Suzuki Gixxer SF Review
Bike Tested: 2015 Suzuki Gixxer SF
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 98,340/- (Standard), 1,00,125/- (MotoGP Edition)
The addition of a full fairing drastically boosts the appeal of the Gixxer, the SF looks striking
One product can change the fate of a company and when we factor in the Indian 2-wheeler market, we can confidently name products for almost all manufacturers. Pulsar for Bajaj, Splendor for Hero, Activa for Honda, FZ for Yamaha, Apache for TVS, Dukes for KTM, Mojo for Mahindra (we said fate of the company which can be both positively or negatively) and of course the Gixxer for Suzuki. Dwelling on the success of their most popular motorcycle in India, Suzuki has cleverly slapped on a full fairing on the popular 155cc offering, calling it the Gixxer SF. We get astride and come convinced that this Japanese offering has the makings of a winner.
Motor Quest: Suzuki’s motorcycle sales in India were too minor but post the launch of the Gixxer in September 2014, the company’s motorcycles sales quadrupled instantly. The Gixxer SF was launched in April 2015 and will further help the Japanese company to reach a target of 1 lakh Gixxer sales a year.
Styling – Suzuki has played a master stroke with the Gixxer SF as it’s the cheapest full faired bike in India. The company could have gone for semi-faired like its rivals but went the long haul knowing very well how important design is in making a product successful. Probably Suzuki learned it from the GS150R, a very competent product which failed to sell because of the lack of spunk in its visual attire. Coming to the Gixxer SF, it is based on the Gixxer and shares almost each and every part with it, there are a few minor changes but the rest is the same. Yes, that’s right, the headlight on the Gixxer and Gixxer SF are the same but when you view the latter, you don’t feel so because it reminds you of the Hayabusa.
Suzuki conceptualised the design of the full-faired version at the time of designing the street-fighter and hence the similarity which also leads to economies of scale. There is of course the big differentiator, a full fairing which was wind tunnel tested at the same place where the Hayabusa was aero tested. The fairing gels extremely well with the rest of the bike and makes this a natural looking sport bike, not an after thought. Other changes include new clear lens indicators (we complained about the ones on the Gixxer when we first rode it), pinstripes on the wheels and aluminium exhaust end cover rather than chrome seen on its street-fighter sibling. The MotoGP edition looks slick with the Suzuki racing blue colours and “SUZUKI” running across the side.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The only change on the Gixxer in this department is the key which gets a chrome finish for the Suzuki logo, rest all remains the same. So you get a digital instrument cluster (it now sits surrounded by black plastic which isn’t very tasteful) which looks like a smart phone and carries a slew of data on it including gear position indicator, Eco/Power indication (depends on what RPM you are riding), twin trip meters, clock, tachometer on the top and a large speedometer too. Switchgear quality is excellent and you get the usual buttons which are seen on all other motorcycles in this segment (except Honda of course).
Ergonomics – The Suzuki Gixxer SF might resemble bigger bikes from the company’s stable but don’t expect a supersport riding position as there are no changes to the handlebar’s height. The seat, tank and footpegs remaining in the same position means that the Gixxer SF is similar to the regular Gixxer in terms of ergonomics. The bike gets a handlebar clamp for improved stiffness of the steering but that doesn’t make a world of a difference. The mirrors are now on the fairing and not on the handle, they give a good view of what’s behind. So in essence, the riding position is the same as the regular Gixxer, the bike might look sporty but you sure won’t look like a racer riding this machine.
Performance – When you have a tried and tested formula, why mess with it or so has been the thinking at Suzuki. That’s because the Gixxer SF while employing the same smooth 155cc engine as its naked twin, doesn’t get any change in output. It produces the same juicy 14.6 HP and 14 Nm. However weight is up but only by 4 kgs which is shockingly minuscule for the full fairing. So with a similar weight and output, performance of the Gixxer SF is nearly identical to the regular Gixxer. Thus the bike has a crisp throttle response and pulls effortlessly till the ton, taking just 16.8 seconds. The mid-range is strong and it redlines cleanly like a Japanese motor should, the limiter kicking in at 10,000 RPM.
