Suzuki Gemma 250 is a "GO!" or rather an "IKU!" for the Japanese market

Mon, Jul 7, 2008


(Long, Low, Luscious and unLikely to ever make it to the USA. Image Source)

Back in October 2007 we reported that Suzuki was showing off their new Gemma concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Today, the Gemma is no longer a concept. Suzuki is going into full production with this low rider for the Japanese market in 2009 now.

The Gemma will be equipped with a 250cc Burgman motor except it will be 15 lbs lighter and about 4 inches longer than the Burgman.

Sure, I’d love to see Suzuki expand their line up in the USA, but I am NOT holding my breath. Do you think American consumers are ready for something so… Japanese? Expect to pay the equivalent of about $6600 US for this baby.

Thanks to Rick Russell for the scoop! And here’s some video:

***UPDATE 7/7/08***
Read the comments for my take on “why these strange Japanese bikes haven’t caught on in the US”.

***UPDATE 7/8/08***
Oh, and wait ’til you see the color assortment that Suzuki has in store!

Arigato to Kuroneko for the scoop! Check this link for even MORE! Kuroneko is even considering a trade over from his current Yamaha Morphous! I will say this. I LOVE THAT PIPE!

, ,

12 Responses to “Suzuki Gemma 250 is a "GO!" or rather an "IKU!" for the Japanese market”

  1. Tim Says:

    Why is the Japanese market so keen on these long and low models like this?


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t know why the Japanese like the long and low model but I think they are great for shorter riders. My girlfriend would love this bike. It has great lines compared to the Morphous and the Helix. She struggles a bit with her Grand Vista.

    I would love to see this bike come to the U.S. but with the failure of the Morphous recently I doubt it will make its way anytime soon.


  3. Steve Says:

    They ARE nice for shorter riders. I think, with maxi scooters, height is inversely proportional to length… so, you can get a high, short scooter or a low, long scooter. This hypothesis hasn’t yet been scientifically tested, so don’t bet money on it just yet.

    I have my theory why these scooters don’t do so well in America. I didn’t want to see the Helix go away. I wanted to see the Morphous succeed. I’d like to see the Gemma on our roads.

    If you ask your average American what they visualize of when they think of scooters and 8 out of 10 will say “A Vespa”. The other 2 will say “Oh, you mean like a Vespa?”

    We associate “scooter” with that cute little Italian two wheeler, so the more a scooter deviates from the iconic Vespa form, the more of a failure it is at being a “scooter”. At that point Americans don’t know what to do with it.

    “Well, we can’t join in on the yearly Roman Holiday reenactment with this thing.”

    “It’s not a REAL motorcycle.”

    “That scooter is too weird / futuristic.”

    When I pulled up at the Rock Store that Sunday, surrounded by hundreds of v-twins, metric-twins, sport bikes, vintage bikes and the like, I got a surprising amount of attention. The Morphous caught peoples eyes like a UFO had landed. I heard someone say “Oh man, it’s the Jetsons.” People asked if it was some sort of prototype and when it would go into production. No one, except for Jay Leno and another fellow scooterist had even heard of the Morph. In case you’re not familiar with the Yamaha Morphous, it’s been in stores since 2005 (the 2006 Morph was voted a best of 2005 by Business Week!

    I think to market it as a “Scooter” is asking for failure. Perhaps, for marking purposes, they should just call it “the new bike from Yamaha”. They should also put ads in men’s fashion magazines since these have traditionally appealed men more than women… but one thing you CANNOT do is market scooters with the same sledge hammer you use to market every other piece of power sports equipment (motorcycles, quads, dirt bikes, etc), but that’s another comment all together.

    After my 3 day test ride of the Morphous, I liked it even more than I did the first time I rode it. I still wasn’t a big fan of the odd storage layout and the inadequate backrest, but if I were going for style no scooter would look as pimp as a tricked out Morph in the pages of Lowrider Magazine.

    ***Hrm… Rootbeer float paint job, matching crush velvet solo seat conversion with a fiberglass panel to cover where the passenger seat was, braided steel cable covers (or even hidden cables with inverted levers), airbag suspension so I could drop her to the ground instead of using a center stand, hidden/integrated stereo system. Sigh***


  4. RickRussellTX Says:

    Yamaha does seem to get it:

    But I have no idea if that will go beyond their web site.

    Suzuki doesn’t know how to promote the Burgman. Their home page is currently adorned with the 30 mpg C109 Boulevard and the Burgman 400 page goes on about the machine’s appeal to women. The entire pitch is “style” and “comfort”, not “fun”, “green” or “high-tech”. They don’t even mention the Burg’s stellar emissions and fuel mileage specs on the front page. Guys, gas is hitting $140 a barrel, it’s time to push these things.

    People associate scooters with Vespa because Piaggio has some clue how to market their product:

    That whole campaign cost them a few thousand bucks for web hosting and a few Vespas for prizes. Welcome to 21st century marketing class, Japanese powersports people. The old model is dead.


  5. fat tony Says:

    It’s a cool bike, but I’d much rather have a Suzuki Gamma 250 :-)


  6. Kuroneko Says:

    Long & low? Easy! Comfort, stability space, & two-up convenience.

    I’ll be close to second in the queue looking to trade my Maxam for a Gemma next year then. Bwa ha haa…

    See ya! Neko.


  7. Anonymous Says:

    I would like to see a short and low scooter.


  8. Nate Says:

    Tim, I think the Japanese facination with scoot’s like these (and my Morphous) is that most Japanese scoot riders are young and urban types. They spend their riding time at night, cruising the streets seeing and being seen. They aren’t headed out on a 2 week tour across the American West and they aren’t trying to be road racers on the sreet. Instead, these riders are more similar to the 50′s hot-rodders cruising main street and the drive-in. These low and long scoots are great for customizing with wild body kits, colors and upholstery, just like the candy-colored 32 Ford roadster or the 63 Chevy Impala lowrider.

    I love my Morphous and the custom touches that I have installed make it unique from every other Morphous out there. I commute on it daily, run errands and occasionally take it for simple pleasure rides. But I’m not going to load it up for a 2000 mile trip or take it out for a track day like so many folks image they are going to do.


  9. redhead Says:

    Suzuki, I want to buy one of these Gemma’s. Bring them here to the USA.


  10. Jim Says:

    Hey nate, where did you get your custom morph body/parts (or what ever else you have) from? or did you make the body pieces your self? I am looking for a body kit for the morph my self…


  11. diablo_ogre Says:

    I think this bike looks really cool. What I wish they would do is make a bike like this only bigger. I currently have the burgman 650 and find it just a tad small. I had to take the buttrest of so I could strecth my legs out. I am 6’2. I would love to see more scooters(auto motorcycles) designed for taller people and something with some cool looks to it. I think the burgman and the yamaha look very similar. I would also love to see them instal mp3 players on board like the goldwings have radios. I use my burgman over 100 miles a day.


  12. Jim Says:

    when I was adked what I visualized when I heard the word “scooter” I said you mean the “maxaam” (japanese version of the morphous)


Leave a Reply