2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF first ride review
After a 30 minute session of reeling hot laps on the brand new Gixxer SF 250, we jumped onto the updated, 2019 Gixxer SF that Suzuki had lined up for us in the pitlane of the Buddh International Circuit. The 2019 SF was launched alongside the brand-new SF 250 and gets a raft of changes, outside of the engine. The only change to the powertrain is the fact that the power output is down by a little over half PS to 14.1PS from the older bike's output of 14.8PS, though peak torque produced is the same at 14Nm. The power drop is courtesy updates to the engine as Suzuki is currently working making the motor BS VI compliant we're told. Also, the Gixxer SF 155 will be offered with fuel injection only.
The updated, 2019 Suzuki looks exactly like the Gixxer SF 250 now and thus looks more premium, particularly thanks to the lower set two-piece handlebars and split seats
The biggest change under the skin is the new chassis, straight off the 250. The chassis is a revised version of the SF's original frame with a strengthened downtube and rear subframe welded onto it directly. Most importantly, the bike has been redesigned completely and in fact, it looks identical to the Gixxer SF 250, except for the fact that the 250 gets stickering on both sides of the fairing, unlike the smaller SF which only has the bike's name writ large on the fairing's sides. Another distinction between the SF 155 and SF 250 test bikes on track was that the 250 wore black or silver paints with a matte finish, while the smaller SF had the same colours with a glossy finish.
The Gixxer SF effectively looks more premium now, particularly thanks to the new all-LED headlamp unit. The flyscreen is the same, short unit as the 250 but is a clear one on the 155 as opposed to the smoked one on the bigger SF. Thanks to the shorter flyscreen the Gixxer SF looks more streetfighter than fully-faired sportsbike now, particularly when viewed from the top, as you would notice in the cornering photos in this article. The instrument cluster is the same, updated unit as the 250 too, though the monochrome colours have been inverted here. The seating position has been revised too as the updated Gixxer SF get the SF 250's two-piece handlebars and split seat. The seating is thus slightly more committed as the older bike had the naked Gixxer's upright, one-piece handlebar but more importantly the stance is a lot sportier now.
The 2019 Suzuki SF's engine is the same as before and feels smooth and refined, but interestingly, the bike boasts a slightly higher top speed now
Since I had gotten onto the smaller, 155cc Gixxer SF right after the 250, acceleration felt slower instantly, but at the same time I was also impressed with the smaller SF's higher refinement levels, as also its eagerness to build revs. We've always liked the Gixxer motor and the engine retains the same, silky smooth feel. The fact that the engine is quicker to rev than the 250's also makes for a livelier feel. Also, we're talking a small, 155cc single cylinder engine here, but the SF was certainly fun in terms of accelerating hard on track and shifting through the gearbox, also thanks to the slick five-speed transmission. It is no match for the Yamaha YZF-R15 in terms of engine performance, but the Gixxer SF's engine feels very engaging when riding enthusiastically.
The engine's strong midrange punch is the same as before and despite being a pint-sized machine, the Gixxer SF was fun around Buddh's corners, especially since I barely needed the brakes and most corners were attacked in fourth or fifth gear! That said, brakes work well and offer progressive bite. Suzuki has equipped the Gixxer SF with single channel ABS only in the interest of saving costs but with that said, ABS worked well on track without much intrusion. Interestingly, despite the small drop in power, the updated Gixxer SF boasts a higher top speed even though the gearing is the same! The older SF had a speedometer-indicated top speed of about 115kmph only, but the new one breaches the 120kmph mark before running out of steam.
The 2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF is quicker to change direction than the 250, which makes it more fun around chicanes, apart from which the bike is also quicker to tip into corners
We've always liked the Gixxer SF for its agility as well and the new one only feels better. The bike is quick to tip into corners, as a nudge on the outside handlebar at corner entry has the bike drop into corners quickly. The bike is also noticeably quicker than the 250 when it comes to transitioning from side to side and was thus more fun when it came to being flicked around chicanes. Of course, a big reason behind that is that the 250 is 15kg heavier at 161kg as compared to the updated SF's kerb weight of 146kg, though the SF itself has gained 5kg over the outgoing version thanks to the various changes. Its sporty, confident handling is still the bike's biggest highlight and the SF makes a strong case for itself as a light, agile but very confident machine be it around corners or when slicing through scores of traffic.
The 2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF makes a strong case for itself as a sporty, comfortable and fun to ride 150cc motorcycle for everyday use
Overall, the updated, 2019 Gixxer SF is a highly polished offering in the 150cc segment, particularly for someone wanting a fully-faired motorcycle. The updates to the motorcycle such as the all-LED headlight, two-piece handlebar and split seat along with the highly impressive dynamics and refined engine thus justify the premium of Rs 12,000 it commands over the older bike priced at Rs 1.09 lakh the 2019 Suzuki Gixxer SF is certainly a bike worth considering then as a sporty everyday machine.
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