Last year I had the pleasure of riding the ‘baby’ Strom for a week, but this time around it’s a little different. Suzuki has lent me the yellow one (best colour by far) for a few months to improve, or try to, one of things that annoyed me when I rode it before.
I just couldn’t understand why Suzuki had chosen to make the gearing so low. This small parallel twin can pull off in sixth gear, at altitude, and will easily hit the rev limiter in top gear when the digital clock bounces between 139/140 km/h. So this conundrum sent me on a quest to change the gearing and see what affect it has on the bike’s performance.
I found www.trickbitz.co.za had a one tooth bigger front sprocket in stock for around R200, so I grabbed one and fitted it. This small addition makes quite an improvement on all counts. The engine feels ‘bigger’ and has longer legs, if you know what I mean, and motorway riding instantly becomes less frantic! Maybe a tiny bit of midrange is lost but we are at altitude so costal folks won’t feel that. The 250 Strom will still pull from 20km/h in fourth with the new tooth, so it’s most certainly a highly recommended change if you already have one, your local dealer surely will assist.
But if you don’t own one and are perhaps put off by the small engine, don’t be! This is a very capable motorcycle with many attributes. One of the best is the suspension, which is the best on any small capacity bike and it’s sooo comfortable, light, agile and generally a nice place to be. Not to mention fuel consumption and enviable Suzuki reliability.
I rode the DL250 as hard as I could, with the new gearing, and could not get it below 23km per litre, or 65mpg in English; amazing for a bike that will easily sit at motorway speeds forever and a day! It cost my withered wallet only R200 to cover over 370km. Work that out for fuel saving whilst on a pleasant daily commute! And don’t forget that’s the worst I could attain so less throttle will certainly improve on that figure, and your wallet/purse.
Talking of figures I decided to use my Racelogic Performance Box to be more accurate and to find speedo error due to the gearing change and here are the results…
140km/h (rev limiter) = 130.3km/h true speed
100km/h indicated = 93.8km/h true speed
With sprocket change (one tooth bigger)
146km/h (didn’t hit limiter) = 135.1km/h true speed
100km/h indicated = 92.9km/h true speed.
As you can see there’s a slight change to speedo accuracy because it’s driven from the gearbox, but nothing to worry about really. I did dyno the bike and it makes 20hp and 20Nm at the wheel but feels much stronger than that in real life. We did get the bike to hit the limiter on the dyno though, and then it shows 150km/h so 146km/h isn’t far off on the road.
These numbers don’t seem too much of change but the sprocket swap transforms the little 250 V-Strom into much more and I ride it every day, so I should know. For everyday transport, superb build quality and uncanny fuel consumption the DL250 V-Strom is a hard act to beat, go try one!
Go to www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za to locate your local dealer.