This is the Suzuki Gixxer 150, a naked bike with sporty styling and feel. It accelerates nicely on flat roads, perfect for the daily commute and zipping through traffic. The bike’s aesthetics will definitely appeal to both newbies and old-timers. It has a sleek fuel-tank shape so that it can be gripped by the rider’s legs, and a chrome twin muffler, which, aside from giving a throaty exhaust note, is a truly unique feature sure to make people give it a second look.
Add to that, the ease of operation such as going up and down through the gears very easily, even at a standstill, and you get a package that’s very user friendly. The Gixxer’s engine delivers great power and is frugal on gas at the same time, thanks to the S.E.P.—Suzuki Eco Performance Technology, developed by Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited.
Although it struggled a bit uphill when we tested it going up to Tanay and the Sierra Madre Resort, it wasn’t overly stressed and is very much at home in an urban setting as an excellent city bike. The Gixxer sports Y Spoke Magnesium wheels found in higher-end motorcycles, which are wrapped by a 100-mm front and 140-mm wide rear tires that provide good grip in dry conditions, while stopping power comes from a Bybre front disc brake and a rear drum, that despite being adequate, can be improved with a disc for better feedback and a more precise feel. A bright LED tail and brake light provide visibility from the rear and the turn signals are not integrated into the tail light assembly.
For the more advanced user, an adjustable rear mono shock allows the suspension to be tuned to suit the rider’s preference. Either being able to absorb bumps and potholes on bad roads or better handling through bends and corners. While some may find the LCD instrument panel display too busy, it is clearly visible day or night and provides useful information like a speed and gear indicator for those who like to correctly keep track of what gear they are in.
The panel itself is designed to be compact and minimalist to give the bike a cleaner overall look. The Gixxer is equipped with an automatic headlight once you turn on the ignition key. This is now a standard safety feature in almost all new motorcycles for improved visibility even during daytime.
Another notable safety feature is that the rider will not be able to start the engine without pressing the clutch lever. This prevents accidentally starting the bike in gear and running away from the rider. With so many things positive about this bike, there is, however, one area that Suzuki can improve on—using the kick starter. This requires folding the foot peg first.
Although the only time we may need to use it is when the battery becomes weak or when the electric starter fails. In terms of pricing in the premium 150cc sport naked segment, the Gixxer is P25,000 cheaper than the Yamaha FZ16 and about P 13,000 more than the Kawasaki Bajaj Rouser 150NS. All three Japanese brand bikes are imported from India. The key differences are the Yamaha FZ16 uses fuel injection while the Kawasaki Rouser 150 is equipped with a TPS or Throttle Position Sensor for improved fuel efficiency and sports narrower tube type tires.
Over all it’s a great bike, probably one of the best in the standard naked 150cc class. Suzuki may be starting a new trend by referring to it as a “street sport”. Although there are many 150cc motorcycles in the market, “most are business models, off road bikes or underbones,” In short, good value for money. A vast majority of first-time motorcycle buyers choose scooters and underbones. While price is one of the deciding factors in these choices, simplicity and ease of use are also taken into consideration. For those who choose to go the other direction, a manual clutch and gear shift, and are just starting to ride, the Gixxer is a great learner bike for improving skills on a ‘proper’ standard bike.
The ergonomics allow the rider to be more connected to the bike and thus generate more confidence. It’s also great for seasoned riders who like to ride long distances because of the upright and relatively non-aggressive riding position. The 12-liter gas tank and good fuel economy will get you far in between fill-ups. So just in case you’re still not convinced of the bike’s street cred, know this: prior to its arrival on Philippine shores, the bike had already won numerous awards in India, including one from Top Gear. A clear testament to how good the bike really is.