SUZUKI GSX250R (2017 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
Power: 25 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.1 in / 790 mm)
Weight: Medium (399 lbs / 181 kg)

Prices

New £4,299
Used £2,300 - £3,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

After a 20 year absence, Suzuki finally resurrected their assault on the small-capacity sportsbike market, or did they? Though it has the GSX-R name and go-faster paint, the GSX250R simply isn’t designed with performance in mind. Instead, it is a good looking, easy to handle commuting machine, perfect for tackling the urban sprawl in style.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

At lower speeds the GSX250R is more predictable. It has lots of low-speed flickability to help you scythe through traffic and along busy city streets. It’s a great tool for getting across town with its easy handling and non-threatening engine. Standard tyres aren’t the best. It comes on IRC RX-01 Road Winners which make the steering vague and unpredictable when you start to press on. In wet conditions they’re quite unpleasant, with the bike feeling like it’s going to fall away from you at the slightest angle of lean. It is unnerving and spoils the Suzuki’s otherwise enjoyable riding experience. The basic KYB conventional fork set-up is too softly sprung to be considered truly sporty. While the rear is firm enough to inspire confidence, the front-end feels skittish and prone to wobbles over bumps at speed.  

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

At the heart of the GSX250R lies a peppy 248cc parallel twin motor, producing just 24.7bhp. It’s a far cry from Suzuki’s screaming mini supersport bikes of the 90s and it has to be worked hard to get the most out of. But, there’s still enough poke to be fun along nadgery back roads. Flat out with your head on the tank, you’ll just about manage to keep up with motorway traffic and the bike sounds like it’s in a constant struggle. At 70mph it sits between 8500 and 9000rpm in sixth gear, close to its 10,500rpm redline.  The gearbox can be stubborn – on more than one occasion, I was left stranded at the lights, as the bike refused to clunk into first gear from neutral. The problem can also happen changing up to fifth when you ride it more enthusiastically. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The little Suzuki feels like a quality product. The paintwork is lovely and glints majestically in the sunlight. There are no poor panel gaps and no tacky plastic tank covers.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

At £4399 for the model we tested (the GP-rep paintjob is £100 extra), the GSX isn’t cheap. Honda’s higher-capacity, CBR300R offers more power and similar big bike looks for just £3999. The GSX250R looks more modern though and more than simply a 250. It may not look that similar to a GSX-R1000, but no-one wants their 250 to be mistaken for a 125 and that won’t happen here.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Suzuki looks like a modern bike and the extra cash you pay over some of its rivals buys you a reverse-lit LCD instrument cluster, which is very easy to read. ABS comes standard and offers great feedback and minimal intrusion to the rider.

Specs

Engine size 248cc
Engine type 53.5mm x 55.2mm parallel twin
Frame type Steel frame
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 181kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Pre-load only
Front brake Petal-type singular disc brake, two piston sliding caliper
Rear brake Disc brake
Front tyre size 110/80-17
Rear tyre size 140/55-17M/C

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 77 mpg
Annual road tax £47
Annual service cost £120
New price £4,299
Used price £2,300 - £3,300
Insurance group 10 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 -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2017: Model introduced

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: GSX250R ready to roll

MCN Fleet: GSX250R ready to roll

This year’s all about fun and frugal commuting in almost equal measure. The GSX is the smallest bike I’ve spent time with since passing my test more than 20 years ago but having enjoyed Yamaha’s MT-03 last summer I’m hoping the Suzuki will keep me amused on my 34-mile round-trip through Northamptons

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX250R (2017 - on)

5 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX250R (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.

