The Suzuki Gixxer SF is comfortable in the city and an absolute blast in the mountains. It has lost almost nothing from the outgoing Gixxer SFG, while gaining so much more.
Suzuki has been absent from the quarter-litre motorcycle segment for quite a while now, and while other have already made their mark, Suzuki just brought in their 250cc Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 — a bike that brought along with it a whole new design language that is sleek and race ready.
But Suzuki didn't stop there. Along with the all-new Gixxer SF 250, the company also launched a revamped version of the Gixxer SF, a 155cc sport-bike that looks nothing like the Gixxer SF we already had.
The old Gixxer SF, while still being kind of sporty, basically looked like a standard Gixxer with a fairing slapped on to it. There was very little difference in both the bikes. Don’t get me wrong, the old SF was a fun bike to ride. But the new bike adds some more oomph to the aesthetics while still retaining all of that fun.
Let me talk about the looks first. The new Gixxer SF is basically identical to the SF 250. It gets the same angular LED headlamp and tail lamp, a bold sculpted tank and a fairing that flows neatly into the split seat. There are mild differences however from both of these bikes like the muffler tips sport a slightly different design on either and the alloys are different too.
As for the instrument cluster, while both show essentially the same information, the Gixxer SF gets a standard LCD screen, while the 250 gets a reverse LCD display. Even with all of this, the bike looks premium. It gives off a big bike feel that not a lot of motorcycles in the same category can. Fit and finish levels too are of a quality that you can expect from Suzuki's bigger bikes.
Getting down to the powertrain, the SF retains the old Gixxer's 155cc air-cooled single. However, maybe because the motor is now compliant with BS-VI norms, it churns out slightly lower power at 14.1 PS maximum at 8,000 rpm and 14 Nm of peak torque at 6,000 rpm. Power delivery is smooth with a brilliant punch somewhere around the centre of the rev band. I have to say though that the bike's eagerness to climb higher in the rev range took me quite by surprise. Compared to the Yamaha R15, however, the engine performance may not be up to par but it is certainly engaging to ride. If ridden back to back with the old SF, I don't think you would be able to tell the difference. Well, maybe in how you feel while sitting on the bike.
The ergonomics of both bikes are completely different. The new SF gets a new set of clip-ons, some rear-set foot pegs and a tank and seat that is narrow enough for you to grapple with your knees while blitzing down the straights. The clip-ons put you in a decent attack position, but it's not too committed, so you're not stooping too far forward. It's easy to take on a few hours without discomfort settling in. The seat too, while narrow is fairly big, so there is plenty of space to move around from full tuck attack stance to commute stance. It's soft enough so that your rear end doesn't get sore.
Like I said before, the older Gixxer SF was a fun bike to ride. The new SF holds firm to that playful nature. The bike, despite its more sporty appearance and added weight, is nimble enough, allowing you to zip through traffic easily. Suspension is a little odd. It feels just a little too hard for the streets and a little too soft for the track. It will soak up most of the impact from bumps, but you will know you hit something. However, while cutting through corners, it will feel like you're being tossed around a bit. Brakes seem fine. They have good initial bite, but progression seems okay. There is ABS to complement that and while it is single channel, it works beautifully. I hit the brakes really hard a few times and I never felt like I would wash out the front tyre. The radials are grip well and it doesn't seem like you'll run out of traction even while making sparkies in the corners.Overall, the good thing about this bike is that you will feel just right in any kind of situation, be it commuting to work every day or tearing it up at the race track. The Suzuki Gixxer SF is comfortable in the city and an absolute blast in the mountains. It has lost almost nothing from the outgoing Gixxer SFG, while gaining so much more.