Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: The best quarter-litre sports bikeThe design of the Gixxer SF 250, especially in the Moto GP livery, stands out from the monotonous colour schemes of most two-wheelers.
It’s not easy to design a bike—especially a sports bike—that has style, refined performance and, most importantly, is affordable to the masses.
Suzuki has managed to pull it off with their Gixxer SF 250.
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is one of the hottest bike launches of 2019. From its European inspired design to modern electronics, it is what a proper quarter-litre sports bike should look like.
And in a price-sensitive market like Nepal where every rupee matters, Suzuki has managed to fit in all the bells and whistles at a pocket-friendly price of just under Rs500,000.
So what do you get for your money?
You get an eyeball grabbing machine. The design of the Gixxer SF 250, especially in the Moto GP livery, stands out from the monotonous colour schemes of most two-wheelers. No matter which angle you look, the bike looks gorgeous.
From the front, the LED headlamp looks like the eye of Sauronand provides great illumination at night. The side profile is neat with the fairings flowing seamlessly to the centre of the bike. The brushed finish alloy wheels complement the premium look. And at the rear, you are greeted with a compact LED tail lamp and a massive 150 section tyre. The double-barrel muffler with chrome finish is a nice touch as well.
There are no unsightly welds or uneven gaps in the bodywork. The bike did not rattle or waver even at triple-digit speeds.
Power delivery on the Gixxer SF 250 is very linear thanks to its newly developed engine. The single-cylinder powerplant produces 26 bhp and 22.6 Nm of torque. Suzuki claims that the all-new motor is designed to maximise output and improve engine durability.
I put the bike through a variety of situations from slow-moving traffic to riding with a pillion and I have to say, Suzuki has created a gem of an engine. The bike did not struggle one bit and with every twist of the throttle, I was grinning ear to ear. When I was reading the paper specifications of the bike, I raised an eyebrow when I saw that the engine was oil-cooled. It is basic science that an internal combustion engine will generate heat. And that oil-cooling a large single-cylinder engine like the one found on the Gixxer SF 250 is going to be tough.
But Suzuki’s oil cooling system proved me wrong. Even though I left the bike idling on neutral when I was stuck in traffic on my way to work, I felt little to no heat radiating from the engine. So I wrung the throttle and pushed the bike till it redlined but the engine remained as cool as a cucumber. And with no radiator fan noise to speak of, it allowed me to enjoy Macklemore’s ‘White Walls’ on my helmet intercom.
However, while the engine and cooling system are top-notch, I was slightly disappointed by the six-speed gearbox with shifts not being as smooth as I would have liked.
The bike also gets a fully digital instrumentation cluster which is small in footprint but displays a trove of information. The console is easy to read and shows the gear position indicator, fuel gauge, speed, rpm and even an oil change interval reminder.
Despite the aggressive stance, you sit fairly upright and the riding position is not as committed as Yamaha’s R15 V3. The low seat height and slightly rear-set footpegs allow for a comfortable seating posture. You can easily go for long rides on the Gixxer SF 250 without wrist or backaches. While the split seats are plush, getting on the rear as a pillion can be a challenge though. The suspension is also on the stiffer side.
Once you are in the saddle, pull in the clutch and press the ignition. The fuel-injected motor springs to life instantly even when it is cold. The bike feels light even though it tips the scale at just over 160kg. With a short wheelbase, the Gixxer SF 250 is agile and slices through traffic like butter. For comparison, the KTM Duke 250—a streetfighter and one of the most agile bikes in the market—has a longer wheelbase (1357mm vs 1345).
And with great agility comes the need for an equally potent braking system. Thankfully, the Gixxer SF 250 comes with dual-channel ABS and disc brakes on the front and rear. The brakes have a sharp bite and you do not have to worry about locking the wheels when you pull the brake lever abruptly.
However, one thing that I would instantly change on the bike is the meek sounding horn, because if you are planning to ride on the highway, a loud horn is necessary to warn oncoming vehicles and people crossing the road willy-nilly.
With the comfortable riding dynamics of the Gixxer SF 250, it can easily double up as a sports tourer when you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life.