The new Suzuki Gixxer has been unveiled and it looks great. But there's a lot more to it as well
One thing is for certain, the new Suzuki Gixxer is a beautifully styled motorcycle. Suzuki's target group for this bike is the younger, college going lot along with young executives. And we think this styling alone will hold it in very good stead in this crowd. The chiselled tank, the upswept tail piece and that twin-holed, large oval exhaust, not to mention the 140 section rear tyre, give it street presence that's currently unparalleled in its class. The Gixxer is, in fact, the best looking motorcycle in the affordable 150cc category.
Yes, the Gixxer might not look it (it looks more like a 200) but it is a 150cc, or 155cc to be precise. And it's not an engine that it shares with the GS 150R; Suzuki's other more commuter centric 150cc motorcycle. According to Suzuki, the Gixxer's engine is all new; it uses new piston and combustion chamber design; lighter and more slippery components; and it doesn't even sport the same bore and stroke values as the GS. The Gixxer's engine also uses SEP or Suzuki Eco Performance; a technology Suzuki says enhances fuel economy without eating into the power stakes. It is a single cylinder engine with a single overhead cam operating two valves. The power or torque figures for the motorcycle haven't been revealed yet, but according to the Japanese two wheeler giant (which hasn't acquired that status in India yet), the Gixxer's engine will have best in class performance. Also read: Suzuki Gixxer unveiled.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and not a 6-speed as on the GS. The rationale? Officially, the gear ratios for the new 'box work so well throughout the rev range of the engine that there was no need for a 6-speed. Unofficially, the Indian junta never warmed up to a 6-speed 'box in this class of motorcycles. So the new one thus developed, was designed and optimised to deliver similar if not better performance (read rideability, acceleration and fuel economy) as the 6-speed unit.
The frame for the Gixxer is all new as well, and along with plastic panels for body work (including the fuel tank), Suzuki says, the Gixxer is the lightest motorcycle in its class. Given the engine performance claims and that of lack of weight, this new 155cc motorcycle should certainly set a new performance benchmark in the affordable 150cc product category. Getting back to the frame - the Gixxer uses a diamond type frame which is suspended on beefy 41mm front forks and a preload adjustable monoshock at the rear. The swing arm is a box section one for added rigidity.
The Gixxer's braking duties are handled by a single disc setup from Bybre at the front and a drum setup at the rear. The bike also sports a 100/70 section 17 inch tubeless tyre at the front and a fat 140/60 x 17 tubeless rubber at the rear. Given the engine capacity of the bike, the rear tyre size is quite fat, but then Suzuki says having opted for the lighter radial construction for it, it shouldn't affect the handling for the worse. Apart from its good looks, and the promise of class leading performance, and of course, a decent set of cycle parts, the Gixxer also has lovely seating ergonomics.
It has a high set and wide handlebar that feels natural to hold. The seat is low and along with footpegs which are rearset but not uncomfortably so, the Gixxer should make for a comfortable motorcycle both to ride in the city and over long distances. One can also grip the bike well thanks to a thoughtfully shaped fuel tank which has knee recesses that a majority of Indian riders will find very usable. The view from the rider's perch is welcoming too; the tank looks big and the all digital console looks modern and is easy to use. It gets two trip meters, an rpm meter and a gear indicator. Addtionally, one can customise the rpm light to come on at a preset rpm value instead of just the rev limiter. But, the rpm set has to be over 4000rpm.
The Gixxer will be launched in July with a price tag that we believe should hover around the Rs 70,000 - Rs 75,000 range. If Suzuki can manage this sticker price for the Gixxer and deliver on its promise of class leading performance, we think Suzuki definitely has a winner on its hands.