There are some exciting things happening at Hyosung and the motorcycle manufacturer from Korea had a couple of interesting motorcycles on display at their stand at the Auto Expo - the naked, seemingly KTM Duke inspired GD250N and a lighter spirited RT125D that draws more than a little inspiration from the Yamaha TW200. Hyosung have confirmed that the GD250N will be here in April while the RT125D (with a 250cc engine) will find its way into DSK-Hyosung showrooms in the near future.
It's the light weight that makes all the difference and the bike feels nimble and quick to turn in
Hyosung was kind enough to let us ride both prototypes after the expo to let us get you an insight to what these motorcycles might feel like when they hit the market. That brings me to my favorite out of the two motorcycles - the GD250N.
Inspite of being a prototype, the engine did rev cleanly to an indicated 9500rpm
It really caught my fancy at Auto Expo 2014 and I think it's by far the best looking motorcycle that Hyosung have built. The large, tall tank with lots of lines and edges dominates the silhouette while you could be fooled into thinking that the tail section belonged to some Italian exotica. You can tell that a lot of efforts been put into the design and there are little rewards for those who take a closer look, like the detail of the rear-set foot pegs or the exposed rear mono shock. What you also notice in the flesh is how compact the motorcycle looks.
And compact it is, weighing in at just 145kg. That coupled with the 28PS and 24Nm of torque produced from a new 250cc, liquid cooled, single should make for a very quick motorcycle. Sling a leg over it and that compact feel continues with the motorcycle feeling nice and narrow between your legs. It's when you reach for the bars though, that you do feel the seating position is a little stretched out. Hyosung has confirmed that this is feedback they've already passed on and the production version should have this stretch reduced - either with taller bars or ones that reach back to you a little.
You can tell that a lot of efforts been put into the design and there are little rewards for those who take a closer look
On the move you immediately feel that this is not like any other quarter litre Hyosung before it. It's the light weight that makes all the difference and the bike feels nimble and quick to turn in. It's good through the corners too and though we weren't pushing the limits on our short ride, it was eager to carry a fair bit of lean through the twisty bits. The ride quality therefore is on the firm side but not uncomfortable and was a good balance between sport and comfort. I'd love to tell you how the engine feels but unfortunately this was a show prototype meant for display only and so the fueling was far from perfect. It did rev cleanly to an indicated 9500rpm and felt fairly quick but well have to reserve judgment till we can get our hands on a properly sorted production version.
What we did note, despite all that is that the engine reminds us strongly of the Honda CBR250R engine in nature. It makes a generous amount of torque from low revs and you can easily traipse through dense traffic at low speed in high gears and then simply roll the throttle on to pick speed back up. That is very different in nature from, say, the frantic KTM 200 Duke and promisingly tractable.
The details of the rear-set foot pegs or the exposed rear mono shock look neat
So far DSK-Hyosung's current line up was targeting just the cruiser and sports bike enthusiast who wanted to upgrade from his grown up commuter but still couldn't afford a Japanese samurai sword or American muscle. The GD250N should broaden that demographic and get even more people interested in the Korean brand. If they can manage to price it near Rs 1.6 -1.8 lakh this could thoroughly shake up the 250cc segment and be a game changer for Hyosung.