Bryn Davies welcomes the newest member of the ABR test fleet, the little Suzuki V-Strom 250.
Good things come in small packages is a saying that’s allowed men around the world to rest easy, and now it appears to be having the same effect on motorcycle manufacturers. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the invasion of the small-capacity adventure bikes: BMW has the G310GS, Kawasaki the Versys X-300, it looks as though KTM will be launching a 390 Adventure, and Suzuki has the V-Strom 250.
It is this baby Strom that I’ve had in my garage (comically parked next to my KTM 1290 Super Adventure R) for the past couple of months, and I’ve made it my mission to answer the question, ‘why?’.
By ‘why?’ I mean, why would anyone buy a small capacity adventure motorcycle? Were it under 125cc there would be a definite draw to those riding on L plates, but to ride this 248cc machine you’ll need a full licence. There are some attractive propositions in the 600cc+ bracket that offer a lot of fun, comfort, performance, and feel-good factor, so can a 250cc compete for your cash?
Well, the first reason the 250 Strom would be worth a buy, as I discovered, is that commuting on a 248cc bike makes so much sense. Initially, I’d been riding in on the KTM, and while every morning and evening was an adrenaline-filled rally raid through the streets of Stratford upon Avon, I was getting a better MPG in my Nissan Qashqai, and lugging the beast out of my garage every morning was a bit of a pain.
When I made the switch to the Strom it was as though a weight had been lifted. Like the other small capacity adventure bikes I’ve ridden, this bike doesn’t tempt you with licence-losing power, and you can just sit back in the saddle, enjoy the ride and allow yourself to experience the sensations of riding, something that’s more than welcome on the way home from a stressful day in the office.
Not only is the power easier to handle, but the small nature and lightweight of the bike make it easier to live with day-to-day. You can throw it in and out of traffic, and when it comes to pushing it into a cluttered garage, there are few problems.
This is something that translates to off-road performance as well. We’ve tackled a few green lanes on the 250, and it’s such an easy-to-ride, non-threatening bike that helps to take the intimidation of riding on the dirt out of the equation.
One of the biggest draws though is the fact that you can get nearly 90 miles to the gallon out of the baby Strom, and when you combine that with the 17.3-litre tank, you should be getting nearly 340 miles from a single top up, which will cost you around £20.
There are more reasons why you’d buy one, I’m sure, and hopefully I’ll discover those over the next few months.