2018 Suzuki GSX250R

Inexpensive, stylish, lightweight—and poky. In other words, a great beginner sportbike.

2018 Suzuki GSX250RCRS

A day late and a few cubic centimeters short, that’s the 2018 Suzuki GSX250R. Arriving after the Honda CBR300R, Kawasaki Ninja 300, and Yamaha YZF-R3, the Suzuki looks just as good but lags somewhat in power. Open-class bikes can afford to give up 50 or even 100cc to the competition and make up the difference in suspension, electronics, or brakes. But not in the tiddler ranks. Whereas strong 300 to 400cc bikes can hit the ton (100 mph), this 248cc parallel twin meets its 10,500-rpm rev limiter at 87 mph. To quote “The River” by Bruce Springsteen: “And man that was all she wrote.”

But is this all bad? Nope! The littlest Katana carries an MSRP low enough to almost qualify as a credit-card purchase. Other positives are reasonably lightweight (claimed 392 pounds.), an ultra-smooth engine, a modest seat height (31.1 inches) with a narrow front that helps newbies and smaller riders get boots on the asphalt at stops, and good fuel economy; on an all-day thrash, we notched 58 mpg.

Likes: Totally non-fussy, easy handling, sips gasoline.

Dislikes: Cramped for tall riders, a slowpoke, freeway-challenged.

Verdict: Pretty fun, but more power please!

2018 Suzuki GSX250R Specs and Pricing

MSRP $4,499
WET WEIGHT 392 lb.