The Gixxer SF carries the same heart but the improved aeros results in a higher top speed
What has always impressed us about the Gixxer is the throaty exhaust note and it’s no different with the SF either. It’s a fun to ride motorcycle due to the bike having punchy performance, being among the fastest motorcycles in its class. What has changed on the Gixxer SF is the top speed, it does a speedo indicated top whack of 135 km/hr which is a good 10 km/hr more than its naked counterpart. This is thanks to the improved aerodynamics due to the full fairing, the visor helping one to deflect wind but one does have to duck down. The 5-speed gearbox is a joy to use and is precise with shifts. The engine is equipped with SEP and Suzuki claims a mileage of 63.5 km/l, with normal riding, we are managing to get 45 km/l on our long term Gixxer so the SF should be no different but could be more efficient than the street-fighter at high speeds (constant cruising on both bikes at 100 km/hr will result in slightly more mileage on the SF).
Riding Dynamics – The Gixxer SF is a very potent motorcycle thanks to its solid underpinnings. It handles beautifully with slightly more front-end feel but with the full fairing, you look cooler doing knee downs around corners because it does look like a mini Hayabusa from certain angles. The chassis is confidence inspiring and those wide MRF tyres have a ton of grip in them. But the exhaust does scrape when you lean hard, the ground clearance is the same as the regular Gixxer and thus tall speed-breakers can be an issue. The ride quality is neither too stiff, nor too soft, it’s just right and the suspension does a fine job of damping on our roads. Braking performance is good, the lack of rear disc should have been addressed on the SF. The bike feels slightly more stable than the non faired Gixxer at high speeds.
Verdict – The Suzuki Gixxer SF is just the motorcycle for most young buyers in India. It has a good balance of power and efficiency, the console comes loaded with a lot of info, the balance between ride and handling is fantastic, and the appearance of this machine will surely grab many’s attention. While it’s a full faired machine, it is still comfortable and priced attractively to woo buyers. It’s a cosmetic variant of the highly praised and potent Gixxer with SF bringing nothing new to the table mechanically. Suzuki could have given it a more aggressive riding position, split seats, slightly more power, rear disc and even projector headlights but that would have increased costs. Still in spite of that, for Rs. 10,000/- more than the regular Gixxer, the SF is still quite the bang for the buck as it is the cheapest full-faired motorcycle in the country and that too by quite a margin.
Suzuki has taken the tried and tested Gixxer street-fighter and slapped on a fairing to boost its visual appeal dramatically. That has worked well because many people are now considering this motorcycle just for its looks. This should definitely sell well.
* Full fairing drastically transforms the desire for the Gixxer, it now appeals to a wider audience
* Engine has a good balance of performance and frugality, sounds good too
* Handling is good and this bike is very fun to ride without affecting the comfort
What’s Not So Cool
* Only cosmetic changes, gets no mechanical changes whatsoever, more power would have been welcome
* Lacks rear-disc brake and should have got split seats to go with the sporty appeal
Alternatives: Yamaha Fazer V2, Bajaj Pulsar 150 AS
Suzuki Gixxer SF Specifications
* Engine: 154.9cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, 2-valve with SEP
* Power: 14.8 PS @ 8000 RPM
* Torque: 14 Nm @ 6000 RPM
* Transmission: 5-speed
* 0 – 100 km/hr: 16.89 seconds
* Top Speed: 125 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 45-50 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Frame: Single Downtube
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 100/80/17 (Front), 140/60/17 (Rear)
* Brakes: 266 mm Disc (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear)
Suzuki Gixxer SF Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 2050 mm x 785 mm x 1085 mm
* Wheelbase: 1330 mm
* Ground Clearance: 160 mm
* Seat Height: 780 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 12-litres
* Kerb weight: 139 kgs
Riders: Hrishi Mandke
Further Reading –
Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Pulsar AS 150 vs Yamaha Fazer
Pulsar AS 150 vs Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha Fazer – Video
Suzuki Gixxer Review
Suzuki Gixxer Long Term Review
Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ vs Honda CB Trigger vs TVS Apache 160
Suzuki Gixxer vs Honda CB Unicorn 160 vs Yamaha FZ
Honda CB Unicorn 160 vs Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ – Video