By Wes Siler
I’ve never seen one of these. I didn’t even think they had them stateside
That’s likely because it’s brand new. They’ll be on-sale soon.
The black hides the ugly…sorta. The blue and white…doesn’t. I’d stick to the CBR here…especially with the 300 coming soon. I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: they need a CB300F variant!
Black hides the ugly : so true.
I saw the first two pictures and I was like, “it doesn’t look that bad”. Then I saw the blue/white and my reaction was “ugh”. Then I saw the rear 3/4 view and it was “ugh” again.
I’m glad to see a good inexpensive naked bike though. However, I wonder how it will compete with the CBR300 and Ninja 300 since those two moved up in displacement. I expect the CBR300 will have more than 30hp.
Maybe in a couple of years the guy that redesigned the V-Strom 1000 will have worked his way through the rest of Suzuki’s lineup and this will end up being a good looking bike.
And people thought the Gladius was ugly!
It’s like the B-King and the Gladius had a child. And then that child fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
Sweet little bike, but ABS it should be
I’m probably missing something but how does ” single-valve-per-cylinder” work? Or am I mis-reading and it’s one intake and one exhaust valve per cylinder?
“A steel tube chassis cradles a single-valve-per-cylinder, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine”. So which cylinder has the intake valve? :-)
I’m sure they meant 2 valves per cylinder…
Looks like a very neat city bike with back road potential.
We all be humanz… :-)
7/10 seems a generous overall rating given how ugly and otherwise unremarkable the bike is. Is it a 7/10 only relative to its direct rivals? It’s kind of tough to know what these number ratings mean across the site. For example, in a recent review, RA gave the Ducati 899 Panigale a 9/10. If it’s the same scale, you’re saying that this ugly little intro bike is a C to the Ducati’s A-. I have to doubt that’s what you actually mean. Seems like if all bikes are going to be graded on the same scale, you guys might have to get more comfortable with giving less remarkable machines lower ratings. How ugly would it have to be in order to get the 4/10 or a 5/10 it probably deserves in the bigger picture?
For the record, I don’t mean to snipe. I love what you guys are doing here in terms of creating a centralized place for this kind of information and reviews. I just think that if that’s our goal, then you might think about how you level the evaluation process. It seems like in this case, this very basic bike is being given way too much credit for simply not being terrible.
I assume they are ranking relative to the class the bike is in.
Maybe, but how would anyone know that? And if so, what’s the full list of bikes on that particular scale? Where’s an index of all these different scales and what bikes are listed on each?
People who are longer term followers of this site get what Wes posts because he has us trained.
You’re looking at it from the perspective of a new visitor. So basically, if there was a disclaimer whenever you used the comparison tool, the experience would be smoother.
A bike is rated on its ability to achieve what it sets out to achieve. So think CBR250/Ninja 300/TU250X in this case; entry level 250s. It’s nearly as good to ride as the CBR, and it’s cheaper. But, it’s ugly. Really ugly.
The 899 is comparable to other superbikes. And it’s better than most. Hence the 9/10.
5/10 is average. You’ll find bikes rated at that level and lower in our buyer’s guide. My intent with all these ratings (and I make all of them personally) is to provide real data points you can actually use to compare motorcycles.
Thanks for clarifying, Wes. It would be helpful to know the comparisons for each number set besides just what might be mentioned in the article text. Do you get what I’m driving at and how it can be confusing? It’s tough to actually USE the numbers if the context of the scale isn’t known. Might also be worth having some FAQ content around the numbers in terms of what the scales mean and what makes a 5 different from a 6 or a 7. Thanks for all you’re doing here.
If i gave you a list of smart phones, each with an x/10, you’d understand it, right? It really is that simple. There’s review content for each bike in the buyer’s guide that goes deeper, explaining any given bike’s pluses and minuses too.
