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Brief Review Of Suzuki Inazuma 1 year on.

By Pocket Pete

The Big Day has arrived my Little 250 Inazuma has reached the grand old age of 1 this very day and to celebrate I decided to give the bike its first and only wash. (Hence the water droplets covering the bike)

It hasn't needed much washing as it is kept in a locked garage at home and under a canopy at work. It was washed by the garage when it had its first service which was the least they could do considering they charged me £127.00.

The black Suzuki Inazumat just after it's washThe bike has also made another milestone today it has covered exactly 5001 miles in the year which considering I was only supposed to be using it on nice dry days was actually more than I intended. I actually had to ring the Insurance Company to increase my yearly allowance. (Sensible otherwise you may find they invalidate your policy in the event of a claim)

I paid £3499 for the bike including all the extras  - top box engine bars centre stand etc. But today is also the last day I will own the bike as it is going in the morning as part exchange for my new beast the CB500X. I am getting only £2175 for the bike in part ex. Seems a big drop but I have picked up the CB500X at a pretty decent price including loads of extras. Suzuki offered me £2550 in part ex as long as I got another Suzuki. 

I expected to drop a few quid but hey it’s only money. Back to the Inazuma it has been used nearly everyday in all weathers. I have really enjoyed getting back into bikes after a 11 year gap. The bike has proved brilliant at zooming along slowly through the horrendous Manchester rush hour traffic which has reduced my journey time from an average of 1 hour 15 to never more than 20-25mins. 

The bike has given me an exact average of 71.3mpg considering this is mostly in congestion I am quite impressed. This has saved me on average £25 per week in fuel. So the fuel saving counterbalances the drop in value but my insanity from being stuck in endless traffic has also improved.

The bike has never let me down it starts first press of the button and handles as well as could be expected from a very heavy underpowered bike with a big fat bloke riding it. I banged the rear preload to max and its fine as it has little useable power it hardly pushes the steering much. The tyres are hardly worn although I do feel handling in the wet in not as good as it was. Also the rear brake has gone slightly spongy in the last week I checked the pads which seem fine so it may just need some fresh fluid or bleeding. It’s due its next service pretty soon but not my problem now.

I have attached a couple of pictures which show the bike. Nothing has fallen off or stopped working. There seems to be no rusty parts with the exception of the exhaust under the bike. The front and rear seem chrome possibly stainless and are fine but the bottom box is pretty rusty but it is totally exposed to the salty road and slush. The bike does suffer from side winds even with a slight breeze but I think that’s mainly the very high top box. 

The inazuma's exhaust pipe under the engine tends to rustThe engine has a rough patch between 46-50mph, this gives a slightly strange vibration but as soon as the speedo reads 51 it’s smooth as silk again. The engine is very well balanced and smooth its such a pity its only a 250.

The only alteration to the bike I have made was 6cm mirror extensions on each size. They are perfect now clear view in all directions. Best mirrors I have had on a bike of any sort big and clear no vibration at all.

The bikes used no oil or water in the year and I have only had to adjust the chain once. (well ok I got my mate to do it as I don’t possess a spanner).  The switch gear is all working I do anticipate the headlight to cause problems as it seems to collect a bit of moisture which is never good, there does not seem to be any way of taking the front lens off. They should have a vent to allow moisture to get out.  

The Inazuma is slow and it handled a two up trip to north Wales and a trip up the A6 to Blackpool and the lakes. It likes the cat and fiddle but on all these trips it was slow and steady progress. It struggled to hold 70mph 2 up but always got there. The best thing about the bike is the massive comfy seat. It is really big for a 250 comfy soft and I could ride to 2-3 hours without any problem. Paula liked it and could lean back against the top box she said it was very armchair like and the best of any of my bikes.

Looking down on Pete's InazumaI test drove a few bikes which had the worst seats in the world. Take the new SV650. Loved the style and engine hated the seat. Paula hated the passenger seat ‘That panty pad’ I think she called it. I realised after group riding my bike simply wasn't fast enough to keep up, so I began the great bike hunt. I wanted a cheap economical replacement good commuter to tolerate the traffic jams. But with more uuumph. Something capable of holding 70-80 without protest. 

