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Rating 7 7

2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 review, road test

25th Sep 2019 7:00 am

The Gixxer SF 250 proves to be a very competent sport bike for the road.

  • Make : Suzuki
  • Model : Gixxer SF 250
We Like
Good looks
Confident handling
Build quality
We Don't Like
Basic instrumentation
Vibrations at high rpms

Our first encounter with the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 was on an FIA Grade 1 racetrack and as you’d imagine, it was great fun. However, it is not the best place to assess a motorcycle’s real-world characteristics. The short-lived experience on the fully-faired 250cc motorcycle left us impressed to a large extent, but also left many questions unanswered. Which is why we got hold of the bike as soon as we could and put it through a comprehensive road test.

If you were to judge it by its looks, you’d assume the sporty-looking Gixxer SF is a back-breaker, but it’s not the case. I rode it through a nasty pothole-ridden section of road and came out unstirred. The 41mm telescopic fork and the slightly firm monoshock both do a more-than-decent-enough job of absorbing uneven surfaces. The suspension also doesn’t bottom out or feel crashy if you hit bumps at high speeds.

Contrasting silver highlights on the wheels look neat.

As a result, the Gixxer SF is not a KTM, but it’s still a sweet and confident handler that is easy to lean over. The fork feels progressive and is also competent when braking hard and changing direction quickly. Overall, the SF 250 is a very ‘neutral’ handling motorcycle. As for the brakes, the front isn’t the sharpest out there, but it’s powerful, progressive and more than sufficient.

The Gixxer SF is an attractive motorcycle. No two ways about it. Look at it from any direction and you will see aggressive, but smooth design lines that meet to form a striking style. The trident-like full-LED headlight dominates the frontal section and the tiny flyscreen looks quite subdued in comparison. From the side, the large fairing gives you a peek at the special bronze engine casing while linking every other part of the bike in the most proportionate way. The chunky tank resembles the one from the older Gixxers, but it stands out a bit more on this one because it sits higher than almost everything else. The posterior, meanwhile, features a clean and simple design, with a V-shaped LED tail-light that has an understated charm to it. Speaking of LEDs, the SF could really do with a set of sleeker LED turn indicators.

Black-on-black graphics look classy and unique at the same time.

Step closer to the bike and you’ll notice almost unmatched quality levels at this price point. The standard of the paint is top-notch; and so is the fit and finish. Details like the small caps that cover exposed bolts on the clip-ons and the painted inner fairing are delightful. However, on the downside, the fuel cap doesn’t click shut and requires a manual turn of the key.

Neat black-coloured plastic caps cover exposed bolts.

 

Our spell with the Gixxer SF at the racetrack revealed that it manages a speedo-indicated top speed of 154kph without too much of a struggle. While we didn’t get an opportunity to see that number again on the road, we did manage to put it through our regular test cycle, albeit in wet conditions. The Gixxer SF did 0-60kph in 3.55sec and 100kph in 9.21sec, and it comes to a stop from 60kph in 16.99m. These figures are respectable, but not groundbreaking in any way. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as this 250 is not an all-out performance machine. The oil-cooled motor is quite happy to rev and delivers power in a manner that is accommodating, even to new riders. It lacks the same smooth and free-revving feel of the 150cc Gixxer engine at higher revs. Nevertheless, it has enough grunt to enable a cruising speed of 100-110kph. Interestingly, riding it out on the road also revealed that the bike has a healthy mid-range, where the bike just picks up and goes from anywhere above 3,000rpm. Fuel-efficiency figures are 31.2kpl in the city and 37.9kpl on highway, which is average, at best.

Basic instrumentation doesn’t even display real-time fuel consumption.

Suzuki’s new 6-speed gearbox is a little clunkier than the ones you’ll find on some other bikes in the segment, but it works well. While the rear wheel doesn’t lock up (even with heavy downshifting) a slipper clutch would be welcome, especially at this price, just for a lighter clutch lever pull.

The Gixxer SF gets clip-on handlebars but it actually has you seated in a position that doesn’t put a lot of stress on your palms or shoulders, while bent over enough for a slightly committed and intuitive riding position. Think of it as closer to the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 than the committed position of the KTM RCs or the Yamaha YZF-R15 V3.0. This is something you’ll be thankful for if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the saddle.

The rider’s seat is roomy, while the pillion’s is slightly compact.

The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a motorcycle with a number of qualities. It does a lot really well and it leaves very little to complain about. But aside from its good looks, it doesn’t stand out strongly in anyway.  The feature list is basic and so is the instrument cluster, it doesn’t even display real-time fuel efficiency, and even much more affordable two-wheelers come with Bluetooth-enabled screens. What you’re looking at here is a very good all-rounder; and at Rs 1.71 lakh, the SF 250 makes for a better package than the rather basic Yamaha Fazer 25 (Rs 1.44 lakh) as well as the aged, yet expensive Honda CBR250R (Rs 1.95 lakh). The Bajaj Dominar 400, which costs just Rs 9,000 more puts up a good fight, and it has the Suzuki beaten when it comes to sheer value for money. However, we’d suggest picking the SF 250 over the Dominar 400 if you are a fan of faired motorcycles, better riding dynamics and, of course, better quality.

PRICE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Ex-showroom - Delhi Rs 1.71 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Cubic Capacity (cc) 249cc
Engine Layout Single-cylinder
Ignition System Electric
Cooling System Oil-cooled
Valves per cylinder 4
Max Power (hp @ rpm) 26.5hp at 9,000rpm
Max Torque (nm @ rpm) 22.6Nm at 7,500rpm
Power to Weight Ratio (hp/tonne) 164.59hp/tonne
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
No of Gears 6
Dimensions & Chassis Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Weight (kg) 161kg
Length (mm) 21010mm
Width (mm) 740mm
Height (mm) 1035mm
Wheel base (mm) 1345mm
Ground Clearance (mm) 165mm
Fuel Tank capacity (lts) 12 litres
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Brake Type Disc
Rear Brake Type Disc
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Suspension Telescopic fork
Rear Suspension Monoshock
WHEELS AND TYRES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front wheel (inch) 17
Front Tyre 110/70 R17
Rear wheel (inch) 17
Rear Tyre 150/60 R17
ACCELERATION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
0 - 10 kph (sec) 0.44s
0 - 20 kph (sec) 0.85s
0 - 30 kph (sec) 1.42s
0 - 40 kph (sec) 2.01s
0 - 50 kph (sec) 2.73s
0 - 60 kph (sec) 3.55s
0 - 70 kph (sec) 4.60s
0 - 80 kph (sec) 5.79s
0 - 90 kph (sec) 7.37s
0 - 100 kph (sec) 9.21s
BRAKING Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
60 - 0 kph (mts, sec) 16.99m
EFFICIENCY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
City (kpl) 31.2kpl
Highway (kpl) 37.9kpl
Overall (kpl) 34.5kpl
Overall Range (kms) 414km
2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 review, road test
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