Totally get that. All I’m saying is that the “list” isn’t clear. By just saying 7/10, it sounds like the list of bikes is every bike you guys ever review. You’re saying that’s not what you mean and I believe you, all I’m saying is that it might be helpful to clarify what the list of bikes is for a given comparison if it’s not, in fact, all motorcycles you review. Does that make more sense? I feel like maybe I haven’t been effectively saying what I mean.
I don’t think the rating is all that tough to understand. A 5 is average, a 7 is good but not great, and a 9 is superb. It seems pretty clear from the article that for a 250cc commuter, the GW is a good bike hurt by ugly styling, and deserves about a 7 out of 10.
Sure if you compare it to a Panigale, the 250 doesn’t even rate, but you’re comparing a $4000 bike to one that costs many thousands of dollars more. Of course you can’t really compare the two on the same scale: someone looking at a Panigale isn’t shopping for a commuter, and vice versa.
It would be a great platform for some brave custom builder to show off their skills. Strip the ugly plastics, leave the capable running gear… paging Doc’s Chops, Roland Sands, Wrenchmonkees…
you guy’s are the thing that kills the motorcycle industry. Just calling something “ugly”. Kills it just like that. Go stand next to your $15’000 FREE TEST RIDE motorcycle’s and take some selfies.
All other things. Price. Comfort. Performance. Maint costs. Availability, etc. Those, are all wonderful things to talk about. (judge) But, shunning away potential buyers of an entry level bike, (or any) just because it does not fit into YOUR perception of asthetics?!?!
I think you’ll actually find that it’s the designers who are responsible for the ugly. We just call it like we see it.
Most new motorcycles are ugly, including many that are $15K+. Whoever decided that motorcycles should look like Transformers™, along with having no bodywork behind the engine resulting in those horrible trusses supporting the rear lights and plate should be flogged. Heck, my pre-gen Ninjette and TW200 look better than most new bikes, and no one ever accused either of being beautiful.
I dont think its ugly. Think its kinda cool. I call it how i see it. -)
I read HFL because they’re the only ones who’ll call an ugly bike ugly. It needs to be said.
^This. Can’t trust a publication that won’t call an ugly bike ugly. And most don’t. Sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the proportions and details here are just bad. A little sexy would go a long way towards getting new riders on an appropriate bike.
I prefer articles that minimize the amount of space used to discuss styling – a picture is worth much more than a thousand words in these cases.
I commute every day across town and appreciate a ‘practical’ bike, but you gotta admit, someone gave this bike a good beat-down with the ugly stick.
I don’t think Suzuki has made a bike in the past 10 years that I thought looked good. They’re definitely on a roll now.
The new V-strom 1000 might be the first.
I think the big Strom looks like Woody Woodpecker.
Well, yeah there is the whole beak thing. I understand they are trying to emulate the front fender on dirt bikes, but maybe they should make it look more like a fender and less “beaky”
Well, Suzuki did invent the beak with DR BIG (love that exhaust sound!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC_Tiylifvs
As to the styling…well, you probably don’t have to worry about it getting stolen…
I expect most bikes in this class you don’t have to worry about them getting stolen. Especially the ones made in Thailand because new replacement parts are already cheap so their isn’t much money to make on used replacement parts.
If you’re looking for a CBR250-like experience with a more upright position, maybe a CRF250L should be on your list. I know it’s a dualsport and it won’t be as composed on the highway but it scoots around town well and it’s very comfortable for such a small bike. It also has inverted cartridge forks and you open yourself up to opportunities beyond the pavement.
And this is why I bought a used DRZ400SM.
I like the blue and white because it reminds me of my first bike, a GS500F. The only problem is it also reminds me of the Honda Wing, too
The styling might be a little bit of a let down (I think the CBR250 is worse) but it’s good to see Suzuki cashing in on cheap, accessible bikes. The consumers win by having more choices for bikes and the manufacturers win by hopefully selling in large volume to help pull them out of a slump. The extra refinement of the machine doesn’t hurt, either…
All that’s left now is to see what Yamaha’s bid will be for the $4500-ish entry level bike.
And will Triumph beat Yamaha to market with theirs.
Problem is, that Triumph out-uglies everything.
