It was a decade back, in 2004, when the erstwhile Kinetic Hyosung brought the Comet 250cc street bike to our shores. The Comet, while catering to a niche segment, was quick to garner a fan following of sorts and became an obvious choice for many of those who needed to upgrade from their single cylinder Hero Karizma but were not ready to plunge into the world of supersports models. No surprise then that the bike maker found it pretty easy to sell off the rather small batch of 300 bikes it brought to India. While the Kinetic Hyosung venture was short lived and the Korean bike maker next partnered with the Garware Group for its Indian operations, it was only in 2012 when the Korean bike manufacturer decided to initiate its second innings in the quarter litre segment by bringing the Hyosung GT250R to India. The GT250R, equipped with a sufficiently potent Vee Twin motor and a styling package that mimicked the bigger GT650R was quick to establish a fairly strong footing in its segment. In spite of the rather stratospheric price tag (for a 250cc offering), the bike managed to fare pretty well on the sales charts and was quick to become one of the most successful models from Garware-Hyosung.
Hyosung and Garware group, for their own reasons were seen calling it quits after some time. This is when the DSK Group stepped into the picture and bestowed Hyosung’s Indian operations with a much needed shot in the arm. The DSK Hyosung Group was quick to work on its dealership network and even brought some new products/facelifts/limited edition models to us. The Hyosung GT250R Facelift that you see on these pages is a part of DSK Hyosung’s plans to completely revitalize its product portfolio and while this facelift for the GT250R doesn’t bring along any revolutionary changes, it sure injects this stylish 250cc motorcycle with enough botox to bestow it with a sense of freshness.
Recently, we decided to spend a day with the updated motorcycle to find out if the GT250R facelift is sufficiently potent to fend off the heat from the more modern crop of faired 250cc motorcycles. Here’s our 2013 Hyosung GT250R Review for you all —
As we said above, the pre-facelift GT250R was a replica of the GT650R and things don’t change with the advent of the facelift. Akin to the model it replaces, even the new model mimics the styling of the current GT650R and even those with an eye for detail would be a bit hard pressed to tell apart the two bikes from each other. Now, given the fact that the GT650R costs considerably more than its 250cc brethren, the ones looking solely for a ‘big bike look’ would be only happy to bring this bike home. To those who are really interested, the biggest visual difference between the models lies in their end cans. While the mightier 650R gets a beefier end canister, the 250R comes with a sleeker unit that has a slightly ‘aftermarket’ look to it. There’s also some difference in the graphics scheme. Another minor difference we could spot was the absence of temperature read out on the 250R’s digital speedo console. Other than these three really minor changes, the bike looks exactly like the bigger 650R.
Even when viewed in isolation, with comparisons to the GT650R pushed out of the mind, the GT250R looks considerably bigger than its direct rivals. Be it the full sized front fairing, the bulbous fuel tank or that wide rear tyre, every bit of this bike seems to be trying hard to make you believe that you are looking at a litre class model. Compared to the pre-facelift model, the new bike sports a more angular headlight, which continues to comprise of two projector units. The new headlight unit sits directly below the big, clear windscreen. Completing the front fascia are the fairing mounted rear view mirrors on each side.
Moving to the sides, the rather bland surfaces of the front fascia are replaced by some well defined creases and air scoops. The GT250R’s front fairing also consists of blinkers and some neat contrasting graphics, along with the words “GTR” inked on them. In front three-quarter view, this bike manages to impress with its neatly crafted front fairing, along with the wide tyre and twin disc front discs, which seem to have been pilfered from a litre class machine! The bike’s massive fuel tank boasts of some interesting surfaces, all of which further help the rather well built GT250R to look sharp and sporty. The bike’s exposed perimeter frame element and that sharply styled rear section, along with those chunky grab rails, complete the bike’s profile.
The highlight of the bike’s rear end would have to be its taillight, which comprises of 15 Light Emitting Diodes forming a rectangular pattern. Our test bike came equipped with a stylish looking Solfer Exhaust system but more on that later.
Motoroids Rating (Styling) — 9/10. Big bike looks guarantees lot of attention and admiration from other road users. However, GT650R owners might be disappointed.
