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Old 20th July 2022, 00:11   #1
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Default Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review

Welcome to the ownership review of my Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 or as I like to call it, the Suzuki GSX R250. From being absolutely nowhere on my radar, Suzuki’s faired 250 cc offering caught my fancy, with just one uneventful test ride. Thankfully, its extremely capable, if unexciting sibling, the VSTROM SX did a lot of the heavy lifting, beforehand. After a few frustrating weeks of dealing with Suzuki’s incompetent dealers, I gave up on them and almost booked a TVS Apache RR 310 BTO, instead. Luckily, I stumbled upon an excellent dealer (Aluva Suzuki) that got me the Gixxer SF 250 in this gorgeous 100th Year Anniversary Edition paint scheme, while also offering me a substantial price discount. That's right, in 2022, a year in which the automotive industry has gone off its rockers on the subject of vehicle pricing, Suzuki dealers are / were offering discounts on this motorcycle.

1 month and 2,500 kilometers later, I am extremely happy with this highly underrated, quarter litre sports tourer from Suzuki.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg

Thumbs Up
+ Your better half will not approve of the lingering glances that come your way.
+ While your neighbours assume that you are street racing with squids on KTM motorcycles, the comically comfortable ergonomics allow you to easily commute and tour.
+ The high revving engine has a linear power delivery that is as exciting as stamp collecting.
+ The headlight is so bright that it has the potential to be an IAS topper.
+ The mileage leaves you with money to buy IOCL and BP shares, rather than emptying your wallet at their petrol pumps.
+ Affordable service costs make you wonder if Suzuki is secretly running a charity service.
+ Suzuki’s gross negligence in the marketing department, guarantees you exclusivity.

Thumbs In The Middle
+/- The 9/10 size of the motorcycle makes it look as though you have grown taller and gained weight.
+/- That front brake is spongier than a chocolate cake from your favourite artisan bakery.
+/- The rear tire takes the touring in the term ‘sports-touring’ a little too seriously.

Thumbs Down
- Suzuki’s engineering team misplaced the actual large windscreen, minutes before signing off on the final product.
- Strong crosswinds will make you cancel your plans of intermittent fasting.
- Short service intervals of 6 months and / or 5,000 kms will keep you on a first name basis with everyone at the SVC.
- Other owners complain about spare parts availability. No laughing matter, this.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 22:21.
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Old 20th July 2022, 00:22   #2
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Default Before We Get Started, A Quick Recap

Long time readers will know that I own a Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 and a Triumph Street Triple 675. I bought the yellow Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 in August 2014. Over the past 7 years, I’ve ridden what was once the company’s flagship motorcycle, for close to 30,000 kilometers. It is a bike that connects with me in a very special way. The Continental GT 535 got me back into the motorcycling community. It also introduced me to so many wonderful enthusiasts on this forum, many of whom have gone on to become great friends. It’s fair to say that I’ve had my share of ups and downs with the Continental GT 535. You can read more about it in my ownership thread (Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 : Ownership Review (29,000 km and 7 years)) . Overall, there is a strong love – hate relationship with this highly misunderstood motorcycle. I love it. My friends and mechanics hate it.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1.jpg

In 2018, I bought the Triumph Street Triple 675. To me, it is one of the finest motorcycles that Triumph has ever engineered. This black Street Triple 675 helped me to dip my toes into the big bike world, both as a motorcycle rider and as an enthusiast, who has to live with it. While the middleweight motorcycle is brilliant, in almost every conceivable way, my ownership experience was marred by the terrible Triumph service center in Cochin. Over the last 4 years, I haven’t even crossed 20,000 kilometers on the Triumph Street Triple 675. This has more to do with the global pandemic, than the motorcycle or its capabilities.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg


Errr …. Why Another Motorcycle?
The onset of Covid in the year 2020, taught me one thing – there is no point in always saving up for a rainy day, if you are not going to have some fun, while you are young and your body is willing. Well, I'm not sure if I can still be categorized as a young 'un but that is immaterial to this ownership thread….

Needless to say, the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 and Triumph Street Triple 675 have very contrasting personalities and hence, are used to fulfill completely opposing requirements. Thanks to my new found wisdom, the itch to add a 3rd motorcycle to the garage, became very strong. I did not need a rocket scientist to tell me that I was not doing any justice to both my current bikes. The truth is that some (a high?) degree of irrationality is part and parcel of being a motorcycle enthusiast! Since I had a single and a triple cylindered motorcycle, I narrowed my search criteria down to twins and inline fours. With the lockdowns keeping the world indoors, I began my research. I checked out a couple of interesting options that I never would have considered in the past. Meanwhile, life happened. The days became weeks. The weeks became months. And the months became years. I was not any closer to a final decision.

Fast forward to the summer of 2022. I decided to sell my immaculate and fully accessorized Triumph Street Triple 675. Barring the plethora of issues with the company SVC, I had thoroughly enjoyed my ownership experience with the naked middleweight motorcycle. Why sell it, then? Even with its 100 HP map, the power delivery didn’t scare me anymore. Now, I am in no ways suggesting that my skills had outgrown the capabilities of the Street Triple 675. That would be a preposterous claim and I would need several lifetimes of avid motorcycling, to do so. However, I had improved my motorcycling skills and the dream of owning a proper litre class motorcycle was rapidly fading away. I was not getting any younger. It was time to go big or stay at home.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg
How many of us had this ….

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4.jpg
… and this as the wallpaper on our desktop and phones?

A well-maintained Yamaha R1, that a friend vouched for, seemed to be the perfect answer to my long standing dilemma. If I sold the Street Triple 675, the asking price of this 1000cc motorcycle, was comfortably within my reach. This was a now or never situation. I had plans for an upcoming ride to Mangalore with fellow TBHPians. After I returned, I would reach out to a handful of known enthusiasts, to find a buyer for my motorcycle from within the close knit community. This 2,000 km round trip promised to be the perfect send off for the black motorcycle that I dearly loved.

