Suzuki recycles GW250 tech for GSX-250R model

Suzuki has unveiled its  long-rumoured GSX-250R, and it has some familiar-looking bits.

Details for the new quarter-litre sportbike (intended for overseas markets, at least for now) sound as if it could be using the same liquid-cooled engine as the existing GW250 model, but with the parallel twin slightly retuned. The GSX-250R is rated for just under 25 horsepower, and weighs 178 kg at the curb, according to a spec sheet published here. The GW250 is rated at 183 kg on the Suzuki Canada website, and is rated for around 24 hp.

Of course, Suzuki already built a couple sportbike versions of the GW250, one with a half fairing (available in other markets with such frills as police light package, or hard bags), and one with a full fairing (that’s still available on some Canadian dealer floors). However, those bikes had much more sober styling than the new GSX-250R, which echoes Suzuki’s larger members of the Gixxer line.

The most interesting thing about the new 250? It’s made in China, like the rest of the GW lineup (as well as the new V-Strom 250). It appears Suzuki is dead-set on keeping its position as the Japanese manufacturer with the lowest prices, even if that means no longer actually making the bikes in Japan. When Suzuki unveiled the original GW250 models, there was much conjecture as to how long the made-in-China experiment would last. All the major manufacturers are sourcing parts in developing Asian countries, but no other company was building whole bikes in China and selling them in developed markets. It seems now like the idea was a success, since Suzuki is going forward with new models based on the Chinese platform.


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  1. There seems to be a bit of confusion circulating about this bike. A number of online sites claim that the engine is based on the GW250. Yet – these same sites are reporting that the engine is a single – not a twin. Strange – because the GW250 is actually a parallel twin (at least the one I’m familiar with). The overall weight of the bike (almost 400 lbs – ouch!) suggests to me that this is actually the same parallel twin as found in the GW250, as the curb weights for both bikes are remarkably similar. That seems much too heavy to be a 250cc single.

    My sense is that the 250cc version is for other markets that issue high taxes on bikes with displacements over 250ccs. In these same markets the other manufacturers have their own 250cc competitors. I suspect that Suzuki will make a 300cc+ version for other markets where the 300cc bikes are being sold.

    • Mike, I have read those other reports, and I think the talk about a single was mistaken.

      From what I can can see, I do not expect a 300 cc version anytime soon. This looks like Suzuki’s plan to make a bare bones, cheap, affordable, (did I mention its low price?) platform. The 2017 GWs are currently discounted to $4000 in Canada right now, I think, and leftovers are usually available for $3000.

      IMHO — this is Suzuki realizing there’s a market segment for super cheap bikes, well under $5k. And they will do what’s necessary to stay there.

  2. Sure looks like it’s big brother but they have definitely watered down the GSXR name. Maybe their new slogan will be ‘The race to the bottom’ rather than ‘Born on the racetrack’, This bike should be 320lbs and 40hp.

    • “Not sold in North America”. Same situation with the new (and great looking IMO) Honda CBR250RR. They are sold in markets where there is some sort of licensing restriction that makes it advantageous to be below 250cc. A few of the bikes sold here as 300s are also built as 250s for those same markets. Personally, I wish they’d all stayed as 250cc …

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