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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

I have had a lot of queries over the years regarding missing bike manuals. So it now has its own page with maintenance and related information.  Both Across owner's manual and service manual are now available!  Just follow the links.

Other 250cc motorcycles and Scooters

I have also created a mini-site over the holidays with my opinion on the Across' competitors (eg. ZZR250, GPX250 CBR250RR):
Motorcycle Reviews >250cc

The Across Review

Suzuki Across - GSX250F is a unique motorcycle in the 250 class. No other motorcycle 250 to date has the practicality of this particular bike. Hence it is strange that it is only available as a 250cc.

It's engine is a 248cc DOHC 16 valve 4 cylinder engine featuring a CDI (distributor) unit for the carburettors. It was the only 4 cylinder 250 in Australia until the arrival of the CBR250RR and the Yamaha Zeal. The engine is a 4 stroke unit.


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 !

There are other features on this bike that are not even found on other more expensive bikes. For starters there's full instrumentation, excluding a fuel gauge, but there is a 2 stage fuel light. Although only one bulb ? it lights up when its nearing empty and even brighter when you really should be seeking out a fuel station (orange and then red). My particular version also had a parking light which is activated or turned off again only with the key. The instrumentation also includes a neutral light. There's also a 4 way span adjusting brake lever.
The bike has a manual fuel tap with a reserve setting. Believe it or not I've actually run out of petrol a couple times ! When you do fill up the Across, it also has a electronic fuel lid opener. It's a big red button on the right of the fairing. The fuel lid is on the tail of the bike above the rear brake light and because its very well integrated you'd never know it was there unless you were familiar with the bike. The fuel tank is under the set. The seat is locked down and is unlocked with the usual key.


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 :
The amount of power the engine produces as per the brochure is 45PS or about 33Kw and 25.5Nm worth of torque or about 1Kw for every 8.1Kg based on running weight of 268Kg. (163Kg dry could equal 183Kg fuelled and oiled. Add the rider, say 85Kg on average clothed and the engine is pulling at least 268Kg)

Torque plays an important factor in performance too but to keep this simple only references to Kw are used. As a comparison the Hayabusa claims a dry weight of 215Kg add say 30Kg fuelled and oiled and a 85 Kg rider and the weight all up could be 330Kg but the Hayabusa 1300cc and has 130Kw and 138Nm thus 1 Kw for every 2.5Kg.

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 15.6kg.
Thus in theory the Across should be at almost twice as fast as an Echo ! So some interesting stuff to ponder on at the next dinner party !

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.
Other factors include gear ratios, sprocket, tyre condition, altitude, road conditions, etc.. the list goes on and on. 


Soft but grippy.
The Across is easy to ride !
It handles corners very fast but a bit wollawy.
I never once thought I'd loose it around a corner.
Brakes as I can recall worked well.
Very flickable after riding bigger bikes.


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 the bike.
Note that the speedo cable can come off quite easily even whilst riding. The headlights including high beam are feeble.  Essentially it's very reliable if you look after it.

Major services which include valve clearance shim checks are recommended for this type of bike every 20,000km. Although from experience it depends on how hard you ride the bike. Red-lining all the time means these checks are essential. I heard that some even after 40,000km did not need any adjustment.  Speaking of which, the battery is located under the boot which also needs to be removed to check out the engine.

The Across is susceptible to the choke being clogged. After sitting for awhile the fuel floats also tend to drain making it difficult to start. A few fully throttle turns before starting tends to help things along.

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.

Across Pricing

Pricing of the Suzuki Across
When Available New the Across was an expensive bike.
However it was cheaper than a new Honda CBR250RR. Hence the Across wasn't perceived as premium bike and the runner-up. Having ridden both to be honest there's not much difference in performance or handling on a normal ride.
The CBR250RR may have an advantage on a race track...
The Honda's advantage is that it is a Honda and it looks fantastic.
The color schemes the frame all design all replicate THE then performance bike the CBR900RR Fireblade.  Since the bike is no longer available new and the latest changes to the licensing laws means 250cc are no longer the only choice for new riders (In some Australian States anyhow) and the availability of grey-import have effected the prices you can pay.
Queensland appears to be the best place to purchase a used Across.
The choice is quite amazing.  $3500 - onwards.
Since there is so much choice that some dealers offer a starter pack with helmets and jackets etc.. thrown in. 

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.
Why did I sell it? I moved out of town and wanted a bigger bike so riding in freeway traffic would be easier.

So this it so far. Thanks for visiting. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or want to make a comment !

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.

Suzuki Across Home
Suzuki Across - News & FAQ
Suzuki Across Specifications
Suzuki Across Service manuals
Alternatives - The Competitors
Learner Motorcycle Rider information
LAMS Information
Motorcycle Pictures
Links & Contacts

Brand new Learner motorcycle reviews




 Specifications (SHORT)

 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve
 Liquid cooled
 2 Mikuni BSW27 Carbs
 4 into 1 Exhaust system
 12 litre fuel tank
 Power 33Kw @ 14,5000rpm
 Torque 25.5Nm @ 10,500rpm
 Max Revs 16,500 rpm
 Torque 2.7kgm
 Weight 163kg
 Tubular steel frame box section swing arm
 Gear box 6-speed
 Wet multi-plate clutch
 Chain final drive
 Front tyre : 110-70-17
 Rear tyre : 140-70-17
 Front Suspension : Conventional telescopic forks
 Rear Suspension : Conventional rear shock 7 way 
 adjustable pre-load
 Front Brakes : Dual piston single disc
 Rear Brakes : Single piston
 Seat height : 770mm
 Wheel base : 1390cm
 Approx range on tank : 200-240kms
 ACTUAL range tank to reserve :160 - 200kms
 Top Speed is claimed to be 160kph.
 I have only got 140kph-ish

 Notes and thank you's

 I have had a lot of queries over the years 
 regarding missing bike manuals. I have also 
 discovered that many are Grey Imports (2nd Hand
 from Japan) and do not come with manuals as
 they are in Japanese hence completely useless,
 unless you can read Japanese !!

 Fortunately I now have an electronic copy ! However
 it is a tad large ie 7MBs. Since it is large I may 
 have band width issues, as per the other sites
 which have previously hosted it so if this happens I
 will have to split the pages.  *Thnx Andrew C.

 If you are buying from a dealer just check if you
 could get a photocopy from a bike that has one.
 However be mindful that there may be differences
 between Australian and Japanese versions of the
 Suzuki Across.
 You can check out this site for the owners and
 service manuals !

 Krazy Ivan's GSX250F Maintenance Site (No longer
 available '07). *Thnxs to Adam for sending it and
 Vaungh for the heads up and Krazy Ivan for the
 fab site !

 Andrew C's one:




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All other content Copyright 1999  Peter Lee.