Supermotard, a terminology used to describe an off-road bike but with street tyres. History has it that supermotard started off as a concept in the early 80’s where 2 Americans came up with this idea of combining different bike disciplines, i.e. road racers vs. Moto crossers into one. They approached some motorcycle manufacturers who agreed to make such bike in return for some TV publicity. Thus “superbikers” as they were called then was born. The sport did not pick up and years later the French took it up and called it “supermotard”. The Europeans have been “doing it” ever since.
The single-cylinder 4 valves 4 –stroke DOHC 250cc D-Tracker runs on Keihin CVK34 carburettor as its fuel system, which surprised me seeing that most if not all modern bikes these days run on fuel injection. This bike does not have a kick starter and comes only with electric starter for its starting system.Cold start will need a little help from the choke. Other than that, all seems to run well during the 3 days test ride.
Stopping power is through Nissin disc brakes system for both front and back. The front comes with a 250mm semi floating single disc with 2 port callipers. It has a good feel and grip but the dive from hitting the brakes too hard will lift the rear of the bike and you could easily lose your footing from the substantial change in ride height. Rear brake is just as good with a 220mm single disc single port callipers system. It’s neither too hard nor soft.
Ride comfort is via an impressive upside-down telescopic fork for front and a Unitrak suspension for the rear that comes with a Kayaba nitrogen filled reserve tank equipped with 16 adjustable damping levels for the springs. The suspensions is good, absorbing well over rough surfaces and also while taking corners. You can really lean into corners, ala both moto-X or track style, thanks to the 110/70-17 front and 130/70-17 rear road tyres. The bike will just glide you into and out of a corner smoothly, provided of course the road is oil and sand free. Both front and back are spoke wheels and the tyres that are fitted to it are tube tyres which I personally think should be tubeless. After-all, this is a street purpose bike.
The D-Tracker has dual radiators located on the front left and right sides. With a good cooling system one can be sure of greater engine reliability. However heat tends to flow through the radiators and onto your legs. On a hot day this can be quite uncomfortable.
Sitting position is good. With a high ride you can virtually see way up front. But I can’t say the same about the seat. Due to its narrowness and the “anti slide” material used it is literally quite a pain in the bottom especially on long rides.
Fuel tank capacity is 7.5litres which may take you to a distance of about 135Km on a combination of both highway and town use. It also has a reserve that may take you a further 30Km. The “cockpit” consists of a large digital speedometer, 2 trip meters and a clock. Unfortunately there is no RPM indicator. All the switches on the handle bar are within easy reach and consist of only the “necessaries”, i.e. signals with cut off, high and low beam, a good loud horn, an engine on / off button and a starter switch.
This bike is most suited for office, city and town use. It has a narrow frame and its light weight. It is therefore very agile going through traffic and even the fairer sex can easily handles one. The 6 speed gears are just “Torquay” enough without you feeling like riding on a raging bull. Gear change is really smooth and with the 6 speed transmission, you will tend to up-shift or down-shift quite a lot especially when going through heavy traffic. This is where the clutch feel comes in. It has just the right setting. Not too hard until a case of you developing a Popeye’s arm after 3 months riding.