2016 Suzuki Gixxer SF Fi ups the game by offering the best engine which has the perfect balance of NVH, performance and efficiency
- Well Designed Fully-Faired 150cc Motorcycle
- Superlative engine and dynamics
- Powerful and fuel efficient
- Feature loaded
- Brake could be more feel-some
- Fi robs engine character of the Gixxer
Suzuki is all set for quite some time after being silent to take on its rival. The major buzz came from scooter, but the second big idea was the Gixxer which has just clearly taken off like a rocket into space and now pretty much dominates the segment from ‘above’. Let it be sales or performance it wins hearts immediately. The reason? Indians want sportiness and practicality from their motorcycle and Suzuki delivers this in spades since day one. A motorcycle that was hard to fault with (putting our jobs in danger) as there isn’t much to criticize. However, now, it gets emission friendly and economy increasing fuel-injection system. The carburetor has been replaced and chassis wise there is a new disc brake at the rear. We spend some quality time with the bike to give you a definitive verdict of the motorcycle.
Design Styling wise it has been successful since day one. However, a mention required here is that every color scheme takes off the dealership floors immediately too. You can spot the Moto GP edition to the black, red, white and other options on the road by the hoards. The motorcycle has the perfectly cut side fairing panels along with a sleek tank and minimalist tail-piece with a large clear lense tail-lamp which has LED in them just makes things instantly attractive.
The 2016 Suzuki Gixxer SF Fi here has new decals set all around which has a ‘digital’ effect to it hinting that there is ‘electronic’ trickery happening in the fueling system. Red stitching on the seat is always a great addition. The pinstripes on the wheels, the meaty dual-port exhaust and the fat suspension units on both ends makes sure it is the ideal package for people who love riding and also staring at their motorcycle on a daily basis.
The riding position is upright as the handlebars are raised. However, the seat is a little lower which then completes the sporty riding position without much fuss. The handlebars fall to your hand perfectly and the seats are well cushioned and a well sized to help large riders also feel comfortable. As you can make out from all of this, Suzuki continues its tradition of offering sitting “in the bike” and not on it. More comes on that aspect when you realize your knee’s lock in perfectly on the tank the moment you start leaning.
Mirrors on our test bike weren’t ‘screwed’ properly. The ORVM’s are also large and can cause hindrance in our tight traffic conditions. We heard many customers say the same and now we think it is a fact that we have experienced multiple times too, when we tested the bike. A shorter, better design next year could help. Overall, another area where the motorcycles impresses thoroughly.
Speedo And Switches
Top notch quality, basic switchgear is present which has an engine kill switch, pass light and other options ticked perfectly. Something that the competition could learn from. Speedo since day is always highlighted by team Suzuki. We remember Japanese engineers saying that ‘Market requires more information from speedometers’.
Suzuki has provided the same here. Gear shift indicator, RPM redline indicator, Eco and Power mode, digital tachometer and speedo, engine check light, solitary turn indicators, high beam along with neutral tell-tale lights. A top speed recorder, two trip meters, clock, fuel gauge and an odometer complete the package and makes it segment best too.
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Engine and Gearbox
Performance is where the Gixxer shines. Perfect amount of low and mid-range torque along with a healthy and segment best top-end power thanks to clever gearing (not too short or not too long) is clearly a masterstroke overs its rival which have either of the two things. What has changed and taken us by storm is the engine NVH and smoothness. The 99.8% vibrations that were missing on the Gixxer, even that limited has been raised. The engine is completely vibration free and even at redline there isn’t buzzing that will make your hands go numb. The engine continues to make 14.8 BHP of power and 14 Nm of torque from the air-cooled 2-valve motor that we have seen before.
Fi has been used in the right direction for the majority of the area. Smoothness of the engine made us realize that have we picked the right motorcycle. Multi-cylinder level of smoothness for a single-cylinder throughout the rev range just makes it ever so appealing now. What has been lost is the bit of character and the soundtrack that the old motorcycle had.
The engine turns thrumy at the top-end and the deep bass is pretty much gone. The engine is more sonorous, free revving and there is no punch once you approach the 5000 RPM as you rev it ahead. Stellar performance continues as before because the SF boasts of the lowest kerb weight in its class. We achieved a combine cycle of 48.3 km/l when tested on the highway and in peak traffic. Expect similar performance as before too. Overall, a very linear power-band and well distributed torque means that extracting ponies from this engine is now more ‘effortless’ than before.
Armed with the segment, critic and public favorite, single down tube frame and telescopic front forks which are larger in diameter along with a monoshock that is adjustable, it has the right ingredients to be a winner. Let’s not forget the fat tyres by MRF that work in dry and wet situations along with that, it provides good overall life too. Since they are radial units, they deliver more fuel-efficiency as well. As before, the Gixxer SF remains a hoot to ride fast or slow. The front-geometry which isn’t too steep or too rake forward gives it an ideal balance for maneuvering in the city in tight spots as it the lower rake helps in the same.
Meanwhile, the rake also provides good highway composure and assurance when it comes to front-end feedback and stability. Ride quality despite being on the stiffer side continues to be compliant enough at the same time for our broken roads to an extent. It isn’t downright harsh as more premium bikes sitting in the category above. The motorcycle continues to be light, agile and poised at the same time in the corners.
The three words are rarely synonymous and come together with any motorcycle when it comes to explaining dynamics. The stiffness can throw you off a bit when it comes to handling mid corner bumps, but no where downright harsh that it upsets the whole composure. As you can guess by now, it is nimble in the city as well while being fun when you take it to the nearest corner carving destination occasionally.
Brakes, we weren’t a fan of the feel since the beginning, but there is an slight improvement, especially at the front. Nevertheless, the motorcycle offers enough stopping power since day one. Rear brakes, which is a new unit which has 220mm disc along with single-pot NISSIN caliper also lacks feel to an extent, but it is powerful enough at any speed to help put the anchors down.
2016 Suzuki Gixxer SF Fi Review, Verdict
The Gixxer SF Fi is a big leap despite the fact that product came earlier and this could be termed as a minor update. The fact is, it is not. The Fi system works wonders as it improves NVH by a huge margin, the level of confidence increases while riding. The power and torque along with well tuned gearbox, makes it an ideal power-band that is a new benchmark in this segment. Offering performance and practicality has never been so well balanced.
Suzuki is charging just Rs. 6,000 over the carburetor. However, the price reaches Rs. 1 lakh in some cities and at the price there are other ‘powerful options’. However, there are still things the competition cannot offer even today and Gixxer continues to be an ideal entry-level fully-faired motorcycle which has all the boxes ticked for the consumer of this segment.
Price As Tested: Rs. 1.03 Lakhs On-road Delhi (Rear Disc -Fi)