The Suzuki V-Strom 250 is an ideal commuter, but does it have any merit as a tourer? Bryn Davies finds out…
It’s been four months since I welcomed Suzuki’s baby V-Strom to the ABR stable and in that time, I’ve been trying to answer the question ‘why?’. By this I mean, why would you buy a small capacity adventure motorcycle over a large or mid-capacity bike? In the last issue of ABR, I expressed just how adept the Strom is when it comes to commuting. It’s easily manoeuvrable and the 80+mpg makes it economically viable.
But what about if you’re not looking for a commuter? What has the V-Strom 250 got to make it appeal as a tourer or your weekend warrior steed? This takes a bit more thinking. It’s safe to say, if your touring style sees you take in motorway miles, the baby Strom isn’t going to cut it – redlining while struggling to keep up with even the slowest traffic just isn’t fun.
Despite this, there is a certain charm in selecting ‘avoid motorways’ on your SatNav, and the V-Strom 250 is at home on the smaller, slower-paced country roads where it pays to chill out and enjoy the scenery. That’s not to say you can’t get a thrill out of riding this machine, but it’s not going to blow your socks off and leave you grinning from ear to ear.
From a comfort perspective, the bike performs well. Though it may be slightly cramped for the taller amongst us (at 6’2 it’s a little on the small side), the saddle makes long days on the road comfortable, and the seating position is, by and large, spot on for touring. If you’re serious about munching miles on this baby though, I’d invest in either a better screen or a spoiler to reduce wind buffeting.
If you want to really get the bike set up for adventure, then you’ll want to add the Grand Tourer Accessory Pack, which adds £999 on the price of the bike. For this you get a 23-litre top box, 40 litres of pannier storage, a centre stand, and hand guards. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the quality of these accessories, and they certainly open up possibilities of long-distance touring.
That said, throw in the luggage and you’re now looking at £5,598 for a 250cc bike, and when you consider that the Benelli TRK 502 X, which we reviewed here, is just £5,499, you really have to wonder whether the novelty of plodding along is worth it.