The funny thing is that somewhere during the ride, I realized that I would be a complete fool to sell this gem of a motorcycle. What was I going to do with a litre class motorcycle that delivered 170+ BHP, without a full suite of electronics to keep me safe? Where were the roads in Kerala to thoroughly enjoy such a motorcycle? Honestly, I simply love the all round usability and fleet footedness of my Triumph motorcycle. It flies under the radar, both literally and figuratively. I had made peace with its highway mileage being in the low 20s. The brakes are good. It’s a friendly bike that can be a hilarious riot, if you do give it the beans. Simply put, I would sell a perfectly capable motorcycle that I was very happy with and then invest an additional Rs 3+ lakhs, to fulfill a childhood dream that was a lot heavier, hotter, thirstier, far less usable and most importantly, way more uncomfortable!

Trying to balance a modicum of practicality with a motorcycling enthusiast’s inherent irrationality, is no easy task.

The other factor that weighed heavily on my (in)decision making, was that I finally had some time for good old fashioned motorcycle touring. Like many others here, I’ve been planning to do an unencumbered solo ride across different states. All this is easier said than done. When I finally began planning in earnest, the Covid pandemic struck. The right dates were one perennial worry. The right motorcycle, turned out to be a bigger headache than I ever anticipated it to be.

Given the patchy track record of the Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 and the fact that is a discontinued model that barely sold in decent numbers, there was no question of rolling the dice with it. Had it been a Himalayan 411 or an Interceptor 650, an unexpected visit to a company service center in another state would not be a bother as their spares are easily available across the country. That is not the case with the Continental GT 535. Barring the basics, almost everything else needs to be back ordered by a service center or parts distributor. In smaller towns, even these basic spares are not likely to be available off the shelf.

While the Street Triple 675 is a fabulous mile muncher, when the going gets tough, you will wish that you are on a motorcycle that is more comfortable and easier to deal with, especially in crowded conditions. Also, the Street Triple 675 is not completely inconspicuous. You cannot simply park it anywhere (even if it is overnight) and pray that it does not draw any attention. In terms of raw numbers, a hypothetical pan India ride would involve a couple of services, a chain replacement, new tires and a lot more. As the costs add up, you realize that you are staring at a mammoth total. This is even before you add your accommodation and food expenses.

Once again, I was at an impasse.

A close friend and a fellow TBHPian suggested that (for once?) I think out of the box. He asked me consider something reliable, lightweight, fuel efficient and which came with alloys. That was all that I really needed to tour with peace of mind. Since I had mentally prepared myself to spend Rs 3 L on the upgrade to a litre class bike, I could instead, go the other way. My friend suggested that I buy a third bike and use it for as long as I would do solo tours. When its’ time was up, its’ time was up. That would be it. No strings attached. The bike would be sold quickly, with no second thoughts. This was going to be a short-term solution to my long standing wish of touring alone. Though I am someone who holds on to my cars and bikes for several years, I really liked this practical line of thinking. All things considered, I would not have to consolidate my garage by parting with the Continental GT 535 (perish the insane thought ….) or the Street Triple 675.

There would be peace in the kingdom.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 22:32.
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Old 20th July 2022, 00:29   #3
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Default Who Were The Contenders?

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
My long term love affair with the Interceptor 650 could not be taken to the next step, only because Royal Enfield has still not offered OEM alloys for their twin twins. Im beginning to suspect that they never will. With a very heavy heart, I stopped checking Olx for pre-owned silver or black Interceptor 650s.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1.jpg

KTM Adv 250
The better of the 2 KTM showrooms in Cochin only had stock of the new-ish RC200. Every other motorcycle from the KTM catalogue had to be ordered. The standard response for the waiting period of any KTM motorcycle was 45 days. I was certain that in reality, it would be a lot longer than that. Despite the insistence of the sales executive, I did not test ride the Adv 250. I was not prepared to wait for 2 months to get a motorcycle.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2.jpg

Given that the RC 200 was readily available, I did not want to rule it out, without first trying it. I had mixed thoughts on the RC 200. On one hand, KTM has really raised the fit and finish levels of the RC series. It finally looks and feels premium. That does come with a very hefty price tag of Rs 2.77 L. While the motorcycle sounds sporty, the fact is that the engine is a dud. During most of the test ride, I wondered if I was riding the RC 125, instead of the RC 200! This matches my earlier experience of riding the BS6 Adv 390, which felt like it was a well disguised Adv 250.

I simply cannot figure out why KTM has not worked its magic with the Euro 5 / BS6 engines. Even the friendly sales guy told me that they are not converting many leads because everyone who test rides the BS6 KTMs, finds the motorcycles to be too bland and un-KTM like.

Royal Enfield Scram 411
I was quite impressed by this variant of the Himalayan 411 platform. For better or for worse, it felt similar to my Continental GT 535. If Im going to treat myself to 2 scoops of ice cream, Im not going to pick one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of chocochip.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg

Hero 200T
While this was a left field option, it was a sensible one, nonetheless. The price was extremely attractive. The motorcycle has an unremarkable engine. Some might call it a lackluster powerplant. The bike comes with 17 inch alloys. The icing on the cake is the really cheap service costs. However, I was wary of Hero’s quality levels, or rather, the absence of them.

The showroom that I went to did not have any 200T motorcycles on display. Neither did they have an idea on when new stocks were expected to arrive. I checked out the Xpulse 200 4V. The quality levels are significantly better than the first gen one. That said, it still looks crude when compared to the other motorcycles in a similar price range. Since the Xpulse 200 4V does not have alloys, I did not plan to test ride it. The dealership which is located in the heart of the city, did not have a test ride bike of the Xpulse 200 4V.

TVS Apache RR310 BTO
The local TVS showroom did not have a test ride bike. They informed me that the price was around Rs 3.38 L. The BTO version would cost more. Now, Ive spent some time with the Apache RR310 BTO (TVS Apache RR 310 Build To Order (BTO) : A Closer Look) in the hills and I was very impressed by TVS’s flagship motorcycle. However, without a test ride in Cochin, there was no way that I was going to put my money down on one. If no other motorcycle was shortlisted, then I would circle back to this option. A Titanium Black BTO in a carbon fibre wrap, to mimic the original Akula concept, would be sweet.

Suzuki VSTROM SX
All roads led to the then newly launched Suzuki VSTROM SX or as well all call it, the Suzuki VStrom 250. It was the right motorcycle at the right time. The VStrom 250 was everything that I was looking for, at a price that I could afford. This should have been it.

