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The Gixxer goes down the sporty route

Debabrata Sarkar | Updated on November 06, 2014

Suzuki’s 150cc runner Gixxer.

Suzuki’s 150cc runner Gixxer.

Suzuki’s 150cc runner Gixxer.

Suzuki’s 150cc runner Gixxer.

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Suzuki’s 150cc runner gets the GSX-R badge promising performance. This is a bike to watch out for

Being a part of the 150cc segment in the motorcycle business has become more and more necessary over the years. There are more than 10 bikes to choose from and some manufacturers have even gone with a two-bike strategy where one caters solely to the sportier buyer, like the Yamaha R15 and the Honda CBR, while the other delivers a more user-friendly experience with an upright riding stance like the Yamaha FZ-series and the Honda Unicorn.

Suzuki has had a rather plain-jane GS150R on offer for some time now, but clearly they are gunning for a bigger piece of the pie with the new Gixxer.

Suzuki has decided on a slightly different approach to other Japanese manufacturers. They have chosen to carry over the popular name from their performance motorcycles, the GSX-R, and chosen to put it on a sporty, but naked street motorcycle. The massively sculpted tank, the twin-port exhaust with a chromed tip on it and the fat 41-mm front forks hint towards the Gixxer being something of a special motorcycle. Information is read out from the digital instrument cluster with the rev counter at the top, an in-gear indicator, apart from the usual speedo, odo and fuel gauges.

Comfortable position

Hop on to the saddle and the Gixxer feels nicely sorted out and a comfortable riding position is easy to find. The handlebar is within easy reach and the contoured seat has enough room to move around till you find your perfect spot. However, the best bit is the sculpted tank and the deep recesses for your knees to tuck in comfortably. Switchgear feels good too with the standard assortment of controls laid out, including the engine kill switch. It even comes with a clutch lock; you cannot start the motorcycle without depressing the clutch, which is a thoughtful feature.

Suzuki’s mills have traditionally been smooth mechanisms and the Gixxer carries on along the same lines. The 155cc carburetted motor is refined and has a decent bottom-end and strong mid-range performance before tapering off into a slightly stressed top-end. It feels best between 4,000 and 7,000 rpm when reactions are instant with a fair amount of grunt on tap, and it sounds nice and throaty too. Unlike the GS150R, Suzuki has decided to stick to a five-speed gearbox for the Gixxer and it is possibly the smoothest one you’ll ever come across. It literally feels like it has been set in butter.

Supple ride

On the road, the bike’s 41mm front forks coupled and the monoshock at the rear deal with broken surfaces capably and still manage to be firm for some excellent handling. It’s only on really bad roads that you are better off standing on the pegs and it is for those few moments that you wish the tank was slightly narrower. It felt perfectly composed even at speeds close to triple digits as well as through twisty bits in the surrounding hills of Pune where we were testing it.

Getting to 100kph with the 14.6bhp motor powering this 135kg motorcycle is fairly easy and the gear ratios are well matched to extract the most out of the engine. Fuel efficiency isn’t too bad either with the bike returning about 40-45 kms, under varied conditions, on a litre of petrol.

Suzuki has always managed smooth, efficient motorcycles, but they have always had some bits missing. Some were down on power while others were just not that good to look at. But, with the Gixxer, they have managed to bring everything together in an excellent package. It looks very good, has all the features you expect from a motorcycle at this end of the market. The 155cc motor packs enough grunt and the gearbox is super smooth and they are brought together by the excellent ride and handling. With prices starting at ₹72,199 (ex-showroom Delhi) this is a bike to watch out for.

Published on November 06, 2014

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