Groovy And Naked - Three Of Suzuki's 2017 Motorcycles

Calling three 2017 models ‘High on character and low on price’ Suzuki is looking to the motorcycle trend of casual riders wanting affordable, fun riding options for their latest bikes.

Two of the models have Suzuki tapping into its inner-most Austin Powers, they are feeling ‘groovy baby’ and embracing free love, flared pants and everything to do with the care-free seventies. Okay, maybe the Japanese motorcycle manufacturing is just looking back to an era of carefree riding and simple motorcycle styles.

Riders who enjoy the free love part should just consider that as an unexpected bonus.

While most motorcycle manufacturers have rushed to fill, or in some cases create a range of inexpensive motorcycles, Suzuki has long catered to this end of the riding spectrum. In fact, two of the 2017 models aren’t entirely new to the line-up.

What is interesting, these three lightweight and affordable 2017 models draw focus to the growing segment of motorcycle enthusiasts who are best described as casual riders. Riding into the 2017 line-up are the Suzuki VanVan 200, TU250X and GW250, all ready for anyone who wants to expand their motorcycling horizon but doesn’t need a lot of bike in the garage.

Even as many motorcycle ads promote lifestyles over riding with surfboards attached to bikes and riders in the middle of nowhere enjoying campfires and barbeques, Suzuki pitches two of these rides using lettering straight from the seventies and designs seemingly replicated from the same decade, recalling an uncomplicated, simpler time.

‘They are retro charmers and trend-setters,’ says Suzuki about the new additions to its 2017 line-up, ‘with their attitudes on display to help any rider make their own statement’. Promising to bring the Suzuki DNA, full of a rich heritage that is grounded in performance and celebrated with championships, Clutch and Chrome has the first details on the new models.

VanVan 200

The seventies theme is as loudly on display as the disco era’s fashion trends with Suzuki saying its 2017 VanVan 200 is the bike that puts the ‘FUN’ in ‘FUNKY’. Sporting a distinctive retro look, ‘this baby is classic cool and ready to groove whenever and wherever you are’ they note.

That’s right, Suzuki are going all in on this theme and no, we weren’t joking with the Austin Powers reference.

Lightweight and offering easy access, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer is looking to college students and the casual rider as the possible owners of the VanVan, taking a leaf out of the motorcycle history books. It was exactly this demographic in the late sixties and early seventies that made riding a common past time across America and propelled the simple, care-free Japanese motorcycles of the time to world domination.


Indeed the design recalls those groovy days offering an instantly classic look in a slim and lightweight package. Powered by a fuel-injected 199cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled, 1 cylinder, SOHC engine that ‘sips fuel’, riders can scramble confidently down almost any surface with the bike’s fat tires, through a five speed transmission and smooth suspension action promising a comfort ride. Just to show how far the VanVan can go on a gallon of gas, the fuel tank only holds 1.7 gallons.

It features a retro, wide seat made for two with a ‘jump on and go’ attitude coming from push-button starting and an advanced, compact electronic fuel injection (EFI) system. Wide 18-inch front and extra-wide 14-inch balloon tires continue the VanVan’s classic retro look and add to its unique character. The seat is fairly low at just over 30 inches and just show it is a modern motorcycle, automatic idle speed control (ISC) means start up is easy with no choke and the idle speed is always right, not matter the condition.

At the price of $4,599, it should be no surprise that’s pretty much it for features with the exception of two colors to choose from, Metallic Triton Blue or Metallic Matte Fibroin Gray.



This motorcycle will look very familiar to riders with its style being seen near anything considered as retro, whether from manufacturers or aftermarket part companies. It’s also a model that has enjoyed a spot on the Suzuki showroom over the last few years.

With classic styling including spoked wheels, a round headlight, sweptback muffler layered with plenty of chrome and bold detailing, it’s designed to remind everyone that motorcycling is all about fun. Promising light, agile handling and smooth performance, ‘metro muscle in dynamite packages’ are some of descriptions used by Suzuki to describe the TU250X.

Featuring chrome-plated spoke wheels, polished engine cases this look also sets off the headlight case, speedometer cover, tail lamp housing and front fork outer tubes. This extends to the richly polished crank case side cover, producing a beautiful, high quality look.

This lightweight choice comes with additional power delivery from its 249cc, air-cooled four-stroke, single-cylinder, SOHC engine featuring Suzuki's industry leading fuel injection system tuned for strong low-end torque that’s well-suited for city riding. To this end, Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) fuel injection system, featuring a 32mm throttle body, provides superb throttle response, smooth power delivery and reduced emissions.

Riding is made more comfortable using Suzuki’s Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) plated cylinder for improved durability, light weight reduction and superior heat dissipation and a PAIR (Pulsed-AIR) system injects fresh air into the exhaust port to ignite unburned hydrocarbons, further reducing emissions.

The TU250X enjoys the same low seat height as its smaller brother, what could be called a classic looking two piece rider and passenger seat only adds to the motorcycle’s distinctive look. A larger engine needs a bigger tank and this model features a 3.22-gallon fuel tank, which coupled with a fuel-efficient engine, promises excellent riding range.

Coming in the color of Metallic Oort Gray No.3/Glass Sparkle Black, the TU250X features a MSRP of $4,399.

As an interesting side note, this model is not available in California.


The final motorcycle of the three being reviewed today has again been featured in the Suzuki line-up before. It’s also a slight change of gear for the casual rider, with the other two models discussed recalling simpler riding times, the GW250 is a naked style bike.

Calling it ‘An intelligent motorcycle in a class of its own’, the 2017 Suzuki GW250 promises style, performance and comfort with broad appeal. The bodywork provides an aggressive naked statement that breaks away from the norm. Its chassis provides the foundation for a variety of riding styles, from sport-minded challenger to open-road traveler.

The difference is immediately noticeable in the saddle with a twist the throttle and the GW250 answers quickly with a strong torque-rich feel provided by its 248cc liquid-cooled, parallel twin, fuel injected, twin-cylinder engine.

Maneuverability and efficient fuel economy makes Suzuki feel the GW250 is the perfect choice for daily transportation needs as well as riding fun.

A coupling-type balancer shaft fitted to the engine’s crankshaft reduces vibration and enhances rider comfort while an Electronic Fuel Injection system (EFI) controls the fuel delivery and the ignition timing based upon the riding conditions to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. A six-speed transmission, with gear ratios well mated to the engine output, further improves low- to mid-range power delivery.

Speaking of comfort, the 5-way adjustable brake lever allows the rider to position the lever for comfort and confidence. The handlebar’s design and bend were developed to provide a comfortable riding position, again adding to the rider’s comfort.

Rear suspension action is handled by a mono-shock system that stays hidden from view to augment the bike’s performance style. With seven-way adjustable spring preload, the rear suspension can be tuned for a passenger or cargo.

Blending looks and performance, strong three-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels hold road-grabbing tires that can provide sporting performance through a variety of road conditions all the while emphasizing the naked look of the GW250.

Although this model is aimed at a different type of casual rider or one that simply doesn’t need too much motorcycle, it’s also as affordable as the VanVan 200 and TU250X. Coming in one color, Pearl Nebular Black, the GW250 has a SMRP of $4,099.

These three models continue the corporate focus of Suzuki catering to a range of riders as well as offering approachable motorcycles for those new to the two-wheeled past time. In many ways, these three 2017 models continue to show we are well and truly in the golden age of riding with not only a diverse range of affordable motorcycles available, but with all enjoying the quality and reliability a biker could hope for.

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