When it was launched, I stalked the VStrom 250 thread and pored through the feedback from fellow TBHPians. I liked most of the VStrom 250 experience. However, the ergonomic issues (Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX, now launched at Rs. 2.12 lakhs) that I faced on my extended test rides, meant that it was disqualified without any second thoughts.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4.jpg

As one door closed, another two opened.

Disappointed, I started thinking about alternatives from other manufacturers. However, my friends suggested that I try out the Gixxer SF 250 (faired version) and the Gixxer 250 (naked version). After all, the underlying mechanical components were shared between the three motorcycles. Since I liked everything about the VStrom 250, except the ergonomics, I decided to heed this sensible advice. This was the first time that I had put some serious thought into these two Suzuki motorcycles.

On the showroom floor, the seating position of the Gixxer 250 felt very upright and commuter-ish. The Gixxer SF 250, in comparison, looked and felt sporty, without being aggressive. With both bikes, I could comfortably place my feet on the ground. My calves were not anywhere close to brushing against the footpegs, like they did on the VStrom 250. Overall, Suzuki’s fit and finish levels were really good. On paper, there was nothing that was a negative. Now, all that I needed was a proper test ride to confirm that the ergonomics were not a deal breaker for me.

The buying experience should have been simple and straightforward. Little did I know what lay in store for me.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 22:41.
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Old 20th July 2022, 00:39   #4
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Default How Suzuki Dealers Almost Sold Me The TVS Apache RR 310 BTO

There are 2 Suzuki dealerships in Cochin. For the purposes of this thread, let’s call them Dealer A and Dealer B. I normally name errant dealers on the forum, so that other enthusiasts can stay away from them. In this case, it does not matter which is which, because both of them are equally bad, in their own special way.

When I was seriously considering the VStrom 250, Dealer A was very good to deal with. They kept calling me every day. I was given the keys to the brand new test ride bike, with no questions asked. They encouraged me to take any route that I wanted, for as long as I wanted. As soon as they realized that I was not going to buy the VStrom 250, they turned colder than Antarctica in the frigid winter. The sales guy stopped responding to me ownership related queries. I had to follow up repeatedly with the showroom sales manager to get information on the service costs and other details that I requested. Even then, information trickled in like they were doing me a favour.

My requests for a test ride of the Gixxer SF 250 were always met with some long winded story or the other. Since I kept following up, they began to offer me unregistered Gixxer SF 250 motorcycles for extended test rides. I was appalled by their mindset and refused this. The sales team mentioned that there was a company discount of Rs 8,000 for the Gixxer 250 and the Gixxer SF 250. The lack of a test ride bike, coupled with these shady sales practices, meant that I did not want to do business with them.

Dealer B was a breath of fresh air! They had a test ride bike of the Gixxer SF 250. Again, I was given a test ride with no questions asked and no mandated test route. Other companies can learn a thing from Suzuki dealers (only in this regard!). What was the actual test ride like? Unexciting, to be honest. The motorcycle did everything well. The big question of ergonomics was answered within the first couple of minutes.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg
Finally, a test ride bike!

When we test ride motorcycles, we look for the ones that have “IT”. That magic sauce that jumps out at you, from behind the spec sheet numbers and fancy paint schemes. The Gixxer SF 250 certainly did not have that “IT factor” which I found when I test rode the Continental GT 535, way back in 2014. However, I was not looking for something special. I needed a motorcycle that was reliable, lightweight, fuel efficient and which came with alloys. The Gixxer SF 250 ticked all those boxes. If there was one negative about the test ride, it was that the particular motorcycle had a slightly bent handlebar, which was a bit disconcerting. Im not sure why the dealership had not fixed it.

Neither Dealer A nor Dealer B had a test ride bike for the (naked) Gixxer 250. That motorcycle would have offered a much more comfortable and upright seating posture, while making my large-ish frame feel like a parachute at highway speeds. The faired Gixxer SF 250 with a large aftermarket windscreen would be easier to tour with, than the naked sibling. Since I was comfortable on the sporty looking Gixxer SF 250, I dropped the Gixxer 250 from my shopping list.

Now, it was only a question of what colour to pick. As per the Suzuki website, there were 2 colours that were available.

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Metallic Matte Black No. 2

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Metallic Triton Blue

From day 1, the senior sales person at Dealer B was eager to make a sale. They only had 1 matte black Gixxer SF 250 in stock. It was manufactured in January 2022. There was a company offer that month for Rs 6,000 or so. It was slightly different from what dealer A told me. The sales person mentioned that Suzuki was not currently manufacturing the Gixxer SF 250. So, they could not tell me when I would get my motorcycle, if I wanted a brand new unit. Despite the recent launch of the VStrom 250, I found this piece of information to be rather unusual. A partial amber flag was raised.

The sales person explained to me that their dealership could arrange for unsold inventory in other colours, from friendly Suzuki dealerships in other towns / districts. If I was open to 2021 motorcycles, then there were great discounts on offer, as well. My ears perked up!

Here is the price list that was shown to me. The black version cost Rs 2.3 L on road and the others cost Rs 2.35 L.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4.jpg

To ensure that there would be no confusion at a later date, I asked for all the details pertaining to a potential booking for a 2021 motorcycle, that was currently sitting in another dealership. Dealer B confirmed that after I paid the booking amount of Rs 5,000, they would bring the particular motorcycle to their dealership. I made it clear that I would make the full payment, only after I did a full fledged PDI in their dealership. These were the terms that we agreed on.

The discounts being offered were
2022 Metallic Matte Black No. 2 : Rs 18,000 (i.e. the motorcycle in their showroom)
2021 Metallic Triton Blue: Rs 25,000
2021 100th Year Anniversary Edition : Rs 30,000

They could not explain why the Triton Blue and the 100th Year Anniversary Edition had different discounts, despite costing the same in 2021. Anyways, the final on road prices for these would be approximately
2022 Metallic Matte Black No. 2: Rs 2.12 L
2021 Metallic Triton Blue : Rs 2.10 L
2021 100th Year Anniversary Edition : Rs 2.06 L

At first, I was leaning towards the matte black motorcycle. It was a very understated colour that would help me maintain a low profile. Besides, it was a 2022 manufactured motorcycle. However, a conversation with a fellow TBHPian who owns a matte black Aprilia RSV4, made me realize that living and touring with a motorcycle that had a matte finish, would be a terrible idea. Within a year, the motorcycle would be half matte and half glossy. With that, I dropped the idea of buying the matte black Gixxer SF 250 and getting the alloys repainted, to match that of the 2017 GSX R1000. Sigh!

