Let’s cut to the chase. We have been waiting for the Gixxer 250 for quite some time in the Indian market. After several rumors of it being in various formats, such as twin-cylinder, 300/400cc and more, it has landed in India, for now, in a single-cylinder 250cc variant. The motorcycle is based on the proven platform of the Gixxer 150 twins which have done extremely well for the company. The Gixxer SF 250 is here on enthusiast demand and also to address the competition from the land of rising sun and domestic as well which are highly competitive in this space.
Will the Gixxer mix all of them and prove to be the only solid option (pun unintended) in this category. Well we have had our first impressions of the same on the track of not just the 250cc SF, but also the SF 150cc, as you know which was also launched at the same time a day ago. They are similar in many cases but different at the same time. Allow us to pen down of what we felt as we just finished riding these two motorcycles.
The design has various elements all around that make it striking, but pretty? It’s subjective. The front headlight is a miss or a hit for most with its minimalist design . The tail-lamps should be universally accepted as it has two strips of LED lights in a clear lens pattern. The side fairing panel look slightly edgy and more muscle which looks good and there is racy setup for cooling in the front of the Gixxer 250 which is avoid of fins on the engine to make up for it.
The wheels on the SF 250 are different with special finish. The Gixxer SF 155 on the other hand maintains its previous cycle parts and resembles to the SF250 by a big margin except for the usage of dual tone gloss schemes seen on the 150 exclusive to it while the Gixxer SF 250 came with single tone matte colors.
The switch gear, lever, plastics all around were same with the Gixxer twins and all are high quality and work well too. Both bikes have technically have the same instrument cluster but they are revised over the previous version in terms of information and layout of the features, but the size and physical mounting remains the same. The Gixxer 155 gets a black and white screen while the Gixxer SF250 gets color screen which looks impressive and is great thought.
As we started riding that both bikes have great ergonomics which support tall and short riders at the same time. With enough legroom for tall riders and just about adequate seat height for shorter riders to get the feet down. There is enough room in the seat area to move around to lean from one corner to the other. Clip-ons are mounted low but not low enough to be uncomfortable as the lend it a sporty riding position, not an entirely racy one.
Riding the Gixxer SF250 made us instantly understand the extra power and torque over the 150cc. It has that clever gearing, tailored power band and excellent torque and power throughout the rev band making it the best bike in its class. No focused power, just power everywhere makes it great fun to ride on the track and probably on the road too.
The engine is smooth, refined, free and fast revving and NVH levels are quite low too, making this engine a stellar package. Riding dynamics were similar too as it felt agile, nimble and stable through the corners and at 155 km/hr that we saw on the straights of the BIC. As you can understand, there is no shortage of low/mid or top-end power. Suzuki hasn’t shared acceleration numbers or official top speed numbers yet.
The problem is that Gixxer 250 isn’t eager and agile as the Gixxer 155 which isn’t far away on dimension numbers. Chassis does need a bit more tuning, but only for the track. If you still don’t like the setup on the road, trying up the pre-load, it should help to a large extent. The clutch is light and the gearbox is smooth on both bikes. The new clip-on handlebars, the wider tyre, 5 mm long wheelbase and revised forks have slowed the crisp nature of the Gixxer SF 250 over the SF 155, but by a small margin.
Needless to say, the riding experience of the Gixxer 155 continues to be solid as ever. It was happy doing 110-120 km/hr on the straights where it maxed out. The handling felt as good as before, with more feedback from the front thanks to the clip-ons, but not by much. The overall suspension and chassis setup is crisp and responsive and it just feels more playful than the SF 250. Overall, they should be great road bikes though.
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 and 2019 Gixxer SF 155 Review, Verdict
For now, the long wait, according to us has been worth it. The Gixxer SF twins make their mark and will be great on the road too. The pricing is higher on both bikes but there is enough value on offer when you consider other bikes in this segment. Sure, there is the Dominar 400 at the price of the SF 250 but then that is an entirely different motorcycle and segment. For now, a well made, excellent performing, good looking quarter litre is what we are getting and we are quite happy and want to take it back home, soon!