If you’re looking for a motorcycle that offers superb value for money, on all counts, then the new Suzuki DS 250 SX is without doubt the answer!
Oh yes, this new Suzuki adventure bike, or Sports Crossover to be more precise (what the SX stands for), is quite simply fantastic! So good in fact that nothing in this price range offers more which we'll get into later.
Not only have I had the pleasure of riding the V-Strom 250 around the hills and valleys in Durban, but I’ve also lived with it on the roads around Jo’burg, and even had a bit of feisty track action at Red Star.So why is it so special then seeing as it’s ‘only’ a 250, you might ask? Well, for one, it looks and feels much bigger than a ‘250’ with a 835mm seat height. The build quality and finish, in either black, red, or yellow (my choice), is exemplary for the price. It’s most certainly an attractive motorcycle as well.
The V-Strom DS 250 SX is also an absolute delight to ride and never failed to leave a smile on my face. The fuel-injected, 249cc, SOHC, single-cylinder, is oil-cooled by means of SOCS (Suzuki Oil Cooling System), which means there’s no heavy water-cooled radiator and components to add weight and clutter things. This compact motor produces a healthy 26hp@9,300rpm and 22.2Nm@7,300rpm. Now that doesn’t sound like much but it’s enough to propel it to an indicated 157km/h flat out in sixth gear, and it’ll cruise happily all day long at 120km/h on the highway.
So it acts like a bigger bike and some people tend to think it is, because a guy thought it was indeed a 1,000 V-Strom when he mentioned that he’d previously seen it sitting in the car park. However, at only 167kg (wet), with its 12-litre fuel tank full, it most certainly is not. Another reason for the fun factor is it’s so light and nimble, and because of that trait everyone else who rode it immediately said, “Mmm, I wouldn’t mind one of those for myself”; I agree and feel the same.
Comfort levels are also without fault from the wide and thickly padded seat. Even with my withered derriere I had no complaints, and the pillion also enjoys similar comfort. Speaking of which I had my mate on the back (we weigh in at around 180kg between us) and remarkably the DS 250 SX pulled cleanly from as low as 3,000rpm in fifth gear without stalling, a tribute to the near-perfect fuelling I’d say. Seems like the Indians are very good at that seeing as it’s made there and for their market, with horrendously low incomes, it makes a lot sense to be frugal, right?
Talking of fuel, you might need to sit down and have a hot beverage here. We have seen 300km on the LCD clocks/display, after filling the tank to the brim. When we filled it up again there were still two litres left – astonishing or what? The clocks did relay around 28/29km per litre as they transmit that info and more. Either way 300km+ is easily achievable from a full tank. So stop moaning about fuel prices and go and buy one of these today – but I’m still not telling you for how much, just yet.
I must say the clocks are bit disappointing though in direct daylight as they’re hard to read due to sun glare, but during the vampire hours they’re fine and once you get your teeth into how it rides you don’t really care. You see bikes like this tend to have, well, "shite" suspension (for want of a better word) but the V-Strom DS 250 SX has that covered with hefty 41mm forks, a 120mm stroke, and a surprisingly beefy rear shock. Both ends have noticeable damping attributes which most other similar Oriental offerings seem to have forgotten about. Whether you’re fooling around off-road or enjoying some vigorous track action I never needed, or asked, for more - well done again to the Indian engineers!
Bringing the bike to halt is taken care of by Bybree (an Indian subsidiary of Brembo), using a two-piston calliper chewing on a 310mm disc, with a smaller version at the rear. You do have ABS as well, which annoyingly can’t be turned off, but I’m sure some interfering techno will find a way. Still, they work well enough and only have 167kg to retard anyway. We did especially like the distinctive semi-block knobbly tyres and the rear one is a sizeable 150-section, adding more ‘size’ to the 250 SX’s dimensions and stance.
Other standard additions include a USB port, hand-guards, a bit of a bash-plate and a very handy rear carrier/rack that will easily accommodate a top-box for example. You’ll notice there’s an effective screen above the LED headlight too, which sits above the old-school DR-Z type ‘beak’, a styling DNA carried from previous Suzuki adventure bikes.
There’s no denying it looks great as well, especially in Suzuki's iconic ‘RM’ yellow. From one end to the other it’s a true V-Strom and fits nicely into their range of 650, 800 and 1050 variants.
Well now onto the price that you’ve all been waiting for which is a ridiculously low R59,250 for all of this, along with the usual Suzuki support and warranty. Bet you’re interested now, and with R30 per litre around the corner, you just ‘Can’t Touch This’ for what the DS 250 SX has to offer. It’s also a tough little bugger as nothing came loose or rattled after many, many hours of inconsiderate abuse.
We did ask around after the first sales in SA and were pleased to hear that quite a few are being sold to older riders over 50-years old who desire something a little special without draining the wallet. In fact it’s such an impressive bike on so many counts that John, our photographer, has just gone and bought one and he’s, without doubt, the ‘tightest’ person we know, even harder to please, but full of admiration for his new DS 250 SX – must be good then I’d say!
Go to: www.suzukimotorcycle.co.za to book a test ride from your local dealer today.
Finally let’s leave you with a song that sums up the new Suzuki V-Strom DS 250 SX…
Can’t touch this….