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Thread: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

  1. #1
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    xBhp Rides the Suzuki Gixxer SF

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    (Un)Wrapped

    Text: Avinash Noronha/ The Monk
    Photos: Sunil Gupta & Mohit Pal

    There was a new toy in the house and like impatient children we waited to unwrap it. And it was a smart looking faired motorcycle. The Gixxer SF was launched recently by Suzuki, close on the heels of the Gixxer 155 in September 2014. The SF is essentially the Gixxer 155 (reviewed in the October 2014 issue) all wrapped up, and we were eager to unwrap this blue eyed beauty!

    The bike we got was in the gorgeous Metallic Triton Blue, with graphics inspired from Suzuki’s MotoGP bike, the GSX-RR. Homage paid to the return of the factory team to Grand Prix Racing in 2015. And the design doesn’t disappoint. From the front, the bike looks BIG, with the full faring giving it a purposeful look. The scoops next to the headlight and the fluorescent green sticker above add to the racy look. As you walk around, the looks get better, ‘Suzuki’ plastered on the side from the fuel tank to just below the indicators and at the base of the fairing gives it a ‘track ready’ appeal. The alloy rims get a strip of the same fluorescent green colour; this does draw your attention to the wheels and the beefy 41mm front forks as well. Move a little further back and the first disappointment walks in as you peek behind the fairing. There is sufficient space to see the 150cc motor wrapped up by the fairing, which just doesn’t gel with the rest of the big bike look! Of course you soon realise that this is a 150 cc commuter/tourer and the great attire cannot substitute for lack of muscle underneath. As you go full circle around the bike, you notice the sculpted tank, with comfortable knee recesses, the stubby exhaust, the 140mm rear tyre and the single piece saddle, with the split grab rails neatly fused into the tail. The verdict for looks though is best measured at every traffic light. With people craning their necks to get a look at this awesome piece of Japanese machinery, the conclusion goes in favour of the bike being a looker! The same cannot be said about the other two colours it comes in, Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Mirage White, which look rather plain Jane without the MotoGP inspired graphics.

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    Let not the full-fairing fool you though, a Yamaha R-15 competitor this is not. The Gixxer 155 targeted the FZ-S and raised the bar in the 150cc sports commuter segment; the SF similarly competes with the semi-faired Fazer. And as such, the bike comes with the same single cylinder air cooled 4-stroke engine which does duty on its naked sibling. The 154.9 cc engine produces a healthy 14.8Ps @ 8000 rpm and 14Nm @ 6000 rpm. The 5 speed carburetted bike doesn’t just get an electric starter option but also comes with a kick-start, a boon for the tourer. Though the design of the kick-lever was not quite to my liking. The highlight of the Gixxer SF is the fairing though, which has been developed after extensive wind-tunnel testing in the facilities where the Hayabusa and GSX-1000 are developed. The quality is visible to the naked eye, as the fairing is rock steady and at no point does it feel flimsy or plasticky! What is truly unbelievable is that Suzuki has managed to restrict the increase in weight to a minuscule 4 kg over the Gixxer 155.

    Last year we came away impressed with the Gixxer’s riding capabilities and so were thinking if this wrapped up version be equally impressive? The key to the bike whets your appetite as it resembles that of the Hayabusa, with a tasteful chrome ‘S’ embossed onto the plastic. Slide the key into the ignition and switch it on as the console displays a welcome message ‘Go Ready’. The console is also identical to the 155 and the fully digital dashboard displays the speedometer, odometer, tachometer, gear indicator, clock, two trip meters and fuel gauge. The tell-tale lights comprise of a gear-shift indicator, turn signal, neutral and high beam indicator. The tastefully done console is neatly nestled in the quality plastics, tucked away behind the visor. And as you look upwards from the visor the biggest eyesore on this motorcycle hits you. The mirrors. The RVMs on the fairing have extremely long stalks and coupled with the rather straight up riding posture, it feels so far ahead, as to belong to someone else’s bike completely!

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    This Suzuki, like all its elder siblings, needs the clutch to be engaged, even while in neutral, for the bike to be started. A good habit that the rider will inculcate as he saves up for his dream superbike! The motor thrums to life with a slight touch of the starter button with nary a sound from the starter motor. Though as I realized the next morning, that is the case only on a warmed up engine. Otherwise every morning it is a ritual need to engage the choke to start the engine, yes even when the day temperatures in Delhi hit 40+ deg C. Rev the engine in neutral and you hear the lovely sound of the Suzuki motor as it eggs you to get a move on. And that is exactly what we did, as it was finally time to ride…

    Engage the light clutch and slot the bike into first gear and let the good times roll. The bike immediately feels natural to the rider, who doesn’t feel the need to ‘adapt’ to it. As I faced the traffic of a metro city, I went into commuter mode, taking things slow and easy getting a feel of the motorcycle. But it just didn’t click. Something was missing, what I couldn’t quite put my finger on. As I brooded over this lack of excitement waiting at the traffic light, I forgot about the commuter mode as soon as the lights turned green. And I pushed the bike a bit and then some more. It was then that it struck me; this motorcycle does not like to be ridden slow! Grab it by the scruff of its neck and throw it around like a rag doll and it will happily comply with your every command. Flicking the bike through gaps, braking hard for an overcooked corner and generally having a ball of a time is what this bike wants to do. But on the other hand, first gear start-stop traffic is a pain with those Extra Terrestrial antennas aka RVMs sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb. It takes some time to get used to the fact that you can’t fit through the gap that you should fit through. This problem comes to the fore again when parking in tight spots, as the mirrors have to be folded in or else your neighbour might accidentally take them home!

