Suzuki Inazuma review, test ride
1st Mar 2014 2:00 pm
The funky looking Suzuki Inazuma stands tall in a crowd. A quick spin later, here's our impression of how well the new Suzuki goes on Indian roads.
So, you’re looking for a different, unique looking bike. Suzuki’s on the same page with you, and totally tuned in here with its 250cc challenger in India. Love it or hate it, as far as distinctive goes, the Inazuma has all styling bases covered, with no other bike in this class looking anything close to this. It’s got solid presence for this class of bike, its modern silhouette filling up a parking lot with its long, Suzuki-typical looks.
A scaled down B-King in some ways, the Inazuma rides on a set of somewhat dated looking three-spoke alloy wheels. The bike offers smart and legible instruments, as well as a high quality adjustable front brake lever, that adds to the rider’s feel good factor.
The four-stroke, 248cc engine is liquid-cooled, soft sounding at all engine speeds and heard through a pair of exhausts that run down either flank as often found on Suzuki motorcycles, instead of single canisters.
It’s a parallel-twin powerplant with under-square cylinders (53.5x55.2mm bore and stroke), tuned to produce 24bhp at 8500rpm. Peak torque is 2.24kgm unleashed at 6500rpm and we found the Inazuma offers user friendly power delivery, good for crowded urban conditions. The engine is just as refined as expected, with power flowing smoothly from just over idle, backed up by a strong wave of low and mid-range, thereafter tapering off into a lukewarm top-end that there’s no need to access frequently on an Inazuma. Short-shifts up the slick, six-speed transmission are the way to go on this Suzuki, with first feeling notably shorter ratio than the remaining, nicely spread out gears. Clutch action is light too and overall, the Inazuma ticks all the right boxes with such a novice friendly engine and easily mastered performance.
Acceleration is quick enough for a 250 twin, though don’t expect this new Suzuki to be ahead of the pack at the local drag meet day, with practicality and a vibe-free character taking precedence over outright performance. Look at its sportier arch enemy, the Kawasaki Ninja 300, if speed is that much more your thing. Having said which, 100kph is pretty effortless on the Inazuma, 7,000-odd revs in top gear while top speed is respectable too, the Suzuki readily running up to an indicated 145kph, chin plastered close to its tank, and engine humming frantically close to its 11000rpm redline in sixth.
The Inazuma runs telescopic front forks and a hydraulic monoshock at the rear, separated by quite a long wheelbase, 1430mm. Its kerb weight is a portly 183kg, so it came as no surprise when we found the bike doesn’t steer or turn in with much urgency. Handling is nevertheless good, with ride quality likewise feeling pliant and comfortable as well. Speaking of which, the Inazuma scores big brownies over its direct rival, the Kawasaki Ninja 300, to provide a commuter friendly and back upright riding position. We found the new Suzuki offers excellent traction as well, thanks to a set of IRC footwear at both ends, relatively less spoken off and often underrated in the motorcycle tyre world.
In keeping with its overall soft nature, the Inazuma brakes with solid reassurance, providing a not so aggressive, more progressive feel at both levers, these controlling single discs at both ends. ABS, that would have added so much value, is sadly lacking on the quarter-litre Suzuki.
The famous Japanese maker and its Indian arm have worked to ensure the Inazuma has come to India as a practical, easily mastered and comfortable to ride everyday quarter-litre bike. Although priced competitively, at Rs 305,958 (ex-showroom, Pune), versus its direct rival twin-cylinder bike from Kawasaki, there’s still several more affordable single-cylinder options in the same market today, including the superbly priced and capable KTM Dukes and Honda CBR250R, which could work against the Inazuma climbing the ladder to ride the premium bike boom. We'll have a more detailed report up soon. Watch this space.