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2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 first ride - 'front stiffer, brakes harder, midrange stronger'

By Michael Neeves -

First rides & tests

 15 December 2010 10:29

MCN’s Senior Road Tester, Michael Neeves, is in Almeria, Spain, riding the all-new 2011 GSX-R600.  Fresh from his first session at the circuit, here are his first impressions of Suzuki’s new middleweight supersports.

“The GSX-R600 is radically changed for 2011. It’s a massive 9kg lighter than the old model, shorter, squatter and comes with Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc front brake calipers.    

“The changes have been made to allow the GSX-R600 to stop quicker and increase its agility. Modifications to the engine have been designed to make it rev quicker and increase horsepower

“I have just finished my first session around a gloriously hot and sunny racetrack. The bike I am riding is on standard suspension settings with the stock Bridgestone BT-016 tyres.

“The user-friendly GSX-R character is still there and it’s still not as heavily track-focussed as a Yamaha R6, but the front end is stiffer and gives more control into the corners, the brakes bite harder, the engine spins up quicker and the mid-range is stronger. The loss of weight can really be felt through the track’s flip-flop corners.

“There is more track time available and I am looking forward to trying some track settings suggested by ex-BSB champ John Reynolds, which promise to sharpen the bike up further. Overall I am very impressed.”