It is impossible to ignore the sheer importance the Gixxer holds for Suzuki's Motorcycle operations in India. Unlike the its Car division, Suzuki Motorcycles have had a slow start in the country, and Gixxer seems to be good enough to change it all for Suzuki. The Suzuki Gixxer, for all practical purposes this should be considered as the Japanese Giants first full hearted effort at Indian Motorcycle Market. One look at it and you notice just how complete this motorcycle is. An ode to the iconic Gixxer's this little Suzuki looks slick, and sporty. Suzuki has its work cut out though, a the competition is tough in the segment, and rivals are constantly improving themselves.
Yamaha has given a pretty sensible upgrade to the FZ-S when it gave the facelift its Blue Core Fuel Injection technology making it the most technological advanced bike available in the segment. With a more edgier design philosophy the FZ-S now looks as young as ever.
Looks and Styling
Inspired by the litre class street fighter from Yamaha stable, the FZ1, the original FZ series was perfect for the country. The Yamaha FZ-S has always been a good looker, with the masses appreciating its Beefy looks. With the segment first like, the chunky 140 section rear tyre, and mass-centralisation. Fast forward to 2014, and Yamaha has managed to make a already handsome bike, even more contemporary and good looking.
We liked how the tank has a little more edgier look to it, the tank shrouds now are more angular and dynamic looking. The fully digital meters are now easier to read and better looking than the previous version, especially the sporty bar type rev counter. The seats are now split in two and provide better comfort and support to the pillion. The headlight assembly has also been given a more angular look making it look fairly similar to an ancient armoured Japanese knight. The rear too is sportier now, with the rear tail light being brighter and more squarish than the original, though the rear tyre hugger does a decent job in saving the pillion and others from some rainy day splashes, but does little to add to the aesthetics of an otherwise decent looking motorcycle. The addition of the 'Eco' mode is a welcome addition.
The Suzuki Gixxer on the other hand is all new, and it is stunning to look at. The Tank has a forward biased stance to it, giving the whole bike a very agile and ready to pounce feel. the way the tank flows into the triple section is immaculately detailed and it provides a very god recess to give the riders enough space to adjust their stance. The tiny, thin tank shroud's help accentuate the lean muscular stance of the whole bike. However, by far, the most interesting piece on the Gixxer is its instrument console, it is by far better than the rest of the segment and the segments above it. The fully digital Speedo is amply detailed and we just loved that little white blinker tempting us to hit the rev limit in every gear.
The single seats provide good grip to the rider while having fun at the twisties and under hard breaking, although the pillion might feel a bit tired pretty soon on it. The pointy slim headlight covered adds to the sporty intent of the Gixxer. We liked the two piece rear mudguard assembly on the Gixxer.
Saying that, the FZ-S V2.0 is still a good looking motorcycle, but the Gixxer is a more appealing bike in terms of aesthetics. Though the pillion comfort on the Gixxer is virtually nonexistent, but the way the rear panels elevates from the centre of the bike gives it a very sporty stance. Thus, when it comes to looks the Gixxer beats the FZ-S V2.0 fair and Square.
Ride and Handling
The Suzuki Gixxer has this, very sporty intent in not just the way it looks, but in whatever it does. They bike offers a good feedback from its front end and inspires the rider to lean in and take the corner at decent speeds for a 155cc machine. The rear benefits from a thick 140 section tyre , which provides ample stability while cornering. The capable chassis is fast on changing directions and makes it fun to fire the Gixxer into tight corners. All this sportiness is great for cutting through the sluggish traffic our cities. However, the stiff front and rear suspension which helps in the good handling of the Gixxer has a tendency to make the bike lose its composure in potholes, it is never scary, but the jolts will make you feel tired after some hard riding through the city roads.
The engine is buttery smooth, like all the Suzuki's should be, and never there is a moment where the vibrations come to notice, making the Gixxer a pretty fun bike to ride even in low gear high rev situations. The wide precisely weighted handle bars provide ample control and leverage to steer the bike as desired helped by a confidence inspiring front end. The 41mm thick front telescopic suspension up front, tempts the rider to go fast, and it is where the Gixxer is at its happiest self.
The FZ-S V2.0 has a weapon in its system to take on the Gixxer on the ride and handling front, the Blue Core Fuel Injection Technology. The bike runs smooth throughout the rev range and the power surge is almost linear. The Yamaha feels comfortable with its plusher suspension in all types of road surfaces, and the vibration less motor. The 140 section rear tyre as usual provides good confidence while cornering. The suspension is set up in such a way that it absorbs anything the road throws at it, while the bike still remains a fairly flickable motorcycle through the traffic.
The wide handle bars provide precise cornering and are comfortable for long times spend on the saddle. The splits provide generous space to the rider and the pillion. We reckon the pillion seat on the FZ-S V2.0 is a more comfortable place to be than on a Gixxer.
In terms of Handling, the Gixxer, even though being 3 kg's heavier than the Yamaha at 135Kg, feels lighter on its feet while turning direction or leaning into the corners, but it suffers due to its stiffer suspension in terms of rider and pillion comfort. The Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 on the other hand is way more comfortable, though it feels a bit heavy to turn in, but is still agile for quick manoeuvres through traffic. We reckon it is a tie between the two on ride and handling front since the Gixxer excels in the handling front while the Yamaha is way better in terms of ride comfort.
This is where the Gixxer just a step higher than the FZ-S V2.0. The FZ-S V2.0 has lost some CC's in upgrade as the new Engine is 149cc as against the original's 153cc. The power and torque figures have also gone down and are now 12.9BHP at 8000 rpm and 12.8 Nm torque at 6000 rpm. The Suzuki on the other hand puts out a healthy 14.6bhp at 8,000rpm, and delivers 14.3Nm of peak torque nice and low in the power band at 6,000rpm from its 155cc Engine.
This makes the Gixxer achieve considerably faster 0-60kmph and 0-100kmph numbers than the FZ-S V2.0. The Gixxer also achieves a higher top Speed than the FZ-S V2.0 and feels a lot more comfortable at higher speeds than the Yamaha.
However, the FZ-S V2.0 has a better bite from its slightly larger front disc at 267mm, while the overall braking is better than the Gixxer, but only just. The Fuel Injection come into its own on the FZ-S V2.0 when it returns a brilliant 48kmpl in real world riding leaving the Gixxer behind at 42kmpl.
Yamaha has been bold and brave in reducing the engine capacity and power figures while adding the Fuel Injection into the mix in the FZ-S V2. No doubt, it has paid well in the upgrade, since the new version is better than the original in every aspect. The bike looks fresher, bolder, is more comfortable and has finally resolved its biggest issue, fuel efficiency. FZ-S V2.0 is thus, for sure going to continue the success of its predecessor.
The Gixxer on the other hand, is all new and it looks stunning in flesh while having good performance to show for too. The bike handles better than the FZ-S V2.0 and is bound to plaster those satisfying grins on your face every time you ride it. As a product the Suzuki Gixxer is the rebirth of Suzuki in the Indian Motorcycle market, and looking at what Suzuki has achieved, the competition should be worried, very worried.
The Gixxer is overall a way better motorcycle in this test , and at INR 72, 231 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) it is cheaper by Rs. 6000 than The FZ-S V2.0 which retails at Rs. 78,300 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi). We are inclined to call in the fight in favour of the Suzuki Gixxer but still we are calling this test a Tie, because Yamaha has been brave enough to present the Fuel Injection technology in this segment. If you remember the history of this much needed technology in Indian mass market, then you will realize that Yamaha has been absolutely brave in going this route, and it deserves a nod from us.