Multiple reports claim Suzuki has introduced a V-Strom 250 concept bike in China.
If true, the news is a bit surprising, although there have been rumours of such a bike for a while. According to the people who claim to have seen it, the V-Strom 250 is based around the same 24 hp vertical twin as found in the GW250 naked bike — currently one of the lowest-priced motorcycles in Canada, partly due to it’s made-in-China origins. Given that, and the fact the new bike was allegedly introduced in China, we’re asking, will the new Wee-Strom (what are we going to call the 650 version now?) be made in China? And if so, will it come at a price that blows the quarter-litre ADV segment wide open?
Because, that’s a possibility. The small-displacement adventure bike segment was practically non-existent after Honda canceled the NX250. If someone wanted a 250 for ADV touring, they were forced to adapt a dual sport, like Lois Pryce did with her Yamaha XT225. Then along came Chinese manufacturer Zongshen, with the RX3 (sold under the CSC brand in Canada), and the idea of a small adventure bike caught on again. There was a lot of interest in the RX3 when it came out, although many balked at the idea of buying a Chinese bike.
But if Suzuki builds an adventure bike in China but stamps its own brand on it, that ought to help allay some fears about quality control. All of the OEMs are building stuff in developing Asian countries already, and Suzuki’s already building the GW250 there with no horror stories of those bikes melting down — at least, none we’ve heard.
The spec sheet for the concept bike seems to indicate Suzuki plans on building a version with ABS. Fuel capacity is 17 litres, and those are 17-inch cast wheels in front and rear, so don’t plan on going too far into the rough stuff off-road.