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The Suzuki Across GSX250F Review
Welcome to my Suzuki Across review page. I wrote this website as a tribute to all the fun times I had with my first real motorcycle. Searching the web for Across sites proved fruitless (back in 99/00) hence so many riders may be missing out on what is a great first motorcycle! So I have compiled a list features, problems, quirks, comfort about the Suzuki GSX250F Across. Since I don't sell anything so there is no motive to convince you to buy one this is just my story. I hope it's useful and enjoyable.
With the introduction of the Learner Approved Motorcycles Scheme (LAMS) in most Australian states you can now consider a motorcycle over 250cc - see this site for more information and links: LAMS
Service Manual - Maintenance - Brochure
Other 250cc motorcycles and Scooters
The Across Review
What makes this particular bike special
is it integrated storage area which is
located where the fuel tank is normally
located on a bike. The tank has the capacity
to carry a XL full-faced helmet with space
to spare and a max load of 10kgs. The tank
lid is electro-magnetically opened via the
ignition switch, turned fully to the right.
In essence it's a lockable boot. The tank is
fully lined and rubber sealed to prevent
water from getting in. Believe it or not
there's also a compartment light ! which
comes on when you open it !
The Across is one of the more expensive 250s (when available new) in Australia. Justified by the level of equipment. My bike was second hand and despite that it still looked 'new'. Looking at new ones the quality is reasonable. It certainly needs an update in certain areas soon, as the instruments for example are dating pretty badly, apart from that it still looks up to date. The full fairing is thick and hard wearing. The frame is tabular steel. The headlights are still made of glass. The bike weighs in at 163 kgs. Thus it would take much to make it lighter that's for sure.
The Across is a big comfortable 250. Upright riding position, however the seat is a tad hard. It's a large 250 and many who don't know what it is will ask what capacity it is. First time riders will think is feels big. It's a reasonable low bike and shorter people will have no problems sitting on it. It's even got room for a pillion, however I would hesitate to guess the drop in performance. I never had a pillion on the Across.
Mechanically, the Across is robust. It even has a electronic controlled (CDI) carburetors. Very unusual for its time. Performance is leisurely especially under 7500rpm. Yes 7500rpm. The bike revs out to 16,500 rpm. Take off with 7000 on the clock and its quite zippy. Why ? the power seemed to step up at these revs. Certainly a match for any Aussie V8, bar the fastest ones of course. You won't be embarrassed by a Harley ! In essence its pretty surprising for a 250. Cruising can be done at 100km at 10,500 rpm. I loved the way it screams along ! Engine vibes are fine ! Gearbox is very slick.
Performance figures : Sorry everyone but I
don't have any figures for the Across. But
in order to be more informative I have
written the following :
In comparison to a normal 1300cc car (They
don't make 250cc cars unfortunately.) Say
the Toyota Echo (1299cc) 63Kw 122Nm 850 dry
- fuelled and oiled (50kg) with driver
(85Kg) 985Kg all up say 1Kw for every
Here are some of the factors that effect the performance of any bike; these factors are more applicable to the lower capacity bikes than the larger ones as there is much less power to spare.
Weight : The bike and rider weight combine to limit the performance of the Across. 163Kg dry could equal 183Kg fuelled and oiled. Add the rider say 85Kg on average clothed and the engine is pulling at least 268Kg. Hence lower performance.
Engine condition : The engine's condition is an important consideration. A well maintained bike will always go faster than one which is not looked after. Manufacturing tolerances will also effect the final figure.
Type of fuel : Through my own experiences higher octane petrol will certainly make the bike feel more responsive, whether it has ultimate performance effect I don't really know.
Environment : A cool dry day will no wind
will certainly help those figures.
Soft but grippy.
Any problems with the Across? The good
thing about the bike
is it's parts compatibility with other Suzuki
models. Like the switch gear and the levers
which are interchangeable with the 2-stroke RGV ! Rear mirrors can even be sourced from
any GSX-R ! So parts can be very cheap. Eg.
New clutch lever for under $10. There are no
known consistent mechanical problems with
Apart from that only the usual motorcycle and age related problems will occur.
THOSE decals. What one earth does
New Urban Sports and the X913 mean ???
Almost forgot, the Across sounds and looks
like a much bigger bike. The rear brake
light looks really el-cheapo rectangular
thing. My version had the oval shaped one
which was infinitely better looking.
Pricing of the Suzuki Across
Why did I choose the Across?
To be honest I must have spent 6 months deciding on which bike to get. At the time there was the GPX250, ZZR250, CBR250RR. All sporty looking fully faired type bikes. Eventually it was down to specifications. The Across looked big, had lots of features especially the boot and was the most powerful in the class. All 250s are inherently reliable as their engines have been unchanged and made for at least a decade hence not a consideration unless you get a dud one.
I sold the Across a few years back for a GSX-R600. Although when I see an Across it will also remind me of great times I had with mine.
It's only a 250 but the package as a whole
makes it a pretty good choice.
Summary and about grey's or imports
So what have you decided? To be honest I didn't make this site to convince you to get the Across. It is merely information to help you make up your mind - the decision is yours.
A question that pops up every so often, since the bike is no longer available new is whether to purchase a 'Grey import' or a locally delivered (insert your country) bike.
A grey import is a used bike from overseas - in Australia's case probably Japan. They've been doing for years eg. Skylines, Silvas, Supras and the ubiquitous SC400 or Soarer! So what do I think? (This is mainly for Australian buyers) 250's of this vintage where 1st bikes for many riders so they've no doubt copped a lot of abuse. A local bike may have had many, many owners over the years and generally for 12 months - obviously. In that time they've probably suffered a lot hence maintenance history is critical. Lets face it it will have been dropped at least once but probably more ! Furthermore I don't think that many where sold due to its marginally higher price compared to the others but as you can see totally justified.
Again for Australian buyers the competition at the time was limited only the Kawasaki 'twins' where available locally. The Honda CBR-RR was only available for a short time - I think... And since the Honda was worth over $10,000 on the road new there weren't many sold. Considering any 600 was around $12,000 you can see why !
In many countries 250cc's are the bees knees and considered 'big' bikes. So many are well kept. That said many come from Japan and 250cc - I believe are considered a good size. So they are generally in reasonably good condition. Mind you the same issues apply to these bikes as the local ones. Needless to say importers wouldn't risk importing a dud?
Remember service support is critical if you and the bike are going to get along. So I suggest finding a good servicing dealer first ! And remember that the engine in the 250 bandit available until 2003 was essentially the same. That said most of the imports come through Queensland - due to legislative !
So my opinion? If you can find a good local
bike go for it. If you find a good import go
for it too! You have just as much chance as
getting a good or bad one either way.
4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve
Notes and thank you's
I have had a lot of queries over the
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All other content Copyright © 1999 Peter Lee.