When we hear of a motorcycle that has a 250cc engine, we think of a small underpowered two-wheeler for inexperienced beginners, or smaller riders, usually women. One hardly sees a man riding a 250cc motorcycle as his entry-level bike. Well, the newest motorcycle to roll into Suzuki’s dealerships turns that conventional thinking upside down with its 2013 GW250.
Even though model year 2014 motorcycles are in showrooms now, due to a production delay the 2013 GW250, unveiled to the press early in 2013, has now just made its way into dealerships. I had a chance to hop on one for a brief 40-mile test ride in Orlando, Fla., just enough time to know this is one incredible motorcycle that both women and men, beginners and veterans, will enjoy.
I couldn’t believe all the power coming from the 248cc motor. Lots of low-end torque gets you going fast with a very wide powerband spread over the six gears that keeps you going strong. Yes, six gears to play around in. I was flying at 10,000 rpms at 80 mph before I knew it, and keeping up with interstate traffic just fine. Hard to believe this is a 250cc motorcycle!
I loved how quick and zippy the motorcycle felt whether I was powering through straight-aways or rounding a corner. A well dialed-in fuel injection system gives the bike that precise response every time the throttle is twisted.
Suzuki reps say one of the GW250’s strengths is that it doesn’t look like an entry-level motorcycle, and I’ll vouch for that. I could see experienced riders having just as much fun on this motorcycle in urban settings and suburban commuting as they would on more powerful 500, 650, 750cc and up motorcycles. The huge benefit is that the cost is just $3,999.
Comparing apples to apples, the GW’s direct competition is the Honda CBR250R starting at $4,199 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 starting at $4,799. I think the rider-friendly GW250 offers more beginner bang for the buck, especially when newbies are deciding on the style of their first motorcycle.
Specs at a Glance: 2013 Suzuki GW250
Seat Height: 30.7 inches
Weight: 403 pounds
Colors: Pearl Nebular Black (a blue and white 2014 edition will be available this summer)
I recommend this GW250 for beginner men and women who feel very confident on a motorcycle after passing the motorcycle safety training class. This bike is built well for practicing those new-found skills. Since confident beginners will no doubt enjoy and hold onto the GW250 longer than most other entry-level bikes, one can justify the initial cost against the length of time the bike will be used and owned. Because of its high-ish seat height and power, I don’t recommend the GW250 for smaller women, or people who feel skittish after passing the class. That’s where those smaller 250cc motorcycles would be beneficial.
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Now tell us what you think of the GW250. Leave a comment below.