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Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX - 1,100km Ride Report To Goa


We head to Goa with the Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX to attend IBW and here’s how it fared.

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Recently I rode the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 to Goa to attend the Rider Mania and you can read about my experience with the roadster here. Honestly speaking it wasn’t a pleasant ride and when I had the opportunity to head to Goa again, this time to cover the India Bike Week (IBW), I knew I had to opt for something more comfortable. The bike that immediately occupied my mind was the Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX. With the Japanese brand confirming it had a media unit in Pune, I got hold of the quarter litre machine and this is how the V-Strom 250 performed in our 1,100km road trip. 
 

Things I Liked

Comfort

The primary reason for opting for the V-Strom SX was that I wanted my ride to be a comfortable one. Let’s address the ergonomics first. The flat, wide handlebar, couch-like seat and almost centre-set footpegs result in a riding triangle that is upright and comfortable. The shape of the tank is such that you feel as if you’re a part of the bike and the view from the saddle is commanding. There’s a small flyscreen too and the padding in the seat is spot on, so much so that even after spending long hours on the bike, not once did I feel strained. Aiding the comfort factor are the long-travel suspension and yes, while they aren’t the most plushest units out there, they will dampen most of the undulations and only the jolts on sharp bumps make it to your back. 

Mile Muncher

The 250cc engine isn’t the most powerful one in the segment, but what works for it is its refinement. Yes, it isn’t butter smooth, but the fact that you can cruise at 120kmph with minor vibes for company is a major advantage. In fact, during our ride to IBW, I was able to sustain better cruising speeds than the Royal Enfield Scram 411 which kind of hits a wall post 120kmph. In fact, I even managed to clock over 140kmph on an empty stretch of road and that speaks a lot about the engine's potential. Helping the bike is the sixth gear, which makes holding cruising speeds rather effortless. 

Handling

The Suzuki V-Strom 250 had impressed me with its handling during our first ride from Dharamshala to Manali and it continues to do so. The best part is that the bike feels so nimble that you forget that it’s running a 19-inch wheel at the front as the sensation and feel one gets is that of a 17-inch wheel. At high speeds the front end might feel a bit vague but trust the tyres to take you through the corner and you will be surprised by its handling prowess.   

I had a gala time on the mountain twisties of Amboli as despite the poor road surface, I was able to carry good cornering speeds and was even able to keep up with a friend who was riding the Yamaha FZ1. On our way back, I could see Amar, who was riding the Scram 411 struggling to keep up with me in the corners, despite the fact that both bikes run similar wheel sizes.

Fuel Efficiency

For a good tourer, munching miles should be supplemented by good range. On this note, the Suzuki V-Strom 250 fared decently. It returned around 32kmpl overall, which isn’t bad given the fact that I spent quite a distance commuting the internal roads of Goa. With a fuel tank capacity of 12 litres, one is looking at a real world range of around 300km before stopping for refuelling.   

The Dislike 

Gearbox

Honestly, I had to dig deep to find a flaw with the Suzuki V-Strom 250 and my only critique is its gearbox. While the clutch action is light, shifting through the gears required effort and my ankle got a good workout during my ride to Goa. The sluggish gearbox is more bothersome at slow speeds and in traffic. 

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