Internationally Suzuki motorcycles sit right at the top of the food chain with their range of sportbikes, which have raw power making every other Japanese motorcycle manufacture feel timid and tamed. But when it comes to India (and developing countries), all motorcycle manufacturers crank down the displacement, offering motorcycles that are more commuter friendly, sometimes a bit exciting to ride. Similarly Suzuki as a brand has their major success with offerings in the scooter segment, they are well built and with better power delivery and torque. Although, in the motorcycle segment, the manufacturer hasn’t set any waves with their products till now, as their offerings are mostly modest and far south from the now growing (and all interesting) power commuter segment. Thankfully the brand hasn’t wasted too much time in realization and launched it latest offering in the form of the all-new Inazuma. The motorcycle is the first CBU offering in its segment from any manufacturer, which might (or might not) prove to be fruitful for the Japanese motorcycle giant.
Build and Style
Like all of the Suzuki range in India, the Inazuma is quite a commendable job. Like all the manufacturers across the word scaling down their flagship motorcycles and fitting them with smaller engines the Inazuma is a scaled down version of the mighty B-King. The large tank and long wheel base makes the motorcycle look larger than the engine it houses.
While the smallish headlight assembly gives the rest of the body a larger outlook, on a whole the motorcycle fits within its proportions. Although, the motorcycle’s styling is more inclined towards a sport touring stance rather than an out and out Streetbike. Looking at the Suzuki from the side, one struggles to find a sporty stance, while from the front, the Inazuma tank with its massive tank scoops look quite meaty.
Suzuki has been developing the 250cc parallel twin specifically for the developing markets where the demand has been noted to be a delicate balance between economy and power. The twin gets fuel injection, liquid cooling, two valves per cylinder and a single overhead camshaft mated to a six-speed gearbox. The engine is butter smooth and linear throughout with long and spaced out gearing. Where the motor suffers to impress is while accelerating.
Comparing it to the CBR250, the motorcycle holds quite similar power torque figures with 24ps at 8500rpm and 22Nm at 6500rpm, while the CBR feels and is much quicker. Unfortunately the Inazuma has to lug around 185kgs of weight, about 20kgs more than the CBR. The extra fat on the Zuma effects its overall performance capabilities, where the 100 from standstill comes in a long 10.56 seconds and the motorcycle is out of breath at a mere 135kmph! That said, the engine is vibration free almost till its top revs. The highways are where the bike really shines, while cruzing constantly at 100kmph plus speeds, the motor is unstressed, offering nothing in terms of vibrations.
As far as covering large distances quickly is concerned, the Inazuma fails to find any rivals in its segment by easily being the smoothest machine out there. The positioning of its handlebars are slightly wider than most would like, again a slight inconvenience in the city but on the highway makes all the sense in the world. Combined with an overall fuel economy of 35kmpl, the Inazuma makes for a perfect highway cruiser that would take you all the way from Pune to Goa (450kms) on a single tank of fuel, with commendable highway speeds all the time.
Ride and Handling
As it is clear from the images, the Inazuma’s wheelbase extends enough for a mid-size human to pass underneath. Apart from being great at limbo parties, the long wheelbase shows off its advantages while cornering at moderate to high speeds. While the speeds that can be carried through corners is quite impressive, the longer wheel based does slow down the ability of the motorcycle to quickly change direction.
The stability is greatly helped by the suspension setup, which is soft enough to absorb the rutty and undulated city roads, while being steady at high speeds on the highways. On slow and medium corners, the Inazuma holds its line well with its decently sized thick rear tyre holding ground. Overall, the motorcycle’s setup is more inclined towards relaxed highway cruzing, burning down the miles and reaching the destination with the least amount of fatigue, and there is no other motorcycle in its segment that could do it better.
The Inazuma is a capable machine. While not being particularly sporty, the motorcycle keeps its claimed properties on priority and delivers bang on. The motorcycle is all about the quality to the test given. Ride quality, build quality and engine refinement are top notch, but if I am the one paying a whopping 3.61lakh (on-road Mumbai) for a 250cc motorcycle, I would rather think twice, maybe thrice to rethink my purpose of purchasing a motorcycle. At that price point, most of the motorcycle enthusiasts in the country long for a performance machine, something that’s fast and aggressive, which gets them through their weekly chores and an adrenaline pumping fast ride over the weekend. The Inazuma doesn’t fit that bill quite well and would find itself to be in a weaker spot when it comes to bagging large numbers in sales.