Home Gear box Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX Review – Ready for Adventure or a Comfortable Tourer?

Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX Review – Ready for Adventure or a Comfortable Tourer?

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Adventure. It seems to be the favorite word for most two-wheeler brands in our country and the latest addition is the Suzuki V-Strom 250SX. This is the Japanese brand’s THIRD offering in the 250cc segment and its most affordable ADV offering for India. With the V-Strom 1000 and 650 having established the rugged and versatile family name, we test the 250 in the Himalayas. Promising, right? But, things don’t look too rosy for the V-Strom 250 SX as the specs aren’t too impressive. So does it have the Suzuki magic and prove that the numbers don’t always tell the real story, right?

I’m going to start this review with the styling because the designers at Suzuki have nailed it. It looks like a scaled down version of the V-Strom and in the pictures I thought the bike looked small, but it doesn’t. He looks big, has presence, and made viewers curious everywhere we went during filming. And more importantly, it doesn’t look like a 250cc bike.

Design highlights include the high windshield and bright LED headlight placed below (same unit as the Gixxer 250). It’s interesting how the designers at Suzuki managed to make it work on the V-Strom 250. The large beak and fairing give it that proper V-Strom DNA and the tank blends well with the fairing. The split seat adds to its bulk, while the dual-ported exhaust muffler sports a black finish. Moving to the rear, the taillight is the same LED unit found on the old Gixxer, while the thick grab bar adds to its rugged character. Feature-wise, it gets an all-digital instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity with call, text and WhatsApp alerts. There is also detailed navigation with ETA and a USB charger.

Another aspect where the V-Strom impressed us was in the quality department. The paint finish is nice, the gaps between the panels are tight, the switchgear looks sturdy, and you won’t find any loose wires. And despite riding the bike on some really rough roads and rocks, none of the panels showed any signs of abuse or rattling, so good job Suzuki!

The new bike is based on the same platform as its Gixxer 250 sibling and shares the same engine and spec. Given their strong overall performance, that’s not a bad thing, and Suzuki engineers didn’t change the gear ratios either.

Engine

249cc, single cylinder, oil cooled

Power

26.5PS @ 9300rpm

Couple

22.2 Nm at 7,300 rpm

Transmission

6 speeds

At low revs, the engine feels a bit peppy and the first two gears are short, while the tall third gear lets you cruise easily at city speeds. But there is a flat spot in the midrange and overshoots will force you to downshift. This flat also means that mid-range performance is poor and you will have to work the engine a lot if you have a heavy wrist.

The 250cc engine is very composed by nature, so it will take a bit of patience for it to gain momentum. Although this laid back nature is not loved by all, it works well for touring and it reminded me a bit of the new Royal Enfield Classic 350. The air is serene while cruising and this cool nature makes the miles nibbling without effortful and enjoyable. So if you want thrilling performance, this 250cc engine won’t impress you, but as a tourer it does a good job.

We barely encountered any starights, so I can’t comment on its touring ability, but you might feel a little vibration at 100 km/h. The 6-speed gearbox is smooth and the clutch action is light.

Matter of comfort

There are two aspects that help the V-Strom 250 nail the experience as a tourer—first, the seat. Not only is it spacious, but it is also very well padded. We cycled for nearly 8 hours and not once did my butt feel numb. Second, ergonomics. The other thing that adds to the comfort factor is the upright riding position thanks to the flat, wide handlebars and nearly centered footpegs, meaning you can put on the miles effortlessly. In addition, the rider feels part of the bike thanks to the sculpted fuel tank. Thanks to this, despite its size, the pilot does not feel intimidated as is the case with most other ADV offerings.

What isn’t comfortable, however, is the seat height, at 835mm. I’m 5ft 10ft and although it didn’t bother me all the time, on incline surfaces and bumping my foot in traffic it made me a little nervous. So we’d suggest shorter riders opt for the optional 810mm low saddle attachment.

Let’s go on an adventure

To give it off-road credibility, Suzuki engineers gave it a 19-inch front wheel and off-road centered tires, while the suspension travel remains the same.

Suspension

Front – Telescopic fork
Rear – Monoshock

Tires

Front – 100/90-19
Rear – 140/70-17

Ground clearance

205mm

So can you make your Dakar dreams come true? No, don’t even think about it. The V-Strom 250 SX is trail-friendly at best and does a good job on rough roads. The front suspension is somewhat compliant, but the rear is firm, so over sharp bumps, potholes and rocks, it feels nervous. So if I was planning on going to Ladakh, I wouldn’t be too excited. That’s disappointing given V-Strom’s moniker. So if you were looking for a pukka off-roader, look elsewhere.

It’s time to turn

Where the V-Strom 250 doesn’t feel jittery is in the handling department. It’s predictable and confident, and I had a wonderful time in the twisty mountains en route to Manali.

Wheelbase

1440mm

Unloaded weight

167kg

Fuel tank capacity

12 liters

What makes this experience even more impressive is that despite using a 19 inch wheel, there is so much communication from the front and it feels like riding a bike with a 17 wheel inches. I also have to give credit to the tires – despite the off-road pattern, they offer plenty of grip, allowing you to squeeze more out of the bike. The braking is also on point, there is a slight dive from the fork, but the brakes give you positive bite and feedback. The Suzuki V-Strom 250 lacks switchable ABS, but given its limited off-road ability, I don’t think the rider will miss it much.

Last call

The only tough number to digest is the price as it commands a huge premium over its 250cc siblings.

Suzuki Gixxer 250

Rs 1,79,700

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250

Rs 1,90,400

Suzuki V-Strom SX

Rs 2,11,600

*Prices are ex-showroom-Delhi

The V-Strom 250 SX isn’t a perfect bike, it doesn’t have off-road credibility or outright performance, the seat height can be concerning for shorter riders, and the flat spot is annoying. But despite its flaws, the V-Strom 250 has that magic element of Suzuki, which in its case is its friendly, approachable nature.

It kind of reminds me of pseudo hatchback SUVs – enthusiasts were furious, but the masses flocked to buy them. As such, the V-Strom is honest about its intent as a tourer, except for its rather ironic name. So if you want a user-friendly, comfortable tourer that has visual appeal, good quality, nice handling, and don’t mind spending the premium, the V-Strom 250 SX may be your next bike. On a personal note, I enjoyed the V-Strom 250 and even after spending eight hours on mountain roads, there was hardly any fatigue. A good bike, but at the wrong price.