Life with my Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 after riding 35000 km in 3 years
The gearbox is the thing that amazed me the most. The shifts are perfect. I would compare this to that of the R15.
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My ownership review of the Gixxer SF 250 after 3 years/35000 kms:
The background and initial impressions (posted on XBhp when I bought the bike):
In January 2019, I decided to buy a motorcycle in the range 1.5 L to 1.85 L by March 2020 so that I have time to mobilize the required fund and I might get BS 4 stock clearance offer. With 2 years of knowledge gathering on bikes finalized the Gixxer 250 (Gixxer SF 250 wasn’t falling into my price range). By 07/02/2020, I had 1.7 L in hand and started enquiring about rates so that I could buy by mid of March 2020.
Almost all the dealers refused that Gixxer 250 will be available after BS 6 stock comes. One dealer said he can arrange one, but if I choose Gixxer SF 250 he will provide it at Rs. 1,70,000/-. And me excited, discussed with family and decided to buy immediately. I visited the showroom to see the condition of the bike and booked on that day itself. The next day went for taking delivery and did thorough PDI checks (Thanks to the internet).
After completing all the formalities by lunch I reached home with the bike. It was beautiful, the tiredness due to lack of previous day sleep vanished. While I was admiring the beauty of the vehicle in the parking lot,I noticed oil leak from engine head. I became furious and went back to showroom after completing the Friday prayers. The showroom guy seemed to be disappointed and sorry and offered for a replacement if I am willing to take black colour or else he would repair the same vehicle under warranty. As I loved both the colours, I opted for the black one. Their main showroom was 50 kms from my place and they offered a brand new Gixxer 150 to reach there (This is why the PDI is so damn important). I rode slowly considering that someone would buy it and finally took the delivery by 6 pm. After a few days, they gave me a Studd helmet (worth around 1k) and Suzuki seat cover.
As per the owner’s manual, the following should be strictly followed for engine breaking in,
- Upto 750 kms- <5000 rpm
- 750 to 1600 kms- <7500 rpm
- After 1600 kms- <10000 rpm
- 1st service @ 750-1000 kms
- 2nd service @ 4500-5000 kms
Further services at every 4500-5000 kms or 6 months whichever is earlier.
Rode the bike as instructed and reached 750 kms mark in a week, and by the tenth day completed 1000 kms and gave it for service. After service there wasn’t any notable difference and took the bike for a long trip (600 kms up and down). During all this time followed the manual instructions. Currently, after a month exactly completed 2600 kms. The following are my thoughts about the bike:
- Engine: The engine feels so reliable. It is linearly torquey and powerful on almost all rev ranges. It feels absolutely smooth at 6000 rpm. Below that this is a commuter and post that this is a sports bike.
- Transmission: The gearbox is the thing that amazed me the most. The shifts are perfect. I would compare this to that of the R15.
- Looks: Personally I feels that this is the best looking bike below 3 lakhs and it sure grabs some attention.
- Mileage: I got 42 kmpl at 5000 rpm ride on highways. In mixed conditions I’m getting 35 kmpl. 38 kmpl can be achieved at 110 kmph cruising speed.
- Versatility: Below 5k rpm, this feels like a 150 cc and can be used in commuting and post 6k rpm this roars till the end.
- Ergonomics: I am 5’7″ I have the habit of sitting on to the edge of the seat. With that style, my back is COMPLETELY upright. The ergonomics are comfy for both traffic and touring.
- Cruising capability: Crusing at 110 kmph to 120 kmph is easy on this bike. 130 kmph can be reached without any fuss. 140 kmph is a sure thing but at this speed the motor is stressed. But during all these speeds, the bike was surprisingly planted.
- Tyres: The tyres feel very sticky (but online, there are negative reviews about MRF Rev Z C). Really I can feel the tyres hugging on to the road.
- P.S. I am very new to cornering and comparing this with FZ 25 , R 15 V1/V2 stock tyres.
- Headlight: The headlight offers enough spread and range.
- Heating: I rode continuously 150 kms at high revs (7000 to 9000 rpm) at 35 degree celsius weather and during all that time, I felt only once heat pushing towards my calf and that too was not disturbing (would be pleasant in winter).
- Braking: The braking is perfect to my satisfaction (I don’t know why there are negative reviews on Youtube) and being a first user of ABS, it feels so confident.
- Pillion seat: The pillion seat is tall as that of R15 V 2, and the comfort is not good either.
- Engine at 4k to 5k rpm: Most of the times, there is sharp vibration between these rpms that travels all along the chassis up to the pillion seat. Also at this rpm, sometimes the engine sounds differently (I don’t know how to describe the sound).
Now, coming to my current views:
- Looks: This may be subjective, but I love the looks. The side and rear are marvelously designed. It do attract attention.
- Engine: This might be highly debated, particularly among those who suffer severe vibration. But, this engine is highly versatile. Be it commuting, touring, spirited riding it can do all albeit master of none. Not even a single moment during my tenure, I felt bad about this engine. Too early to say, but i feel this can last long as well.
- Middleclass-esque: This bike can do commuting, spirited ridding, touring and what not!(except off roading). And the service interval is once in 5k kms/6 months, each costing maximum of 2-2.5k. The stock MRF lasts way long (32k- front, Rear still on and seems it can touch 40k easily). Considering all these isnt this perfect for the people who wants everything with their limited money?
- Suzuki-response: The one boon which I got is the GM of Bangalore region who is very helpful. He helped on multiple occasion to get the issues resolved promptly. Also, the complaints registered in suzuki portal are considered.
- Gixxer club: The Gixxer club in Bangalore is very good. The group is active, helpful and fun. Decent amount of rides are organised now and then.
- Service centers: This being sold only in premium showrooms, if one were to live/move to rural side it will be an absolute disaster. From my hometown, the nearest ASC is 100kms away!!
- Japanese reliability? Really? : In 2017, being an 125 cc owner, till then I hadn’t ridden any sporty motorcycle. The only big bike which I rode was a Bullet 350. Then I had an opportunity to have R25 V2(65k on odo) with me for 5 days. And 5 days later my entire perception about motorcycles changed, ENTIRELY!!! So that’s what revving is!! I finally experienced it. Me being a fan among the crowd of RE, turned into a hater towards RE. Partly, because I found the real nature of my liking and partly due to the refinement! TBH, from that moment my interest towards motorcycles grew multifold.
- Now, coming to the topic- I was so sure that I was going to buy a Japanese motorcycle only. The reason being reliability and refinement. I even ditched the Dominar 400 UG (in 2020, the diff in price was just 30k). The engine is definitely smooth but not as like that of Yamaha and Honda (better than Bajaj and TVS). But I was left stranded on road on 3 occasions- 1. Some coil went off that was replaced under warranty, 2. Sensor was misplaced after service, 3. Battery died almost suddenly after 9 months of changing the battery.
- Fit and finish: This needs a slight improvement, as stuff started to make noise. Particularly the official seat cover, that squeaks every time we get on to the bike.
The product needs to be improved overall, I hope they already doing that aggressively as V Strom250 owners are very happy.
Definitely, there are electrical issues in the bike- starter coil, battery losing its life in an year or two. Both these issues are occurring all of a sudden and it is not just limited to me as number of people reported the same issue.
As a vouch for reliability, you should offer free towing in case of breakdowns.
Once you start comparing with the Busa and GSXR, the bar is very high. Then this rivals directly the R’s of Yamaha and CBR’s of Honda and GSXR’s of Suzuki!
Final verdict: To be honest, I can neither complain nor praise the motorcycle completely. There are so many goods to fall in love with the motorcycle and occasional mess ups that question the validity of the love.
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