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-5.jpg
Simple delicious!


Meanwhile, I exchanged a few messages with Bangalore based TBHPian AnAntInspired to find out what offers the dealerships were giving on the Gixxer SF 250. Incidentally, he too had the VStrom 250 as a prime contender and ended up falling for the faired Suzuki motorcycle. I was shocked to learn that dealers in Bangalore were taking fresh bookings, while committing to a waiting period of only 2 weeks. This was the first major red flag in my interactions with Dealer B.

While the discounts in Bangalore were a lot juicier than what were being offered in Cochin, I was happy with the final on-road price of the 2021 Triton blue and 100th Year Anniversary Edition variants. Of the two options, my pick was the Metallic Triton Blue. I called the senior sales person in Dealer B to confirm that I wanted to book the 2021 Metallic Triton Blue at Rs 2.10 L. Before I made the payment, I double confirmed my understanding of the timelines to bring the bike to their showroom, how many days it would take for registration and delivery etc.

This is when the plot unravelled.

Suddenly, the senior sales person was unsure about the logistics of arranging for a motorcycle to be brought from another Suzuki dealership. As soon as he said this, I knew that another massive red flag was coming my way. He wanted me to make the full payment of Rs 2.10 L without even seeing the bike! As per him, only after Dealer B transferred the money to the other dealer, would the latter release the said motorcycle from their side. This went against everything that was explained to me earlier.

The other option was for me to travel 70 kms (up and down) in order to do the PDI in that corresponding showroom. Having worked in sales for a long time, I knew that Dealer B was trying to palm off their matte black Gixxer SF 250. Sure enough, they flipped the script to convince me to buy the solitary black Gixxer SF 250 that was in their showroom. I made it clear that I did not want a matte black motorcycle. The sales person in Dealer B never had any intention of sourcing the other motorcycles for me.

Frustrated with the malpractices at both the Suzuki dealerships, I decided to happily cough up the additional Rs 1.5 L and buy the Apache RR 310 BTO. It came with TVS’s racing pedigree and boasted of better components including a more powerful engine, adjustable suspension, excellent tires, good brakes and much more. The unintended benefit was that I could also take it to the track, where it promised to be a lot of fun. The feedback from the community was that the service experience in Cochin was good.

As it turned out, there was no test ride motorcycle in Cochin. Had TVS and / or its dealer invested in one, this would have been an Apache RR 310 BTO ownership thread. I hope someone from their leadership team is reading this. As great as the Apache RR 310 BTO is, if you cannot provide potential customers with a test ride bike, then you should not wonder why it does not sell in greater numbers!

Annoyed at TVS’s lethargy, I expanded my search for Suzuki dealerships. There was a dealer, Aluva Suzuki, that was around 22 kilometers away from my home. In metros, such a distance is not really a big deal but in a small city like Cochin, that is quite far away! I was clutching at straws by now. This was my last hope.

If they were as crooked as the other Suzuki dealers, then I would be back to square one.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 22:49.
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Old 20th July 2022, 00:55   #5
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Default Bringing Home The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250

After test riding the KTM RC 200, I dropped into the sister showroom of the Aluva Suzuki dealership, which was just down the road. I put my cards on the table. The enthusiastic young sales advisor immediately connected me to the manager at the main showroom. Mr Sinoj confirmed that there was a 2021 100th Year Anniversary Edition motorcycle in a sister dealership. Bear in mind that up until then, I had not even seen the motorcycle in this paint scheme. I had only checked out the matte black version.

Aluva Suzuki was willing to bring the motorcycle to their main dealership, if I planned to make a booking with them. Since I was not all that keen on this colour scheme, I asked them to first check the availability of a 2021 Metallic Triton Blue in other friendly dealerships. Unfortunately, they could not arrange for one. Also, Aluva Suzuki was only able to offer a Rs 25,000 discount on this 100th Year Anniversary Edition motorcycle, as against the Rs 30,000 discount that was “offered” by Dealer B. On the plus side, Mr Sinoj from Aluva Suzuki immediately sent me pictures of the bike and told me which dealership it was in.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1.jpeg

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2.jpeg
The 2 photographs that were sent to me

Since Dealer A and B were not viable options, I asked Aluva Suzuki to bring the motorcycle to their dealership. All these transactions were over the phone. Meanwhile, I dived into the internet to find as many videos of the 100th Year Anniversary Edition, as I could find. I lost track of how many Youtube videos of the Gixxer SF 250 were watched on mute because I could not understand the language that was being spoken!


I told myself that if the paint scheme was good enough to be the MotoGP livery for Suzuki, then it was certainly was good enough for me.

The manager at Aluva Suzuki, Mr Sinoj, was such a pleasure to deal with. We only met when I went to do the PDI of the bike in their showroom. The front brake was spongy. This was consistent with the test ride experience in Dealer B, my earlier test ride of the VStrom 250, as well as all the 250 cc bikes on display in all three dealerships. More on this later. Other than that, everything was perfect. I paid the advance on the spot and took the dealership’s bank account details, to transfer the rest of the money online.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-5.jpg
Seeing the motorcycle for the first time in the Aluva Suzuki dealership. A handsome devil!

After I made the booking, Mr Sinoj called me every day to update me on the status of the registration, timelines etc. On the day of the delivery, I took the metro to the last stop, which is Aluva. The dealership sent a salesperson on the test ride VStrom 250, to come pick me up. This was a first for me! The delivery was a very smooth affair. I gave Mr Sinoj a small gift, before riding out of the dealership, with a huge grin on my face!

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-6.jpg
Taking the long way home

Thanks to a well connected motorcyclist friend, Suzuki’s area sales manager got in touch with me, to understand the problems that I faced during the sales process. He promised to look into these issues with Dealer A and Dealer B, to ensure that no other potential customer will go through the same difficult sales experience. After all, these practices are what turn potential customers away from the brand. I am happy that the officials at Suzuki are trying to rectify the pre-sales situation on the ground.

While I was creating this review, the below paragraph is what I originally wrote.