If Yamaha’s keen to play, I’d expect them to roll out a 250 YBR — the 125 YBR is a stalwart in Europe.
Aren’t steel tube cradle frames a bit outdated? Even on a budget bike, you’d think a simple single backbone frame, like the Honda and even the ancient Ninja 250/300, would be the norm in 2013. That might have something to do with why there is a >400 lb., 250cc bike on the market.
Put this drivetrain in the TU 250 and then you have something.
I really do love the styling of the TU250, but it needs more power. You really hit the nail on the head with that one. That would be a phenomenal entry level package. I might actually be tempted to buy a new bike!
Dear Suzuki, here’s how it’s done: http://www.kawasaki.co.th/th/detail.html (too bad Kawi doesn’t sell the Z250 in the States…)
That is shockingly better looking.
So many cool bikes over seas, we don’t everything here. We get a huge share of cool stuff, but not all.
Yeah, the good news for America is that anything you do get tends to be incredibly cheap compared to other countries. Take the Street Triple R: we can get it here… for $25,000. It’s $10k in the States. Panigale R? $73,300.
Nice! Very much in the same family as the Z1000 visually.
Apt assessment Wes. When I took the WR250 test ride in Orlando Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised. A somewhat sporty tone to the exhaust note, nimble, comfortable, smooth. Not pretty, but I tend to find that the more practical something is the better it looks. Just need to take a dremel to the rear fender. Way better looking than a scooter of the same price and much better performance.
Indeed. I think that huge mud fairing (or whatever it is) over the rear wheel is insanely ugly.
…now I just wanna buy a b -king
Do it, bought mine (a 2008) in 2010 with 0 miles on showroom floor for under $8k. Got close to 30,000 on it right now and don’t regret it at all.
Well, the good part is it’s pretty much theft-proof.
It’s overdone, style-wise, but it has potential. The fenders are oversized, particualrly the rear fender, but it’s not something a saw can’t fix. The radiator shroud is a bit much. In blue and white, and in profile, it makes more sense and the design looks more balanced.
I’ve seen motorcycles that make this look fantastic.
In black with your leg draped over it, it looks pretty decent. The body balances out the abundance of plastic and gives purpose to its form. Remove the rider and it coalesces into a misshapen mass of polymers poured onto a steel frame.
In black, At night. In a dark room.
would you think the heavier bike weight might help with crosswind stability versus the competition?
Suzuki and Triumph are racing to see who can make the uglier bike. The new mini-Triumph is still winning though.
Suzuki got it right style-wise with the TU250X. If only they’d put this GW motor in the TU. 25hp vs 17hp.
True. Often glad my TUX doesn’t have a tachometer as much as I’m on the freeway. The way they made the lights on this model is different in a cool way though.
Same for a TW200 – but the vibration will convince you to get off the freeway as soon as possible.
On the other hand, I have run my Honda Elite flat out for nearly a hundred miles on a warm day, and the temperature gauge barely moved above normal.
Attending school at the University of Central Florida made me swear off suburban living forever. Those are some of the worst roads ever dreamed up.
Awesome to see more of these entry-level bikes.
What I don’t get about the GW250 (called Inazuma – “Lightning”[!] – elsewhere) is the B-King modelling. “Hey, let’s make it look like a bike everyone thinks is ugly as sin and hardly anyone buys!” They could have styled it like a Bandit (full naked, with a half-faired S option) and it would have sold truckloads in Europe. I feel for Suzuki, they make some great bikes at great prices and then make them look like … this.
This should be popular with MSF courses!
Suzuki: You have made the X6 Hustler, the ’70′s GS550, the Katana, the 1985–>GSX-R series etc. You people do not need to leave your house to find industry-defining style. If you are so determined to NOT want compete with Kawasaki and Honda in the quarter liter class, why bother? You KNOW there isn’t ONE person at your company that felt good about the looks of this bike, not a SINGLE piece is up to snuff. Please! Hit delete and start again! the 250cc class needs your amazing designs, not this. It is just not ok. Thank you.