I examined the Hyosung GT250R extensively last fall. It looks
very impressive for such a low price point. However, looks aren't the whole story. The forks contain damper rods, not cartridges - the USD forks are just for looks - and are preload-only adjustable. They are very similar to those on the Ninja, but are larger in diameter. The brakes are an old design, and the dual disks up front just add unsprung mass. The frame is all steel and identical to that of the GT650R (to handle the power and torque of the 650 V-2), but with a 250cc V-2 motor. The result is a 410 lb. DRY
weight. That's 102 lbs. heavier
than the Ninja 250, with about the same level of technology.
The GT-R does have more torque than the Ninja, but the peak HP is about the same. The riding position is more upright on the Ninja, which I prefer for touring. Also for touring, the fuel economy of the GT-R won't match the Ninja's.
The Hyosung is a great town bike, and a great looker, but to my mind in no way comes close to competing with the Ninja 250 in useful flexibility. They are in completely different classes. If you are interested, the folks at ninja250.com had some interesting discussions last year when the GT250R was first released in the U.S.
Also, regarding the Ninjette, there is a terrific touring rack that supports a tail trunk and panniers made by one of the ninja250.com members. It's also reversable to keep the load over the passenger seat when you're not riding tandem. The Ninja 250 is, in fact, one of the best owner/community-supported bikes available.
By the way, I'm not down on Hyosung.
I'm expecting great things from them in the future when they have boot-strapped their way up to more current technology. With their growing economy, and great attention to the automotive and motorcycle industries, the Chinese will become a force to be respected in the very near future.
Cycle World printed a comparison test in August 2006 called "Six in the City" (pg. 62). They compared the Ducati Monster 695, the Honda 599, the Ninja 650R, the SV650, and the FZ6, together with the Hyosung GT650R. Since the GT650R and the GT250R are almost identical except for displacement, you might be interested in the comparison. The GT650R didn't "win", but it did much better than anyone expected!