You would have definitely read a few recent online media reports speculating the launch of Suzuki’s latest twin-cylinder 250cc GSX-250R in India. Many of them say that it could be launched sometime this year or early next year. However, I suggest do not get your hopes high as I see no chance of the company considering launching the quarter liter in India, at all!
Here are my reasons of believing this…
Significantly Lower Specs than Competition: GSX R250 is an R25 and Ninja 250 rival internationally. We have the 300cc versions of the respective motorcycles in India and both of them produce significantly higher power and torque outputs than the Suzuki (R3 – 42 PS, 29.6 Nm; Ninja 300 – 39 PS, 27 Nm). GSX-250R’s DOHC engine produces only 25 PS of peak power and 23.4 Nm of max torque. It is intended to be a practical sportsbike rather than a manic!
At these specs, it will become the lowest powered twin cylinder motorcycle by a big margin and lesser than a few single cylinder models as well.. a hard to sell aspect!
Inazuma’s Debacle: Suzuki did try its hand in this segment with the very relaxed Inazuma which was regarded as one of the best tourers in India. However, they could only sell 232 units of the motorcycle in its approximate one year of life (link to report). It was launched at an impractical price tag of around Rs 3 Lakh which was dropped to Rs 2.3 Lakh to clear off the inventory. Unconfirmed reports say that final units of the motorcycle were sold off at loses!
Pricing: The biggest issue, like Inazuma, will be pricing and placement. Since volumes will not justify it, GSX-250R could not be manufactured in India. It is a full-faired twin cylinder sports motorcycle and will definitely be priced higher or around Inazuma’s original price. For reference, Yamaha R3 costs close to Rs 3.25 lakhs and the 2017 Ninja 300 has been launched at Rs 3.64 Lakhs, both ex-showroom Delhi prices.
At anything around Rs 3 Lakhs (or even slightly under), it does not make a lot of business sense to introduce the motorcycle here.
What I am certain, at this point is, that Suzuki will not gamble with the twin cylinder GSX-250R in India, but they do seem to have plans for a 250cc – a single cylinder 250cc motorcycle that is!
Gixxer 250, as it can be promoted as, fits bang in the scheme of things at the moment and it can be priced competitively as it would be a locally manufactured product. They have already made a brand name of ‘Gixxer’ and this 250cc will give all the prospect buyers an option to upgrade. This segment is already getting a lot of interest with Yamaha being the latest to join the competition with their FZ25.
However, there is still no confirmation or concrete evidence that such a motorcycle is under works for our market…