2016 Suzuki Gixxer SP
The Gixxer got some new upgrades
Not all debuts are sureshot 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 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 the beginning of the year 2016, Suzuki did give a mild refresh to the motorcycle by adding a couple of minute cosmetic changes and features, the most major of which was the addition of rear disc brake as optional equipment. Now, seeing the importance of festive season of 2016, Suzuki has recently launched a limited edition version of the Gixxer. Named as Gixxer SP, the motorcycle carries a small list of cosmetic changes over the standard Gixxer, and given the fact it will be produced in limited numbers, the limited edition version adds some essence of exclusivity over the otherwise now-common-on-the-roads model. Here’s our comprehensive review of the Suzuki Gixxer SP:-
As far as the overall design and silhouette goes, Suzuki has not made any significant change to the standard model for the Gixxer SP. 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, which make the motorcycle look fresher and more special.
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. Above the headlamp sits the very small crown which hides the instrument console behind it. Other body panels such as fuel tank, side body cowls, 1-into-2 exhaust pipe, LED tail lamp and rear side body panels too have been retained in the same manner as before, except for the fact that all the body panels, which include front bikini fairing, fuel tank and rear side body panels come in a special paint shade of matt grey for the Gixxer SP. The wishbone-shaped side body cowl as well as fuel tank extensions are finished in piano black paint, with the fuel extensions getting chequered graphics as well as a special golden colored ‘SP’ edition emblem. Other major additions on the Gixxer SP are maroon colored seat (which may look overdone for some) as well as a clear lens LED tail lamp (which makes the rear of the bike look more premium than before). The six spoke alloy wheels here get the same design as that on the standard model as well as a red colored pin-striping job.
The other refreshes which were introduced in the Gixxer, which include rear disc brake, key mascot and clear lens blinkers, were introduced in the Gixxer SP as well. Another component which has been shared with the standard 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 of several details in the initial usage, but the rider will get used to it after a certain period of time.
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 standard Gixxer has been blessed with. Which means that the Gixxer SP too retains the four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, 155cc engine in the same state of tune as before - 14.8 PS of maximum power and 14 Nm of torque. The mill is coupled to the same 5-speed gearbox as before, with no changes to the gear ratios, as said 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.
RIDE AND HANDLING
Apart from the engine, the suspension and braking bits too have been lifted off from the standard model of the Gixxer. The meaty front 41mm telescopic forks and rear seven-step adjustable monoshock 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. Apart from the front disc brake as same as before, Suzuki has retained the rear disc brake on the Gixxer SP as standard, which has shown improvements in terms of stopping power and overall braking feel.
Suzuki has introduced the Gixxer SP in only one dual tone paint shade of matt fibroin grey with glass sparkle black, which comes with rear disc brake as standard (unlike on the standard model, which gets rear disc brake as optional equipment). The motorcycle has been priced at Rs. 86,803, and will be produced for a limited period of time.
The biggest competitor which the Suzuki Gixxer has got in recent times has to be the Honda CB Hornet 160R, which will continue to compete with the Gixxer SP as well. Compared to the Gixxer SP, the overall design of the CB Hornet 160R is fresher, though the stance of the Gixxer SP is more muscular as compared to the sharper and leaner CB Hornet 160R. In terms of features though, the Gixxer SP leads the front with a more informative instrument console, engine kill switch and fatter front forks, though the CB Hornet 160R gets the Honda’s famed Combined Braking System (CBS) as an option, which the Gixxer SP simply doesn’t have.
[Honda CB Hornet 160R-article157248]
When it comes to performance, the CB Hornet 160R has got the horsepower advantage, as the single cylinder, air cooled, 162.71cc engine, which is good enough to produce 15.8 PS of power and 14.76 Nm of torque, making it not only more powerful than the Gixxer SP, but also over all the other 150cc offerings in India. In the aspect of ride and handling, the Gixxer SP does fare better, though marginally, over the CB Hornet 160R.
Undoubtedly, the Gixxer has been one brilliant seller for Suzuki 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. And with the Gixxer SP, Suzuki has just managed to add some zing to the motorcycle, which has now become a bit common sight on Indian roads, thereby giving some freshened feel on the Suzuki offering.
With this new update, Suzuki has just managed to make it a bit more appealing aesthetically, while the addition of rear disc brake has definitely added to its value as well as doing the job of enhancing the already impressive braking power. Though honestly, we would have liked this update even more if Suzuki could have upgraded the performance of the engine even more. So, for all those who want to make their Gixxer stand apart from the crowd, the Gixxer SP is just the perfect answer to their prayers.
- * Additional changes over standard model
- * performance
- * brakes
- * No performance upgrade
- * digital meters hard to read