Review your SUZUKI GSX250R (2017 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
3 out of 5 It's not that bad ...
28 July 2022 by GrayGeezer

Year: 2018

The Good: --Excellent fuel economy at speeds under 50 mph. --Given the ugliness of the GW250 (basically the same bike), the sharp looks of the GSX250R are real surprise. --It is a full-sized bike, and has at least moderate comfort. --Nice, full-featured dash. --if you can do your own valve service, it is a very practical commuter! -- especially with a gearing change (see below).The Bad: --The elephant in the room; a full-sized bike weight and a head-scratching lack of power mean this bike is really in a class of its own (but not in a good way). Any of the other brands outwardly similar looking 250 - 400 cc bikes will just leave you for dead in any contest of acceleration or speed. --The short gearing of the stock bike is really puzzling. A 39-tooth sprocket (or a 15/41 front-back pair) improves the bike in virtually every way, and makes sustained 70 to 75 mph cruising possible. I guess the good here is that it can be fixed. --The very short valve adjustment intervals when compared with the CBR 250/300 would be enough reason not to chose the GSX if you don't do your own work. However, if you do your own work, the simple screw-type adjusters and lowly 2-valves per cylinder setup make adjustments much easier if you do!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

In bone-stock form, the bike is best in an urban environment: It simply isn't geared for dual carriage ways. Fix the gearing and it will handle both settings, but don't be expecting to pass anyone if the pace of traffic picks up. The stock fairing and windshield is really just for show. I replaced the windshield with a taller windshield (California Scientific in the USA) which, whatever you think of the looks, is a God-send on a longer ride. If you want one, note that It isn't compatible with bar risers by default, but if you ask, I'm sure they'd modify it for you.The handling is also fine for any normal riding -- which is the only kind of riding I do with it. To put it kindly, it isn't really a track bike anyway given the bulk and lack of power (some might point out, less kindly, that it couldn't win in its own racing series). The steering gets heavy as the speed picks up -- a bonus for long drives in the real world, but I suppose that would also suck on a track.As I've said, the comfort is fair. Even a broken old man like myself can manage an hour or so of riding without any long-term effects. It is not a rack like a dedicated sport bike, but it is also not quite as upright as a typical standard, and this does wear on you after a while. The rear suspension doesn't have much travel, so if you want to be standing if you hit a bump.The brakes perfectly adequate for normal riding on this bike. The extra weight of the bike is generally offset by the fact you aren't likely to be going at triple digit speeds unless you flying down the side of cliff. Later models can have ABS (mine doesn't, so I can't comment on it).

Engine 3 out of 5

Unfortunately there really is no top end in the conventional sense ... everything drops like a stone after 9200 rpm (redline is 10500, which actually is down 500 rpm from the GW250), and best power it can muster (yes ...yes ... not much) is made before 8300 rpm. However, the engine is actually fairly smooth, and the torque is spread well through the low and mid range, and as I said the fuel economy is great. GW250 reviews seem to suggest it is mostly bomb-proof.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The headlight failed with less than 2000 miles on the ODO. Changing the bulb was surprisingly difficult due to a stuck connector (tip -- pull the dust-cap off first, then release the bulb, and pry the freed bulb off the connector with a screwdriver.) If you think you'll keep a spare and just change it on the side of the road think again. I replaced it with an LED in hopes it will out-last the bike. This has been the only real issue I've experienced in about 7000 miles so far.The bolts already show some surface corrosion and this bike is stored indoors and only driven on sunny days. So while the built quality seems good -- I'm less sure about the metallurgy. Devoid of plastic the frame (very close if not identical to the one used for the GW250) looks positively ancient, but also looks like a frame meant for a larger displacement bike (as does the swinging arm). For the amount of power, it is probably if anything, over-built.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

As I mentioned, the valve adjustments are far more frequent than, say the CBR 250 - 300, so this bike is way more practical if you can do your own servicing (otherwise, the Honda wins here by a mile). Fuel economy is great though -- and even better with the gearing change!

