• Suzuki Inazuma.
    Suzuki Inazuma.
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Suzuki Inazuma review, road test

1st Apr 2014 6:05 pm

Suzuki strikes again, with its first Indian quarter-litre, the Inazuma. Can the new bike tap into and electrify our 250cc segment?

  • Make : Suzuki
  • Model : Inazuma

Suzuki is moving slowly but steadily, getting serious with its approach to exploring the Indian bike market. The Japanese manufacturer has just launched its well-known 250cc motorcycle here, the Inazuma. After Suzuki’s truly revolutionary motorcycle designs over the years, including the thrilling Katana and game-changing Hayabusa, you could either love the Inazuma or hate it, but there’s no arguing that the new bike covers all styling bases as far as distinctiveness goes.

What makes this 250cc twin special when standing face-to-face with rivals already entrenched in our market? Does the Inazuma justify such a hefty premium? Can it be ‘the bike’ for you, or an ideal machine to tackle Indian roads with? We have all the answers.

The Inazuma has adequate fuel efficiency for a 250 twin, delivering 28.9kpl when riding in congested city traffic conditions, as commonly experienced across India, and returning 26.9kpl when cruising at speeds approaching 100kph on more open highways.

A glance at the Inazuma tells you it’s a Suzuki through and through, with similar design elements to its stable-mate, the B-King. The Inazuma is a large bike with plenty of presence – bold looking with smoothened lines, but riding on a set of somewhat dated looking three-spoke alloy wheels.

In the front, the Inazuma comes with a bright headlight, supported by two pilot lamps. There’s a smart, legible instrument cluster with an analogue tachometer, amber-backlit digital speedometer, odometer and twin trip meters, along with a ‘maintenance due’ reminder, apart from the other usual warning icons. The Inazuma’s palm grips are comfortable, even after long spells in the saddle, although we found its switchgear – which includes an engine kill-switch and a pass-light flasher – of inadequate quality.

The Inazuma has a nice, reach-adjustable front brake lever, but this only highlights the absence of an adjustable clutch lever. A set of smartly placed rear-view mirrors impart good visibility, the 13.3-litre tank comes with a handsome Suzuki emblem, and neatly integrated front-end shrouds that house clear-lens indicators. The motorcycle’s stepped seat runs up to an alloy grab rail for the pillion. Instead of a single canister, the Inazuma has a pair of chrome-finished exhausts. The overall quality, fit and finish, and paint lustre are good on the new Suzuki.

 

The Inazuma is powered by a 248cc four-stroke, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, and fuel-injected engine that comes to life effortlessly at the push of its start button. The 250 twin makes 24bhp of peak power at 8500rpm, while torque offered is 2.24kgm, arriving at 6500rpm. The Inazuma offers user-friendly power delivery that’s just right for crowded urban conditions. This long-stroke (53.5mm x 55.2mm bore and stroke) engine delivers a strong wave of low- and mid-range power, always feeling refined with smoothly delivered, vibe-free acceleration available from close over idle, all the way up to the bike’s 11200rpm rev limiter.

The Inazuma is a relaxed bike to ride, with adequate feedback from its light-action clutch. The six-speed transmission works well, shifting seamlessly in a one-down, five-up pattern. Don’t, however, expect the new Suzuki to bring you glory at the drag-strip, with practicality taking pride of place over outright performance. This isn’t the right choice for riders looking for a sportsbike-like feel, the 250cc motorcycle managing only reasonably quick figures when tested for acceleration. The Inazuma took 3.96 seconds to reach 60kph from rest, getting past 100kph in 11.50secs, which is significantly slower than far better priced single-cylinder rivals like the KTM 200 Duke and Honda CBR250R. Cruising at speeds of up to 120kph is possible,  although the Inazuma starts to feel breathless when pushed beyond this. The Inazuma can climb to a true 136kph top speed, its exhaust note staying soothingly soft at all speeds.

 

The Inazuma is built around a semi-double-cradle-type steel frame, supported by telescopic front forks and a hydraulic monoshock at the rear, with a box-section steel swingarm. The kerb weight is a shade on the heavier side, at 183kg, which goes against the motorcycle.

On the bright side, the Inazuma’s riding position ranks amongst its salient strengths, fairly upright and thoroughly comfortable whether commuting or on a long-distance ride. The Suzuki comes with a near-straight handlebar and nice, forward-set pegs. The riding saddle feels a touch too soft, but is long and wide enough. We rode the Inazuma over smoothly paved as well as broken roads, and found it to have fine ride quality, good handling, excellent straight-line stability and a planted feel. IRC brand tyres provide good grip, but don’t expect point and shoot cornering ability, which is hampered due to the motorcycle’s heavy feel. The Inazuma does well to feel composed and secure to ride at all times, even when cornering hard, where it always feels steady, even if you’re hard on the gas.

There’s a 290mm disc brake in front and a 240mm disc at the rear, both of which work well, with a nice, progressive feel at the lever. The absence of ABS, however, is a pity, more so because the bike is being sold in India at a high price point. The Inazuma stopped from 80kph in 27.38 meters during our braking tests.

 

Unique looking Inazuma undoubtedly overpriced, but still a well-built and comfortable 250cc option.Suzuki hasn’t quite aced it with the Inazuma, largely due to its heavy pricing, although the motorcycle does have its fair share of strengths. If you like the way this bike looks, the well-built Inazuma makes for a truly individual-looking bike. Our tests show that performance is lacklustre for a 250 twin, outdone by even rival singles, but on the upside, the Suzuki is really refined, smooth and reliable, with a slick gearbox in tow.Despite being on the heavier side, the Inazuma does still handle reasonably and provides good ride quality. Suzuki’s ace in the pack is comfort, which no other 250 in India can match, thanks to the Inazuma’s well thought-out riding position.  So if money isn’t a problem, and you’re keen on a dependable, comfortable 250, look no further.

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