Much like its styling, the ergonomics of the Hyosung GT250R scream ‘supersports’! While this is surely a good thing for those who wish to play their favourite MotoGP rider on the Hyosung GT250R, the proverbial tourers or those who intend to use this bike for commuting purposes on a regular basis might find the riding posture a tad too committed. The bike has rear set foot pegs and low set clip ons, all of which ensure that the rider crouches enough to be indulging in some impromptu closeness with the fuel tank. Another highlight here is that the saddle height is low enough for even the ‘not so tall’ riders to climb atop the bike quite comfortably.
For the pillion though, it’s a different story altogether . The pillion foot pegs, in typical supersports fashion, are set considerably high and even the seat height is much more than that for the rider. Once seated, the pillion gets a clear view of the road ahead, what with him being perched much higher than the rider. The GT250R comes with chunky looking grab rails, whose shape reminds me of the ones on my TVS Apache RTR. It is fairly easy for the pillion to bend forward and secure himself by gripping the fuel tank.
And lest we forget, the bike comes with adjustable levers, which surely go a long way in helping the rider get comfortable on this bike.
Summing it all up, the Hyosung GT250R’s ergonomics can be best described as sporty and a tad too aggressive. Not exactly a bad thing for those with dreams of apex hunting but this could definitely be a deal breaker for those who’ll need to use this bike for their commuting/touring purposes.
Motoroids Rating (Ergonomics) — 7/10. A mixed bag actually! We love it for the track focused riding stance. And we feel like disliking it during intra-city travel, for the same reason!
Engine and Gearbox
Powering the Hyosung GT250R is a 249cc, Fuel Injected, V-Twin, Oil Cooled engine that has a max power of 27 PS and peak torque of 22 Nm. The GT250R facelift’s engine continues to have a DOHC head with four valves per cylinder. Peak power is produced at 10,000 RPM, with peak torque coming in at around 8000 RPM. While these power figures aren’t a match to those of the mighty Kawasaki Ninja 300, they do seem to make the Hyosung GT250R more potent than a Honda CBR 250R. However, a kerb weight of almost 190 kg means that the acceleration figures are nothing to write home about. The bike feels only a wee bit quicker than a CBR250R and while it can easily hit 100 kmph in less than 11 seconds, this Korean machine is best kept off the drag strips.
Don’t get us wrong, we do rate this engine highly for its smoothness and that linear toque spread, but we would still maintain that the bike lacks the sense of urgency that comes associated with bikes with clothes like these. As we said, the torque delivery is very linear and you don’t need to keep the engine on the boil to make the most of those 27 ponies this Vee-Twin delivers. The smooth nature and high levels of refinement come across as quite a surprise, especially if you consider that we aren’t too happy about the pre-facelift GT650R’s erratic fuel delivery and high levels of vibrations. Talking about the vibrations, the same are conspicuous by their absence on the 250cc sibling, even when you approach the rev-limiter, which is set at 11,500 rpm! The smoothness of the motor, along with well-spaced out gear ratios means that the bike is apt for the occasional ‘sports touring’. We could easily roll at speeds of 50 kmph in fifth gear, with the bike managing to pick up more speed without much hiccups. Even a speedo indicated 100kmph in fifth gear comes at a leisurely 6400 RPM! The five speed gearbox has the traditional one-down, four-up shift pattern and offers smooth shifts, with a false neutral hardly ever thrown in. However, we sorely missed the availability of sixth cog. We feel that the inclusion of the sixth gear would make the bike far more relaxed during high speed cruising.
As we mentioned above, the 250cc heart of the GT250R has a V-Twin layout. Now, in engines like these, the cylinder towards the rear of the bike fails to get as much air flow as the front part and hence, it is not surprising for the engine to heat up a little more than comparable single cylinder or liquid cooled V-Twin engines. No surprise then that feeling the engine heat on the thighs is a rather common affair while riding the GT250R in city traffic. Thankfully though, the heat levels never go unbearably high and its all about getting accustomed for the rider to feel comfy astride this machine.
The Hyosung GT250R test bike provided to us was equipped with an aftermarket, slip on Solfer Exhaust. Other than being high on aesthetic appeal and probably shedding few kilos off the kerb weight, the performance exhaust system does aid the engine performance by a slight margin. We found the bike’s engine revving a tad more freely and boy was that exhaust note pure music to our ears! This exhaust is worth INR 20,000 and can be fitted at the dealership.
