Shootout: Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ-S V3
Shootout No. 233
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,30,000/- (Suzuki Gixxer), Rs. 1,20,500/- (Yamaha FZ-S V3)
Both these motorcycles are leaders of the 150cc premium commuter segment
We all know that the Yamaha FZ kickstarted the premium commuter segment in India while the Suzuki Gixxer followed and got a fanbase of its own. With the version 3 update of the FZ, there have been a lot of changes while the Gixxer has got a major update too. While both these designs will continue to BS6, the premium commuter rivalry still stays strong. There are some differences between these motorcycles which can lead to the final decision of buying either of these.
Motor Quest: Yamaha launched the FZ in the year 2008 while Suzuki launched the Gixxer after 6 years in 2014. While there have been slight changes all along, both the FZ and Gixxer got a major design update in 2019.
Styling - Both the motorcycles have got all-new LED headlights while Gixxer is the only motorcycle with an LED tail light too. The Gixxer gets halogen indicators while the FZ gets halogen indicators as well as a taillight. There is a beefy design on the FZ with a larger piece tank which ends with chrome vents as a cowl while the Gixxer has multiple edgy panels which are similar to the earlier design. The lines flowing from the tank to the tail are a lot smoother and bulkier for the FZ while a lot sleeker and sharper for the Gixxer. There is a belly pan present on the FZ while the Gixxer misses out on one. The FZ also gets a simple saree guard while the Gixxer gets a larger and an uglier unit.
The Yamaha FZ has a matte paint job while the Suzuki Gixxer has it in gloss
The Suzuki Gixxer is available in 3 colour options while the Yamaha FZ has 4 colour options to choose from. The black plastic panels are present in similar places on both the motorcycles but the ones on the FZ are larger than the Gixxer. The FZ also gets a single-piece black coloured grabrail which looks old fashioned but tough while the Gixxer has split grabrails finished in body colour. The Gixxer also has a split-seat setup while the FZ has retained a single-piece seat. Yamaha has moved towards a simpler design language with bigger panels and usage of chrome too while Suzuki has shifted to making the motorcycle look more sharp and sleek.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear - The instrument cluster on the Suzuki Gixxer was superior to the Yamaha FZ from the start and same is the case again. Although both the motorcycles have got new clusters, the Gixxer still displays a lot more information than the FZ. While the tachometer, fuel gauge and speedometer are standard in both the consoles, the Gixxer adds a gear-position indicator, time display and a service reminder. While going through the rest of the data like odometer and twin trip meters, one has to keep clicking on the console buttons.
Gixxer's console has 2 buttons to change and reset information while the FZ has just 1 button to do the job
The console on the Gixxer has a white background and is bigger in size than the FZ. While the FZ got a digital console for the first time, it is not as satisfactory. The left side switchgear is similar both on the FZ as well as the Gixxer but the right-side switchgear which contains the starter and kill-switch is far better on the Gixxer than the FZ. Both the Gixxer and FZ have exposed consoles as both miss out on any kind of visor too.
Ergonomics - The Gixxer, as well as the FZ, retain their ergonomics from before and they are quite close to each other. The seat height of FZ is 790 mm while Gixxer is 5 mm higher at 795 mm. Both the motorcycles have an upright riding posture with centre-set footpegs and a straight handlebar. However, the handlebar is slightly higher on the FZ making it a tad bit more comfortable. The Gixxer is slightly wider and longer than the FZ but both the motorcycles have enough room for the rider as well as the pillion. The seat cushioning is on the softer side on the FZ as compared to that on the Gixxer.
Performance - While both the motorcycles are from the same category, the rivalry is even more intense. The Gixxer is powered by a 155cc motor while the FZ has a slightly smaller 149cc motor. Similarly, the Gixxer produces 1.4 BHP and 0.2 Nm of torque more than the FZ. While both the motorcycles have the same redline of 10,000 RPM the power delivery is more linear in the FZ than that on the Gixxer. The Gixxer definitely has a sharper low-end and a strong top-end but the FZ has the most wide-spread and useful mid-range. Getting off the line quickly or maintaining a higher top-speed is easy for the Gixxer but the FZ is apt for city duties. Both the motorcycles have FI while the throttle response is sharper on the Gixxer.
The Suzuki Gixxer is quick and fast while the Yamaha FZ is smooth and linear
Suzuki has really worked upon the gearbox on the Gixxer taking off all the false neutrals and hard shifts. But even though both the motorcycles get a 5-speed gearbox, the Yamaha FZ has comparatively smoother shifts. The clutch is also lighter on the FZ making it apt for traffic situations. The motor on the Gixxer is now smoother but the refinement on the FZ is unmatched. There are some vibrations that can be felt in the top-end of the Gixxer but none for the FZ. The FZ also has a bassy exhaust note but the Gixxer is louder and sounds better. The FZ is a bit more fuel-efficient and it has a better range too with a slightly larger fuel tank than the Gixxer.
Riding Dynamics - There is barely any difference in the ergonomic triangle of both the motorcycles and both are equipped with a similarly designed diamond frame. Both even have a similar suspension setup but the Yamaha FZ is more comfortable than the Suzuki Gixxer. The set up is commuter oriented on the FZ while that on the Gixxer is set up for better feedback. Even though the Gixxer has a 5 mm longer wheelbase, it tips into corners more efficiently than the FZ. Over a decade back, the FZ had such riding dynamics but Yamaha has stepped more towards riding comfort.
The FZ is a premium commuter while the Gixxer is a lot more sportier
The handlebar feels lighter on the FZ and it is quite easy to manoeuver through traffic. While that on the Gixxer is feedback-rich adding a lot of confidence to ride spiritedly. Tyres on both the motorcycles are exactly the same with exact same dimensions too and they grip really well. The brakes, however, have better feedback on the Gixxer than the FZ. The initial bite is sharp and the feedback is constant while on the FZ the initial bite feels slightly lacking and improves later. Both the motorcycles are equipped with single-channel ABS which works pretty well.
Verdict – While the Yamaha FZ kickstarted the premium commuter segment, the Suzuki Gixxer followed and made it even better. With the prices of the 150cc segment soaring above the Rs. 1 lakh mark, the difference in pricing between both these motorcycles is just Rs. 10,000/-. The Gixxer being the costlier motorcycle here has a sportier nature and better dynamics to make up for the price. If you want to get a comfortable premium commuter then the FZ makes sense, but if you are a youngster and want a sporty commuter then you should rather pick the Suzuki Gixxer.
Further Reading -
Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZ V3 [Video]
Yamaha FZ-S V3 Review
Suzuki Gixxer Review
Suzuki Gixxer Variants Explained
2019 Yamaha FZ V3 Pros & Cons
2019 Suzuki Gixxer Pros & Cons
2019 Yamaha FZ V3 Hindi Review
2019 Suzuki Gixxer Hindi Review