The Gixxer SF 250 was impressive on the track. But is it versatile enough to handle spirited highway rides and the everyday commute?
Just like most Indians, I am a sucker for faired motorcycles. So imagine my euphoria when I got the chance to go bonkers at the Buddh International Circuit for the very first time with the Gixxer SF 250. I was impressed with the Gixxer’s performance but was more curious to know if she could be the perfect everyday hustler. And now, after almost six months, I would finally find out!
Being used to commuting on my KTM RC 200, the SF 250 felt almost like a streetfighter. Though the sharp styling, clip-ons, split seat and the miniscule front-end will have you think otherwise, thanks to its cleverly-designed bits. The clip-on ‘bars, for example, though raised, get pretty neatly masked with the raised tank. The puny windscreen too, which we’ll get to later, adds to the deceptive looks.
But that’s it. Swing a leg over and you’ll find that the bike has super-friendly ergonomics. The ‘bars are positioned a bit away from the rider, while the footpegs are a bit rear-set but nothing extreme. And the seat? At 800mm, it is accessible to people of all heights but is roomy and comfortable. Time to head out then.
At the BIC, I wished the Gixxer had more power, but out here, it’s a different ball game altogether. Peak power of 26bhp hits at 9,000rpm, just 1K shy of the redline while the 22.6Nm of peak twist is available at 7,500rpm, giving the bike a strong mid to top range power. However, the 6-speed gearbox is super slick and one of the best I have experienced so far in this segment.
The powertrain, as a package, is perfect for the everyday hustle. The Gixxer is comfortable puttering around in the fifth cog at as slow as 30-35kmph. Anything above 3,000rpm and the bike will go without making a fuss.
The suspension on the bike is great too. I took the bike through some broken tarmac as well as did some mild off-roading and she absorbed most of the bumps and undulations.
Does it mean that she won’t handle well around corners? Hell no! Show her some corners and she is eager to dive in and will surprise with the mid-corner stability.
The brakes on the Gixxer SF 250 were a bit disappointing. The front lacked bite and feedback, inadvertently making merely on the rear. And the windscreen? It barely makes a difference. Out on the highway, you’ll feel the windblast and even a full race crouch won’t help. Another grouse was the LED headlight. While the spread was good, the intensity wasn’t, especially with oncoming traffic.
Definitely! The only close competitor in the segment is the dying CBR 250R and the Fazer 250, which I’d definitely skip. At Rs 1.71 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Gixxer SF 250 is a great bike, offering everyday usability without compromising on sportiness. But the headlight and the windscreen could be a problem on your highway jaunts. Maybe a bigger visor, even as an accessory could be helpful, Suzuki.