Mathieu Day found his test ride on a new Hyosung 250cc bike was an enjoyable around-town experience

Imagine a bear on a unicycle - that's the image you get when you think of the commuter-favoured 250cc motorcycle market in New Zealand, with large-shirt-size chaps astride an old-school style bike.

The 250cc commuter motorcycles tend towards dullness in performance and looks. It's been a while since we have seen a bike that looks and performs above expectations while still offering great value for money.

But enter Hyosung's commuter version and you get a bike that feels just right and looks the part too.

As a frequent motorway commuter on my motorbike, the moment I swung my leg across Hyosung's new 250cc, the X4, I felt part of the bike as the fuel tank and the high pillion seat rise up to draw you within.


With feet firmly planted on the ground you feel secure. This makes a huge difference from sitting precariously perched atop the bike.

Looking down at the new digital dash, you have a clock, fuel and temperature gauges and two trip meters so you can easily work out fuel consumption. The speedometer display is large and clear and the F1-style rev counter is a classy touch.

A welcome addition is a gear position indicator, something that riders new and old will appreciate.

The X4 has been on sale in New Zealand since early January and by mid-February the first shipment had sold out. Luckily new bikes are arriving at a steady pace to keep up with demand.

Take a look at the single-cylinder X4 and it is clear that the quality from the Korean manufacturer is mimicking its cousins in the car world. The fit and finish is excellent.

The six-speed gearbox is a dream to operate. Flicking up the gears takes little effort and the action is smooth, you can't help but think you're riding something that costs more than $5995 plus on-roads.

At the heart of the X4 is a new water-cooled, 249cc, fuel-injected single cylinder with an underslung exhaust which keeps the majority of the bike's minuscule 135kg dry weight down low.

The Hyosung X4 comes with an all new digital dash unit. Photo / Ted Baghurst
The Hyosung X4 comes with an all new digital dash unit. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Couple that with the nice and wide, almost motocross-style handlebars, the X4 is incredibly nimble.

Moving through traffic on the X4 - much to the disgust of some of the four-wheeled community - and getting to the front of the queue, then away off the line quickly is easy and with an almost electric feel thanks to the 21kW and 26.1Nm that the engine puts out.

The feel while riding is incredibly linear. There is no surge of torque, just a steady and predictable increase in speed. This makes the X4 an ideal starting point for the learner rider who is yet to master the sometimes black art of throttle control.

Handling the bumps and typical Kiwi potholes are high-quality KYB shock units front and rear, with the rear being gas-charged with ample preload adjustment and the front are slick-looking inverted forks normally found on bigger sports bikes.

While out riding on Auckland's northern edge on some of its least looked-after roads, there wasn't a moment when I thought I wanted to alter the suspension settings.

It was just that well-sorted; absorbing the various bumps along the road but not throwing the bike off its line.

Stopping duties are handled by a brilliant combo of a six-piston calliper over petal-shaped disk, and a two-piston calliper over petal-shaped disk, with both ends sent brake fluid via braided brake lines.

The seat, it could be said, is too good for the commuter market. Riding for four straight hours was a breeze but the pillion's accommodation doesn't look as comfy, being in the typical modern style of tiny pad planted on the rear section. At least there were a couple of good-size grab handles to aid pillion comfort.

That's beside the point though, as you're not really going to be touring two-up on a small-capacity commuter bike anyway.

After getting off the X4 and handing the keys back it was hard to not look back at the time spent nipping about on the X4 as incredibly enjoyable.

It's a well-sorted bike with quality components that represents good value for money and can make the daily commute a heck of a lot of fun - and that's saying a lot when it comes to our crowded motorways.

If you want to take a ride for yourself, head to to find your nearest dealer.