Equipment 4 out of 5

The dash well featured and has good visibility. It has the expected speedometer (units configurable) and tachometer, it has a fuel gauge, twin trip meters, a gear indicator and shift light, and a clock. It also displays your trip fuel economy and will track your oil changes if you trouble yourself to read the manual. Not bad for a price. Unfortunately the speedometer is 8% optimistic at any speed which I find tremendously annoying.The bike also has a button to flash the highbeam light. I'm fairly certain it's main purpose on the GSX is for expressing ambition and optimism, but I'm told this is for signaling you intend to pass on other machines. There is lots of space under the seat, but only if you modify it by ripping out the pointless plastic 'tray' that otherwise barely leaves room for a small pair of gloves. Unfortunately there are absolutely no little store spaces front, but sadly that is the norm outside of scooters and tour bikes. Maybe it is just me, but wouldn't a cup holder and place for sandwich be brilliant? After all drive through fast food has been around for decades now. I'd trade a few horsepower for that.As you'd expect given the price level, there aren't many other things you can call a 'feature'.

Buying experience: I bought the bike privately for an unusually low price -- it was used but barely driven, and I only paid 1/3 the cost of the new bike. Perhaps it is just that the GSX would not really be considered a desirable bike when compared to the small bike offerings from other manufactures. There is also the fact that most people don't keep low displacement street bikes for long here anyway (North America) so the used market is flush.

4 out of 5
26 October 2020 by Gsx250r

Year: 2019

The bike runs much better with some miles on, the gearbox stopped sticking in the 1/2 after the first service, I just double the clutch and it always went in gear. I put a new back sprocket on and it now ride great for nipping about on, great down b roads and going to work always seems to be about 85 to the gallon now, it feels like a bigger bike than it is

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5

I fitted a 41 rear sprocket of a sv650 and it so much better, it will now happy sit a 70mph and goes about 7mph faster than the original sprocket as it was geared far to low

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Very well buit for a small bike. Not let me down yet

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

£3000. For a new bike 80 plus to the gallon

Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5
04 September 2020 by Robbo

Year: 2017

Getting back to biking after a 25 year break the mild Suzuki is just what I need for my first year back in the saddle. It reminds me what I've forgotten in a non threatening way. I know the day will come in a year or so when I want something larger but until then I'm having a blast and that's the main thing about motorcycling.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5 Great beginner bike or stylish commuter
10 April 2019 by Alex S

Year: 2017

I bought this after getting a license with no prior riding experience. It's exactly what I wanted as a new rider - enough power to make progress and have fun with, but not too much to easily get me into trouble. Light clutch, good gearbox, semi-sporty riding position and great looks. It only loses a star for not being the bike it deserves to be - a bit faster and a bit lighter and it could have been a GSXR250 not a GSX250R.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The bike has sporty looks and snap-on bars, but is actually very comfortable to ride - bars are higher than a sportsbike and pegs further foward, seat is comfortable also. Brakes are good but need decent amount of pressure. Would have given it 5, but the IRC Road Winner tyres it comes with are not fantastic - made for long life as opposed to performance.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine is a decent step up from a 125cc, and it has a suprising amount of torque from mid revs and short gearing, which makes it a lot of fun sub-50mph. Motorways are doable, as it'll happily cruise between 60-70, but not ideal, as it runs out of poke past this point to it's ~85mph max. Suzuki should have tuned this engine for another 5-10 horsepower, or shedded 10-20kg of weight, given the competition from the CBR250R, Ninja 300 and R3. However, the power/weight is reflected in the price - it's a fair bit cheaper to buy and also insure than the alternatives.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No complaints so far, appears very well put-together. ACF50'd all exposed metal through winter and no rust.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Get 90mpg out of it and I don't ride it sedately - refuelling is few and far between! Servicing as you'd expect for a small bike with not much to go wrong.

Equipment 4 out of 5

LED instrument panel is great. ABS as standard. Nothing bad to say apart from the stock tyres not being great.

Buying experience: Bought ex-demo from Hyde Suzuki dealer.

5 out of 5 Suzuki GSX250R
07 September 2018 by Mb

Version: Moto GP Blue

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £125

It grips the road very well and paintwork is superb - most people mistake it for a much larger bike. Engine is peppy and will cruise at 70 no problem. Nice soft seat. Gets looks wherever it goes.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes excellent.

Engine 5 out of 5

Nice ride well planted.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Feels a quality product.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

MPG superb even riding hard its returning 70+.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Great screen - especially at night.

Buying experience: Bought from dealer was a demo.

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