Motoroids Rating (Engine and Gearbox) — 8/10. Well spaced out gear ratios and a linear torque delivery means that the GT250R is sufficiently enjoyable in most riding conditions. However, high kerb weight means straight line acceleration is rather ordinary for a 250cc sportsbike.
Ride, Handling and Brakes
Suspension duties on the 2013 Hyosung GT250R are courtesy upside down front forks and a linked type monoshock at the rear. The bike is built around a cradle frame with perimeter elements. The overall soft suspension setup of the bike means ride quality is good and the GT250R absorbs most of the craters our roads are famous for with quite an aplomb. Even the pillion won’t ever complain of his/her spine having to suffer any sort of serious jolts and only the most devastating of potholes/undulations tend to unsettle this machine.
The Hyosung GT250R is a heavy bike, which along with the long wheelbase, blunts the nimbleness to a large extent. Also, the steering isn’t exactly as sharp as you would expect from a bike with sporty aspirations and the GT250R can only dream about changing directions at lightning fast speeds. The bike is really not the sharpest 250cc motorcycle you can buy today. However, all the weight and that long wheelbase bestows the bike with good straight line stability. While it might take quite an effort to throw this machine into a corner, or make mid-corner corrections, track-oriented ergonomics and good weight distribution means the bike feels at home while apex hunting. But let not the ergonomics and aesthetics fool you, this bike is surely much more apt for sports touring than track riding! And did we tell you, U-turns on this bike are a pain in the wrong places?
The GT250R comes with twin 300mm discs upfront and a single 230mm disc at the rear. The GT250R is currently the only bike in its class to come with twin front disc setup. However, let not the twin disc setup fool you, for the brakes on this bike can be best described as adequate. Remember, momentum is directly related to mass? Hence, to force stop this heavy motorcycle, a twin disc setup becomes all the more essential. While the brakes do get the job done, they sure aren’t the best set of brakes in business. Also, lack of ABS means locking of the brakes under hard braking is an issue.
Motoroids Rating (Ride, Handling and Brakes) — 7/10. Nothing mind blowing here. The GT250R isn’t the most modern bike around and it is in these areas that the age shows the most.
The Hyosung GT250R, priced at almost INR 3.40 lakhs (ex showroom), is an expensive piece of machinery for the specs. It is over-weight, it certainly isn’t the quickest and really not the best corner carving tool in its segment. However, no other bike in this segment promises the ‘big bike look’ that comes with the GT250R. Also, the recent facelift ensures that the bike won’t look dated for another couple of years. The smooth nature and adequate power of the Vee-Twin help in making this Korean set of two wheels a decent mile muncher too. On top of everything, DSK’s association has helped Hyosung with improving its after sales performance, which means the brand now offers more peace of mind thank ever before. In terms of looks and ergonomics, this is surely the easiest way to get close to the liter class machines, at a fractional price. Nothing beats this bike when it comes to pose-value. Also, a smooth engine, a sporty riding posture for the occasional track-day, and a decent ride quality means this is easily among the most promising products from DSK Hyosung.
Motoroids Rating (Overall) — 7.5/10.
2013 Hyosung GT250R Review (Image Gallery and Specifications) —
Engine & performance
- Engine Type – 4 Stroke, 8-Valve, DOHC, Oil Cooled, V-Twin 75 Degree
- Engine Displacement(cc)- 249 cc
- Bore- 57 mm
- Stroke- 48.8 mm
- Compression Ratio- 10.2 : 1
- Maximum Power- 27 bhp @ 10000 rpm
- Maximum Torque- 22 Nm @ 8000 rpm
- Starting System- Selft Start
- Gear Box- Constant Mesh 5-Speed
- Clutch -Wet, Multi-Plate
Brakes and Tires
- Front :-Floating Double Discs, 2 Pistons Calipers
- Rear :-Single Disc
- Tyre Size :- Front :-110/70-17 54h; Rear :-150/70-17 69h
- Front :-Upside Down Telescopic ,
- Rear :-Progressive Linkage Hydraulic Mono Suspension