Suzuki Gixxer Road Test – A new benchmark
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For a long time Suzuki’s presence in the 150cc category was barely noticeable. They had the GS 150 which was a decent motorcycle but earlier this year they came out with an all new motorcycle that is now the benchmark in the category. Say hello to the Suzuki Gixxer.
The Pros: Looks good, refined engine, excellent handling and good suspension
The Cons: No ABS
The Crux: The Gixxer is the new benchmark for the 150cc category
Design and Features:
The Gixxer comes from the lineage of the GSX-R series. Globally, the GSX-R1000 owners are called ‘Gixxers’ and Suzuki thought it would be fitting that the younger sibling in this rich heritage be called the Gixxer. One look at the Suzuki Gixxer from a far will entice you to move in closer to have a better look. Its modern sporty aura is based on functional beauty starting from the headlight, along the chiselled lines of the bikini fairing, to the dual-tone side panels and on to the sharp rear end. The short stubby exhaust adds that little extra bling and sporty feel the Gixxer.
Turn the ignition key to bring the mobile-shaped digital instrument console alive and it’ll show you all the information you need in a neat package, including which gear you’re in. The switch gear looks decent and the engine kill switch is a good addition.
Engine and Performance:
Suzuki has spent a lot of time and effort working on this new engine. They have looked at and analysed every component of the engine and reduced as much mechanical losses as possible. This has resulted into the engine delivering great performance as well as good mileage. The engine has been tweaked to offer broad low-end torque and good mid-range power, which are perfect for city riding conditions. The Gixxer churns out 14.8 PS at 8,000 RPM and 14 Nm at 6,000 RPM, which is more than enough for riding in the city but will feel a little stressed cruising on the highway. Our performance tests yielded a top speed of 111 km/h, with an acceleration of 0-100 km/h being achieved in 15.51 seconds. The engine has what they call SEP (Suzuki Eco Performance) technology which is supposed to give a better fuel economy and it did by returning us a pretty good fuel economy of 47.75Km/l.
Ride, Handling and Braking:
As you sit on the Gixxer, you’ll find the riding position very comfortable. The foot pegs are slightly rear set and the riders seat a little low allowing you to fit perfectly in the motorcycle. Add the wide flat handlebar to the mix and you’ll feel at ease while changing directions quickly. The knee recesses help your legs grip the tank firmly allowing for better manoeuvrability. The seat height is low at 780 millimetres which is good for Indian riders of average height and not too low even for taller riders. The padding on the seat is good enough to keep you comfortable on long rides.
You can feel the power of the engine throughout the rev range leaving you ample grunt in any gear. The engine sounds refined and even at high RPM’s the vibrations from the engine are minuscule.
The highlights of the Gixxer are the large 41-mm front forks and a seven-step adjustable rear mono shock suspension. This makes tackling rough roads an easy task. Moreover, a seven-step adjustable rear mono shock means you can change the suspension setting according to the terrain you are traversing. We rode the Gixxer with the suspension set-up at its neutral setting and found that the bike handled pretty well on varying terrain.
The Gixxer is light, weighing in at just 135 kg making it easily manoeuvrable through traffic. What impressed us was the Gixxer’s ability to go round corners at high speeds. The combination of the single down tube frame along with the suspension and tyres makes this a very confidence inspiring motorcycle to ride. This is great for beginners and will have you sweeping round corners effortlessly in no time.
Connecting the Gixxer to the tarmac is a set of 17-inch MRF Revz tyres: a 100/80 at the front and a 140/60 at the rear. The tyres provide really good feedback and grip even on a wet road. The stopping power comes from a Bybre disc brake at the front and a drum brake at the rear. Though we would have preferred an ABS system, the braking is very progressive, leaving you reassured that you can come to halt quickly.
Suzuki have definitely put a lot of effort into the Gixxer and have come out with a great product. In this segment you have the Bajaj Pulsar 150, the TVS Apache RTR, the Yamaha FZ and the Honda CB Unicorn 160. So now who do you compare the Gixxer to? Well except for the Honda Unicorn 160 the other motorcycles are pretty old so there isn’t much to compete with. The Gixxer’s superior handling, ride comfort and performance have now made it benchmark to which other 150cc motorcycles are compared to. This itself speaks for how good the motorcycle is and at a price tag of Rs.89,000 (on –road Mumbai) it’s not too heavy on your pocket.