Matthew Forde tests out the V-Strom 250’s pillion carrying capabilities
Coming from a Suzuki Gladius 650, two things struck me near-enough immediately when taking the V-Strom 250 out for a spin; wow, this bike is so comfortable for such a small capacity machine, but damn, does it feel slow. Naturally, it’s a 250, so what was I expecting? The reality is that when I’ve been whipping down the A46 on my daily commute to work, I’ve quickly come to realise how effortless the whole ordeal has become.
Sitting at 60mph is hassle-free, even if sometimes I like to test the engine and push it to 75-plus. Although, the RPM limiter light will quickly remind me that I’m not on a big adventure bike and need to ease off.
Apart from how spacious the Strom is, the biggest compliment I feel I can give is how favourable on fuel the bike is. Being able to top up for less than £20 and getting over 300 miles in return is an exchange I’m more than happy to be a part of. One Sunday afternoon, I convinced my girlfriend to come for a ride on the V-Strom.
I’ve never carried a pillion before and she’s never been one, so it was a fun if not a nerving proposition for the both of us. Within minutes, I completely forgot that she was there (don’t worry, I checked to make sure she hadn’t fallen off), and after a good few miles pulled up to check she hadn’t been scarred for life by the experience.
Thankfully, we were both happy, so after 25 minutes of riding around our local area to get comfortable, we set out to explore. We both complimented how comfortable the bike was, alongside noting that there was enough room to fit someone double her size – at 5’7 and around 10 stone, she is rather slim mind (I’ll get some bonus points for that later).
The grab handles felt well-sized and positioned, while the footpegs could have managed better if only a few inches further back. Occasionally her feet would brush the back of mine – even if I didn’t notice.
The only downside I’ve really concerned myself with is the Grand Tourer Accessory pack, which consists of a 23-litre top box and two 20-litre panniers. While they’re big enough to carry the essentials, you’d be hard pushed to get them to carry everything you’d need for a week-or-more tour into Europe.
After proving to my girlfriend that the V-Strom is not out to kill her, I’m now hoping to get out to the Cotswolds for some green laning to properly see how this baby will handle the gentler offroad trails. Fingers crossed I, and the bike, come back in one piece.