Bike Tested: 2010 Suzuki Slingshot 125
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 51,034/-
At one end of the spectrum, Suzuki India launched the GSX-R1000 and the Bandit 1250S, while on the other end, it they launched another 125cc offering, the Slingshot. The Slingshot is an entry level bike, and Suzuki’s re-entry into the 125cc commuter segment. Suzuki aims to gain a large chunk of the commuter market with the Slingshot and the market has high expectations from it, but does it live up? We find out in this Suzuki Slingshot road test review.
Styling – The 125cc is getting crowded with every new launch and the manufacturers are adopting to stylish bikes to differentiate their offerings. The Slingshot is no different and is quite impressive to look at, specially at first glance. The body line of the bike is quite masculine.
The headlamps have a tinge of FZ inspiration in them.
The unique looking alloy wheels are very different and eye catching though you have an option of spokes wheels as well.
The bikes fuel tank capacity is 12 liters including reserve which is quite decent and the reserve is 2.1 litres which again is quite good for a 125cc machine.
Small yet functional rear tail lamp. Absence of LED not shocking at all.
Instrumentation and Switchgear –The instrument cluster of the bike is quite disappointing and does not seem to be finished. However we like presence of gear indicator on the cluster which helps you know in which gear you are riding the bike which comes handy for newbie bike riders. The company could have come up with more decent looking instrumentation which would have enhanced the look of the bike even further.
Switchgear quality of the bike is of very high quality and Suzuki has used one of the best plastics. The right side houses the electric start (standard on all models), large engine kill switch and light on switch.
The left side features the pass switch, light controls, turn switches, choke and horn control.
Ride, Handling, Gears and Braking – The front suspension is a telescopic, coil spring, oil damped suspension and the rear suspension is a swing-arm, coil spring, oil damped suspension. What this translates on the road is a smooth ride. The Slingshot is very comfortable on city roads and keeps you well insulated from the bad roads which we Indians have to face on a daily basis. The seat provides ample support for both the rider and the pillion and the seating posture is very comfortable for continuous long rides.
The bike changes direction very swiftly owing to its light weight and bigger 18″ wheels. It is very easy to handle in city roads and the steering feels light and well weighted. The 5-speed gear box slots in perfectly, finding gear is never a problem and even neutral can be engaged without a hitch. The gears are very smooth, however there is a lot of gap in the bikes gear paddle but since our test bike was absolutely new (had done only 10 km when it arrived to us), we think this problem should be eliminated once it gathers some mileage.
The Slingshot is powered by all drum brakes, The braking of the Slingshot is a bit disappointing to the say the least. The throw of the brakes is too much and the rear brake lever has too much play. One has to consciously ensure that they press the rear brake further down to initiate any kind of deceleration. Lack of front discs even as an option come as a surprise and we expect Suzuki to start offering 240mm front discs really soon, which should sort out the average braking to a large extent.
Performance – The Slingshot is powered by a air-cooled, 4-stroke, 1 cylinder SOHC engine which as you guessed it, won’t win you any drag races. The 124cc engine has very good response and a slight twist of the accelerator in the city will ensure you won’t lag behind. This can be attributed to the concentration of torque lower down. Keep the bike between 4000-7000 rpm and it won’t disappoint you even with a pillion on board. The bike accelerates till 80kmph with ease after which the lack of horses starts to become obvious. One interesting thing we observed while riding the Slingshot was the exhaust note, it was very good for a 125cc machine, a little loud and roary but we definitely liked it. We are not sure, how a commuter would appreciate the high decibel levels of the Slingshot at high rev range though.
Conclusion – Suzuki’s re-entry into the 125cc segment seems quite promising. The Slingshot does strike the right notes on majority of the aspects a 125cc buyer would look for, something which the Zeus lacked. Although priced at a slight premium compared to its Indian rivals, the Slingshot under cuts its Japanese rival Honda by a small whisker and at the same time, does not compromise on quality. A commuter looks for mileage and we got close to 60kmpl on our test runs. With that taken into consideration, we expect Suzuki to sell alot of Slingshots in the early days but to keep the momentum going, the Japanese 2-wheeler biggie needs to offer disc brakes for the front brakes. Overall Suzuki has got a sureSHOT winner on its hands with the no nonsense SlingSHOT.
- Ride quality
- Exhaust note on high revvs
- Dated instrumentation
Suzuki Slingshot Specifications : –
Dimensions And Kerb Mass
Overall length 2,035 mm
Overall width 770 mm
Overall height 1,075 mm
Wheelbase 1,265 mm
Ground clearance 160 mm
Kerb mass (kg) 128
Type Air-cooled, 4-stroke, 1 cylinder, SOHC
Bore x Stroke 53.5 mm x 55.2 mm
Displacement (cm3) 124 cc
Compression ratio 9.6:1
Starting Kick start/Electric start
Air cleaner Non-woven fabric element
Lubrication system Wet sump
Clutch Wet multi-plate type
Transmission 5-speed (1 down – 4up)
Front suspension Telescopic, Coil spring, Oil damped
Rear suspension Swing-arm, Coil spring, Oil damped
Front brake Mechanical, Landing trailing, Drum type
Rear brake Mechanical, Landing trailing, Drum type
Front tyre size 2.75 -18 42P
Rear tyre size 3.00 -18 52P
Ignition type CDI
Spark plug NGK
Battery Kick start & Electric start spec.: 12V, 5Ah
Headlight 12V 35/35W
Brake light/Tail-Light 12V 21/5W
Fuel Tank : Capacities
Including reserve 12.0 L
Reserve 2.1 L