Quote:
What I have heard from other owners is that the company and / or its dealers, are not really interested in building the Suzuki community. Despite that, I do find that Suzuki owners are a passionate bunch and most of them love their motorcycles. Nobody is expecting Suzuki to magically create a Royal Enfield level of connected owners and past owners. You need years, if not decades of investment and focus, for such a company supported community to be organically built. However, Suzuki has to start somewhere and there is no time like the present. If the company and its dealers proactively invest in measures to engage with the active community of Suzuki owners, it’s a win-win for everyone.
The day I began to upload the review onto the forum, Mr Sinoj reached out to invite me for an event hosted by the company and its dealers for Suzuki owners. I am happy that the company is taking baby steps towards building the community. Obviously, a lot more needs to be done.

Now that we are done with the lengthy backstory, lets break down the motorcycle to better understand it.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 22:59.
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Old 20th July 2022, 01:21   #6
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Default Styling

The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a handsome motorcycle whose design and style elements are sporty, while also being sensible. The full fairing and raised rear give it a vroom vroom race bike feel. It is only when you look closer, that you will find several thoughtful design elements, like the tall handlebar and 3 piece mudguards, are also part of the package.

The colour schemes play a pivotal role in helping the Gixxer SF 250 stand out or blend into the crowd. The gorgeous Metallic Triton Blue and racy 100th Year Anniversary Edition paint schemes make it a stunner. If you pick the Metallic Matte Black No. 2 paint scheme, your nosy neighbours will not even realize that you have bought a new motorcycle.

In slow moving traffic, other enthusiasts steal long glances at the motorcycle. Occasionally, I find someone transfixed by the sporty race livery. Kids wave at me from their school buses. This certainly attracts a lot more attention from the opposite sex, than a VStrom 250 or any of the Gixxer SF 250’s natural competitors would!

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg
The side profile


Let us start with the front end of this motorcycle. The tiny windscreen looks like it came off the Aprilia Tuono, rather than the RSV4. It looks completely out of place, on what is an otherwise attractive motorcycle. Someone seeing the Gixxer SF 250 for the first time will assume that the rider has chopped down the OEM screen, for social media likes. Does this small windscreen do anything to manage the windblast? If it does, it does not do all that much. Frankly, its hard to tell. As a rider, I am not hell bent on deflecting as much air off my torso, as possible. YMMV. Initially, I planned to install one of those tall tinted aftermarket visors or the visor from the Apache RR 310. After having covered around 2,500 kilometers with the motorcycle, I would rather leave it as it is.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg
Really small windscreen

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3-large.jpg
The Suzuki Ecstar stickers give the front end an authentic race bike feel

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4-large.jpg
The large indicators are bright

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-5-large.jpg
300 mm front disc. The rim stipes are a nice touch.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-6-large.jpg
90 degree stem caps would have been welcome on the stylish alloys.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-7-large.jpg
Just in case you missed the 178 other Suzuki stickers on the motorcycle


Next, lets move to the middle section of this motorcycle. In this paint scheme, the motorcycle has way too many Suzuki stickers on it. That said, I like the big red S logo that is on the 12 litre fuel tank. Grabbing the sculpted tank with my thighs is easy and intuitive.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-8-large.jpg
Well designed fuel tank

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-9-large.jpg
Note the raised handlebars

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-10-large.jpg
Underbelly cowl with, you guessed it, another Suzuki sticker

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-11-large.jpg
The brochure makes no mention of Suzuki Eco Performance

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-12-large.jpg
Rider footpeg on the right side

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-13-large.jpg
Rider footpeg on the left side

And finally, coming to the rear of the motorcycle, this too is well designed with a mixture of panache and practicality.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-14-large.jpg
Reflectors on the side increase the visibility at night.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-15-large.jpg
I have thought about replacing that 250 sticker with one that says 1000 …

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-16-large.jpg
Effective but stylish grab rails

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-17-large.jpg
The rear brake light

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-18-large.jpg
Yes, that panel does look misaligned. I need to get it checked

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-19-large.jpg
The bright indicator

Like many other modern motorcycles, there are three elements that keep the slush away from you, your pillion and the motorcycle. One mud flap protects the bodywork, your pants and footwear. The second one does a good job of eliminating the spray from the back wheel. The main mudguard has plastic bits on either side of its spine, to further stop slush from getting thrown up onto the back of the pillion. It does give off an Alien vs Predator-ish vibe.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-20-large.jpg
Part 1 of keeping slush away

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-21-large.jpg
Part 2 of keeping slush away. Kindly remove for more social media likes and some new brown coloured clothing.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-22-large.jpg
Part 3 of keeping slush away. Kindly remove for even more social media likes and guaranteed brown coloured clothing that cannot return to its original colour.


The chromed dual tipped exhaust does feel a bit pretentious. Yes, I do know that it is what the Indian market wants and that market research would have clearly dictated this design philosophy. From the flagship Hayabusa and GSX R1000 downwards, none of Suzuki’s faired superbikes get such a large and silly looking dual tipped exhaust. Suzuki calls it a “twin muffler”. A regular upswept exhaust, like the one on the GSX 250R, would have suited the personality of this motorcycle. The black exhaust tip from the VStrom 250 looks so much better than this gawdy chrome finish. The exhaust note is unremarkable.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-23-large.jpg
Repainting the chrome bits and grey foot rest will improve the side profile tremendously

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-24-large.jpg
Probably its best angle


One big gripe that I have with the bodywork of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250, is the unnecessarily small dimensions. The first time that I sat on it, I felt like someone from Suzuki had accidentally put their quarter litre motorcycle in the dryer and shrunk it. In comparison, the TVS Apache RR 310 feels like a full sized motorcycle that fits me perfectly. The 9/10 proportioned dimensions of the GSX R250, errr I mean the Gixxer SF 250 will take a ride or two, to get used to. A fellow TBHPian who owned the CBR250 also felt like this motorcycle was a touch smaller than its competition.

Visually, as long as you are not sitting on the motorcycle, everything is hunky dory. If you are active on Instagram or Twitter, it would probably be best to take photographs of the motorcycle while you are not astride it. Being seated on the motorcycle, will only serve to draw attention to the Honey I Shrunk The Motorcycle problem. That and parking next to large adventure motorcycles….

