The Suzuki Gixxer SF will be the newest contender to the feisty Yamaha YZF-R15 that has ruled the Indian streets as the pinnacle of style and performance in the 150cc segment.
After several failed attempts in the recent past, Suzuki finally managed to get it right with the Gixxer street-fighter that is one of the most sought after bikes to look out for in the segment. The Gixxer is actually so good that we crowned it ‘Motorcycle of the year 2014’ and that only goes to show that Suzuki has been smart to learn and adapt to its surroundings. Having grabbed a considerable market share from the Yamaha FZ in the segment, the Japanese giant has now worked up another 150cc contender, but this time the company plans to go against the popular YZF-R15.
Full-faired bikes have a certain charm in India that never fail to impress and Yamaha was quick to capitalize on it when it launched the YZF-R15 in 2008, an inhibition-less 150cc performance bike that diminished the difference between the road and track. Seven years and a major update later, the R15 still manages to keep the sales charts happy while also looking fresh as ever. Having derived its styling from the last generation R1 super sports, the R15 did justice in every way to the enthusiast rider with its sharp lines, dual headlamps, rearset foot pegs, high tail section and split seats. More importantly, the R15 looks relevant even today despite its age and that definitely shows how Yamaha got it right on the first go.
Don’t jump to conclusions just yet, the Suzuki Gixxer SF has attributes of its own. From what we see in these images, the Gixxer SF like the R15 relies on its older siblings for design traits. However, unlike the R15, the SF isn’t just another me too. While references are evident, not all is the same and that gets the full faired Suzuki extra points for originality. Compared to the Yamaha, the faired Gixxer is softer on the lines which are more curvaceous and have a certain flow. It certainly does not look as aggressive as the R15 and that is a good thing. The split seats aren’t present, but you do get the more comfortable step-up seat, whereas the wide handlebar from the street-fighter will continue to keep the riding position upright.
Much like the bigger Suzuki models, we reckon the styling of the Gixxer SF will also grow on you as the GSX-like inverted triangular headlight cluster and the prominent side fairing with bold livery are hard to ignore. The novelty on the SF will also be longer compared to the R15 mostly because of the originality in its design. What you do miss though are the clip-on handlebars and possibly a slimmer exhaust unit that will appeal to the full faired nature of the SF.
Nevertheless, the Suzuki Gixxer SF could just be that ideal faired tourer that you were looking out for. Not only will it be more affordable than the Yamaha R15, but also a little easier to live with. The sporty SF just happens to come out of the need of an affordable sports bike that provides the looks and machoism of the bigger idols without the actual mechanicals. Speaking of which, the Gixxer SF will be powered the same 154.9cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine hiding behind that fairing. There is no doubt, the R15 has the better handling and performance but for those looking for a full-faired Japanese bike on a budget, the Yamaha isn’t the cheapest choice anymore. The Gixxer SF does compete with the semi-faired Fazer but is likely to rob away buyers from the R15 as well.
Pictures Source – GaadiWaadi on Twitter