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Suzuki Inazuma 250 review

Suzuki Inazuma 250
Suzuki Inazuma 250

The Suzuki worker who named this bike Inazuma must be a bit of a rogue. Inazuma is Japanese for lightning.

While this Suzuki Inazuma 250cc learner-approved motorcycle certainly looks the part, it’s by no means as quick as lightning. Still, it’s nimble and quick through the traffic so long as you are willing to work the gears and keep the throttle pinned.

This 250cc road bike is competing against some stiff competition in the LAMS commuter bike segment such as the new KTM 390 Duke, Honda CB500s and the top-selling bike in Australia, the Kawasaki Ninja 300. However, at just $4990 (+ on-road costs), it has a real price advantage. And if you’re quick participating dealers are doing free on-road costs until the end of June.Suzuki Inazuma

It might not be super-quick, but it has a Transformers style about it that will get the pulse racing. Up front is a Storm Trooper helmet-style small cowl with the indicators built into the fuel tank cover Down the side are aluminium-like side panels that resemble armour and up back are bright dual-lens tail and brake lights.

The rearview mirrors are designed especially for the bike and are nicely shaped. They integrate into the design, rather than being afterthoughts. However, I have to move my elbows in to get 100% vision of the road behind. The only practical drawback to the styling are the two chromed exhaust mufflers which look nice but are superfluous weight for the bike.

The Inazuma is powered by a smooth four-stroke, two-cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC engine. Suzuki doesn’t give power or toque figures, but its virtue is not its oomph, it’s in the refinement, rev-ability and smoothness. While many LAMS bikes are single cylinder and can be quite vibey, this is as smooth as silk. At high revs it tingles slightly, but otherwise it feels very refined.

The instrument panel has a gear selector indicator which is handy for beginner riders and a maintenance reminder which is also convenient. There is a digital speedo, analogue tacho and a screen that shows odo, two trip meters, fuel gauge and the clock if you click through the selector button located next to the screen. You don’t really even need the tacho as it quickly spins around to the 11,000rpm redline where it hits a very soft limiter. Keep the revs spinning in this stratosphere and you will make quite acceptable progress through the commuter traffic and even keep pace with the highway traffic.Suzuki Inazuma

The only problem out here is the lightweight 183kg bike does tends to shimmer in the wake of big trucks. However the wide handlebars allow you to steady the ship. They also help you perform tight turns and cope with twisty roads.

Soft is a word that comes to mind when assessing the handling, seat, brakes and controls. The telescopic forks chew up the worst of urban tarmac bomb craters without twitching and wanting to throw you off. There is also a hidden, seven-way adjustable spring preload rear mono-shock system so you can adjust for luggage and a pillion.

Rider and pillion will feel comfortable on the cushy, wide bench seat and there is a nice wide grab handle at the back plus plenty of tiedown points for luggage on the back seat if you don’t carry a pillion. The tank is made of metal so you can also throw on a magnetic tank bag for extra load carrying ability.
Out on the highway there is no buffeting, just a clear stream of air over the headlight cowl.

Most riders will feel comfortable with the low 780mm seat, but as a tall rider I was a little cramped in reach to the pegs. All the same, my knees tuck neatly into the recesses around the tank and reach to the bars is comfortable.

Brakes are also on the soft side, but it doesn’t have to stop a big weight, so they are quite effective even though it has a single disc up front. Gears feel mushy and vague yet all six engaged positively with no false neutrals and neutral easy to locate. Clutch has a very light feel and you could work these gears all day in traffic and not get cramps in your left hand.

If you need a stylish commuter that can also handle the occasional highway ash and won’t break the bank, give the Inazuma a try.

Suzuki Inazuma 250 tech specs

  • Price: $4990 (free on-road costs until the end of June 2014)
Warranty: 2-year, unlimited-kilometre
  • Engine: 248cc 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC
Bore x stroke: 53.5mm x 55.2mm
  • Compression: 11.5:1
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
  • Suspension: telescopic, coil spring, oil damped forks; swingarm, coil spring, oil damped
  • Tyres: 110/80-17M/C 57H; 140/70-17M/C 66H
  • Brakes: single discs
  • Fuel tank: 13.3 litres
  • Length: 2145mm
  • Width: 760mm
  • Height: 1075mm
  • Wheelbase: 1430mm 
Seat: 780mm
  • Clearance: 165mm
  • Wet weight: 183kg
  • Colours: black and red
  1. “Brakes are also on the soft side, but it doesn’t have to stop a big weight, …”

    Wet weight: 183kg … is heavy for a 250.

  2. “The only problem out here is the lightweight 183kg bike ….”
    – wrong.

    still heavy for a 250.

  3. I took a 3 year old one out for a test ride today, with just over 5,700 miles on the clock, and I loved it so much that I bought it on the spot. It is a bike for the daily commute, not for thrashing round bends, but if i really wanted to I am sure I could grind the foot petgs down on the Tarmac – I managed to do so regularly on my old 1980’s Honda CD200. Honda even made the pegs spring loaded and fold up, Knowing how easy it was to ground them….. Ok, so it is heavy for a 250, but the engine copes well with the weight. I was happy with my progress through traffic and on the open road and I do not think I went over 6,000 rpm. The (small) tank should get you 200+ miles to ad fill up. It’s no sports bike, but then it does not pretend to be. It is a vary able good looking daily got to get to work bike.

  4. I have had Suzuki bikes all my life including the 740 sports tourer which we used to travel interstate on and the TU250.However for the last 5 years I have had the Inazuma which is a tremendous bike, particularly as I am now 73 years. It is user friendly and great fun to ride. The only problem i have had is , as stated in the review, that it can get the wobbles up at times, but this is very infrequent and I have never lost control of the bike yet. I have a Suzuki Alto car which as over 130,000 Km on it and it is a fabulous car. However, I love the Inazuma for fun; being so cost effective; great for parking in this horrible city; and for its convenience. It is the BEST transport for Sydney!!!!!!!

  5. I have an Inazuma and it IS heavy for its capacity – it weights more than the old Kawasaki ER-5 I also own. But I’ve found that to be one of the few downsides.
    Motorway riding in the UK is possible on the Inazuma, but you’ve gotta have patience and be prepared to spend a lot of time in the slow lane except to overtake the occasional HGV. Exiting from service stations can be pretty hairy sometimes.
    It’s very reliable. I like it a lot.

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