Suzuki, the Japanese motorcycle maker, began operations as a part of the famous Japanese silk industry, way back in 1909. Later, they moved on to making compact cars in the latter half of 1930s. After the Second World War, they had to go back to making loom (related to the cotton industry) and met significant success. However, the cotton market collapsed in Japan in the early 50s and Suzuki had to go back to the business of selling passenger cars. In 1952, they made their first-ever motorcycle by fitting an internal combustion engine on a bicycle. The rest as we know is history!
Today, Suzuki has become a major powerhouse globally in passenger cars and is the 3rd largest motorcycle seller in Japan. Models from the legendary Hayabusa to the iconic GSX-R models have graced the walls of many enthusiasts as posters.
The company began its innings in India with collaborations with a local manufacturer. They later became an individual entity owned fully by the parent Japanese company and followed the tried and tested bottom-up approach. However, its 100 cc motorcycles did not pick up sales. Neither did the butter smooth GS150 with its 6-speed gearbox. However, it was only after the launch of the 155 cc Gixxer family that volumes started showing encouragement.
Suzuki TU 250X - Possible Royal Enfield challenger in the making
This retro-styled Suzuki TU 250X is a hidden gem in their global line-up. It flaunts plenty of chrome with its tapered exhaust, circular headlamp and instrumentation and oval tail lamp. TU 250X has the capability to take you back to an era when motorcycles were simple and didn’t flaunt sharp cuts. Add to that Japanese reliability and what this Suzuki becomes is a very interesting Royal Enfield challenger.
At the core of the TU 250X is a 249 cc air-cooled, single-cylinder, SOHC mill and has been tuned for strong low-end torque. It uses Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) plated cylinder for improved durability, lightweight and cool running. Besides that, a Pulsed Secondary Air Injection (PAIR) system injects fresh air into the exhaust port to ignite unburned hydrocarbons, thus, further reducing emissions. Mated to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine can produce 19 PS of power and 21 Nm of torque.
The TU 250X utilises conventional fork upfront and twin springs in the rear for suspension duties. Brakes include a disc in the front and a drum setup in the rear. Also, tyres include 18-inchers tube type at both ends with the front getting a 90-section rubber and the rear a 110-section unit. Besides that, the whole package weighs just 148 kg!
Suzuki VanVan 200 - Retro scrambler with a modern touch
One look at the VanVan 200 and you would know that this is one special piece of metal. Its low slung, wide seat presents an inviting aura. The rounded headlamp, tiny yet usable 6.5-litre fuel tank has a huge retro appeal. However, the chunky wheels, a high positioned exhaust muffler and a high ground clearance of 220 mm incite you to take the road not taken.
Powering the VanVan 200 is a 199 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine assisted by an oil cooler. It has a simple SOHC layout. The fuel-air mixture, however, is controlled by a fuel injector. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the VanVan 200's engine offers 16 PS of power and 15 Nm of torque. The bike tips the scales at 128 kg. Its brakes include a disc in the front and a drum unit in the rear.
Besides that, the motorcycle has a very accessible seat height of 770 mm. It is suspended over standard telescopic forks up front and a monoshock in the rear. The steel wheels are wrapped in an 18-inch tyre with a 130-section profile (front)/a 14-inch tyre with a 180-section profile (rear). The VanVan 200 features rubber backed wide footpegs and tall wide handlebar.
Suzuki GSX-R125 - Legacy boy in a compact package
While the first two motorcycles have been all about retro love, this motorcycle is all about Suzuki’s sporty legacy. For over 30 years the GSX-R family has been setting the pulse racing across the world. The Suzuki GSX-R125 is the Hamamatsu’s answer to entry-level sports biking. Compact and sharp design aside, the GSX-R125 uses its MotoGP learnt ‘gyaan’ for budding riders.
The motorcycle gets a 124.4 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected DOHC mill. Coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can produce 15 PS of power at a high 10,000 rpm. The peak torque of 11 Nm comes at 8,000 rpm. The powerplant traces its origins to the GSX-R600 and uses an over-square design, with a larger bore and a shorter stroke. Also, the cylinder bore is plated with Suzuki’s own race-proven nickel-phosphorus-silicon-carbide bore coating known as SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material). This not only keeps the weight under check but reduces friction and dissipates heat easily.
The GSX-R125 features keyless ignition, Suzuki Easy Start System and an LCD instrument cluster. The suspension system uses a telescopic fork in the front and a monoshock in the rear. Brakes include petal discs at both ends. However, the whole package weighs just 134 kg and has an 11-litre fuel tank.
Suzuki V-Strom 250 - The answer to India’s growing demand for ADVs
Of all the motorcycles in this list, the Suzuki V-Strom 250 is my personal favourite. A full-bodied tourer which can come out unscathed after a light off-roading session. Traditional family lineage has been maintained by the designing team. Besides that, the tried and tested quarter-litre engine delivering maximum acceleration performance at speeds between 20 km/h to 90 km/h.
Pumping life in the V-Strom 250 is a 248 cc liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder, SOHC engine. Fitted with a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can squeeze out 24 PS of power and 22 Nm of torque. This no-nonsense engine is housed in a package accentuated with a protruding beak in the front, a large flashlight shaped headlamp and a 160 mm ground clearance.
Key features of the Suzuki V-Strom 250 include an LCD instrument cluster, DC mobile charger, compact windscreen and side case attachment capabilities. Also, the bike has a large 17.3-litre fuel tank and a kerb weight of 188 kg. Brakes include petal discs all around and standard telescopic fork/monoshock-based suspension setup.
Suzuki SV650 - Stylish middleweight V-twin
Who doesn’t love middleweights, especially if it looks as beautiful as the Suzuki SV650! The protruding truss pipe frame flaunts the V-twin mill. The motorcycle has been winning the hearts of riders all over the world since 1999 and its high time that Indians finally get to ride it!
Powering the SV650 is a 645 cc V-twin, DOHC, liquid-cooled mill. Coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can produce 76.1 PS of power and 64 Nm of torque. The engineers at Suzuki have given the bike an irregular firing interval for a characteristic exhaust note. Besides that, the bike has a low rpm assist which makes it a breeze to ride in city traffic.
The SV650 features dual LED tail lamps, LCD instrument cluster with 6-step adjustable backlight and Suzuki Easy Start System. The suspension setup includes right side down 41 mm telescopic fork up front and a link-type monoshock in the rear. Braking duties are overseen by twin 290 mm discs in the front and a 240 mm disc in the rear. The seat height is pegged at an accessible 785 mm while the kerb weight stands at 198 kg.