Upcoming 250 cc motorcycles in India and the world

The next two months will be the modern day equivalent of golden age for 250 cc motorcycles with several new models and upgrades on card

26th Sep 2019
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The quarter-litre 250 cc motorcycle segment has been suffering a lack of interest for the past few years. However, the market is slowly getting back to its full potential. India is undergoing the revival with affordable yet sporty products like the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 and Gixxer 250. In fact, even Royal Enfield is working on a product with the same engine displacement. Other ASEAN markets though are moving to more performance-oriented quarter-litre motorcycles. Here are 5 upcoming 250 cc motorcycles both in India and the world:


Royal Enfield 250

Royal Enfield Bullet 350


Eicher owned Royal Enfield has been hit hard by the ongoing slowdown in its domestic market. After rising from less than 50,000 units a year to more than 50,000 units a month, the company has been experiencing major drop in sales for the past 7 straight months! To beat this slump, the company recently unveiled more affordable variants of Royal Enfield Bullet 350 and Royal Enfield Classic 350. Several media reports suggest that they will go even down the displacement range and introduce a 250 cc Royal Enfield.


The Royal Enfield 250 cc model is believed to be in development at the company’s R&D facility in Chennai. Precious little is known about the motor. However, it may be based on the 346 cc air-cooled unit seen in the Royal Enfield Bullet 350. In its present tune, the engine produces 20.07 PS of power and 28 Nm of torque. Gearbox is a 5-speed unit. However, we would love to see Royal Enfield to move from a pushrod-based architecture to an overhead cam based one.


A small-capacity, Royal Enfield 250 will allow the company to retail the bike at a more affordable price point. To give you a better perspective, the cheapest model in Royal Enfield’s portfolio is the Bullet 350 with a sticker price of INR 1.12 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). However, this is a BS-IV compliant model. The new Royal Enfield 250 will be BS-VI complaint and may be priced just around the INR 1 lakh mark.


Suzuki Intruder 250

Suzuki Intruder


The newly introduced Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 and Gixxer 250 are receiving rave review from critics and enthusiasts alike. The ball is now in the court of the sales and marketing team to make them a success. The R&D team though is busy developing their next 250 cc motorcycle, the Suzuki Intruder 250. This new quarter-litre motorcycle will share much of the design elements of the Intruder 155 and merge it with the heart of the Gixxer SF 250.


Keeping unconventional looks aside, the Suzuki Intruder 250 will be powered by the same 249 cc single-cylinder, oil-cooled, SOHC engine. The Japanese manufacturer has developed a special oil-cooling system which takes lesser space than the conventional liquid-cooling. In its present tune, the engine produces 26.5 PS of power and 22.6 Nm of torque. Expect the Suzuki Intruder 250 to be BS-VI complaint from launch, which is expected to be at Auto Expo 2020.


Suspension duties of the upcoming Suzuki Intruder 250 will be taken care of by conventional telescopic for up front and a monoshock in the rear. The setup will be in the same state of tune in the Gixxer 250s, just as the Intruder 155 is to the old Gixxer 155. Other features will include disc brakes at both ends, dual channel ABS, digital instrumentation and LED headlamp. We expect the Suzuki Intruder 250 to carry a sticker price around INR 1.8 lakhs.


Yamaha MT-25

Yamaha MT-15


The folks at Yamaha sure do know how to make comfortable everyday motorcycles in every segment. Take the Yamaha MT-25 for example, it combines sportiness and comfort to create the perfect brew. Based on the Yamaha R25, the street naked MT-25 is due for a major mechanical and cosmetic update. The new Yamaha MT-25 will gain new upside-down fork up front and an all-digital instrumentation console.


Powertrain is expected to be the same 250 cc in-line, twin-cylinder engine coupled to a 6-speed gearbox. In its present iteration, this engine produces 36 PS of power and 23.6 Nm of torque at the crank. Yamaha is expected to add a slipper clutch to make gearshifts smoother. Besides that, the word on the street is that the new Yamaha MT-25 will get a new ECU which is more advanced that the one in the R25. The headlamp will be a new LED unit similar to the one seen in the MT-15 pictured above.


All these changes will also trickle down to MT-25’s sibling Yamaha MT-03 (based on the R3). The new MT-25 is expected to break cover at EICMA 2019 in November. India will not get the MT-25 but interest is certainly seen for the bigger engine Yamaha MT-03! The latter will be a BS-VI/Euro 5 compliant mill, depending on the market.


Kawasaki ZX-25R

Kawasaki ZX-6R


A Kawasaki 4-pot quarter-litre has been on the cards for the better part of a decade now. While this may not be in the same aggressive performance maniac as the erstwhile 2-stroke 4-cylinder, quarter-litres, the DNA will be similar. In fact, the upcoming Kawasaki ZX-25R is rumoured to have a performance output of around 60 PS! A less powerful variant with a power output of 45-46 PS is also on cards.


A four-cylinder 250 cc motorcycle means that the engine will run significantly smoother than a standard twin or single with the same displacement. Besides that, this engine layout will also help in better heat dissipation. Also, we expect the Kawasaki ZX-25R to be loaded to the gills with riding aids. These might include ride by wire, traction control and riding modes. Even Variable Valve Actuation is on cards. However, a slip and assist clutch is expected to be a standard addition to the 6-speed gearbox.


Suspension system will include upside-down fork in the front and a monoshock in the rear. We would love to see some levels of adjustability at both ends. Oh, and you would need that, because you would want everything to be perfect when your engine is redlining at a high of 20,000 rpm. Official unveil is expected at Tokyo Motor Show next month.


However, there is a small catch here. Okay not a small but rather an elephant sized one. The Kawasaki ZX-25R may not be introduced in India anytime soon. And even if it does, expect it to be priced in the sub 600-650 cc territory (above INR 6 lakhs)!


Honda CBR250RR

Honda CBR250RR


Honda took everyone with surprise when they introduced the Honda CBR250RR in Indonesia a few years back. However, the motorcycle’s availability will be limited to a few ASEAN markets and Japan. All that may change now with the updated Honda CBR250RR.


The twin cylinder 250 cc motorcycle is expected to gain a slipper clutch and a smart key with keyless ignition. In its present iteration, the engine produces 38.7 PS of power and 23.3 Nm of torque. A throttle by wire system helps by bringing in riding modes to the party. Yes, the Honda CBR250RR is the first motorcycle in its class to offer riding modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+)!


We expect the upcoming Honda CBR250RR to be fitted with a quick-shifter. However, to save costs, this may be a unidirectional unit. Honda 2Wheelers India though currently has no plans to introduce the Honda CBR250RR in India.

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