Not all debuts are sure shot hits – ask Suzuki. When the Japanese manufacturer made its entry on its own almost a decade ago, it didn’t have a start as good as expected. Except for the 125cc scooter Access, no other product from Suzuki in India could shake up the already established models in their respective segments.

And this continued for almost five years, till Suzuki launched the very promising 155cc motorcycle, the Gixxer. Considering the last flops which included all of its motorcycles, including its very first 150cc bike, the GS 150R, Suzuki naturally had high hopes attached with the Gixxer. And as expected, the Gixxer became the very first hit from Suzuki in the mass market segment. With this, Suzuki too started showing signs of becoming a settled player like its Japanese rivals in India, Honda and Yamaha.

In 2016, Suzuki introduced a couple of changes to the Gixxer to counter the onslaught brought by Honda in the form of CB Hornet 160R, and now to make it even more upmarket than before, Suzuki has freshened up the Gixxer even more with a couple of new changes for 2017 model. Let’s take a look on what all changes Suzuki has carried out for the Gixxer:-

STYLING


2015 Suzuki Gixxer2017 Suzuki Gixxer

As far as the overall design and silhouette goes, Suzuki has not made any significant change to call it a major facelift. The bike retains the muscular and handsome big-bike like design, which still manages to turn heads even today. Though there are very minute but noticeable changes, they only make the bike look fresher.

Starting from the front, the new Gixxer retains the front slim bikini fairing with the triangular headlamp as before, with the headlamp unit getting a pilot lamp at the bottom of it. However, the bikini fairing now gets side graphics for the first time, and at the same time, the headlamp now gets the always headlamp on (AHO) feature, which is gradually becoming a norm for all the Indian motorcycles. As before, a very small crown sits atop of the headlamp unit which hides the instrument console behind it.

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Other body panels such as fuel tank, side body cowls, 1-into-2 exhaust pipe and rear side body panels too have been retained in the same manner as before. However, the fuel tank as well as fuel tank extensions now come with big racing graphics mimicking the name of the motorcycle in big fonts, which indeed make the motorcycle very sporty. Also, the side body cowls, split pillion grab rails and rear side body panels have been finished in matt black, to give a darker appeal to the side profile of the motorcycle. The six spoke alloy wheels now get a pin-striping job in the same way as on the fully faired Gixxer SF. Lastly, the new Gixxer now gets the same clear lens LED tail lamp which was introduced in the limited edition Gixxer SP a couple of months ago, as a standard feature now.

Other features such as new mascot key, clear lens blinkers and rear disc brake, which were introduced as new features in the last update, have been retained in this new model as well. Another component which has been shared with the previous model is the fully digital instrument console, which displays speedometer, tachometer, odometer, two trip meters, clock, gear indicator and an array of tell-tale lamps. Though informative, the console may feel a bit small and cluttered with several details in the initial usage, but the rider will get used to it after a certain period.

All in all, the new design changes on the Gixxer have made the motorcycle appear a bit sportier than before.

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Overall Dimension

Make Model2017 Suzuki GixxerHonda CB Hornet 160 RBajaj Pulsar NS 150
Length2050mm2041mm2070mm
Width785mm783mm804mm
Height1030mm1067mm1205mm
Wheelbase1330mm1345mm1363mm
Seat height780mm790mm800mm
Wet weight135kg142kg140kg

POWERTRAIN

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Rather than bringing up any power or torque upgrades or changes in gear ratios, Suzuki has rather played it safe by not making any changes to the sweet 155cc engine which the Gixxer has been blessed with. Which means that the new Gixxer too retains the four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 155cc engine in the same state of tune as before – 15 bhp of maximum power and 14 Nm of torque. However, keeping up with the norms, this engine is now compliant to BS-IV norms. The mill is coupled to the same 5-speed gearbox as before.

The fact that Suzuki hasn’t brought any changes to the engine is rather disappointing, considering the fact that the competition from Hero and Honda have moved up the game of horsepower. However, thanks to the integration of Suzuki Eco Performance (SEP) to this 155cc engine, the Gixxer promises a ‘healthy-for-a-150cc-motorcycle’ fuel efficiency of 64 kmpl.

