While having the handsome retro machine in the line-up that is the TU250, Suzuki was noticeably absent from the small displacement sport bike category that represents a large number of sales in the Canadian market. For a little history on that scenario: Kawasaki had the segment pretty much to themselves in Canada for many years with the Ninja 250 – an entry level bike with the stye and dimensions of its larger Ninja stablemates. The company sold a lot of them. Eventually Honda noticed and wanting to grab a few of those sales introduced the CBR250 which went on to do battle with the Ninja 250 to claim the title of best selling bike in Canada. With success comes even more competition and soon Yamaha and KTM had bikes in and around the segment as displacements rose to 300 and above. Suzuki has now thrown their helmet in the ring with a GSX250R. A clean take on the GSXR line-up the new bike has a 248 cc engine, 6-speed transmission and a wet weight of 392 lbs. Fuel economy is expected to be in the range of 76 mpg from a 4 gallon (US) tank. Oddly the Suzuki press release states that the new bike is inspired by not the GSX-Rs but of the popular Suzuki of the 1980’s and 90’s , the Katana. In the release the company says:
The GSX250R draws its design and performance inspiration from the legendary line of Suzuki Katana sportbikes. Resonating with Suzuki loyalists and motorcycle enthusiasts in general, Katana sportbikes stood for versatile real world performance, elegant design and practical ownership. The GSX250R will carry on that winning combination and easily position alongside Suzuki’s sport and standard motorcycle line-ups.