The ultra-competitive 150-160cc segment has a lot to offer. Long gone are days when you had to content yourself with conventional machines designed to take you from A to B with nothing to tap. But with the growing popularity of premium sports motorcycles in this segment, you are spoilt for choice.
How do you choose? We get stressed out when someone asks us what we want for lunch, much less when queried about buying a new 150cc motorcycle. But when you have an admired machine like the new Suzuki Gixxer facelift, you already have an excellent package in terms of styling and performance.
The earlier Gixxer did create a new benchmark in the segment with its unique styling and excellent performance: a value-for-money package for riders who were after modern looks, comfortable ergonomics, and reliable performance. Now, the new enhancements will continue to take it even further. Can the updated Suzuki Gixxer 150 still make it big in this highly competitive segment? We find out…
First impressions matter…
The new Suzuki Gixxer 150 facelift ranks among the most handsome bikes in its segment. With its sharp styling and low crouched silhouette, it looks even more stylish than the outgoing model. The new Gixxer is aggressive and muscular from all angles and the trapezoidal body proportions complement its sleek styling.
You get a compact oval-shaped LED headlamp, edgy fuel tanks and extended arrow shaped tank shrouds, updated body graphics, stubby dual exhaust, and a neatly laid out rear. The compact rear gets new LED lights, split-seats, alloy grab rails, and a purposeful rear tyre hugger. Other neat touches include the new end cap design for the dual exhaust as well as the blacked out alloys.
The new Gixxer carries forward the full-LCD instrument cluster from the SF150 and displays all basic information such as current speed, RPM, fuel level, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, and gear position indicator. However, unlike the Gixxer SF, the naked Gixxer misses out on the clip-on handlebars.
The most dominant factor in this ultra-competitive segment is styling. Compact body-size, well-proportioned panels, and modern features appeal to a big chunk of potential buyers. So, if you are someone looking for a stylish street sport motorcycle, the new Gixxer has plenty to offer.
A consistent performer…
The Gixxer facelift carries forward the updated 154.9cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine from the previous BS4 model. However, it now comes with a fuel-injection system replacing the carburettor from the previous model. The engine churns out 14 bhp of maximum power at 8,000 rpm, and 14 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. It continues to be powered by Suzuki’s SEP technology to strike a balance between performance and fuel efficiency.
The bike uses a five-speed transmission in a smooth shifting gearbox. Clutch feel is light and the throttle response is likewise—brisk. Open the throttle and power feeds in rapidly throughout the rev band. The motor is known for its broad low-end torque and dynamic mid-range power. The punchy engine truly comes to life between 4,500-7,500 rpm before the power band maxes out at 9,500 rpm. It is suitably tuned for lower and mid-range grunt, adequate enough for a 150cc motorcycle to negotiate urban Kathmandu traffic.
Handling and dynamics…
The Gixxer’s ergonomics have always been comfortable despite its aggressive design language. The well-positioned handlebar and footrests result in a relaxed riding position, and the bike’s compact proportions make it nimble to manage in heavy city traffic.
While the wide handlebars promote a light feel, it does restrict stress-free manoeuvring in tight spaces. Although the new Gixxer is four kg heavier than the previous model (136kg), it is still a very agile motorcycle. Compared to the outgoing model, the seat height has been reduced by 5mm, to 795mm. However, the split seat setup lacks cushioning, and it isn’t spacious either.
Ride quality on the Gixxer is somewhat iffy. Suspension is telescopic forks in front and a monoshock at rear. Although the suspension works well to soak up minor undulations and potholes, it may get bumpy on large uneven roads. However, the new Gixxer offers a good mix of ride and handling, and is stable in a straight line even when you’re overtaking at high speeds. It does feel exhausted when revved hard, with mild vibes kicking in via the handlebars and the footrests.
The Gixxer facelift rides on grippy 17-inch MRF tires that feel reassuring when you are riding into corners and braking hard. Braking is handled by discs, and supported by a single-channel ABS. The brakes have progressive feel and the single-channel ABS does its job perfectly.
Ever since its launch, the Gixxer has gained immense popularity with its powerful performance, and sporty style, making it one of the most successful products in the 150cc segment. The new Gixxer facelift exhibits these attributes perfectly. And the addition of LED lights, fuel-injection system, and a single-channel ABS system makes it an even more attractive.
Although the Rs 3.24 lakh price tag makes it the most expensive of the lot, the Gixxer facelift is so much more fun and contemporary than its rivals, making it an enticing proposition. In the segment, the new Suzuki Gixxer competes against the likes of TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, Yamaha FZ-S FI and Bajaj Pulsar NS160.