It’s evident, from the hundreds of stares it got, that the Aquila 250 can draw a crowd.
The Aquila 250 of today is an evolution of the same motorcycle Hyosung launched in India in 2003. So what’s changed? Not much. The Aquila GV250 still is low slung, stretched out, with a large, rounded tear-drop tank and big flared fenders. It’s heaped with chrome, with pleasing, old-school lines.
The old twin exhausts have been replaced by a much nicer single, oversized chromed collector. It rides on large chunky-looking alloy wheels that help build the illusion of a large motorcycle. The ergonomics are typically cruiser, with forward-set foot pegs and handlebars that stretch back to you. Although the build quality has improved, there is room for improvement: The indicator switches were hard to turn off and the fuel level indicator was very slow.
Not much has changed with the engine: The 250 cc, air/oil cooled, 75 degree V-twin now receives fuel injection and makes 26.5 PS and 21.4 Nm. With peak power at a lofty 9,500 rpm and peak torque at 7,000 rpm, it’s not quite a torquey unit. It does build revs cleanly from 2,000 rpm but clearly lacks a cruiser’s punch. From 0 to 100 kmph took 13.2 seconds, topping out at 120.2 kmph, not earth-shattering performance from a 250 cc motor, but given its 179 kg that’s understandable.
Though it’s well mannered at lower revs, above 5,500 rpm and 80 kmph there’s a distinct buzzing through the bars and foot pegs. Closer to 100 kmph, the buzzing is annoying and your elbows, back, feet and rear end begin to complain. It also means it is not happy cruising down highways, and that’s not a nice thing. At calmer speeds, the Aquila returns 33.2 kmpl on the highway and 28.7 kmpl in the city—fair figures for a 250 cc twin.
With a long wheel base and low ride height, cruisers inherently have a poor ride quality, with compromised suspension. However, despite the raked out front forks, it does turn in well and there is a surprisingly good amount of ground clearance.
There are motorcycles that make far more sense on all counts. If you want a calmer, more refined motorcycle, there’s the Suzuki Inazuma. If you’re an adrenalin junkie, there’s the KTM 390 Duke. You could even join the Royal Enfield owners with either the Thunderbird 350 or the 500.
But Hyosung has put their money on the ‘stares per hour’ factor that the Aquila 250 excels in. And judging by the fact that their first consignment has been entirely pre-booked, they are not off the mark.