The 150 cc segment started a new wave of sporty motorcycles in the mid-2000s trying to capture the fancy of the new age buyer. The Indian customer was yet to associate sporty and fun with affordability, so a welcome change was in order. Over the years though, the 150 cc motorcycle segment hit its own saturation point with different offerings from different manufacturers, albeit all looking quite similar to each. However, a big change arrived when Suzuki Motorcycle India decided to enter this space in 2014. For a product that needed to resonate with the young college goer’s fresh with his driver’s license as well as the old but young at heart office veteran, the Japanese manufacturer looked up to its iconic litre-class motorcycles for some inspiration, and the Gixxer 155 was born. Deriving its name from the legendary GSX series, the new Suzuki Gixxer isn’t just a namesake but adopts heavily from the GSX-S1000 street-fighter. The end result was a brawny, masculine looking motorcycle with the power to disrupt the segment, and it did.
It is interesting than that even after being in the market for four years, the Suzuki Gixxer continues to be sold without any major design change and yet looks fresh and effortless visually. The sculpted 12-litre fuel tank looks chiselled, as a champion athlete would be. Lean and mean! While the step-up style seat serves as a reminder to its superbike genes. Add to that is the low-set single headlamp and the Gixxer is all about grabbing attention on the road. However, what’s interesting are the little details on the motorcycle that appeals the most to a buyer looking for a sharp, sexy and yet practical daily ride.
The Y-shaped alloy wheels deserve a special mention and so does the twin-tip exhaust muffler. The short yet well integrated LED taillight is hard to miss out, while the 140 section rear tyre adds to that masculine appeal and the “big” bike appearance. Offered with three colour options, our pick has to be the Suzuki Racing blue on the Gixxer.
The Suzuki Gixxer also managed to bring some freshness to the segment with the all-digital instrument cluster. Neatly laid out and easy to read, the digital console packs in all the details that you would want including the speedometer, gear position indicator, rpm indicator, shift light, trip metre and a digital clock. Also impressive is the fit and finish across all components on the motorcycle.
Suzuki Motorcycle India invested a lot of time and effort and bringing the Gixxer to life. The inspiration from the litre-class GSX wasn’t just limited to the looks. The performance too is visceral and takes you by surprise! The 155 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine is more about offering better power delivery than being loud and attention seeking. There are 14 horses tugging inside the engine and the chassis has been dynamically designed to transfer all that power and performance on the road. If you are keen on track days, then you will be glad to know that the Gixxer is also a potent track tool, with the Gixxer SF having its own one-make championship every year. Try racing the Gixxer on a racetrack; it will reward you with exhilarating performance.
On the road though, the engine is quick off its feet, thanks to 14 Nm of torque available from as low as 6000 rpm. The motor is tractable and as smooth as butter even at high revs. It’s also one of the sweeter sounding engines in the segment that becomes more likeable as the revs build up. The motor barely throws a tantrum, and high-speed commutes are breezy on most occasions with speeds at a tonne easily sustainable. The 5-speed gearbox does serve the purpose well. Gears slot in well and have been optimised to balance between better power delivery and fuel efficiency.
Be it performance on straight roads or on twisties, the Gixxer astounds you with its telepathic handling and cat-like reflexes. It features thick 41 mm telescopic forks up front and a 7-step adjustable monoshock unit at the rear. For its size, this motorcycle can corner and definitely give the rider the thrill of a bigger motorcycle. It’s as easily manageable in the city as well. Long commutes are absolutely no problem for the Gixxer.
Over the years, the Suzuki Gixxer has evolved and while not a lot has changed over the surface, there have been updates underneath. The big update has been in the improvement of the braking performance on the motorcycle. Having been introduced with a front disc and a rear drum brake, the company did take customer feedback seriously and introduced the rear disc brake on the Gixxer. A substantial improvement has been immediately seen in the stopping time on the motorcycle. The braking lever has also been worked upon the newer models to offer more feedback.
However, the big and possibly the most important change has been the addition of Anti-Lock Brakes or ABS. The braking system, which was once specific to premium bikes is finally being mandated for all motorcycles (125 cc and above) in India. The Gixxer uses a single-channel ABS unit that works in tandem with the front brake and has definitely improved braking control on the motorcycle.
With prices starting at ₹ 77,015 for the rear drum brake version, going up to ₹ 87,871 (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi) for the ABS-equipped model, the Suzuki Gixxer is competitively positioned in the segment that is a mix of old and new offerings. The 2 year/30,000 kilometre warranty also ensures of a peaceful cost of ownership with four free services. An extended warranty is also available for an additional period of one or two years, depending on the owner. The Suzuki Gixxer has had the makings of a game changer right from the start and it did exactly that, begging the competition to sit up and take notice. With an accurate balance of practicality and desirability, the Suzuki Gixxer is the perfect choice for your daily ride.