SUZUKI DL250 V-STROM (2017 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Suzuki’s DL250 V-Strom is more at home on the day-to-day commute than big mile adventures. While the bike looks fantastic and bigger than simply a 250, it is much too underpowered to be fully considered as a tourer and, while it performed well on light off-road, it's far better suited to life on the tarmac. It's friendly, forgiving, and kind on your pocket – perfect for nipping from A to B.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Although I am a complete virgin to off road riding, I found the bike well balanced and perfectly capable travelling down the two-mile stretch of mild green lane on our route. The IRC tyres gripped the surface well and once I’d stopped trying to ride it like I was on the road, it inspired enough confidence for me to stand up on the pegs (whatever that’s supposed to do).
Back on the tarmac, the conventional front forks feel perfectly firm for everyday road riding and offer enough confidence to lean the bike over in the bends. The pre-load adjustable rear shock feels a bit soft on standard settings, but manages to keep the bike feeling well planted and capable of being chucked around with confidence.
The turning circle is also very good and there is plenty of lock to inspire full U-turns in the road with your feet up.
EngineNext up: Reliability
At the heart of the V-Strom 250 lies the same basic non-threatening 24.7bhp 248cc parallel twin engine as you get in the new sportier GSX250R. Based on Suzuki’s ageing Inazuma lump, the easy-going nature is ideal for new riders, however it wouldn’t take long to master, before leaving riders yearning for more grunt.
From an experienced rider’s standpoint, the electrically quiet V-Strom feels quite underpowered for its size. It will sit at 70mph all day, however really starts to struggle when pushed further.
The bikes ridden at the launch had none of the optional luggage attached either, which suggests that once fully laden it would simply be unable to be used as the low-capacity adventure-tourer Suzuki claim it is.
Like much of Suzuki’s small-capacity range, the 250 does struggle with a stubborn gearbox, refusing to click into first from neutral on multiple occasions. In the end, it was easier to leave it in first when stationary, for fear it wouldn’t clunk back in when it was time to get moving again.
I was also disappointed to see that Suzuki’s one-touch easy-start system wasn’t included on the 250. Both the new GSX-R and GSX-S125 have this feature, as do bikes like the SV650, so it’s questionable as to why this bike was missed out.
Its low seat height, lightweight clutch and fantastic MPG figure make it the perfect machine for traveling in and out of the city centre for minimal cost. The engine simply needs a slightly bigger displacement to tour easily and there are bigger bikes in the A2 class that can already service this requirement more comprehensively.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
There are a few neat touches of note on the 250 V-Strom as standard. At the rear, there’s an aluminium carrier mount, capable of taking 8.5kg. There are also integrated hooks down the sides, ready for the instillation of the optional panniers or hooking straps. Should you wish to go off road, there’s a sturdy bash plate to help protect the sump too.
The finish on the glossy paintwork is lovely. Suzuki offer the 250 V-Strom in three colour options and it looked resplendent in the mid-morning sun. Again keen to highlight the adventure-nature of the bike, Suzuki claim the yellow and black scheme pays homage to their past success in the world of motocross.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
According to its digital dash, the 250 will return in excess of 70mpg after spirited riding. It’s also the cheapest in class, meaning those wanting a low budget run-around should look no further. The money saved over its rivals could also go into buying accessories.
Sitting on the V-Strom is a nice place to be. The upright bars are appropriately placed for long-distance journeys in comfort and the seat has plenty of padding for long stints in the saddle. The bike is also feels very roomy and the pegs are perfectly placed for my 5ft 7in frame.
There’s a lack of visible tacky plastic and the addition of a metal tank means you can fit either a magnetic or strapped tank bag, should you so wish. At faster road-going speeds though, the nonadjustable screen becomes a pain. It is simply too small to be of much use and wind buffeting soon becomes a factor to contend with.
|Engine type||Parallel twin|
|Frame type||twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||17.3 litres|
|Front suspension||Non adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Pre-load adjustable|
|Front brake||Disc brake, ABS|
|Rear brake||Disc brake, ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80-17|
|Rear tyre size||140/70-17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||88 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£45|
|Annual service cost||£90|
|Used price||£3,100 - £4,300|
7 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||25 bhp|
|Max torque||17.3 ft-lb|
|Top speed||77 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||330 miles|
Model history & versions
2017: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL250 V-STROM (2017 - on)
4 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI DL250 V-STROM (2017 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£90|
Annual servicing cost: £50
Great commuter - just change the front sprocket for 15T and it transforms the bike totally...
The seat initially was very uncomfortable, after a 100o km all is good!
Power for 250cc is ok. Very smooth and quiet. 15 T sprocket is a must. 120km/h at 8k rpm - 100mpg easy achievable!
