Suzuki Gixxer Long Term Review
The Suzuki Gixxer is easily the best 150cc motorcycle in the Indian market currently
In the last few years, when anyone mentioned the words “150cc motorcycle”, the name that usually came to mind was either “Bajaj Pulsar” or “Yamaha FZ” or even “Honda CB Unicorn” if the person in question was in his mid-30s. In spite of Suzuki having the GS150R on sale, very few considered the motorcycle even though it is a very good product. The other Suzuki motorcycles like the Slingshot and Hayate weren’t popular either which meant majority sales for this 2-wheeler manufacturer came from scooters. The Gixxer arrived last year and not only changed Suzuki’s fortunes in the motorcycle segment, it even changed the mind of buyers when the words “150cc motorcycle” was uttered. The latest bike to join our long term fleet, the Gixxer has arrived and we have been riding it everyday to much enjoyment.
When Suzuki launched the Gixxer, the design immediately got accepted for two reasons. Firstly, the Gixxer itself is a good looking bike and appears quite sporty too. The highlight being that superbike inspired exhaust of course. Secondly and more importantly, the design king of the 150cc space was the Yamaha FZ which went for a mature appearance in its Version 2.0 avatar. Thus, for youngsters, the Gixxer came across as THE bike to make a statement in college. I remember riding to a small town where kids actually shouted Gixxer after looking at the bike, all that is thanks to the popularity of the Hayabusa which has made everyone familiar with Suzuki.
150cc bikes are very popular in India for they give a good balance between power and economy, making them at home to ride in the city with an occasional trip on the highway. However, the Gixxer’s punchy engine means we take it out on the open road more often, sometimes even riding alongside bigger bikes because this motorcycle does the ton effortlessly while top speed on the speedometer is easily 120 km/hr, post which the motor hits a wall and refuses to go any further. The icing on the cake is the throaty sound from the motor and the powerplant is quite refined too.
The Gixxer’s engaging mill makes you ride it hard and fast all the time
When we got the Suzuki Gixxer in our long term fleet, it had done just over 1000 kms and that meant there were some restrictions in place. Suzuki has the shift light engaging at around 5500 RPM which means once you cross 75 km/hr in top gear, the light is there all the time. One can opt to switch the shift light off and this thing can be easily changed to kick in at 10,000 RPM but our Suzuki dealer refused to do so, telling us to run in the bike properly, as if that’s going to happen! The shift light at 5500 RPM will be removed at second service which is due next month.
Talking about service, we just got the first service done and got a few things addressed. Service cost turned out to be Rs. 520/- that included semi-synthetic engine oil, change of air filter, chain lubrication and some consumables. The Suzuki dealer wasn’t able to address one issue which was the constant jerking at a set RPM in top gear between 80-85 km/hr. We asked him to tune the carb, he said that doesn’t happen. We got the issue rectified at another Suzuki dealer later, the bike is running silky smooth now. Suzuki dealers use Motul for almost everything, just like how KTM does.
The best part about the Suzuki Gixxer is its dynamics, it just handles beautifully and eggs you to push harder every time. The confidence it inspires is truly something with the only issue being the pegs scraping when you corner really hard but no signs of the motorcycle losing composure even then. It also is very stable at speed, so when you are doing 100 km/hr plus, you don’t have to worry because there is little to tell the velocity of this Japanese machine. Ride quality is also very good and all that adds up to the experience of riding this bike across various road conditions.
Of course, the tyres play a big part and those grippy and wide rubber deserve the praises they are showered with. With their wide contact patch, the Gixxer’s economy suffers and with our hard riding style, we have managed around 40 km/l. Get sedate and the number stretches up to 48 km/l. The 155cc mill is smooth and quick with good punch all the way. The gearbox is slick and supports clutch-less upshifts as well.
This Suzuki motorcycle has good brakes but the rear could do with more stopping power. The company should consider offering a rear disc brake as an option, if not on the Gixxer, at least on the upcoming full faired iteration of this bike, the Gixxer SF. Some very helpful features on the Gixxer include gear position indicator and a clock, now these two aren’t big but when the best-selling Japanese bike in this segment doesn’t get them, it does turn out to be a novelty factor on this Suzuki. Oh yes, there is an ECO indicator also but for mysterious reasons, I mostly see Power written on the console.
We at MotorBeam just love street-fighter motorcycles and have three of the most popular nakeds in our long term garage. In spite of the Gixxer being a 150cc bike, there are times where I pick it over the KTM Duke 390 which is testimony to the fact as to how much fun it is. The Katoom being a bike best enjoyed on the highway, the Gixxer isn’t short on the fun factor when you take it out on open roads either. There are lots of things we will find out by riding the Gixxer in the next few months, so stay tuned as we uncover more on ‘The Street Sport Bike’.
Further Reading –
Suzuki Gixxer Long Term Review – Second Report
Suzuki Gixxer Long Term Review – Third Report
Suzuki Gixxer Review
Suzuki Gixxer SF Review
Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ V2 vs Honda CB Unicorn 160
Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ V2 vs Honda CB Unicorn 160 – Video
Suzuki Gixxer vs TVS Apache 160 vs Honda CB Trigger vs Yamaha FZ
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta