2020 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Test Ride Review
We review Suzuki's 250cc offering, the BS6 Gixxer SF 250 in its special livery.
Bike tested: Suzuki Gixxer SF 250; Road Test No. 1267; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 2,10,859/-
The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 hasn’t really changed for 2020 except for a spanking new paint scheme with Ecstar livery
Suzuki has had a strong presence in the Indian market for quite some time and while the scooters are the protagonists, the bikes have had an important play in it too. One such offering is the Gixxer SF 250, which offered an amazing blend of performance, technology and versatility when it first came out. For 2020, not much has changed, but it sees a minute drop in performance. It also gets a new special livery option to commemorate the Japanese brand’s 100 years in the industry. Is it still as amazing as it was in its BS4 avatar and more importantly, is it a feasible option in today’s market? We try to find out as we ride the BS6 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 in the special livery.
MotorQuest: Suzuki unveiled the Gixxer 250’s back in 2019 and they instantly fit well in the market, unlike Suzuki’s previous attempt, the Inazuma 250. The Gixxer SF 250 is the elder sibling of the SF 150, and offers the same usability with more power. The SF 250 is one of the most value-for-money motorcycles in the sub-400cc category, and there aren’t many motorcycles that give it a run for its money.
Styling: If you liked how the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 looked earlier, we have good news for you as it looks exactly like before. The only difference is that it gets a new colour option now, namely Triton Blue/Silver, which costs Rs. 1000/- more than usual. This livery celebrates Suzuki’s 100 years’ Anniversary in the industry and resembles their MotoGP bike. Other than this, no other changes have been made. The bike gets a LED headlamp, LED tail light, a petite visor, diamond cut alloys, and chrome accents on the exhaust. This is a likeable design by all means, and the SF 250 doesn’t look aged one bit. That said, a set of LED indicators and a taller visor would’ve definitely made the package much better. We think the new livery looks amazing as is and for Rs. 1000/- more, you get a very special and standout looking bike.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear: The Gixxer SF 250 features a fully digital instrument cluster, which is the same as before. It gets a negative LCD which looks cool even today. There’s not a plethora of information on display, but it covers roughly all necessary ones like speed, RPM, fuel level, oil change warning, gear position, and twin-trip meters along with the basic telltale lights. Things like fuel efficiency and distance to empty are missing, which has become a necessity nowadays and might bug a few people. The display isn’t too crisp and easy-to-read either, especially in harsh sunlight conditions. There are no complaints about the switchgear, though, as it remains unchanged and the plastic feel is nice.
Ergonomics: The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 comes under the sports tourer tag and it offers comfortable ergonomics. The seating posture is a tad front swept, thanks to the clip-on handlebars, but feels pretty comfortable. It gets a split seat setup, and the cushioning is on the harder side. Pillion comfort is decent, though, as the pillion seat is wide. The Gixxer SF has an 800 mm seat height, which makes it suitable for the average Indian, and the ground clearance at 165 mm is ample too. Coming to mirrors, they are wide and offer a good view of what’s behind. Overall, the Gixxer SF 250 is a comfortable motorcycle and can take on anything from city duties to touring duties, with a few minor tweaks for the latter.
Performance: As usual, the biggest change in the 2020 Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 comes in the form of the BS6 compliancy. The Gixxer SF 250 uses a 249cc single-cylinder SOHC motor, which makes 26.5 PS of power and 22.2 Nm of torque. The power has remained the same for BS6 while the torque has dropped by 0.4 Nm, which isn’t really a lot. On the road, the motor still feels lively and punchy. The mid-range is strong, and the motor feels enjoyable at almost all RPMs. The FI works well, and the throttle response is accurate and crisp. However, the gearing is a little short for our liking, as we found ourselves hitting the redline quite often.
The motor sees a minute drop in performance but retains its good characteristics
Refinement-wise, the bike feels refined throughout other than the redline. As you get closer to the redline, the vibrations start creeping in from the almost everywhere which hinders the overall smooth nature of the SF. The gearbox has remained untouched as well, and it is still the same 6-speed one from before. It feels slick, and we didn’t really have any problems with it during our run. However, some additions like a slipper clutch and liquid cooling would’ve made the Gixxer a better package, especially in these modern times. Lastly, the SF 250 returned 33 km/l during our test, which rounds up the total range of the 12-litre fuel tank to about 350 kms.
Riding Dynamics: The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 sees no change here as well. A set of telescopic forks and a swingarm-mounted mono-shock perform the suspension duties. The setup isn’t too plush and big bumps hit hard, especially in the lower back region for the rider. This results in good cornering capabilities, though, and the Gixxer offers good front-end feel too. The straight-line stability is excellent as well, but the short visor fails at providing enough wind protection at higher speeds. Other than this, the SF 250 serves as a decent commuter and the easy riding dynamics make city riding effortless.
While the suspension setup is on the stiffer side, city duties are not a problem
Coming to the brakes, the stopping power is strong and a dual-channel ABS setup is standard ensuring safety during tricky situations. The initial feedback is good but the brakes need a little time to get to temperature. At 161 kgs, the bike isn’t too heavy either and you don’t feel the weight even at low speeds. Lastly, it comes equipped with a 110-section front tyre and a 150-section rear tyre from MRF, same as the ones on the Bajaj Dominar. Overall, the Gixxer SF 250 offers excellent riding dynamics but it could use a softer suspension setup for a plusher ride in the city.
Verdict: At Rs. 2,10,859/- (on-road Mumbai, Special Livery), the Gixxer SF 250 is great value for money, even today. If you consider the equipment on offer, like the diamond cut alloys, LED lighting, edgy styling, digital instrument cluster, and ABS, the SF 250 makes for an even stronger case. Surely, it could use some updates like additional information on the instrument cluster, better suspension setup, LED indicators, slipper clutch, etc. but this will all result in a price hike which we, Indians, aren’t too fond of. All in all, if you’re looking for a sporty yet comfortable and stylish motorcycle around the Rs. 2 lakh mark, the Gixxer SF 250 definitely deserves every bit of your hard-earned money.
* It looks the part with the special Ecstar livery
* Performance is good and mid-range punch is excellent
* Dynamics are compact, engaging while the brakes have a brilliant feedback
What’s Not So Cool
* Suspension setup could be plusher
* The visor is too small for curbing any windblast
* Instrument cluster is hard to read in direct sunlight
* Engine: 249cc, Oil-Cooled, Single-Cylinder, FI
* Power: 26.5 PS @ 9300 RPM
* Torque: 22.2 Nm @ 7300 RPM
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 33 km/l
* Frame: Diamond Frame
* Gearbox: 6-Speed
* Tyres: 110/70/17 (Front), 150/60/17 (Rear)
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front), Disc (Rear); Dual-Channel ABS
* Length x Width x Height: 2010 mm x 740 mm x 1035 mm
* Wheelbase: 1345 mm
* Ground Clearance: 165 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres
* Kerb weight: 161 Kgs