Oct 20, 2011

8 Should Suzuki launch the GW250 in India?

Should Suzuki Motorycles India seriosuly consider bringing the GW250 to India..??

Just because one has the best ingredients..

..doesn’t always guarantee that the dinner would be served sumptuous

Suzuki Motorcycles India needs a flagship model for India. The GS150R has been the flag bearer for them for some time now. Before you mention "Hayabusa", let me tell that I am aware that the Hayabusa in on sale in India, but that’s an imported model for blokes with deep pockets.

I am coming more from the point of view of an aspiratinal model for the "great Indian middle class". Something like the R15 for Yamaha, Pulsar 220F for Bajaj, Karizma ZMR for Hero MotoCorp, CBR250R for Honda.

The humble 150cc GS150R isn’t exactly flagship material, not in 2011-12 India.

Suzuki GW250

Just a couple of months back Suzuki did unveil a 250 cc, twin cylinder model at a Chinese auto show. Needless to say the desi auto blogs went into overdrive speculating/claiming that this was the next big Suzuki model for India. The bike’s name is GW250. It’s a made in China Suzuki model which has been on sale in that country for a few months now.

Now should Suzuki Motorcycle India seriously consider bringing the GW250 to India too?

Those who say YES

It’s a Liquid cooled, 250 cc

The GW250 produces a modest a 24.5 Ps of peak power and 22 Nm of peak torque from it’s liquid cooled engine. It means that even though the GW250 might not hold a candle to the 33 Ps, Kawasaki Ninja 250R, it should be almost at par with the Honda CBR250R in terms of power and torque.

It’s a twin

Compared to the Honda CBR250R which is a single cylinder thumper, the Suzuki GW250 has got an extra cylinder (and an extra silencer exhaust to make it obvious) as a selling point.

It’s got other goodies as well

The GW250R comes fully kitted with rear disc brakes, monoshock rear suspension, fuel injection and digital speedometer display.

Suzuki GW250

Suzuki GW250 Specifications

Engine: 250 cc, Twin Cylinder, water-cooled, four-stroke

Maximum Power: 18.0 KW/24.47 Ps @ 8500 rpm
Length × width × height (mm): 2145 × 760 × 1075
Maximum torque: 22.0 Nm @ 6500 rpm

Ground clearance (mm): 165
Wheelbase (mm): 1430
Maximum load weight (kg): 183

Those why say, NO:

No full fairing, no buy

There are some full faired starved desi bikers who are ready to pay the premium just because a bike has a full fairing.

What’s beneath the full fairing, who cares? Got a half fairing? Would pay half the premium. The full fairing has been styled horrendously? Who cares?

It is 2011, what kind of styling is that?

No matter long long / hard I stare at the Suzuki GW250, I still can’t understand / appreciate the design flair. Agree the GW250 has a twin cylinder, liquid cooled, engine with fuel injection and monoshock. But just because one has the best ingredients doesn’t always guarantee that the dinner would be served sumptuous.

The styling inspiration for the GW250 is quite clearly from the B-King, the 1300 cc road bike from Suzuki.

Suzuki B King

But then I never understood what the B-king was about in the first place. The 1300 cc engine, and the bulky body work suggests brute performance, but somehow it doesn’t exactly work for me. But hey, that’s a purely personal opinion.

Suzuki B King

Should Suzuki bring the GW250 to India?

I am sure that since it’s a Suzuki, the engine and the gearbox of the GW250 will be a smooth affair. The 24.5 Ps power though not blazing for a desi biker next door like me, should be quite decent enough.

Agreed that the GW250 is a bit over weight with its 180 + Kgs of kerb weight, but it is the styling of the GW250 which I can’t appreciate. To me, how a bike is styled is equally important as how it performs on the road.

Suzuki has a very good engine platform in the GW250. Only if Suzuki India can get a bit more focus on the styling, cut the extra flab (remove that extra exhaust), and price the bike competitively at around Rs. 1.5 lakhs, they could have a worthy flagship product for "the great Indian middle class bikers".

What say?

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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


Joseph said...

waiting for the market to open up and then we the buyers have more option to choose from a higher displacement bike, hope they bring it up here in India.............

Prakash said...

looks very boring...expect more aggressive styling from a naked bike

Shaiju B said...

The bike looks old, more of a retro looking one. It must be hard for Suzuki to grab a market with this look. As you said there are lot of desi bikers who is ready to pay premium for full/hald fairing. But there are some true bike lovers who admires real beauty even with out fairing (Ex: FZ 16). 180kgs for a naked bike seems too high. Even though this bike doent look much contemporary it has got some good bits and pieces. It front stance looks good. The tyres, alloys look great. But at the end it seems like there are lot of things which does'nt deserve admiration.

