Last week’s CIMA show in China saw Suzuki unveil two new 250s for the Chinese market, the GSX250R and DL250 V-Strom. While China and the other Pacific Rim countries are often flooded with new small-capacity bikes, they rarely make their way from East to West – but this time they will.
Suzuki GB’s General Manager, Paul de Lusignan has exclusively confirmed to MCN that this funky 250cc duo are destined for UK shores in 2017.
"The V-Strom 250 and GSX250R were revealed at CIMA for the Chinese domestic market. However, I can confirm that UK-spec versions of both models will be announced at Eicma in a few weeks’ time, and we’re looking forward to confirming full details and specifications then," said de Lusignan.
This confirmation continues an exciting trend towards entry-level bikes for Suzuki, a firm bereft of decent sub-500cc offerings in recent history.
The most exciting of the duo is the new DL250 V-Strom, which could prove to be a huge success, if the price is right. Just like Honda’s Varadero 125, it’s likely to appeal strongly to full-size humans who want a smaller capacity, but full-size, bike. While the styling may be pure adventure-tourer, the reality is that this should be the perfect urban and rural commuter, blending big-bike spec and design, with small capacity efficiency.
The bike shown at CIMA also boasted panniers and a top-box, all likely to be optional extras, and some of the nicest design touches of any bike in the V-Strom range. The large round headlamp, which appears to have an LED light ring as a running light, is particularly attractive, while the blocky urban-adventure styling and decals all smack of rugged confidence. That hard luggage also looks exceptionally high-end for what will be a budget addition to the range.
Alongside the chunky new Strom is an equally pleasingly proportioned new sportsbike, the GSX250R. But before you get too excited about this being a GSX-R250, take a moment to re-evaluate. The naming of this bike is no haphazard accident – and while the styling is pure sportsbike, the name is the giveaway. Under that GSX-R styling lurks a tweaked version of the Inazuma 250, complete with high clip-over bars and a roadster-like riding position.
The GSX-R paintjob looks great, as does the clear and concise all-LCD dash, 10-spoke wheels, 2017 GSX-R1000-esque rear light, and current GSX-R family face.
While the Inazuma connection might be a slightly damp squib to squelch over this attractive new offering, we shouldn’t feel too disappointed. Not only is it a massive step forward in terms of style and design over the Inazuma, it’ll also offer a better riding position for most, with more weather protection, practicality and street kudos, too. And the Japanese rumour mill suggests that the sportier riders still hankering for a GSX-R250 may only have to wait another twelve months or so to get their wish.
The two models will be unveiled in Milan at the annual Eicma show in the second week of November, and we’d expect pricing to be announced at Motorcycle Live at the end of November – with both models arriving in UK dealers by the end of March 2017.
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