I have to admit, that Ecstar MotoGP-inspired livery over the blue does make the Gixxer 250 look cool. The graphics sure give it the ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ vibe. But how serious is it? The Gixxer series has been a tremendous success for Suzuki in India, both in the 150cc and quarter-litre segment. Enthusiasts have cheered this Japanese dart that combines an athletic engine with sharp design and great value. With the BS6 treatment, the Gixxer 250 has improved even further, making a very strong case for itself.
Let’s begin at the heart of things, the engine of the Gixxer 250. It’s much more filtered thanks to a new ECU and exhaust system, and performance graphs trail close to the BS4 model that it replaces. Peak power remains identical but is produced 300rpm higher in the rev range. And while there is a 0.4Nm drop in peak torque, it comes in at 200rpm lower. As a result, there’s almost no effect in terms of its swiftness.
And that is not a bad thing to begin with. The engine has a punchy mid-range and its rev-happy nature adds to the sense of involvement. Since most of the grunt comes higher up in the rev range, you’d find yourself constantly swapping through the six-speed gearbox; a characteristic that matches its eager and aggressive attitude. The forward lean riding stance of the Gixxer 250 tempts you to ride quicker and in all, the experience remains largely pleasant and addictive.
Adding to that is the supremely agile and nimble handling that can amuse you even on mundane commutes. Sure, its sporty chassis setup might be a tad too stiff for the city, but on a nice windy section, it prowls back by offering sure-footed handling and impressively good feedback. And once you’ve mastered the art of swerving around potholes with this brilliant chassis on the Gixxer 250, you’ll have an urge to ride it quicker even on the run to the milk shop.
I’ve got a few notes though on the Gixxer 250. This very lively engine feels inert below 3,000rpm, there isn’t a slipper clutch on offer and it will be a challenge to tame it as a tourer. You would, however, praise every bit of it while swooping through traffic on a lifeless Monday. And if you do that often, this should be on your to-buy list.