Suzuki is supposed to be considering bringing the V-Strom 250 adventure bike to North America.
The news comes in the aftermath of last week’s AIME show in Columbus, Ohio; Suzuki had the V-Strom 250 on display at its booth, and was soliciting feedback, trying to gauge customer interest. If there was enough enthusiasm, Suzuki said the bike could be brought into the USA.
Presumably, it would also appear in the Canadian market as well. It should have no trouble passing emissions testing, as it’s based around the made-in-China GW250 platform, with a liquid-cooled parallel twin engine. The GW250 and a couple other machines based off that engine have already been sold in Canada for years, and it should only be a formality to approve another bike with the same emissions ratings.
Would anyone actually buy the V-Strom 250? The answer would depend on price. The V-Strom 250 faces stiff competition from more exciting and capable competition like the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 and the Honda CRF250 Rally. Suzuki’s angle would be to beat them on pricing, which it likely could do quite handily, if it chose to. The GW250 is regularly available for around $3,500 plus fees (including a five-year warranty!); if Suzuki could bring the V-Strom 250 in for about $1,000 more with factory luggage included, there would be buyers. That price point is unlikely, though.
But, even if it’s priced a little higher, there’s still room for a budget touring bike. No small-capacity factory touring machine has been sold in North America for many, many years. The last one of note was probably Honda’s GL500 Silver Wing, and even those machines were far bigger than this Suzuki. This could be a chance for Suzuki to create a new market. Even if buyers are sketchy on the idea of a made-in-China motorcycle, the five-year warranty has to be reassuring, especially in a machine that might be expected to do long miles.