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-img_20220626_195710_912-large.jpg
Hey, who zoomed in on the two Tigers?

Rating – 9 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:08.
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Old 20th July 2022, 01:30   #7
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Default Ergonomics

At first glance, the Gixxer SF 250 comes across as a bigger, more powerful R15 sort of motorcycle that appeals to younger enthusiasts who crave for an aggressive seating position. You naturally assume that the handlebars will be low set, the rider’s seat will be one storey above it and that the pillion have a bird’s eye view of proceedings, from her perch on the 2nd floor. If you look closer, you will realize that you were completely mistaken.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg
Notice the handlebar height versus the seat height

The raised clip-on handlebar setup is well disguised. If you compare it with the Pulsar RS200, for example, the setup on the Bajaj, is revolting! Like the TVS Apache RR 310, the svelte bodywork of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 helps cover the fact that the handlebars are tall, in relation to the seat. They are also at a comfortable reach. There is literally zero pressure on your wrists.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3-large.jpg
A view of the clip-on handlebars

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4-large.jpg
A closer look


The rider’s seat is wide and scooped out. The cushioning is good. The seat height of 800 mm lets me flat foot with ease. I can place my feet in front of, behind or to the side of the footpegs. This is not something that I could do with the VStrom 250. Its amazing how unfettered your mind becomes when as a rider, you do not have to think about such ergonomic issues.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg
Unintimidating seat height of 800 mm

The foot pegs are positioned low, which means that your legs are not scrunched up in a racy posture. Overall, this is a surprisingly spacious riders triangle. As a result, you can spend long hours on this motorcycle without any discomfort.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-5.jpg
What a comfortable place to be in!


One thing that I noticed about all three Suzuki 250s is that the handlebar is a little too narrow for my palms. I had first noticed it on the VStrom 250. If you have big hands, you should plan to get a set of aftermarket grips to compensate for the smaller size of the bars.

I dropped the clutch lever and brake lever by a few degrees, so that they were more in line with my arms. In that setting, I ended up exerting more pressure on my wrists, while I was reaching out for the levers. This was obviously counter-productive. Hence, I went back to the earlier position of both the levers. If I can find adjustable levers, I might have the best of both worlds. Those (expensive!) adjustable levers from Hitchcock’s have spoilt me.

Off topic - Do watch this video from Dave Moss in which he explains how to properly setup your motorcycle to suit you.

A TBHPian who owned the Honda CBR250 in the past, felt that the ergonomics of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 were quite comfortable.

Rating – 9.5 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:12.
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Default Engine

The 249cc oil cooled, four valve SOHC engine from Suzuki is a peach. It is high revving and boasts of a very linear power delivery. The peak power is 26.5 PS @ 9,300 RPM, while the peak torque is 22.2 NM @7,300 RPM. For those who are technically inclined, the engine has a bore of 76 mm and a stroke of 54.9mm. The compression ratio is an unstressed 10.7:1.

One interesting technical aspect of this 250cc platform is the implementation of the Suzuki Oil Cooling System (SOCS) instead of the traditional cooling setup. Here is a simple to understand video of the oil cooling system in the 249cc engine. Well, if I can understand it, then you certainly can! The oil cooling system was actually introduced by Suzuki.



Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg
Taken from the above video

How does the engine behave in the real world? The power delivery is as linear and predictable, as my year-on-year weight gains, after I turned 30. If you are looking to upgrade from a smaller motorcycle, you will immediately find yourself at home with the Gixxer SF 250. The power delivery will not intimidate you and yet, if you are in the mood for some naughtiness, the progress is fairly brisk. However, do not expect to find the manic power delivery or neck snapping acceleration like what you would find on the BS3 KTMs. The BS6 Gixxer SF 250 is tuned to be a gentleman’s quarter litre sports tourer.

If, like me, you are coming from a motorcycle that has more power and torque, then yes, you will have to recalibrate your riding style and mindset, to the strengths of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250. That is only to be expected. I have written more on my experience with this, in a later post.

Suzuki has got the fuelling absolutely spot on. The oil cooling system works very well. In nearly 2,500 kilometers, only once have I thought that the engine was running just a little hot.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-p7143742-large.jpg
The right side of the engine

The party trick is undoubtedly the engine’s tractability. If you scroll through the VStrom 250 thread, you will find that almost everyone has praised the motorcycle for its friendly and tractable engine. The same engine and gearbox combination is shared with the Gixxer 250 and the Gixxer SF 250. You can ride the Gixxer SF 250 in the city in 2nd, 3rd, 4th or sometimes, even 5th gear. I often find myself in a gear or two higher than what I expected to be in. However, if you want to make a quick overtake, the engine does not struggle, even if you are in a higher gear. It just pulls effortlessly. This makes city commuting a breeze. Unlike many other motorcycles, you do not have to be in a particular gear at a particular speed, to be able to accelerate quickly.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-p7143748-large.jpg
The left side of the engine

On the highway, the motorcycle is eager to get up to cruising speeds. On wide open highways, the engine is in its sweet spot between 90 to 110 kmph. If you come across some slow moving traffic, all you need to do is drop a gear, if you want a quick overtake. Most of the time, I leave it in 6th, without shifting down. So far, I have not bothered to find out the top speed of the motorcycle.

Out the box, is the engine perfect? Well, almost. I could not avoid noticing the tiny vibrations in the motorcycle, higher up in the rev range. That does not make the engine gruff or unrefined, far from it. While touring on my R15 and Continental GT 535, I used to stop every 60 minutes to take a 5 minute break. On the Triumph, I did not need to. With the Gixxer SF 250, I am back to taking a 5 minute break every hour. This is only because of the minimal vibrations. I did find some vibrations in the VStrom 250, so having the same on the Gixxer SF 250 was not a surprise, per se. The bike has definitely smoothened out a fair bit after the first service. To be fair to my GSX R250, if it was butter smooth, then I would have felt that it was rather soulless. So, I am happy with the way things are!

A TBHPian who owned the Honda CBR250 in the past, felt that this 250 cc engine is smooth and refined.

Rating – 9 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:23.
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Default Gearbox

The motorcycle comes with a 6 speed gearbox. It has the universal 1 down 5 up system.

