There’s an old saying that aptly describes the Hyosung GD250R: A day late and a dollar short. The 250cc beginner bike market went strong for years without much of an update, as the Kawasaki EX/Ninja 250, and later the Honda CBR250, practically owned the category for nearly three decades. Hyosung wasn’t absent in the market, since it persisted with its GT250R (and the naked GT250, no R).
What’s up with Hyosung? The Korean bike builder just seems to do things its own way. If there’s a marketing department, it’s a secretive one that’s careful not to divulge sensitive information. When there’s a new model, it sort of just arrives… the new GD250R did make an appearance at last November’s EICMA show, but we must’ve overlooked it? Is this thing from North or South Korea? Is it a threat to national security? And what is GD acronyming anyway? Grand Douring?
If American, European or Japanese cruisers don’t hit the mark for you, there aren’t very many avenues left to turn down. However, one can still look towards Korea. As Gabe Ets-Hokin notes in his review of the 2007 Hyosung Avitar, the 650cc V-Twin borrowed from the company’s GT650 sporty bike sees some minor changes and is housed in a twin-spar frame that looks to be inspired by the Harley V-Rod. If you’re interested in the Hyosung, the bike is still around today, only its name has been changed to GV650/Aquila Pro. And it’ll set you back a reasonable $7000. As for the riding impressions, see Gabe’s take below. To see more pictures, be sure to visit the photo gallery.
Things don’t change very often in 250cc cruiser land, but that doesn’t make the players any less important for a newer rider looking for something other than a 250cc sporty-type bike. And so, we decided to conduct a MO shootout. While we attempted to gather all three of the models currently in production, the Honda Rebel wasn’t available. When a bike has been unchanged for as many years as the Rebel, there’s no incentive for a manufacturer to incur the expense of putting one in the media pool. So, despite their best efforts to scare one up from other departments within American Honda, it wasn’t possible. Without the 250cc parallel-Twin, this shootout became a battle of the quarter-liter V-Twins. That’s okay. The Hyosung GV250 Aquila ($3,999) and the Star V Star 250 ($4,340) both have enough to offer to make this an interesting experience.
In the great old US of A, lightweight motorcycles have traditionally garnered little respect – though that is changing with the recent focus of major manufacturers on developing modern, exciting motorcycles in the less than 500cc class. Still, while the 250cc cruiser market may be almost as minuscule as the displacement in the United States, this class of cruiser shouldn’t be ignored. World-wide, the class carries much more importance thanks to tiered licensing and tariffs on large-displacement motorcycles. Additionally, the 250 class is also extremely price conscious, challenging manufacturers to make the tough decisions to build a quality, desirable motorcycle for a diminutive MSRP. This is the environment that spawned the Hyosung GV250 Aquila.