Suzuki plans to get in the small displacement sportbike game in the United States with its new GSX-250R Katana, confirmed today for release in the US as a 2018 model. It’s expected to arrive in dealerships this coming April.
Among the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, Suzuki was the only marque without an entry in this segment in the North American market. When it announced the model in early November during this year’s EICMA show in Milan, there was no indication whether that status would change or not. Suzuki held its cards until later in the month, deciding to unveil its plans for North American market release until the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show.
The six-speed GSX-250R is powered by a 248cc Parallel Twin, the same displacement and configuration found in the GW250 standard-style motorcycle already available in the US. Company reps assure us that changes to the engine yield five-more horsepower than the GW250, however. That would put the GSX-250R in the low 30s, in terms of horsepower.
Suzuki designed the cam profile to optimize low-speed acceleration while the cylinders, piston rings and head are built to minimize friction. The engine also comes with revised intake valves for better airflow and emissions and projected tip spark plugs to enhance combustion. Spent gasses flow through a 2-into-1 exhaust system.
A telescopic KYB fork and KYB shock soak up bumps on the GSX-250R, and petal-type discs are pinched front and rear to bring the machine to a stop. ABS will also be available.
The cockpit features a reverse-lit LCD instrument panel with all the essential information such as fuel gauge, speedometer, odometer, gear position and more.
Clip-on handlebars complement the sporty nature of the bike, which was designed to embody the idea of “the urban athlete.” Suzuki describes the “urban athlete” as aggressive and futuristic, but also with a comfortable ride position that allows for extended rides.
Suzuki will present the GSX-250R in three color variations, a Pearl Nebular Black, Pearl Glacier White No.2 or a Metallic Triton Blue No. 2. There’s no definite MSRP, but Suzuki does confirm price point will be less than five-grand.