How does the gearbox behave in the real world? During the run-in period, there was a slight vagueness when I was shifting to neutral. This happened on 2 or 3 occasions. Specifically, when I tried slotting into neutral, the gearbox would go into a phantom neutral, where no gear was shown on the display. This was despite the gearbox actually being in neutral. After the first service, this problem has never reappeared.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-20220621_161958.jpg
The phantom neutral

Other than that, I only have good things to say about the gearbox. It is easy to work through the slick gearbox, especially when you are on spirited runs. Not once have I faced the problem of mis-shifts or false neutrals. The clutch action is light and does not tire out your left hand, even after a long day of riding.

Rating – 9.5 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:24.
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Old 20th July 2022, 14:05   #10
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Default Braking

The motorcycle is equipped with a dual channel ABS. It comes with Bybre brakes. First things first, it is impossible to miss the spongy feeling of the front brake, even when the motorcycle is on the showroom floor. Other owners of the 250cc Suzuki motorcycles have shared that the front brakes on their motorcycles are also spongy. Surprisingly, the Suzuki 150s do not face this problem. If I had to guess, both platforms share the same master cylinder and other braking components.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg
The front brake

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg
The rear brake


How do the brakes behave in the real world? They are good but the brake feel from the front end could be a lot better. The main issue is that the brake lever has a fair bit of travel before the front brake decides to get to work. Once the front brake kicks in, the retardation is confidence inspiring. Can you stop on a dime? Probably not, but you can come pretty close to doing so.

During the run-in period, I got the front brake bled by the ace team at Motonerdz (MotoNerdz: Big Bike Shop at Trivandrum, Kerala) in Trivandrum. That eliminated a lot of the initial sponginess, even though some of it eventually returned after a few days. This points to the master cylinder being the Achilles heel of the braking system. After the front brakes were bled, I gained a lot more confidence in the bike and was able to push it a lot harder than before. Do the front brakes need better aftermarket brake pads? They would help with better braking but the problem that I have is the lack of feel, not braking effectiveness. In comparison, the back brakes worked well from day 1.

Look, if you’re an enthusiast who is going to be commuting for 90% (or more) of the time and will do the occasional weekend ride, then do not overthink my feedback on the brakes. For city usage, they work perfectly well. As long as you are not doing anything silly, the brakes will never put you in any trouble in the urban environment.

On the other hand, if you will do a lot of touring, then you should probably get the front brake bled at a competent motorcycle garage or the company SVC. I am now able to tour peacefully with the current setup.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3-large-1.jpg
The OEM master cylinder

But, if your weekends involve corner carving in the tight twisties, then do consider getting a better master cylinder (MC) installed on your Gixxer SF 250. With better feel from the front brake, you are guaranteed to have a lot more fun. The MC unit, the adjustable lever and the banjo bolt from the 2017+ Duke 390, will cost you around Rs 3,800. This should be the missing ingredient which will take the front braking to class leading levels. Ive ridden an Interceptor 650 with this braking setup and the difference from stock, was night and day.

Prior to doing a 1500 km, 4 day, 3 state trip, I was determined to get the MC upgraded in the next couple of months. By the end of the trip, I realized that I do not need it. YMMV.

A TBHPian who owned the Honda CBR250 in the past, felt that the brakes, including the one at the front (post bleeding), were better than the braking setup on the CBR250.

Rating (Front) – 6 / 10
Rating (Front After Getting It Bled) – 8.5 / 10
Rating (Rear) – 10 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:31.
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Old 20th July 2022, 14:17   #11
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Default Tires

Suzuki has opted for 17 inch MRF RevZ tires on the Gixxer SF250. The front is the MRF RevZ FC2 in the 110/70 size, while the rear is the MRF RevZ C2 in the 150/60 size. The large RevZ C2 tire adds to the visual appeal of the rear of the motorcycle. This is not a bike that looks under-tyred. The tire pressures to be used are 29 PSI for the front and 33 PSI for the rear. The company recommends the same tire pressures for a single rider usage, as well as a rider and pillion usage.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg
Here is what 2,500 kilometers on the MRF RevZ FC2 (front) looks like

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg
Here is what 2,500 kilometers on the MRF RevZ C2 (rear) looks like

Before I took delivery of the motorcycle, a few of my enthusiast friends suggested that I immediately swap out the MRF RevZ tires for a much grippier pair, like the Apollo Alpha H1 (W rated) or even the Michelin Road 5s. These MRF tires do not have the greatest reputation in the enthusiast circles. A new set of the Apollo Alpha H1 tires would cost me a total of Rs 10,000.

If I could find a retailer that would give me some trade-in value for the brand new MRFs, I was willing to exchange them on the day that I picked up the Gixxer SF 250. The problem was that not a single store that I spoke to, was ready to offer a discount of a single rupee, for the unused MRF RevZ tires. My friends in Trivandrum also checked with a prominent tire dealer. The dealer there was quite upfront about why he could not give any exchange value for these MRF tires. He said that they already have a large stock of MRF tires that were traded in, which were hard to sell in the open market. Hence, tire dealers have stopped offering any exchange value for the MRFs RevZ tires.

I decided to complete the run in period and take a call on the tires.

How do the tires behave in the real world? This is where things get interesting. By the time I was done with the run-in period, I was strongly considering paying the full price for a pair of Apollo Alpha H1s and swapping out the OEM tires. After my 1,500 km trip, I have a different perspective on Suzuki’s selection of these MRF RevZ tires. Let me break it down into specifics.

Look, if you’re an enthusiast who is going to be commuting for 90% (or more) of the time and will do the occasional weekend ride, then once again, do not overthink my feedback on the tires. For city usage, they work perfectly well. Whether on dry or wet roads , as long as you are not doing anything silly, the tires will never put you in any trouble in the urban environment. You get the sense that they are engineered for longevity, while also offering enough grip in all conditions.

If you will do a lot of touring, then the MRF RevZ tires will work well. You should be able to get at least 17,500 to 20,000 kilometers on them.

But, if your weekends involve corner carving in the tight twisties, then your motorcycle will need tires that are better suited to the job. The thing is the front tire has a gentle V shape design, which allows the front end to tuck in nicely, when you come up to a corner. I have no complaints with the front end. The rear MRF RevZ C2 tire has a wide U shaped profile, as compared the sharp V profile of say, the Apollo Alpha H1 rear tire.

