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Dirt and Trail July 2018 issue 2

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The Suzuki V-Strom 250

The Suzuki V-Strom 250 Price R73250.00 Parallel twin 250cc Fuel injected four stroke. Fuel consumption: 27.48kilometres per litre. This is the newest addition to the entry level adventure segment in South Africa. The 250 ‘Strom only arrived here a month or so ago – we took it for a good long run the last time round, this time it was the turn of everyone else to give it a shot. Suzuki seems to be looking for a niche with this bike – the parallel twin is incredibly revvy and fun to ride, but they mounted smaller, cast more street oriented wheels, which limits it in the off-road department. Despite the adventure credentials of the V-Strom name, this bike is stressed as having a much stronger road focus than other bikes on test, with 17-inch wheels to allow for agility rather than 19 or 21-inch that the competitor models feature. So: The V-Strom, or DL250 to give it its proper name, joins its bigger beaked brothers – the DL650 and DL1000 – in Suzuki’s adventure tourer range, although in this case the emphasis is very much on the ‘tourer’. Its excellent fuel efficiency, low seat height, revvy engine and great price is likely to make it a popular option among commuters and we’d seriously consider a bike like this for commercial use. Handling In terms of handling, the V-Strom 250 does what it says on the tin – its design concept is ‘Massive and Smart’. That 188kg mass keeps it steady on the road, and the bike offers stable handling across a breadth of speed, without jumping around like some of its lighter counterparts. The wind tunnel engineered faring and screen protects the rider from the brunt of the pressure, allowing big kilometres to be achieved without fatigue. However, at speeds approaching the national limit, you do get a bit of a buzz through the bars and pegs. Speaking of bars – these ones are pretty narrow, we’d fit a wider set. In saying this, however it handled this whole test with ease. It’s only on the pass that the lack of ground clearance became apparent, we clobbered the plastic sump guard (a standard feature), quite a few times. Suspension The suspension is firm yet forgiving, and copes admirably across various size potholes and on good gravel roads. Brakes The newly-designed 10-spoke wheels on the V-Strom feature smart wavy-type brake discs. This design purports to prevent brake fade because it dissipates heat better, The brakes are perfect for a bike like this. ABS is standard on both front and rear wheels and, short of removing the fuse, cannot be switched off. Equipment As would be expected from any adventurer tourer worth its salt, there is a host of additional accessories, this one came with a 23-litre top box. Donovan Says: First impression - very good looking bike, nice lines and styling - well done Suzuki! Climbing onto the bike for the first time I was rather taken back at how small the bike feels. Narrow handle bars, lowish seat position but once we got riding it was comfortable, great riding position – even for a big guy like me. Not so comfortable to stand and ride in the dirt. Everything works well and feels great on the bike. Great clutch and brakes and easy to ride with the motor being very responsive for a little 250. Handled the dirt well, had no problem on the gravel and even climbing the rockier stuff very well. On the highway riding at 120km/h you were just running below the rev limiter and once you hit about 125km/h the rev limiter light goes crazy. 60 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE JULY 2018

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