Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 – Endurance Race
Getting the chance to ride a proper race-spec bike on a race track was one of the most enlightening experiences
Race tracks, a place every rider yearns to visit. A place that keeps you dreaming, weeks before you step onto it. Counting each and every day as it passes by, trying to control your excitement imagining every moment, leaning on your chair while watching YouTube videos, trying to learn the track beforehand. Hoping for two days full of action, high adrenaline, and the one thing you love most. Bikes. Never have I felt so charged up on a Monday morning, the credit for which goes to my colleague, Dhanil Vira, as he confirmed my name for the upcoming Suzuki Gixxer Cup – Media Endurance Race. I had my fair share of track days but it would be my first-time experiencing Kari Motor Speedway (KMS). KMS is a 2.1 km technical playground for anyone who wants to master the art of racing and what better than the newly launched, race-spec, Gixxer 250 MotoGP Edition to have as your weapon.
Day 1. A delayed one-stop flight had me rushing straight to KMS, worrying that I’d miss precious track time. Luckily, I reached just as they were about to introduce the bike to us. The race-spec Suzuki Gixxer 250 would leave any biker in awe. The engineers at Suzuki did a phenomenal job bringing this bike to life. These bikes were fresh out of the oven, waiting for us to test their limits through the weekend. It had everything a race-spec bike should have barring a few modifications which can be excused considering the bike debuted in this year’s Gixxer Cup. In comparison to its stock brother, it gets racing clip-on handlebars, raised rear-set footpegs and a rake lowered by 1 mm, which gives the rider an aggressive and committed riding stance. The bike was equipped with a set of super-sticky Metzeler Sportec M7RRs which enhance the grip exponentially.
Stealing the spotlight was the feather-weight full system exhaust, custom-developed only for the race-spec Gixxer 250. It enables a significant boost in power, reduces weight and has a growl which you would never tire from, leaving you asking for more. The Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP livery shoots its aesthetic value off the roof. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself staring at the bike endlessly, losing all consciousness of what’s around you. I couldn’t wait to get into my race suit and let this beast unleash. We suited up, followed by a briefing session on track regulations and race format by the FMSCI Stewards and Race Marshalls.
Due to delays in their schedule, teams were established randomly before we got started and the qualifying session was clubbed with practice. I was paired up with Varad More, who I was eager to learn from knowing his experience with bikes. We each got 15 mins to learn the track and go for a time-attack. As I got onto the bike, I was blown away with how smooth the ride was, gearing was absolutely seamless, albeit the gearing could’ve been taller as you could hear almost everyone redlining through the main straight. The bike felt a bit petite for my liking and could’ve used a wider fairing making the bike more aerodynamic. The brakes were adequate, and along with sticky tyres, instilled enough confidence to attack corners with speed.