It is surprising how few bikes there are in my price range £6000. You don’t get a lot for that money but having a car to run as well limited my budget. There are only 5 or 6 bikes which fit the bill. I really wanted the V Strom but the price with ABS was over £ 7000. After a few weeks and looking a Ren's bike I finally had a test drive on the 500X. I really didn't want the bike as I felt the 500 wouldn't really have enough power I felt the Vstrom engine was perfect. What a surprise more than enough power, great easy handling comfy and after 10 minutes I felt I hand been riding it for ever. I may regret not going with more power but I drove a 650 bandit and it hand enough power to kill me so does the CB500X what I want is smooth control and I think the Honda ticks that box. 

To late now I have paid for it. So I am sorry to see the Inazuma go. It’s been a good bike better than I expected in many ways. I will update you on the 500 after a year.

Pocket pete

Reader's Comments

Doug said :-
Nice review, the more I hear about the Inazuma the more I like it. It's about the only new bike on the market at the moment that has my attention. Shame Honda doesn't have something like the CD250U, but brought up to date with fuel injection - I'd be all over it like a bad rash. Also a shame that Suzuki doesn't import their TU250X to the UK too.
23/7/2016 11:54:43 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh Doug...CD250U...I've gone all starry eyed. I had a CD200 Benly for many of my youthful years, such sweet memories. Imagine a modern CD250 as you say, fuel injected, oh my.

Yeah the TU250X should be here too. Simple, reliable, effective and quite reminiscent of yesteryear.

That said I think the Zuma is the modern take on the ultimate commuter. I guess it needs to be liquid cooled for emissions, I think they could have lost a little of the weight though. I know Pocket said it was a bit slow but I think it's plenty quick enough for myself, I'd be happy to ride it around the world but then I use a 125 so it's like a rocket to me.
23/7/2016 5:54:47 PM UTC
said :-
I won't deny it, Pete; the CB500X has crossed my mind more than once ...... but after 16mths with the Inazuma I'm firmly in the "remain" rather than "leave" camp [:-)] - particularly as mine feels a lot freer/ more eager now it's reached 12k miles. Horses for courses as they say. The bike is wholly fit for purpose for my tripping, work jaunts and touring needs, which are different to yours as I'm never 2-up, never do group rides, and am mainly on single-carriageways with a 60 limit. And it's difficult to ignore the fact the 2nd hand 'zuma was half the price of a used CB500X.

Like yours, the bike has been trouble-free. I have had to change a worn rear tyre and I swapped the front sprocket for higher gearing, but the bike's still on its original chain and brake pads. Pictured below in S Ayrshire's Carrick hills on way back from Irish trip this May.

- Rory

PS (I haven't said "never" though, have I!)

Inazuma on tour
5/8/2016 5:01:45 PM UTC
RoryD said :-
Oops - forgot to enter my "name" in last post
5/8/2016 5:10:11 PM UTC
pocketpete said :-
I was sad to see the Suzuki go in many ways. It never let me down always did what I asked of it and got me where I wanted to go and back again. Ugly damn thing but I grew to like it very much.

If they did a 400 version along similar lines to the old 250/400 superdreams I would be still riding a suzuki today. But they dont and now Ive got the 500x.

Perhaps I was always going to want a faster bigger bike especially after having 750 superbikes in the past. But I am certainly a different rider now. I prefer comfort good riding position and both Suzuki and Honda fit that role.

Traffic was light on the way home tonight 21 miles of motorway steady 75 on the honda felt very steady and calm. The Inazuma would be screaming. I think the bloke in the suzuki shop was correct my milage requirements was to much for little suzuki.

I miss the wheels they looked cooler than the Honda and I miss my Suzuki seat so much better than the Honda. But I wouldnt got back handling wise or engine wise.
5/8/2016 5:46:58 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Rory - your bike look so COOL in touring trim. That's a mean set of saddle bags you got there, they look like cycling ones?
6/8/2016 11:10:02 AM UTC
RoryD said :-
Yes indeed; Ortlieb City roll-top waterproof rear panniers from the bicycle - and the tank bag's a "rack pack" also from the bicycle. The Lomo roll-top waterproof holdall on the rear seat is shared with the canoe rather than the bicycle though! It may look like a lot of stuff, but I keep the rear box pretty empty apart from my waterproofs so I can keep helmet, gloves and biking trousers locked up and dry when going walk-about. The set-up served me well on the 1,500ml Irish trip and, if only I had adequate experience/ skill /confidence, the Inazuma would have kept up pretty well with my mate's BMW F700GS.
- Rory
7/8/2016 7:01:53 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
You know...I should really consider looking into bicycling gear. What are the prices like? I'd imagine they're equally as expensive as motorcycle gear - ie over inflated.
10/8/2016 10:30:34 AM UTC
RoryD said :-
Yup; top brand/quality waterproof cycling panniers are expensive - my Ortleibs were on offer at Wiggle but were still £59 EACH! But they do last well and there's not much worse than your gear getting soaked. True to form, Lomo do similar ones for around half the price (https://www.ewetsuits.com/acatalog/dry-bag-panier-hi-vis.html), but the shape of the Ortleibs fitted my bicycle's set-up better ...... & they are red to match the m'bike! Sharing between pedal and motor bikes also allows you to split the cost between them :) but there is an issue with the brackets being for the very narrow struts of bicycle pannier racks, so you have to engineer your own way of attaching them.
12/8/2016 10:33:36 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Do you engineer solutions like Ian Soady would or bodge them like I do? Sharon's looking at some expensive racks for her 250, I've offered to create a solution but she seems strangely unkeen. I can't imagine why?
13/8/2016 10:12:12 PM UTC
RoryD said :-
Probably more "bodge" than "engineer" ..... I made a plywood/foam "pannier saddle" that sits on the rear seat - with cut-outs and aluminium rods for the panniers' mounting points. It's held in place by a couple of loops that slip onto the rear rack, and at the front by a strap that goes through guides on the bike frame underneath the seat - and it doubles as a seat or table when camping :-)

15/8/2016 1:49:28 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
No, I'd call that engineered. Remember an engineer is somebody who can make for half a crown (OK 12.5p) what any idiot can make for a quid.....
15/8/2016 4:03:38 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'd definitely say that's engineered rather than bodged RoryD. In fact that looks like a proper job! Now you've got me thinking, that does make an excellent seat and seating is the one thing I truly miss when camping.

I say, I'm rather impressed. Can you make 2,000 of them for the Suzuki and 2,000 more for the CB500X? I can see a business coming on.
15/8/2016 4:14:31 PM UTC
Latchy said :-
great review and accurate about things like power and fuel consumption.
I am like you Pete I just simply have to have a bike with more power, I just enjoy biking a lot more when the back up is there.
I own a bike with so much midrange and an induction roar to die for, which is so light (2kg lighter than the inazuma) superb brakes etc. I can also get 70 to the gallon easily if I tour round on it, am still getting the high off it 3 1/2 years on.
I won't reveal which bike I own because this is all about the inazuma, and I hope you find your ideal bike next time.
29/10/2016 9:00:09 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Latchy - Pete's purchased himself a CB500X because he's a sensible kind of chap.
29/10/2016 9:59:57 AM UTC
Latchy said :-
Yep it's all about reading reviews and seeing which one suits your needs then test ride test ride test ride
29/10/2016 12:11:34 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Quite true Latchy. And also not being blinded by figures, peer pressure or fancy finance options

29/10/2016 12:22:38 PM UTC
Bob said :-
Don't forget the Honda CRF250L. You don't have to go off-road on one of these and it's considerably lighter and more pokey than the Inazuma. Two up though would be a dire experience.
I rode a CB500X and was impressed. Really, a 500cc twin has always been all the bike you ever need. I had great success with the KLE500, plenty quick enough but a little too heavy for the off roading I was doing and terrible on fuel.
There are advantages to EFI when it comes to the petrol pump. (my XT660Rs are regularly turning in 67-69 MPG with a mix of A roads, Motorways and green lanes).
Because of the far east markets we're now in the wierd position of being able to buy a monster or a tiddler, with virtually nothing in the middle ground.

11/8/2017 8:34:36 AM UTC
RoryD said :-
Well; I have joined Pocket Pete, and replaced my own '13 reg Inazuma with a CB500x - although I kept my 'zuma for significantly longer (3 years/ 11,000+ miles). In an Aug'16 posting on this thread I did say that the CB500x had "crossed my mind more than once" ........ and it crossed my mind several more times over the ensuing 16mths, particularly when my touring mates kept talking about further afield trips entailing motorway days getting there and back. (my two Inazuma short tours in '17 were to the Isle of Mull/the mainland to its north, and then Kintyre and the islands of Gigha and Arran).

