Suzuki GW250 Inazuma – Road Test

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 248 cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine produces 18 kW at 8 500 r/min and 22 Nm at 6 500 r/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 500 cc than a 250 cc 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 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. Most scooters don’t handle as well as this bike.

Most riders can easily place both feet firmly on the ground and the good quality 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 probably the kind of bike you buy as a novice. Don’t be disappointed if you summon the courage to push it up and over 120 km/h, and it starts to feel a little fragile. You will want something bigger later on, but if you are just starting out, it’s 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 be taken 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 of the Suzuki GW250 Inazuma (2013)

  • Engine  248 cc four-stroke two cylinder engine; liquid-cooled
  • Gearbox  Six-speed, final drive is chain
  • Power  18 kW @ 8 500 r/min
  • Torque  22 Nm @ 6 500 r/min
  • Weight  183 kg
  • Seat height  780 mm
  • Fuel capacity  13.3 litres
  • Fuel consumption  Average of 3.8 l/100km
  • Tank range  350 km
  • Warranty and servicing  One-year manufacturer’s warranty, with one year AA roadside assist. Service intervals 5 000 km.
  • Price  R39 950
  • Photos  Desmond Louw
  • Review  Olga van Zyl, May 2013

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