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    The footpegs are a tad bit rear set and the bars make you lean forward ever so slightly, ensuring that you are sitting pretty for a long day’s ride. Not too aggressive or commuterish. The windscreen though felt too tiny, as it didn’t stop the wind from hitting me at speed, though the RVMs show no vibration or buzz even when you redline this bike in all gears. The engine has enough punch to pull the rider and bike at a fair clip, though high speed overtakes are tricky, since there is not much juice left north of 80kmph. Get off the gas for a moment and downshifting is necessary as rolling acceleration doesn’t get the job done. The lack of grunt is sufficiently made up by the sweet handling; very instinctive, you can look and it will follow your visual path. Never for a moment one feels like wrestling the bike into a corner. Just think and it will happen. Though cornering on this bike is not a bed of roses, the thorn in the flesh being the foot-pegs, scraping the tarmac at even those minor lean angles that a dyed in the wool tourer like me would attempt. Not something I expected.

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    Braking is a mixed affair with the front Bybre disc giving good feedback and is progressive, allowing the rider to brake as hard and late as his skills allow, though the story at the rear is different. The drum brakes just don’t cut it and I hope Suzuki will give a disc at the rear, at least as an option. Turning the bike is easy, with mid corner corrections and bumps posing no problems at all. The MRF tyres do a wonderful job of keeping the rider rubber side down even on gravel and dirt. And as we realized on the wet roads of Lavassa with the 155, even rain doesn’t hamper the fun quotient. The suspension on the bike is firm and is not for those looking for extreme comfort, which is not to say it isn’t comfortable but just that it is built for spirited riding. And as such the rider can accelerate, brake, corner and move around in the saddle with the bike maintaining its composure. Another interesting thing to note is that the Ground Clearance remains the same at 160 mm between the faired and naked Gixxers. This is good news for tourers who might find themselves travelling on bad or no roads.

    Though we had the bike just for a few days, it would appear that living with it should be a pleasure, though a few minor irritants do exist. Parking is an issue with those far reaching RVMs. The fuel knob is nicely tucked in the bodywork; it looks good but difficult to access with gloved hands. The fuel tank cap does not get a hinge and the entire lock unit needs to be removed for refuelling. The pillion seat is not the most comfortable around in the market. I do sometimes wonder why the present day motorcycle manufacturers are so against pillion comfort! The headlight is 35W which is adequate for the city, but not so for a highway spin. Though the 12 litre fuel tank coupled with an expected fuel efficiency of 45kmpl should give it a wonderful range for touring at speeds of 80-100 kmph comfortably.

    The Suzuki Gixxer SF is priced at Rs. 94238/- On Road Delhi for the metallic triton blue, which is almost 11 grand more than the Gixxer 155, which is a large amount for a fairing! Is the excess monies charged worth it? That depends on your love for faired bikes. There is no other full-faired bike below a lakh, which gives youngsters a chance to own a well-built motorcycle which looks gorgeous to boot!

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  2. #2
    Aim n Shoot
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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    The pillion seat is not the most comfortable around in the market. I do sometimes wonder why the present day motorcycle manufacturers are so against pillion comfort!
    Perhaps they are after contenting the rider alone, as pillion on these motorcycles often takes out that feeling.
    Santosh Vaza likes this.

  3. #3
    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Those large RVMs are also a direct competitor to the Fazer.

    Nice review sir jee. Though I highly doubt that this bike would redline in all gears as stated.

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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Nice review. Bike looks great in Blue! Though I don't like the kick lever.

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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    It is looking fabulous
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    Race Replica dineshaugustin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    excellent review. explained well in details. And superb photos. regarding top end acceleration, even myself after riding Fz and Gixxer back to back, i was surprised to know the fact that my Hunk outperformed both the bikes in top end. just post 70kmph, my bike pulled like crazy. whereas in Fz and Gixxer i felt like there is not much torque left post 70kmph. but these bikes have excellent handling, only the foot pegs in gixxer limited its leaning angle.
    SatSon likes this.


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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    I am pretty confused between RS200 and the Gixxer SF. Need pillion comfort, long rides as well as decent city rides. Not going to be cornering or racing on track but still need a powerful engine which wont give way under pillion weight and ghats. Plus, am not too sure of suzuki service network or quality, bajaj is pretty spreaded across the country. Any suggestion will be of great help.

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    Moderator Divya Sharan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Quote Originally Posted by yudhistir View Post
    I am pretty confused between RS200 and the Gixxer SF. Need pillion comfort, long rides as well as decent city rides. Not going to be cornering or racing on track but still need a powerful engine which wont give way under pillion weight and ghats. Plus, am not too sure of suzuki service network or quality, bajaj is pretty spreaded across the country. Any suggestion will be of great help.
    This is not the right thread for your query. Go through ownership threads of both bikes and take test rides. You may as well create a thread of your own in 'What Bike' section so that other members can help you out.
    But I guess you've made your mind already keeping in mind SVC availability and stuff.

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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Divya Sharan View Post
    This is not the right thread for your query. Go through ownership threads of both bikes and take test rides. You may as well create a thread of your own in 'What Bike' section so that other members can help you out.
    But I guess you've made your mind already keeping in mind SVC availability and stuff.
    Thanks, I'll do that, I havent made up my mind, it was just an observation, I just want to be sure if the 50k difference for RS200 is worth it as my needs may suffice with a Gixxer as well
    Divya Sharan likes this.

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    Default Re: Suzuki Gixxer SF Review

    Great pictorial review I should say. The pics did all the talking. Forget about power, this bike is total drool. I have seen only 1 in my locality and that garners a lot of attention. Yes, it is The Blue colour. Now Only if this would have come with a 250cc mill.
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