Suzuki Gixxer SF Fi Road Test Review
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The Gixxer SF has always been appreciated as a refined, fun to ride motorcycle. How much more value does a fuel injection system add?
The Gixxer has by far been one of Suzuki’s most successful products in India, after the Access of course. The bike has done excellently in the 150cc segment with it’s kind of refinement, handling and efficient manners. Suzuki offered some interesting motorcycles before the Gixxer too, like the GS150R and the Inazuma, but these bikes never caught the fancy of young buyers given their lacklustre design, despite being good motorcycles.
The Gixxer SF of course helped Suzuki gain even more popularity, as the SF found favour with many as an affordable, full-faired 150. The next step then was to equip the bike with fuel injection, and that’s what Suzuki has done. Now that the Gixxer SF FI is here, the obvious question is how much value does fuel injection add to this well-accomplished motorcycle. Especially since the FI version commands a premium of Rs 5000 over the carburetted version - for the rear disc brake equipped, MotoGP liveried version. Is that too much of ask for better refinement, throttle response and fuel efficiency? We tested the motorcycle thoroughly to find out.
Design and features
The standard Gixxer SF’s design has always maintained a good balance of sporty and Japanese conservatism. The new MotoGP livery then tips the scale towards sporty. The livery has changed from the previous MotoGP edition and SF FI features new lime green accents similar to the 2016 Suzuki MotoGP factory team’s race machine. The rest of the design remains the same, and a small FI badge on the front and the missing fuel knob distinguish the FI from the carb version. The FI version also gets a clear lens LED tail lamp. The rear disk brake might be a functional add-on, but it gives the bike a premium edge in terms of design too.
Rest of the motorcycle including features remain the same, and the Gixxer SF retains the comprehensive, full digital instrument console that is legible in all conditions.
Heart of the matter
The air-cooled, 155cc single-cylinder remains identical, and obviously, the FI is not tuned for more power in this case. It focusses on making the delivery smoother and crisper. It has six sensors to measure factors like airflow and engine load to deliver precise amounts of fuel. The engine thus makes the same 14.8PS at 8000rpm and 14Nm of torque at 6000rpm as before but the way power is delivered has changed.
The fuel injector pump whined as I turned the ignition on, typical of fuel injection systems. The motor sounded and felt more refined than the carburetted version even at standstill, and as I started riding and building speeds it was easy to notice that refinement isn’t limited to low revs. Vibration was absent even at high revs, and it is only post 8000rpm that I felt a slight buzz around the fuel tank.
The other trait that impresses is crisper throttle response. Response is immediate though not sharp as say a KTM’s, but there is a more urgent feel to the response. The carburetted version’s powerband was wide, but the FI’s powerband feels wider, even if ever so slightly. Of course, these improvements result in better acceleration. We managed to get our hands on a carburetted version to test as well, and our VBox tests confirmed the FI version being quicker. The FI managed to sprint from 0 to 60kmph in 5.21 seconds, while the carburetted version took 5.60 seconds for the same. The difference grew wider at higher speeds, with the FI clocking 17.56 seconds to 100kmph, while the carburetted version took 19.71 seconds to breach the ton.
Efficiency is better too, with the FI returning 51kmpl in city in our tests, as compared to the carburetted version’s 48.54kmpl. The FI returned a stunning 62.47kmpl on the highway, while the carburetted version managed to return 55.02kmpl. One of the reasons behind the higher efficiency of the FI version we’re told is the use of Suzuki’s SEP tech in the FI version, that uses lighter engine internals and low friction technology to minimise losses and improve combustion.
Ride and handling
No change to the cycle parts means the Gixxer FI feels as light and confident to ride as its carburetted version. The taller, one-piece handlebar aids maneuverability in city and comfort on longer rides, which also makes it suitable for touring. The Gixxer SF has always had a fantastic balance of ride and handling, and thankfully nothing has changed in the FI version. The addition of a rear disc brake has improved braking in terms of performance and feel both. Our braking tests revealed that the bike came to a full stop from 60kmph in 2.43 seconds, covering 17.20 meters in the process. Braking from 80kmph to 0 took 3.40 seconds and a distance of 34.82 metres. Feel at the rear brake has improved too, and it does not lock up easily under hard braking.
The Gixxer SF FI retails at Rs 1,03,785 ex-showroom New Delhi. A similarly specced carb version in MotoGP livery and with a rear disc brake retails at Rs 98,703, which means you pay Rs 5,082 just for fuel injection. There’s no two ways about FI making the bike smoother and more responsive, but the biggest gain is in terms of the efficiency, and that’s something that matters to a lot of buyers in our country.
That said, Suzuki could have priced the FI version closer to the 1 lakh rupee mark, as the 5000 rupee difference could be steep for some buyers. Goes without saying, the FI version’s higher efficiency should help negate that difference in the longer run. Irrespective of how much you ride, the FI is indeed what you should be looking at, since the Gixxer SF FI is not only a good looking, fun to ride motorcycle, but is also one that feels more refined and responsive than before and will be lighter on your wallet too.
Words by Benjamin Gracias | Photography by Vikrant Date