2009 Suzuki TU250X Review

2009 Suzuki TU250X
Photo © A. Wyckoff

The Bottom Line

An affordable and easy to ride starter motorcycle with a near-ideal blend of user-friendliness, performance, and comfort.

Manufacturer's Site


  • Classic looks, fuel-injected modernity
  • Saddle is comfortable and 30.3 inches tall, accomodating inseam-challenged riders
  • Smooth running engine achieves 82 mpg, city


  • Taller riders might prefer a larger bike
  • Rear drum brake isn't as advanced as disc units
  • Unavailable in California, due to the lack of a CARB-spec evaporative fuel canister


  • Price: $3,799
  • Air-cooled 249cc single-cylinder engine, five-speed transmission
  • Front suspension: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
  • Rear suspension: Coil spring, oil damped
  • Front brake: dual-piston disc
  • Rear brake: drum
  • Curb weight: 328 pounds
  • Fuel capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • Fuel economy: 82 mpg
  • Seat height: 30.3 inches

Guide Review - 2009 Suzuki TU250X Review

If you're a beginning rider or simply looking for a small-displacement, fuel-efficient bike, our list of 10 Great First Motorcycles has everything from scaled down cruisers to supermotos, and even one fully-faired sportbike. The most affordable-- and the only standard-style example in the bunch-- is Suzuki's TU250X, which will set you back a mere $3,799.

Suzuki's retro ride not only has premium looking chrome details and paintwork, it's powered by a single-cylinder 249cc powerplant with electronic fuel injection, not a carburetor. Hop onto the low 30.3 inch tall saddle, and the cockpit view offers a large speedometer and relatively upright handlebars, along with a low fuel light and neutral indicator. It's a simple setup, but these basics are consistent with the bike's style-- and it's really all you need. The TU also happens to look like a scaled down Triumph Bonneville, and the resemblance certainly helps boosts its street cred.

The TU250X is user friendly, from the light clutch and manageable throttle to the slick, positive shifter and its low curb weight of 328 pounds. Though leg posture might feel somewhat compact for taller riders, I'm 5'11" and found the bike's upright, relaxed ergonomics rather comfortable over long hauls; for reference, here's a picture of me at the controls.

I piloted the TU250X over a variety of types of roads, and found that it to be surprisingly enjoyable and entertaining across the board. Long stretches of superslab in Orange County revealed a smooth ride and stable handling, while aggressive canyon carving along Decker Canyon Road in Malibu proved the diminutive Suzuki could hang with buddies who were riding middleweight sportbikes like they were stolen. Even the brakes-- despite an arcane rear drum setup-- handled the steep downhills well, thanks in part to the bike's low weight.

Back in the city, the TU250X also played the part of stylish urbanite surprisingly well. I knew this bike was unique when a rider in the beach community of Santa Monica rolled up on a Honda VTX1800 and asked me about my ride. The guy was a serious enthusiast with an eclectic collection including a Harley-Davidson V-Rod Street Rod, a BMW K1200S, a Honda 919, and a Honda CB350. In fact, the TU's handlebar finish and bend impressed him so much, he later ordered it for his CB350, and was pleased with the result.

It's easy to park the Suzuki TU250X after a long day of riding and feel you've enjoyed more than a mere "starter bike"; though its physical proportions are diminutive, the TU250X is a lot of motorcycle, especially considering its low price. For those reasons, Suzuki's TU250X offers a near perfect blend of approachability and capability that's affable enough to put a smile on the faces of first time and advanced riders alike.

Manufacturer's Site

Disclosure: A review motorcycle was loaned by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.