..

    • Grover says:

      Agreed. Too little too late. I do hope it sells, but it will have to compete with 300cc bikes that make more power and weigh less.

    • todd says:

      Dang, this Turbo Ryan One Upper guy keeps changing his name. What for? Choose one and stick with it already. Sheesh

  22. xLaYN says:

    If this is the GW250 engine as Dirk mention then the bike performance is going to be fine, Dirk review for the GW250 only mention slow relative to performance once “it handles a bit slower than the competition, … , but the reward is excellent stability and predictability”,

    Maybe if we are going to use that missing area of performance that say a Ninja 300 or Duke 390 would offer this is not the bike.

  23. paul246 says:

    I currently own and ride 4 different bikes, my main ride being my Honda VFR, and my second favourite being the diminutive Honda CBR125R. I just love riding that little bike, it is an absolute blast in its own right. I commute daily on it, even today with snow and freezing drizzle. The plates expire in a couple of days and I’m thinking about extending then into December. There is a lot of truth about the fun factor and worth of small bikes. I love them!

  24. Tyg says:

    Make it 600cc and lose another… *whack* sorry

    In all seriousness, I don’t completely get this – it’s unlikely to actually be much cheaper to make this 250cc than the competitors’ 300cc bikes; most everything on the bike will have to be similar spec so I don’t expect much if any weight savings for the 250 vs 300.
    Newbie riders certainly aren’t all about the weight-per-hp, but without a substantial cost savings up-front, they’ve got to be aware that the resale is going to suffer substantially.

    If I may be creative with their press release: “Suzuki remains … behind” (I didn’t change anything other than deleting a couple words – just reading between the lines).

    • Dave says:

      Global bike. 250cc is a “catch weight” in most markets where these sell best. Suzuki is a smaller company and probably decided that they could not invest in tooling the larger cylinders for North American consumption.

      Though as another mentioned, it may do ok for being physically larger. Many small bikes are well, small.

  25. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    I don’t see why they even bothered with this offering

  26. caribooster says:

    I think that it will be a real contender. The styling is good, instrumentation is good and with a 15 liter tank it will have good range. I think that there is a large demand for these small displacement machines from the younger riders. One only has to look at all of the scooters (gas and electric) on the road to see the demand.

    It is mainly the older seasoned riders that have the thirst for the high horsepower machines (ie: …” no replacement for displacement…”).

  27. Tank says:

    Too little, too late.

  28. Curly says:

    I’m not sure what’s up with Suzuki and this bike in our market. The bike is a porker for sure that weighs in just a few pounds under an FZ-07. The engine is a long stroke SOHC 2-valve lump that could possibly be bored to 350 or even 400. It does look good so if it was a 399cc, 42hp engine with a strong torque curve that would make it a pretty nice ride. As it is I don’t see much future for it.

  29. TexinOhio says:

    It makes no sense for Suzuki to bring a 250 to a 300 fight. What makes it most odd is that they’ve sat out of this market for quite awhile, but still chose to come in under powered.

    So probably a jump to 300 cc’s for 2019?

  30. Neil says:

    It’s the Ninja 250.
    I would choose the Honda 250RR …but this will cost less I’m sure.
    And make less power.
    And be geared too low to pull out in traffic.
    Looks ok though if you have a Zook dealer nearby.

  31. Bill says:

    A very attractive and well-proportioned bike for those who would rather ride a Suzuki or who like their Suzuki dealer better. Who knows? There may actually be a marketing strategy in having the only 250 in the group especially if there is a price advantage.

  32. jimmihaffa says:

    The second sentence in the article pretty much covers it. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that if it’s the lowest price sport 250 you can buy, it will outsell the others. It’s actually quite an attractive bike and doesn’t appear, at least visually, to be a cheaper version of it’s bigger brethren. Gonna disagree with you, Rayzor, there’s only so much technology and upgraded parts this market segment will bear. Pops may foot a $5000 bill for the college kid for a hop around scoot, but he is more apt to do so when it leaves change over for a laptop and sweatshirt U slush fund.

  33. GoodlyRun says:

    ABS or no? I see the sensor on the rear wheel and the light on the dash but no mention in the release and no front wheel sensor.

  34. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    That’s a cool looking dash. Still not sure about bar code tachometers, though…

  35. Rayzor says:

    First off, being a late comer, Suzuki should have had plenty of time to get competitive with this one but…Nothing to make it stands out from a very crowded field, other than its porky weight of 392lbs for a 1/4L bike! Yikes. As a former Gixxer 600 owner and currently looking for a quarter Liter bikes as a commuter bike, this will not be on my radar at all. Sorry, Suzuki, if you want my business, then you’ll have to do better. Take notes from KTM with their 390s. Even the Ninja 300 has better specs. And lets not forget the very well done Yamahas, Hondas and the upcoming BMW 310s. Lot of better choices, naked and full faired to choose from, IMHO.

    • GoodlyRun says:

      Well put.

    • Dave says:

      Agreed. This is off the back. I’m not usually one to put much emphasis on technical spec, but this is a heavy bike (almost 400lb) with an engine that’s known to be pretty soft. This to me translates into a bike that will struggle more with the riding scenarios that are more common here in the US (freeway jaunts and traffic in urban areas).

      Too bad, because it’s a really nice looking bike.

  36. Denny says:

    At time of “motorcycling explosion” in early 70s Suzuki was there, among others in 250cc category and did quite well. I do not see a reason why it would not do now.

  37. MGNorge says:

    I’m really surprised it’s coming to the US market with at least a 15% displacement disadvantage. If it takes root I would assume a bump in displacement soon. Perhaps that’s what Suzuki is waiting for too?

    • Kyle says:

      Honda bumped the PCX125 up to 150cc for USA because some states require 150cc for freeway. But Grom is still 125 and CRF is still 250 instead of 300. I don’t know why they can’t just bump up a few CC for sales. Doesn’t seem like it would take much more R&D. But for some reason they don’t bother. I’d own a Grom if it were 150. Shoot I down a Ruckus if it came with the Metros FI. The world may never know.