Text – Mohit Soni; Pictures – Om Vaikul
2014 Suzuki Inazuma Review
Bike Tested: 2014 Suzuki Inazuma
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2,45,800/-
The Suzuki Inazuma scores extremely high on comfort, the engine is just butter smooth.
We love motorcycling, we all want to have fun once we start riding on a twisty road or insanely wide and long highways. Expectations for motorcycles keep increasing and they need to be fun and comfortable at the same time and hence different types of motorcycles exist. Cruiser, adventure, bobbers, cafe racers, you name it. There is something here today with us that belongs to a different kind. The Suzuki Inazuma is basically a standard bike. Take a normal motorcycle, lower it to almost cruiser standards and you have a standard-type motorcycle. These kind of bikes have maximum focus on comfort and long distance mile munching is their hobby. The Inazuma is one such bike which has landed onto our shores. Projecting the image of a cruiser bike to masses, the Inazuma also has what most people require from a performance oriented machine, a parallel-twin 250cc motor. Last seen on the Kawasaki Ninja with the same displacement, the parallel-twin, quarter-litre motorcycle is here to make Suzuki stand out in the highly competitive segment. Will it succeed or set “standards” for Suzuki in the Indian market? We take the bike for a spin to find out.
Motor Quest: The Suzuki Inazuma was first showcased at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. Styling of the bike was inspired from the much loved B-King. The Inazuma is also called as the GW250 in other markets around the world. The motorcycle also has a faired sibling called the GW250S.
Styling – One look at the motorcycle and it is sure to project the image of a cruiser into your mind. Long and chunky tank shrouds lend it the character which it aspires to show. The low and long look of the Suzuki Inazuma is extremely imposing. The bike manages to turn heads even in black colour. Two exhausts on either side also attracts the eye of the masses very quickly. At the front, the Gothic looking headlight is either a hit or a miss. Bulbous front mudguard and three spoke alloy wheels is something found in bigger bikes but does not do justice on today’s bike which, let’s not forget is a entry level bike and needs to attract younger, new generation of bikers to itself. Overall, the hefty looks, meaty panels and twin exhausts give it a look of a powerful bike. While the design may not appeal to the new generation, it may end up attracting the mature audience because of it understated appearance.
Instrument Cluster and Switch Gear – The cluster looks very dated in terms of design. The centrally placed tachometer is a relief though in today’s world where every bike is going digital. The analog meter has a digital part to it which shows gear position indicator, power (with a sign of a lightning bolt) and Eco modes. The screen on the right is the speedometer which has service interval reminder, clock and two trip meters. The buttons to adjust the trip meters are placed inconveniently below the cluster which is slightly difficult to fiddle when you are wearing gloves. The usual solitary turn indicators are there on each side while the left side of the panel houses engine check, fuel injection, temperature, shift and high beam indicator. Switchgear looks and feels good, housing all the buttons like any other bike.
Ergonomics – Upright riding position with raised and narrow clip-on handlebars is always a recipe for a comfortable riding position. Rearset footpegs are not aggressively set and hence it doesn’t make your hands stretch out much. The square-ish mirrors give a good view of what is behind too. Single piece seat is well cushioned and extremely supportive. The Inazuma provides great pillion comfort too. Good amount of seat space is left for the pillion and a chunky handlebar to hang on to. Long distance touring is its hobby and it excels very well at it.
Performance and Gearbox – Powering the Suzuki Inazuma is a parallel-twin, SOHC, liquid-cooled engine. Fuel injection makes starting up the motorcycle a easy and smooth task. The motor like any other Suzuki petrol powerplant (whether car or motorcycle) is a gem. The mill is extremely smooth, refined all the way to the redline. No jerkiness throughout the rev-range makes it very addictive to redline the bike every time. The taller gearing escalates the case even higher. Adequate low end torque, a good mid-range and excellent top-end torque makes it the apt everyday companion. Fantastic power band is courtesy the under-square layout of the engine which helps produce more torque at higher revs. The engine revs slightly faster than any other Japanese engine we have experienced. All this makes it produce a distinctive soundtrack too. The motor screams almost like a superbike if you try to hear it closely. Obviously, it’s nowhere loud or bassy as a litre-class bike. NVH levels are excellent, thanks to the use of a balancer shaft which is a part of the crankshaft.
The 6-speed transmission is smooth and shifts are positive. What makes the engine a peach at higher revs is the taller gearing and the shorter overdrive gear. This is a bike which can redline in sixth gear if roads and nature support. We did 137 km/hr (speedo indicated) on a completely empty stretch of road without ducking down, the tacho ticking in around 10,500 RPM. If ducked down, the engine shows signs that it can reach the 11,000 RPM mark as well and could show a speedo indicated 145 km/hr. Overall, an extremely well sorted out engine and gearbox package. However, it’s the weight which hampers performance (when you start measuring numbers), 0-100 km/hr comes up in 11.5 seconds, which is very slow for this category.
Riding Dynamics – The Inazuma comes with a semi-double cradle frame coupled with a monoshock and regular yet fat telescopic forks at the front. First things first, the damping of the suspension is spot on. The damping is on the firmer side, still the motorcycle rides very well. All this is possible thanks to the incredible chassis which takes the beating but a crucial but, is that the chassis does not transfer it to the rider or the pillion. The weight always has its negatives and positives. The negative is, like we mentioned, that it blunts performance but the weight ends up providing excellent comfort for long distance journeys. Highway stability is spot on, 120 km/hr and you don’t feel a thing. The bike gobbles small potholes without any hint to the rider whatsoever.
The front heavy feel of the Suzuki Inazuma makes the rider push harder into long and fast sweepers while providing immense confidence. The IRC Road Winner tyres provide sufficient grip but they are not the best as we all know. Sure, it’s not the quickest to turn-in due to a long wheelbase and excessive weight. The chassis can easily sustain a lot of power. If the Inazuma had more power, it would have very easily compensated for all its shortcomings. Braking is mediocre. While braking, you do tend to feel the weight on careful observation. The initial bite of both brakes is good but not excellent.
Verdict – The Suzuki Inazuma does the job very well. It is a really comfortable mile muncher, it will help you get the bread and milk with a lot of stares. It will let you commute to office/college in utmost ease while helping you take your pillion in comfort to that place you always wanted to see but it seemed far with other smaller motorcycles. All of this is possible only if you are ready to pay Rs. 2.45 lakhs for this machine. Fit-finish and quality levels are of the highest order, so you are not getting something which is made without a thought. If you think you can pay such an amount of money in the name of comfort then this is the motorcycle you need to consider.
The Suzuki Inazuma is a comfortable tourer and does everyday duties extremely well. With a revised price, this quarter-litre offering from Japan will find many homes.
* Smooth and refined engine-gearbox package
* Stability and ride quality
What’s Not So Cool
* Lack of ABS at this price
2014 Suzuki Inazuma Specifications
* Engine: 248cc, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, parallel-twin, SOHC
* Power: 24 HP @ 8500 RPM
* Torque: 22 Nm @ 6500 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed
* 0 – 100 km/hr: 11.5 seconds
* Top Speed: 135 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 30-35 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Semi-double cradle
* Suspension: Telescopic forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 110/80/17 (Front), 140/70/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front), Disc (Rear)
2014 Suzuki Inazuma Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 2145 mm x 760 mm x 1075 mm
* Wheelbase: 1430 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Seat Height: 780 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.3-litres
* Kerb weight: 183 kgs