It's not a particularly good looking motorcycle. It's also not exactly very fast. And then, it is among one of the most expensive 250cc motorcycles in the country today. The Suzuki Inazuma, clearly, doesn’t have the odds stacked in its favour, especially when you consider that it is in fact, quite late to the 250cc party. The question then is - is there anything that actually works for the new Suzuki Inazuma?
The design most certainly doesn't. Now, the Inazuma isn't a bad looking motorcycle, but in a market like ours, where motorcycles - big or small - are machines that one flaunts, the Inazuma won't win too many fans. It is unique, but then it’s also a tad too mature and old-school. It has a large, muscular tank flanked by extensions; a design trait common to most modern, naked bikes, but the rest of the bike just fails to awe. Also Read: Suzuki Inazuma vs Kawasaki Z250 vs KTM 390 Duke: Spec comparison
The head lamp design lacks both character and form, the front fender seems at least two sizes bigger and the tail piece comes across as one never ending piece of plastic. Then there’s the stepped one piece seat, the rear grab rail and the three-spoke alloy wheel designs, all of which take you back in time. Like we said, the Inazuma is not a bad looking motorcycle, it just isn’t contemporary enough. We do like the seating posture on the Inazuma, though. It’s not sporty or demanding but is more commuter like – upright and comfortable. The handlebar is relatively tall and allows for good leverage; the seat is roomy, supportive and comfortable for spending longer time in the saddle; and the footpegs are neutrally positioned. This makes the Suzuki Inazuma one of the best bikes to ride long distance on with a pillion.
Where the cycle parts are concerned, again, there's nothing exotic about this Suzuki; it's all run to the mill stuff here. It uses a cradle type downtube chassis, telescopic forks upfront, a preload adjustable monoshock at the rear with a regular box-section swingarm, and single disc brake setup without ABS both front and back. The tyres are par for the course with the Inazuma running 110/80 tubeless rubber at the front and 140/70 at the rear mounted on 17inch alloy wheels.
The good news is, even though the cycle parts are nothing to write home about when considered individually, together they make for a fine riding and handling motorcycle. Actually, the ride is more than fine; it is outstanding for a motorcycle in this class. The suspension is setup on the softer side. So it takes good care of your arms and back over broken roads. It doesn’t skip or crash and one rarely needs to stand up on the pegs to avoid being hurt. It simply glides over almost everything. It’s only when the bike hits a slightly deep, squarish pothole that its low on travel front suspension bottoms out. It’s a disconcerting feeling, yes, but it doesn’t happen enough to take away from the bike’s overall lovely ride. Also Read: Suzuki Inazuma vs Kawasaki Z250 vs KTM 390 Duke: Spec comparison
The surprising bit here is the Suzuki’s handling. Now, the Inazuma weighs almost 185kg making it one of the heaviest in its category along with the Hyosung GT 250R. But, it is so well balanced that the Suzuki Inazuma makes for an easy bike to ride around town at slow speeds or on the highway, flat out. In a straight line it is completely planted, even over undulating roads. And even when you throw a series of corners, it doesn’t get stage-fright. Neither does the Inazuma’s rider, for that matter.
It's not the sharpest motorcycle around a corner, but the Inazuma doesn't feel wallowy or bendy either. It needs a relatively firm push to drop into a corner, but when leaned over, the Suzuki 250 feels stable, accurate and easy to trace a line with. The tyres grip well, and there's good feedback from the chassis and the front end to keep you in on the happenings at all times. Quick direction changes at higher speeds though can be a bit of a handful on the Inazuma and it requires better planning, extra force and the knowledge that the bike might actually understeer to compensate. Also Read: Suzuki Inazuma vs Kawasaki Z250 vs KTM 390 Duke: Spec comparison
The engine goes along with the bike’s overall personality of being easy to ride. It is a parallel twin and that, honestly, is the highlight of the engine on paper. Because in terms of output, it's pretty ordinary. The max power is rated at 26PS while the torque peaks at 24Nm. This in the company of the cheaper KTM 390 Duke and the similarly priced Ninja 300 almost seems pedestrian. On the road, the engine doesn't feel very powerful either. It is very smooth with a linear, likable and exploitable power delivery. Everything from the engine to the throttle response to the gearing is so tamed that anyone can simply get on the bike - even novices - and go all guns blazing without scaring themselves.
The bottom end performance is timid and the engine only seems to wake up past 6,000rpm. Then too, the shove isn't something that gets one excited. It's between 8,000rpm and 9,000rpm that the Inazuma feels like a 250; the engine note changes to a typical multi-cylinder one and the Suzuki finally feels like it wants to get somewhere in a hurry. The good news is, the engine doesn't mind sitting here all day and neither would you for there's no real uncomfortable vibe to stop you from doing so. The Suzuki Inazuma is an easy motorcycle to live with and ride on a daily basis. It makes for a nice touring motorcycle too. And being a Suzuki, it is well built, well finished and well sorted. It will also last for years to come. The only problem with the Inazuma is its price. For what the bike delivers, no matter how you look at it, the Suzuki Inazuma at Rs 3.3 lakh, ex-showroom in Mumbai, is simply overpriced. And that’s our biggest concern about it.