It's been 13 long years since Suzuki parted ways with TVS in 2001, and entered India in 2004 as a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan. And since then, the company has launched its superbikes like the Hayabusa, Intruder M1800R/M800, GSX-R1000 and Bandit 1250SA as CBU offerings as well as new models specifically designed for the masses. However, the company has not been able to gain a strong hold with its mass market offerings.
The Japanese manufacturer currently has a few offerings in the commuter segment, which include motorcycles from both 100cc and 150cc segment, GS150R being the only model in the 150cc segment. But as the saying goes, better late than never and the bike maker is finally launching the new Gixxer in July 2014, which it claims to be a premium 150cc offering designed for the youth.
The first media unveil of the Gixxer in Mumbai created quite a stir, with the motorcycle making its way to the Auto Expo 2014 for its second unveil. The Gixxer looks svelte in comparison to the GS150R, with aerodynamic lines from start to end, projecting itself as an aggressive motorcycle. Its compact v-shaped headlamp, comprising a halogen headlight and a parking light, adds to its overall design philosophy. An orange backlit digital instrument cluster with a speedometer, a horizontally ascending tachometer that is redlined at 9500rpm, an odometer, a fuel-gauge, trip-meters and a clearly positioned gear-shift indicator, along with a high beam, neutral indicator and turn signals on each side, is provided for rider information. The Gixxer gets a short handlebar finished in black similar to the Yamaha FZ-16 which provides a relatively comfortable upright riding position.
There's also good quality grips, switchgear and mirrors with a textured rear. The tank is neatly chiselled with deep curves on both sides and a slightly elevated mid-section which drapes down into a saddle that gives a sporty look with its red stitching from midway to the end. The shrouding on the sides enhance it's sporty appeal, with black side panels neatly covering the carburettor from both sides. The stubby exhaust canister gets a chrome rear end and a heat plate that looks and feels premium. The pillion seat comes with body coloured grab rails that are smartly embedded with the motorcycle's design lines, while an LED tail-light makes its way to the rear. Overall, the attractive Gixxer feels rich with good build quality, and attention to detail.
Suzuki claims to have incorporated GSX-R's racing pedigree in Gixxer's all new carburettor-fed four-stroke, 155cc, single-cylinder and air-cooled SOHC engine, that can be brought to life via a kick or an electric starter. Expect good low and mid range performance from the five-speed gearbox with the traditional one-down, four-up pattern, that transfers power to the rear wheel through an exposed drive chain. Suzuki has installed its very own 'Suzuki Eco Performance' system, which the company claims helps them achieve enhanced fuel economy, without compromising power.
The motorcycle seats both the rider and pillion in an upright position, with backset footrests for a sporty stance. A newly designed chassis holds the 150cc steed together, complemented by telescopic suspension upfront, and a monoshock with rectangular swingarm at the rear. Six-spoke alloys are standard, and one can expect good feedback from the 100/80 x 17 inch tubeless tyre in the front, and a 140/60 x 17 inch tubeless tyre at the rear, while cornering. A 240mm front disc brake and a 130mm rear drum brake makes its way for efficient braking.
The Japanese manufacturer is aiming high, indicating their premium 150cc bike will offer competitive performance figures. The Gixxer seems to be a promising motorcycle and might prove to be a game changer for Suzuki, sure to find buyers looking for something new and fresh. While Suzuki will reveal its pricing for the Gixxer at its launch in July this year, we estimate it to be around Rs 75,000.
First Published: Feb 18, 2014 18:38 IST