B King - It looks horrible to me. The silence is boring.

Vivek4mJH said...

Hi SP,

To me, the GW250 looks no-nonsense & imposing (like an old Range Rover) & I kinda like that.

However, the Suzuki India management needs to take a reality check about their product strategy here. Agree with you that the GS150 is not flagship material. And they've been fooling around with 1 engine (for the Zeus/Heat/Slingshot) & different body panels for a long, long time now & the market is just not interested. Even their ad campaigns are lacklustre.

I think a GW150 launch will help them get footfalls back to their showrooms & if they could get a full-faired version of this bike, they'll pucca have a winner on their hands.

P.S. - I used to follow your blog when you were in B'lore & was disappointed when you stopped updating (forgotten the username I used to post comments under back then, lol). Glad to see you back now. Keep up the good work!

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys.

Vivek, thanks for the encouragement

Anonymous said...

A 250cc bike is what suzuki needs to bring urgently in India. Unfortunately, looking at their marketing, ads, and product lineup, suzuki management dont seem too interested in indian bike market.

But the gw250 looks good, except for that mini-size headlight. That headlight needs to be a bit wider and taller too. And they should bring both a naked and fared version of the bike. Also, that exhaust should be redesigned like fz.

Whats with suzuki and exhaust design in india? Suzuki Access and Slingshot have really bad exhaust design. Seems like they just put some exhaust, and did not design it according to product style. Overall good technology, but poor styling by suzuki.

Also, kerb weight seems to be prob with suzuki. Even gs150r kerb weight of 149 kg is highest for 150cc category. To reduce weight, Suzuki need to use more fiber/plastic parts, like yamaha Sz-R. But Suzuki are not bothered about power-to-weight ratio.

Hari Kishan said...

Payeng bhai,

this topic might not be relevant for my post but thought that i can get your attention to this.

Rajeev Bajaj made it open that new pulsar will be available in 2012 and it will be showcased in Dec-11. He also made a statement that this is entirely new tech and not available anywhere in the world. This might be true because in 2006 Bajaj auto team has presented few papers in a meet of SAE on 'Development of a Variable Valve Timing System for Improving the Performance of a Small Two Wheeler Engine
'. That time i posted the same in xbhp and no one was interested on it. But now as Rajeev has made this statement that the tech is not available in the biking world i digged for the link. And you know i found that link. Here it is http://papers.sae.org/2006-32-0104.


A novel, fully mechanical, simple, compact and cost effective variable valve timing system for two-wheeler application was developed. The details of the system and the performance are discussed. The system uses flyweights to exert a force on a cam, which floats on a shaft against a spring. The movement of the cam is axial and rotational due helical groves on the shaft. The system could start retarding the cam phasing after a predetermined speed. The system when implemented on a small scooter engine of 125 cc resulted in an increase in the volumetric efficiency at low speeds by 8%. The torque was improved by 10%. There was a reduction in the fuel consumption due to reduced throttling losses and leaner mixtures. When the system was implemented on a two-wheeler and tested on a chassis dynamometer on the Indian Driving Cycle a reduction in fuel consumption of 5% was noted. The emissions were also within limits. On the whole it is concluded that this system can be implemented on small engines for better performance.

I never heard about VVT in bikes and if you read that link they said they had successfully tested this tech on 125 cc scooter. We as Indians should be very proud if Bajaj is coming out with this technology. Will it be possible for you to pass to this information to xbhp for further analysis. Please payeng bhai...as currently i do not have xbhp membership.

Hari Kishan

Kumaran said...

The baby B-King looks stunningly similar to its Big B. The concept of naked bikes have really not caught up with Indians? Is that a fair comment to make? I remember Bentely at its time of launch - they were expecting to sell 3-5 units in a year, but on the day of the launch, they sold over 10 units. So to judge a market based on personal tastes is like judging Chinese food without having ever been to China.

After all, this is going to be the only 2 cylinder motorcycle that is affordable to a lot of people in sometime to come unless others have something in pipeline in the near future. The twin silencers adds to the beauty of the bike. Much can be appreciated by those who just love to hear the rhythm of such beauties.

We expect this to be a good tourer considering the upright stance for driving - that should be an advantage against likes of CBR, YZF which are more sport oriented and make it a choice for those young tourers who love doing those 150 - 300kms over the weekends.

Everything said and done, we have to wait and see what the market holds for the GW250.

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