The profile of the MRF RevZ C2 tire works well in some scenarios, while it falls short in others. If you come across endlessly long sweeping corners that you can take at high double digit speeds, then the motorcycle is happy to lean to one side and will confidently hold its position.

However, if you are in the twisties and are indulging in some weekend hooliganism, then the wide U shaped profile and characteristics of the rear tire, make their limitations evident. Once you start aggressively leaning the motorcycle from side to side, the rear tire taps you on the shoulder and asks you, “Macha, planning to do knee down, ah? Bought 100th Year Anniversary Edition bike and now you want to become Juan Mir, ah? You should have got Road 5s or Alpha H1 tires. Sorry da, I am not the right tire for the job”.

As a result, you really cannot lean aggressively because the rear tire resists your efforts to tip in. This certainly inhibits the fun that you can have in the twisties.

This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where you are coming from. If you are a young rider who is upgrading from a smaller displacement motorcycle, you will want to explore the limits of your growing skills and the capabilities of the motorcycle. The OEM tire combination will keep things in check, while you gain some valuable experience.

If you are a more seasoned rider who has good cornering skills, then yes, the MRF RevZ tires are going to be annoying. You will get the sense that they are holding you back from having that next level of fun in the twisties. You should factor the cost of better tires into your purchase price, if you need a corner carver.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg
The front tire on my first ride up to the twisties

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-4.jpg
The recalcitrant rear tire on that same ride


Are these MRF RevZ tires a party pooper for me? Honestly, they are not. For touring on wide open highways, narrow single lane roads, broken roads, wet village roads, city commuting and everything else in between, the MRF RevZs do their job. So far, they have not stepped out of line, even once. Despite all the touring on wet roads, they have never given me any cause for concern. So, it is not all doom and gloom. I bought the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 to tour and the MRF RevZs tires are well suited to that purpose. When if comes time for me to upgrade the tires, I will certainly get better ones. Till then, Ill enjoy riding with the OEM MRF tires.

Nobody will ever accuse these MRFs of being great tires but hey, they do most things well.

Rating (Front) – 8.5 / 10
Rating (Rear) – 7.5 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:38.
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Old 20th July 2022, 14:19   #12
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Default Suspension

The conventional front end has non adjustable 41mm forks. Suzuki claims increased rigidity at the front end, thanks to these large forks. The rear offers a 7 step preload adjustment. The motorcycle was apparently delivered with the preload set at level 4. I have not double checked it so far.

How does the suspension behave in the real world? Well, Suzuki’s decades of building solidly engineered motorcycles, shines brightly in this department. The motorcycle handles good roads, bad roads and no roads, with a reassuring confidence. Bumps and undulations do not ruffle the composure of the Gixxer SF 250. The motorcycle does not wallow in the corners or break your spine when you hit a bad patch of road, at a decent speed. There is a good balance to the front and rear suspension. Overall, the suspension setup is not too stiff, nor is it too soft. Suzuki has found a perfect setting for all round usage in Indian conditions. The company certainly has not cut any corners in the suspension department.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-20220622_170553.jpg
The front end suspension

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-p7143743-large.jpg
The preload adjustable rear suspension

The biggest compliment that I can pay Suzuki’s engineering team is that I would not change a thing about the suspension. When the time comes to replace it, I will stick to the same company recommended fork oil grades.

Rating – 10 / 10

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Default Handling

The Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 has a head scratchingly small turning circle. My expectations are obviously coloured by the other two motorcycles in my garage but I was amazed by how the Gixxer SF 250 makes taking u-turns really easy. Of all the motorcycles that I have owned, this has, by far, the tiniest turning circle. My muscle memory needs to relearn how to fully utilize the handling abilities of the motorcycle, especially in the city.

The really light kerb weight of 161 kg, makes this an effortless motorcycle to pilot it in the city. Out on the open highways, when you get wide sweeping corners, you can easily tip the bike over and hold it there. Ive already written about the limitations of the OEM tires for hard riding in the twisties. Keeping that aside, you can still tilt the bike from side to side, in the twisties, with minimal physical effort. Riding a light motorcycle hard, in the twisties, is just so much fun! Needless to say, with sportier tires, you will unlock the hidden handling capabilities of the Gixxer SF 250.

Overall, this is a confident handler that will not disappoint anyone.

Rating – 9 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:40.
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Default Switchgear

The quality of the switchgear on the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 is a step above the competition, especially the Indian ones. Everything falls naturally within my reach. Suzuki has not inverted the position of the horn and the indicators, like some other companies do. I have never used the horn till now, so I do not know what it sounds like.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1-large.jpg
Right side switchgear

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2-large.jpg
Left side switchgear

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3-large.jpg
Left side switchgear with the pass switch

The only unusual bit is how the start button sticks out, when compared to almost every other motorcycle. You have to relearn to stretch your thumb by just a little bit more than usual, after you buy this motorcycle. I first noticed it while test riding the VStrom 250. Does it have something to do with the implementation of the Easy Start System?

Rating – 9 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 00:21.
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Default Mirrors

When I first adjusted the mirrors before taking the test ride of the Gixxer SF 250, I was immediately reminded of the mirrors on the TVS Apache RR 310. On both motorcycles, the mirrors are set wide and provide a fantastic field of view. With these mirrors, if you do not see your old girlfriends tiptoeing up from 20 feet behind you, on Valentine’s Day, then strongly consider getting your eyesight checked!

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-1.jpg
The right side mirror

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-2.jpg
The left side mirror


How do the mirrors behave in the real world? They work really well. It is as simple as that. The mirrors do not have a funky design that can restrict your field of view. The long stalks give you all the flexibility that you need to find a perfect setup. When adjusted properly, the joint field of vision is really good. The engine’s minor vibrations do not impact the visibility through the mirrors.

Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 Ownership Review-3.jpg
Pretty W - I - D - E

If you are upgrading from, say a Pulsar 150, then it will take you a day or two, to adjust to the wide mirrors, as they can stick out beyond the handlebars, like the ears of an elephant. Once you get comfortable with the dimensions, flicking through minuscule gaps in the stationary traffic is all too easy. Some riders prefer to fold the mirrors while trickling through traffic. I do not.

Rating – 10 / 10

Last edited by neil.jericho : 23rd July 2022 at 23:42.
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