South Korean bike manufacturers have always gotten less attention than their Japanese counterparts. However, the automotive market has seen Korean car manufacturers take huge leaps in their quality of production, and in 2010 Hyundai overtook Ford Motors as the fourth-largest car manufacturer. The same seems to be true for South Korea-based Hyosung. While the company is not a new player in the least bit, its bikes have garnered significantly less attention than other 250-cc bikes from Honda and Kawasaki. At the same time Hyosung’s entry- the GT 250- has been around for a few years now. The 2011 Hyosung GT 250 is a little behind the GT 250R in terms of performance and lacks the full fairing and double-disc front brakes. However, for the most part both models are almost identical. It has the comfortable and upright ergonomics of a standard bike rather than the hunched-over layout of the 250 R, which is a little too aggressive for a 250-cc bike. The air-cooled V-Twin engine gets dual overhead cams and fuel injection, along with a five-speed manual transmission. It delivers 24 horsepower and around 15 lb-ft of torque. With a 56.5-inch wheelbase and 375-pound wet weight, the bike has the size and weight of some 600-cc bikes. In a lot of ways, the 2011 Hyosung GT feels like a much bigger machine than it actually is. The wheelbase is the longest among 250-cc bikes, and the seat height of 32.7 inches is not suitable for short riders. Of course, these attributes make the 2011 Hyosung GT a lot more attractive to taller rider because it is very spacious and provide a comfortable riding position. The neutral footpeg position that is just slightly rearward from the saddle, and taller riders get a pleasant and easy position.
The performance of the 2011 Hyosung GT 250 is very similar to that of the 250 R. For a 250-cc machine, the bike offers a decent amount of torque at low revs to get great acceleration from standstill. Most of the power is available until 9000 rpm, after which the engine struggles a bit before giving out a big push a little after 10,000 rpm. The primary balance of the 90-degree V-Twin engine is perfectly tuned, so vibration is relatively low. All this translates to some great street performance. However, the long-travel throttle requires the rider to twist it hard and far before hitting the end. With just 24 horsepower in play, this much throttle travel can become very troublesome when darting through traffic and between cars.
The 2011 Hyosung GT 250 falls behind its R sibling in terms of braking too. The 250 R comes with double discs, but the 250 still delivers enough stopping performance with its single discs. Cornering around tight bends is not as good with the 2011 Hyosung GT as it is with its competitors. It fails to give riders the confidence when leaning over very far back because the front end lacks feel. This is partly due to the tires that come with the bike. The handlebars are great, but the only sign that they are reaching the limit is a noticeable amount of flex from the tires and the frame. Overall, the 2011 Hyosung GT 250 delivers impressive performance that is in line with other competitors, and it helps that the bike is marginally cheaper. Short riders and those who lack enough muscle power may struggle with the bike, but it is worth a look.