Very well built machine considering the price tag - I've paid for a new one, same money as I would have to fork out for a Chinese machine
2 years warranty - first two services free! 520 km on a tank of petrol (17l)!!!! Unreal!
It is what it is. Affordable bike with a nice display and 12V socket as standard.
Buying experience: Bought it new for almost half of the price. Bargain!
Version: ABS equipped
Annual servicing cost: £49
Good little bike, great for begginners, it has goos style and is fun. Is no a port bike, the power is adequate and looks big.
The ride is great, the bike is confortable and the height of the seat is low ( 800 mm). The stopping power of the breaks are above average and the ABS works great. One thing to improve is that you cannot turn off the ABS.
The engine is reliable, the torque is smooth, the cruising speed is around 110-120 KPH and top speed around 130 kph, but at that speed the engine is under a lot of stress. Some times in feels underpowered but this is not a sport bike. It would be great that the engine was 300cc and with around 30-32 Hp.
The quality is top notch for the price. All the bike is made with quality and the engine is really reliable.
The price is in US dollars, for me is ok. Suzuki is reliable and has good service
The bike is well equiped for the price point. Nice 17 inch wheels, nice dash and abs. The only thing missing is that you could turn off the abs.
Buying experience: I bought it brand new here in Mexico brand new from a Suzuki dealership. Very good service and experience overall.
Version: Non ABS version (for China domestic market)
Heavy, under power and conservative but surprisingly enjoyable to ride especially in smaller roads.
Chassis - the double craddle steel main frame is old fashion and heavy. the steel sub frame is robustly built and can carry heavy load. Suspension - The non adjustable suspension is tuned for comfort and rebound is way too slow. The suspension cannot keep up at speed over 80km/hr. Both tires has noticeable scalloping only after 5000km and Its borderline good at 8000km. Riding position - The factory setting is fine if one' height is below 170 cm. For my 178cm height, it is too cramped. I raised the handlebar and seat for 5 cm and the ergo problem is solved. It is now comfortable enough to ride non stop for 1 full tank of gas. Tires - The IRC came equipped is not the best in terms of traction, especially in wet and cold weather. Brake - The original brake pads are weak but problem solved with a simple pad change. Weather protection - wind screen coverage is too small. Mine came with OEM plastic hand guard. Look flimsy but they survive two zero speed drops and are still in one piece.
The twin cylinder engine is reliable but under power for the displacement class. Torque is plenty and acceleration feels relatively snappy, I was once able to take off from stand still in 6th gear (with lots of help from the clutch of course); this gives an idea how low the bike is geared. As a result, top speed suffers and is only around 130km/h (indicated). The throttle response is not the best - it has a very on-off ish feel and not very smooth.
2 years into ownership, nothing broke down or came loose, only 1 recall to retrofit a heat shield on the mid pipe. Absolutely love the 18L gas tank capable of 500km+ range at more leisure pace. The engine and chassis design are rather conservative which is good from a reliability stand point. The digital dash provides enough information and is highly visible even in broad day light. The standard 12v socket is a nice touch and one can even equip it with a second socket.
The bike is very cheap to run. Service cost and parts are cheap. It also runs very economically and I manage 26-7km/L over an 8000km touring trip.
Factory case - My China domestic model comes fully equipped with factory triple cases, which is double walled and very solidly built. Despite their rather large dimensions, the capacity is limited at about 60 liter in total. Not recommend unless being part of the whole package. Factory center stand - Saves a lot of hassle when maintaining the bike. It is also retained in the up position by double springs so when going over rough road the stand remains relatively quite. Highly recommended. Factory Hand guard - offers good weather protection but it is made entirely of plastics with not metal reinforcement. Don't expect they can survive any bush whacking.
Version: Dl 250
Annual servicing cost: £180
Does what it says on the tin . A good all-rounder. There's no vibration at low speeds but it does runs out of puff at 65mph. It is no speed-machine, it's for long rides to work and see the country side at weekends.
All day it's comfy and there's no vibration, but it is very slow with two people on as there is not enough power.
It's like a sewing machine, it's sweet and quiet but lacks power.
When i got this motorcycle, i had to clear-coat the zinc parts to stop them rusting. Some things are made to a cost the rest is well put together
Service costs are high because of a valve check every time it's serviced. It's recommended by Suzuki to do this, which in my opinion is unnecessary.
I would recommend putting a top screen on the one that's there, to stop buffeting from the wind. And a top box, not the one from Suzuki as it is very expensive.
Buying experience: I test rode it at the dealer and fell in love with it, so I bought the test bike and saved £500 off the list price .