The new Swish brings to the Suzuki platter all those things that the Access did not offer. Catering to a more youthful and stylish audience, is it good enough to compete with the Hondas?
Honda has completely ruled the scooter market in India with its ever popular Activa and Dio, and the segment has become synonymous with the brand. Suzuki has also had a short glimpse of success with its Access. With the launch of the Swish, Suzuki intends to get a bigger piece of the pie.
Style and looks:
The Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer touches new levels as far as the styling of the Swish is concerned. From the Access which looks more like a scooter for the mature audience, to the Swish, which hosts a much sportier and younger image, Suzuki has made sure that their new scooter’s design is fresh and youthful. The smooth flowing lines on the V-shaped front give it a gentle yet young stance which is definitely a good change from the rather bland looking Access.
The clear lens indicators, the arrow head shaped dual tone graphics at the front as well as on the side panels add to the beauty of Suzuki’s new offering. The tail section of the bike looks somewhat feminine but that doesn’t take any points away from the overall charm of the bike. As far as the build quality is concerned, the plastics feel upmarket and the Swish doesn’t give any reasons to complain. The only thing that it lacked to keep up with its stylish look and young feel is a digital speedometer.
Space and Comfort:
Riding posture is easy and relaxed. The height of the seat from the floorboard and the cushy seats make for a comfortable ride. One doesn’t have to reach out to the handle bars and it does not strain the arms even while riding through potholes. The seat is wide, soft and comfortable, not just for the rider but also for the pillion. The aluminium grab rail is large and easy for the pillion rider to hold on to. Under-seat storage space is optimum and at par with most competitors, but it is not big enough to hold a full sized helmet but a modular and half faced helmet can fit with ease. The seat opening mechanism is included in the ignition area is particularly convenient.
Ride and Handling:
Ride quality on the new Swish is simply top notch. The suspension is well set up as the Swish finds a median between a stiff suspension and a soft one. In other words, it is not extremely stiff such that it will transfer its hatred of potholes by sending out signals to your back, nor is it very soft to make for a bouncy ride.
The front telescopic forks ensure that one doesn’t feel any judder on the handle while braking. The light weight and the short wheelbase of the scooter make it easy to manoeuvre through city traffic but on the counter side, it does not inspire confidence after the speedometer crosses the 70 km/h marker. 160mm of ground clearance makes sure that the under belly does not kiss any of our giant speed bumps.
Engine and Performance:
The Swish hosts the same engine that powers the Access, and apart from the styling the two bikes are pretty much the same. The 124cc engine of the Swish that produces 8.7PS of power and 9.8Nm of torque feels exceptionally peppy and is definitely one of the quickest scooters in the market. Extremely quick off the line, the Swish touched the 60km/h marker in just 7.7seconds, which is almost a second faster than any of the scooters that we have tested. Even though it is light and fast, it really struggles to touch its top speed of 92km/h. Braking is nothing short of brilliant. The 120mm drum brakes on the Swish can bring it to a standstill from 60km/h in just 3.1 seconds. The efficient braking is in accordance with the quick nature of the scooter.
Owing to the peppy nature of the engine, one tends to hit the throttle hard eventually reducing the overall mileage of the scooter. In our efficiency testing, the Swish gave us an average of 35kmpl in the city and 47kmpl on the highway which is just about at par with the competitors in the segment.
Honda has been dominating the scooter segment for a long time now, but Suzuki seems to have pulled up its socks to realise the potential of the segment in India. The Swish surely is a good overall package, and it has the potential to dethrone the big H, as long as the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer works on expanding its service network. That being said the Swish is surely a one of the best buys in the market.