So, when Gumtree tempted me in December with a '64 reg CB500x with just under 16k mls down in Dundee, I surprised myself by viewing and then buying it! (£3.1k delivered to my door; so much cheaper than the new wave of 250-300cc adventure bikes). Not nearly so civilised/ smooth/ comfortable as the Inazuma, but I have to admit I'm rather smitten by the grunt - esp when it comes at low revs. But, who knows;maybe I'll eventually tire of that and revert to the new V-Strom 250 son-of-Inazuma!
30/3/2018 12:27:03 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
So you're in agreement with Pocketpete regarding the 'Zuma's comfort versus the CB500X's comfort? It goes to show we are all built differently. It also makes me wonder if there's a market out there for a big fat soft squidgy seat for the 500 too.

It pleases me to hear that despite the additional power of the 500 you're aware that power is not everything. Yes it's nice and even thrilling but let's face it the Zuma will break the legal limit so what's the point of having the rest?

I'd enjoy hearing how you get along with the 500 RoryD.
30/3/2018 8:04:12 AM UTC
Rod said :-
The Zuma is comfortable because of the whole package works, not because of a soft squidgy seat. The seat on the Zuma is quite hard compared with most bikes. The Zuma is big enough to move around on when you are on a long journey, and gives a good balance of weight distribution between the bars, the footrests, and the seat. On the cruiser I have owned in the past the seat was soft and stepped, and felt like a really comfortable arm chair for the first 80 - 90 miles, but it was not easy to move around on, because of the feet forward position, and then after this initial distance became uncomfortable to ride.
The power / performance thing I totally understand. I would not have bought a Zuma 10 years ago, when my earnings were higher but my leisure time was limited. I then needed a bike which would take me 270 miles on a Saturday morning to my chosen campsite in cornwall for one night and get me back Sunday afternoon / evening.
I now avoid motorways, because I find them boring.
I can also take an extra day or two as I an semi retired.
I also ride alone, so this means I do not need a bike which will not hold up the group.
If money was no object, I would buy a new BMW 1250RT! but I would keep the Zuma.
30/3/2018 11:50:05 AM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
The Zuma seat was softer than the honda but it's main advantage was it's flatter shape and wider bit around the tank area. This gave a wider surface area to perch ones big fat backside on.
Wider surface area equals less weight per given cheek which means more comfort.

There are a couple of replacement seats for the 500x advertised but who wants to pay £ 500 quid for a seat. Even I'm not that stupid.....
30/3/2018 6:58:43 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I've modified a couple of seats and for the outlay of £30 or so you can make quite a decent job of it. This one was the Honda 4 (original in a second post - why can't we add multiple images Ren????)
31/3/2018 9:29:20 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Where did it go?

31/3/2018 9:30:08 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
Standard seat

31/3/2018 9:30:47 AM UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Looks a great seat mod. I've been looking for a spare seat so I can mod one. Ive got some gel seat stuff lying around somewhere. I like the 400. Brings back fond memory of my 400 superdream. Didn't have it long wasn't cool enough swapped for yam 350lc. Big mistake...
31/3/2018 12:33:03 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I've found the essential tools for seat mods are an electric carving knife (honestly) and an electric staple gun as manual ones don't have the clout to get staples into plastic seat bases. I also found an electric file handy for shaping.

Most people won't be too far from a foam shop. I got the vinyl from an aladdin's cave of a fabric shop that had all sorts and the people who ran it were very helpful.
31/3/2018 2:53:35 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I think I'd have a go at doing it myself...IF I had a spare seat. It's one of those things that should be quite doable but could go horribly wrong.

How much did the electric staple gun, electric carving knife and electric file come to?
31/3/2018 6:14:29 PM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
The staple gun was about £20, the carving knife around £10 (and of course can still be used to carve the Sunday joint) and electric file was £30.

All useful for lots more jobs of course. The file was the least necessary item but I'd wanted one for a while as it's very useful for odd smoothing jobs.

I've always managed to get a spare seat for less than £50 (but then my bikes have been on the elderly side) and of course you still have the original to sell / replace as necessary. When I sold the Honda I gave the buyer the original.

There's quite a good description of how to do it in the link.
1/4/2018 9:05:34 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
1/4/2018 9:06:04 AM UTC
Ian Soady said :-
1/4/2018 9:06:41 AM UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm liking the last link - there's a link to a page about seat shapes and comfort that makes a lot of sense. It's not simply a case of adding foam but WHERE and HOW you add the foam.

I'm pretty happy with the seat on my 500 but if I had a spare seat base I'd have a go at making my own. However I'm sure I'd get a functional shape but you know me - the cover would be all wrong, ruched, mis-aligned and baggy.
2/4/2018 7:42:53 AM UTC

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