According to a leading news site “The time needed for a man to fall in love at first sight is 8.2 seconds, scientists claim. The longer a man’s gaze rests on a woman when they meet for the first time, the more interested he is. If it last just four seconds, he may not be all that impressed. But if it breaks the 8.2 second barrier, he could already be in love they say”. Just 0.1 sec less than it takes for this beauty to reach a 100kmph.
This beauty is the not so much talked about Hyosung GT250R. About 6 months back on the way to pick up a friend from the Ford service center, I missed a turn and lost my way only to find myself looking at a couple of red colored beasts basking in the sun at the Hyosung showroom.
I couldn’t help myself to the raw power exhuberated by its sheer presence. Now taken over by the DSK group from Garware I was rest assured that the best was yet to happen. I stepped in and after a brief conversation scheduled a test ride, which was pleasant enough for me to pen down at that time. And thus began my love story – Ashiqui 3.0…
After the escapades with my “Jarvis”, if I may be allowed to describe my NS, I wanted a second bike a no nonsense long hauler for interstate travel and rides; much the way a man looks for his mother in his bride to be. Of the current ones in the market the CBR250 was too much attitude for its bite and the ninja was a premium. The Comet was a phenomenon that struck me when I was just learning to throttle the now extinct Kinetic Honda. Nonetheless its re-entry was good news.
1st impression – Having said that to begin with here is what I had to say about the GT250R
Being a first timer on a sports bike (the last saddle I got my boots into was a R15 2.0) of this size I decided to take the executive along with me, firstly to gauge the pillion rider’s stance and as a ready reckoner to acquaint myself with this beast. The connoisseurs of the biking fraternity have shared their tastes over this piece of engine block but who better than its chef could deliver 1st hand details of its brew. Which of course was a strategy that worked to my benefit and the little inputs from the Hyosung staffer did make the difference.
Being a weekend the Pune Satara Road was buzzing with traffic; the kind that moves like a glacier. This kind of traffic is the last thing you would want a V-Twin jammed into. Unfortunately for those having nightmares of such let me break the ice the GT250R handled like a dream.
Going down the signal to journey upwards towards the Katraj Zoo it required I travel south towards the next signal and head north on my intended course for this test. Unlike the bike gurus I felt that I should take it right into the heart of the traffic and see what this baby could do.
The overwhelming fairing did shake my confidence at first, however after the first few hundred meters I was comfortable. Interestingly the mirrors were not adjusted so I had to reach out which at first felt tricky however within no time I knew what was coming at me and the simplistic console was a clear indicator of engines heartbeat in that kind of traffic, speaking of which, is silent until to invoke the monster within.
The first gear itself takes you across 20kmph without a whimper and the moment you hit the second gear you are on your way. In spite of all the traffic and the handicap of being a first timer I did manage to clock 70 at its best. The bike on the road up hill was awesome apart from the low than low handle bar there was no other reason to write home about.
Even taking a U-turn on this was far easier than on what I went through with the CBR250. Be it the suspension or the engine itself it handled just like a regular 100cc commuter bike. As we egged on that road I had only one thought on my mind what would be the reason for debate, justifying the 3.11 lakhs or the comfort factor for my better half on long rides?
In fact I’m sorry to say that I was so impressed with its handling I actually forgot that I wasn’t riding alone. It does come with 5 gears and I never really went that far down the transmission. The mid-range punch that every rider desires for grabbing that key spot while in these kind of congested traffic conditions is a reason that I would want one.
The aesthetics of the bike are quite modest for a bike like this. The compact console tells you only what you need to know and not any other junk. It however lacks the option of the low and Hi beam, however they say its projectors do the talking whether the moons shines or not. The seats do appear to be well placed to suit any riding posture or position for that matter.
Chapter 2 – “I’m a long hauler I need more time [read kilometers] with her, for us to understand each other…”
Like the benevolent father of the bride the “man with the plan” granted me permission to do so and allowed me the 1st date with it, I may be allowed to say so his DAUGHTER. After months of waiting to my pleasant surprise I was invited to join the HYRYDERS on a ride to Panshet and after completing the formalities was ready to ride.
Which of course needed some preparation, after all when we ask the lady out we need to rise to the occasion ourselves, don’t we? So I set out as part of the pre- ride preparation understanding and reading how to handle superbikes and also played some light sports to get flex those muscles of laziness given its riding stance.
Chapter 3 – “Date with the lady in red, did I just pinch myself.”
My date was dressed in a 2 tone red and silver to match my riding attire and thus color coordinated with me. She was in her full glory at the sign of the first light and offered her a seat in the lineup for the ride. Given the first chill of December winter I gently positioned the ignition key in to its place and fired her up.
At a soft touch she fired up to a note that was music to my ears. A warm firm voice greeting me,”good morning”. I got into saddle and took her to the spot assigned in the lineup. The throttle was slick as could be the electrical were in place and my pre-ride inspection did not rule out any glitches. I was happy with my findings and all that stood in between us was a brief on the ride and the ceremonial flag off.
Chapter 4 – “Life is a journey, if not travelled nothing learned no respect earned …”
I wanted to spend time with her, hence I chose to be at the end of the pack. Being a long while since we first met it took the first few kilometers to acquainting ourselves with each other and with the engine warmed up it was time to dance. Darting through Sinhagad road we were half throttle and on 3rd gear cruising along the NDA road at a smooth 80kmph or so.
Unfazed by the other siblings who whizzed past us. Though at times I did hammer a few notches down on the open stretches and it resonate the first memories of doing so. Much our dismay the last 10 odd kilometers were plagued by pot holes and gravels that were sprinkled as if they were roses aesthetically spread out leading the way to our destination.
Let alone city roads it handles pretty much with the same grace on the gravel ridden ones. Being a rider of non- faired naked bikes was much to my disadvantage on these roads which the GT250R made up for. Line her up hold that throttle steady and it was smooth sailing on those Bridgestone tires. I guessed that’s how they would have gotten their name- a bridged across stones I chuckled.
Even at the sign of pot holes big enough that would give the INDIAN HOG a scare it handled those dips with care. I must admit that the climb was a little tricky but she did so without flinching. In other words, Mr. Orange beware!!
Chapter 5 – “Ye party Yun hi chaalegi…”
At the summit we lined up our machines and thus came the time for camaraderie. A few gigahertzes of clicks and group pictures together we settled down to refuel the organic fuel tanks. Post that we had some activities that were well planned and executed by the Team Hyosung. After all Ye party yun hi chaalegi..” we did have a good mix of riders ranging from the new kid on the circuit to the baap of biking, who astride his Aquila was definitely someone to reckon with, did my retirement plan spell out a cruiser? Let me go review it :p.
Anyways after much fanfare we geared up for the descent. Going down the narrow dirt road was a tad bit trickier that the ascent. However once we were back on the road a constant average of 40 kmph saw us into the city limits and ready to dhoom through traffic, being a constant head turner at every other signal we even had a few locals wanting us to throttle up that muffler’s volume.
On the way back she was a true traffic cutter, meandering through the city like a professional model on a ramp. Parking her in a sweet spot away from the heat of the Sunday afternoon we thus ended our date with the heartbeat of her V-Twin motor resonating in my mind. Truly it was love at first ride for me.
For those who want to create some room where the competition runs out of tarmac or those who want to upgrade to the next level of biking, well I do see you in the saddle and fuelling up for the long ride.
Just beware this is 28 bhp of raw power that comes out with the flick of your wrist, so be gentle to this Hyosung lady because with great power comes great responsibility so treat her with respect and ride her with pride.
– By SAVIO TAVADIA
Also Read our Comprehensive Official Review of GT250R