Hyosung GV-250 review (a.k.a. Hyosung Aquila 250 Review) by special guest author David G. David shares his experience on the Hyosung after owning it for tens of thousands of miles.
Say you are between 5′ – 6’4″ tall and are at least 16 years old, but, probably less than 75, and, you either want to learn to ride, start riding again, or just need a dependable commuter bike to save gas money. The Hyosung V-Twin Aquila GV250 is the Leatherman, or, red Swiss Army knife, of motorcycles – you definitely need one. I promise, you’ll definitely use one, and, for some unknown reason, you will love it beyond any of its specifications, as it’s so much more than your “first real motorcycle” or your “getting back in the saddle, now that the kids are grown” motorcycle. Every errand is another reason to make use of it.
The bike is a long, low slung, Classic cruiser design, with a 27 horsepower, 250cc 75 degree V-twin nestled in a mid size frame. The seat height is a low 27-29 inches, yet roomy enough for people over 6 feet tall. The bike looks great from any distance. It’s vibration free & smooth revving from idle to the 12,000 RPM redline is quieter than most blenders, all lawn mowers, some dishwashers, and as dependable as sunrise – once the initial charging issues have been sorted out.
It’s often mistaken for a 650 or larger bike. Loaded with Chrome & ‘plasti-chrome’, it approaches gaudy, with just enough style to keep it from being bland, but, not enough style to identify it as a particular brand, let alone model. Modestly priced new at $3,999.00, which is substantially less than virtually every other 250cc motorcycle from anywhere other than China or Taiwan. Used, they can be had for $2,500 or less, which represents an outstanding value. Yet, it has more HP & torque than most of its competitors, now that the KYMCO Venox and the Kawasaki Ninja 250 are discontinued in the United States.
Honestly, not everyone wants to start their riding career on a cruiser style motorcycle, but, where else can you find a seat height low enough to flatfoot if you are only 5′ tall, let alone the ‘E-Z Boy lounge chair’ riding position that easily accommodates a 6+ footer? Also, the cost variance between the mighty Ninja 300R is getting bigger, which helps the older Ninjas maintain higher value, thereby keeping some people out of the beginner sportbike arena, as starter & commuter bikes are very cost sensitive for tons of reasons!
Big tires with wide cross sections (150mm rear & 110 front), mounted on big monoblock billet style aluminium wheels which look great, but, makes parking, or backing up hard for the ‘noobie.’ The soft, bump absorbing, straight tracking fat tires create a comfortable ride moving. Set up like a traditional cruiser: upside down front forks & rear springs & shock inserts, there are no compression or rebound adjustments front or rear. Everything works well together to provide a nice, stable, comfortable, rattle & vibration free ride that is forgiving with easy turn in at speed.
But, it’s a 250cc cruiser (oxymoron?) that can’t eat up highway miles due to engine size, and cruisers aren’t designed for carving canyon roads with a knee down in every turn either. However, at 40 to 60 MPH on a meandering 2 lane road is where this motorcycle shines. Living in NH, having the Atlantic Ocean within 30 minutes of the house, gorgeous State Parks in every direction, and virtually no major east west running highways, idyllic begins to describe the environment around here. At speeds over 35MPH, the exhaust note gets carried away by the slimstream of air traveling around the bike.
Sadly, many people have compared Hyosung’s offerings to “Chinese” bikes- which they are not- by any stretch of the imagination. This bike should be considered as if it were made by the “Big 4”, and should be judged accordingly. I have seen them ‘for sale’ with over 50,000 miles with no issues and ready for annual State inspection. And, there are lots of things that can fail on this bike, as it’s loaded with features: speedometer & tachometer, fuel gauge, indicators, fork lock in the ignition, etc.
The paint quality is excellent and I’ve already mentioned the gorgeous monoblock style billet aluminium wheels. Yes, the switch gear is plastic, and, some of the chrome is actually plastic as well, but- it can’t rust, looks good & works well while keeping the overall weight down (385 Lbs) and cost down. Only the KYMCO Venox has the large frame of this bike, and as many standard features.
A full tank (3.7 Gal) of gas can go for over 200 miles (55+ MPG), so, there is no need for constant checking. Since the gas gauge isn’t overly accurate, it’s a good thing. An oil & filter change can be performed in 20 minutes at home. The chain can be cleaned, lubed & tightened with ease. Most importantly, once the bike is properly sorted, you can ride it for years without fear of failure. It really IS that good. Replace front brake pads with some aftermarket pads for less than $15.00 for increased stopping power & feel, and, you’ll get less dust & increased longevity to boot.
The primary issue with the GV250 is the charging system. For whatever reason, they are all prone to stator or regulator/rectifier (R/R) failure, and, if not addressed quickly, it can lead to the main harness becoming a melted mess. It’s recommended to replace the stator & use an aftermarket R/R to ensure that excess charge is being effectively dispersed. It’s been suggested that if the regulator/rectifier is replaced quickly, the stator will not fail, but, I’m unsure if the logic behind the suggestion really makes sense or truly works. However, a quick electrical check will determine which has failed (or both), and, even the least mechanically inclined can replace the R/R with the appropriate aftermarket MOFSET solution. Other than this primary issue, there are really no outstanding issues. Various model years did have particular problems, however, virtually every bike on the road has had them fixed, replaced or repaired- either under warranty, or, by the owner.
On the highway at 75 MPH, with the engine revving at 9,000RPM without complaint, or vibration, you will need to practice the Yugo driver hand wave, while yelling at the top of your lungs. “No, Yugo, this is all it’s got! Pass me, please!” If there was only a little more top speed, a little more acceleration at speeds over 75MPH, I would love to do a crazy thing like the Iron Butt Association Saddle Sore 1,000 ride (1,000miles in 24 hours) and I know- as is- right now, the bike would be fine, in every possible way.
So, it’s really not a cruiser at the end of the day, but, it’s an excellent bike for virtually every other road going reason. I missed it so much, that after I drove my ‘big boy’ bike for 6 months, I made up tons of reasons to get another one in my driveway. I’ll definitely keep this one until I lose the ability to ride it! Sure, my wife will be practicing with it to get her M/C endorsement, two of my sons will need it for the same reasons over the next year or so…But, the simple truth is I love it. I drive it for no reason whatsoever and I will continue to do so.