Bike Rider Magazine’s resident old bugger finds his spectacles and takes a look at one of Suzuki’s latest offerings.

Words & pics: Captain Slow

The nearly all-new 2023 Suzuki V-STROM 250SX is a bike that Slow has been warming to ever since word of its development and release was announced by Suzuki in early 2022. 

The smallest of Suzuki’s V-STROM lineup, the “WEE-STROM as some wags have dubbed it, is further evidence of multiple things. Firstly, there’s an ever-increasing interest in smaller capacity “Adventure” genre bikes. And, to borrow a line from Led Zeppelin, that “the song remains the same” in that the motorcycling world which has featured small capacity single-cylinder machines with both on and off-road ability going back to well before WW2. Post-war, the theme was echoed in the Honda CL and Suzuki TC Street Scramblers of the 1960s and the Honda SL and Suzuki TS Trail Bikes of the 1970s. With the V-STROM 250SX, Suzuki has simply blessed the modern-day motorcycle world with more of the same, so in an era where we may be heading for motorcycles powered by electricity rather than a lovely sequence of controlled internal explosions, this machine may well become quite a seminal marker of just how good things were…in fact still are!

So, market direction musing aside, here we have a modern machine that features the same engine and 6-speed transmission as Suzuki’s street-orientated GSX250R that’s been with us since 2019. So there are no fears that the donk is in any way unknown or might suffer from “first model” soft spots. 

This is an engine and rolling frame that will go all day, with the rider being the only limitation to just how far a person might travel. Given the owner reports coming out of India, where the 250SX is both manufactured and sold in large numbers*, the word is that distances being travelled by the DS250RLM3, (Suzuki’s official model designation for this bike), are anything but tiny and that the roads being gobbled up by the bike vary from smooth highways to rough alpine tracks. 

Having said that, while you could comfortably ride any road you liked in NZ from North Cape to Bluff on the 250SX, many will buy this bike as a nifty commuter that will purr and zip all day around town, sit comfortably at motorway speeds, and more than comfortably handle a bit of unsealed road on the way out to the weekend bach or your uncle’s farm for a bit of quiet off-road hooning.

The bike is “featured as it needs to be,” including a handy USB port, is physically large enough to accommodate lanky Kiwis, lightweight, ergonomically sound, and economical (3 litres/100km) on a still tight test bike with less than 100 km on its odo. It’s well mannered in the handling and braking departments with the now mandatory ABS technology to keep mother happy, a bit of an eye-catcher, and, above all, it’s affordable!

At $6999.00 + ORC, it’s almost a crazy low price for a bike with this pedigree and range of capabilities, and I don’t doubt for a minute that Suzuki NZ will struggle to keep up with demand for these little beauts. So if you’re a schoolboy wanting a cool LAMs bike to turn Sarah’s head and help you fly through your Ride Forever coaching sessions in style, an old bugger who appreciates the ease and undemanding traits of ownership associated with a lightweight bike, or a savvy in-betweener who just wants a piece of a good thing, come and get it! 

In fact, trying to comprehensively describe this machine involves a significantly large word “salad”. Quiet, vibration-free (remarkably so for a 250 single potter), vice-free (mild attempts at trying to get the bike to shake its head simply resulted in the thing immediately tracking arrow straight and true again), sophisticated, comfortable, powerful enough for the task and with a price (at the risk of repeating myself) that is extremely accessible, especially to those looking at financing a purchase. This is genuinely a bike that will do the industry a favour by dragging fresh riders into the fraternity.

Suzuki V-Strom 250SX review

Downsides? Trying to find fault with this bike is a bit of a tough assignment. The seat height is marginally on the high side, but even that is countered by slight adjustments in the rider’s stationary mode style to the point that it becomes a non-issue. And there is a lower seat as a factory accessory option. The rear suspension could be improved by having the pre-load fettled with but is not a showstopper. Long-term owners may look for a shock upgrade, but that’s one of those finessing nuances that motorcycle aficionados will not infrequently tend to do. 

Many thanks to the team at Avon Suzuki in Christchurch, including GM Steve and sales legend Eliot for the loan of the bike pictured. Also, thanks and congratulations go to Suzuki (Motorcycles) NZ’s GM, Simon Meade, for always being available to provide candid and useful answers to queries about this and other Suzuki models before and after they come to market.

Suzuki V-STROM 250SX
Price: $6,995 + ORC

249cc 4-stroke, oil-cooled, SOHC, 1-cylinder

Bore x Stroke  
76.0 mm x 54.9 mm


Fuel System    
Fuel Injection

Starter System

Overall Length (mm)  

Overall Width (mm)   

Overall Height (mm)  

Wheelbase (mm)         

Ground Clearance (mm)         

Seat Height (mm)       

Curb Mass (kg)           

Suspension – Front      
Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped

Suspension – Rear       
Swingarm type, coil spring, oil damped

Brakes – Front
Disc, single

Brakes – Rear  

Tyre – Front    
100/90-19M/C 57S, tubeless

Tyre – Rear      
140/70-17M/C 66S, tubeless

Fuel Tank Capacity (L)