Suzuki GW250 InaZuma

What is it?

It’s a Japanese bike made in China. And the reason for that is to keep costs down as this is Suzuki’s entry-level road bike: a budget bike for the average commuter. Despite that, Inazuma means “the lighting that strikes during a thunderstorm”.

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The 248cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine produces 18kW at 8500r/min and 22Nm at 6500r/min.

The Inazuma has enough power to offer the novice rider an enjoyable riding experience, but should you wish to challenge the engine and push it you might find that it is better suited for commuting and short trips.

The small twin engine has great acceleration and torque, despite the peak power being nothing to get excited about. In order to maximise torque at the expense of peak power, Suzuki’s engineers gave the Insazuma twin a surprisingly long stroke. Final drive is a chain.

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Style, instruments and equipment

Suzuki decided to use significantly more aluminium than steel − and there’s quite a bit of Suzuki’s monster, the B-King, to be seen in its styling.

It’s a sporty looking bike with some aggressive touches. At first glance it looks more like a 500cc than a 250cc and, in that sense, the Suzuki promises you a bit more than it can deliver.

The impressive instrument panel includes a speedometer, odometer, gear indicator, maintenance reminders, trip meter and fuel gauge that are all indicated on a digital screen. The rev counter is analogue.

Another function is the eco meter, which shows the rider when the desired r/min has been achieved for optimal fuel efficiency.

The clip-on handlebars (clamped directly to the fork tubes and not via a triple clamp) are also very comfortable.

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To expect the world from this bike seems a tad unfair; however the look of it does fool you into thinking it might be something bigger.

Having said that, the Inazuma is a highly enjoyable ride and will introduce any novice rider to the pleasures of riding, while being a safer option than bigger bikes.

The bike performs well in the city and on the open road. In the city, surrounded by scooters and cyclists, the Inazuma will be a big fish in a small pond, but I’m afraid on the open road it will quickly be overshadowed by bigger, stronger bikes.

Ride and handling

The Inazuma handles very well and I was surprised by its nippiness. I’ve ridden scooters that don’t handle as well as this bike.

Unless you are a midget you will easily be able to place both feet firmly on the ground and the comfortable seat makes for a comfortable and enjoyable ride.

For longer trips the Inazuma might become a little tedious, but for commuting it seems perfect. This is the kind of bike you buy as a novice, but don’t be disappointed if you summon up the courage to push the engine up and over 120km/h and the bike starts feeling a little fragile. You will probably want something bigger later on, but if you are just starting out, it is a good fit.

The suspension handles bumps easily, but as with the engine, don’t push it to the limit.

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Like: Comfortable and manoeuvres well.

Dislike: The look and style

Verdict and rating

A perfect entry-level commuting option that is versatile enough to take on longer trips. If you are used to a bigger, stronger bike, this one will leave you frustrated, but if this is your first contact with a motorcycle you will like the manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency. It also has just enough oomph to keep you interested. 6/10.

Also consider

Kawasaki 250 Ninja, Honda CBR250R, Yamaha YBR250 and Hyosung GT250

Specifications for Suzuki GW250 InaZuma

  • Engine  248cc four-stroke two cylinder engine; liquid-cooled
  • Gearbox  Six-speed, final drive is chain
  • Power  18kW@8500r/min
  • Torque  22Nm@6500r/min
  • Weight  183kg
  • Seat height  780mm
  • Fuel capacity  13.3 litres
  • Fuel consumption  Average of 3.8 l/100km
  • Tank range  350km
  • Warranty and servicing  One-year manufacturer’s warranty, with one year free AA roadside assistance. Service intervals every 5000km.
  • Price  R39 950
  • Ridden by Bikeroutes  May 2013
  • Review by  Olga van Zyl

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