Engine Specification

Make Model2017 Suzuki GixxerHonda CB Hornet 160 RBajaj Pulsar NS 150
Capacity cc154.9162.7149.5
Bore/ Stroke mm56/62.957.3/63.0957/63
Output15 Bhp @ 8000 rpm16 Bhp @ 8500 rpm17 Bhp @ 9500 rpm
Torque14 Nm @ 6000 Rpm15 Nm @ 6500 Rpm13 Nm @ 8000 Rpm
Type4-Stroke, 1-Cylinder, Air-Cooled, SOHC, 2 ValveAir Cooled, 4 Stroke, SI EngineSingle Cylinder, 4 Stroke, SOHC 4valve, Air Cooled, DTSi
Clutch typeWet- MultiplateWet- MultiplateWet- Multiplate
Transmission5-speed5-speed5-speed

RIDE AND HANDLING

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Apart from the engine, the suspension and braking bits too have been lifted off from the previous model of the Gixxer. The meaty front 41mm telescopic forks and rear seven-step adjustable mono shock are tuned perfectly for excellent ride and handling balance. Also, the fat and tubeless 100/80-17 front tyre and 140/60-17 rear tyre are grippy enough to take on almost all kinds of torments thrown at it in daily riding cycles. Also, the rear disc brake which was introduced in the last update of the motorcycle has increased the braking efficiency of the motorcycle.

Chassis Specifications

Make Model2017 Suzuki GixxerHonda CB Hornet 160 RBajaj Pulsar NS 150
Suspension / FrontTelescopic ForkTelescopic forkTelescopic with anti-friction bush
Suspension / RearNitrox Mono ShockSpring loaded MonoshockNitrox mono shock absorber with Canister
Brakes / Front240mm With 2-Piston Hydraulic Calliper276mm Petal-Type Disc With 2-Piston Hydraulic Calliper240mm Petal Disc With Floating Caliper
Brakes / Rear220mm Disc With 1-Piston Hydraulic Calliper220mm Hydraulic Disc With C-ABS130 Mm Drum
Tyres / Front100/80 R17100/80 R1780/100 R17 46P
Tyres / Rear140/60 R17140/70 R17100/90 R17 55P

PRICE

With introducing all these cosmetic changes, Suzuki has refurbished the colour options available as well. The motorcycle is now available in three dual tone paint schemes – Glass Sparkle Black, Metallic Triton Blue with Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Mira Red with Glass Sparkle Black.

Regarding pricing, the new Gixxer is now available at a price of ? 80117 for the rear drum brake variant and ? 82509 for the rear disc brake variant.

COMPETITION

The biggest competitor which the Suzuki Gixxer has got in recent times has to be the Honda CB Hornet 160R and the new Bajaj Pulsar NS 150.

Honda CB Hornet 160 R

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Compared to the Gixxer, the overall design of the CB Hornet 160R is fresher, though the stance of the Gixxer is more muscular as compared to the sharper and leaner CB Hornet 160R. Regarding features, the Gixxer leads the front with a more informative instrument console, engine kill switch, clear lens LED tail lamp, 1-into-2 exhaust pipe and fatter front forks. The CB Hornet 160R gets the Honda’s famed Combined Braking System (CBS) as an option, which the Gixxer simply doesn’t have.

When it comes to performance, the CB Hornet 160R has got the horsepower advantage. The single cylinder, air cooled, 162.71cc engine, which is good enough to produce 16 bhp of power and 14.76 Nm of torque, making it not only more powerful than the Gixxer but also over all the other 150cc offerings in India. In the aspect of ride and handling, the Gixxer does fare better, though marginally, over the CB Hornet 160R. It is priced starting at ?79900 (ex-showroom)

Bajaj Pulsar NS 150

1.

With the Pulsar NS 150, Bajaj has added one more feature to the very much acclaimed NS nameplate, which stands for ‘Naked Sport’ and was introduced in India with the Pulsar NS 200. The motorcycle is based on its bigger sibling, the Pulsar NS 200, and shares many components with it.

This is the most groundbreaking aspect of the Pulsar NS 150, as the motorcycle is powered by the same new generation four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, four valves, 149.5cc DTS-i engine, which powers the Pulsar AS 150. This stressed unit pumps out a very impressive 17 bhp of maximum power and 13 Nm of maximum torque and is coupled to a five-speed gearbox.

Though, the motorcycle will soon be arriving in the Indian market and will be positioned below the Pulsar AS 150, with an expected price point of ? 75,000-76,000.

VERDICT

Undoubtedly, the Suzuki Gixxer deserves to be a brilliant seller what it is today, and there are several reasons behind this excellent sales performance of it. The very likeable muscular stance and design, long list of impressive features, wonderful engine and decent ride and handling, makes it one of the best value for money motorcycle one could buy in India today.

With this new update, Suzuki has just managed to make it a bit more appealing aesthetically, as the new cosmetic changes do make the motorcycle appear a bit sportier than before. Though honestly, we would have liked this update even more if Suzuki could have upgraded the performance of the engine even more. If that could have happened, this updated Gixxer could have easily shaken up the segment as vigorously as when it made its debut for the first time almost two and a half years ago.