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Suzuki GSX-R600 Sports Motorbike Review

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Suzuki GSX-R600
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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Suzuki has slashed an incredible 9kg from the 2011 GSX-R600. The engine has more midrange, a close ratio gearbox and for the first time, Showa Big Piston Forks and Brembo monobloc radial front brakes. Aside from a handful of components, the GSX-R600 is completely new. The easy-going nature of the bike is still there, but it’s sharper, more agile and there’s more punch out of the corners. If only it looked a bit special and not look just like any other GSX-R to be made over the past decade.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The inline four-cylinder motor has the same basic architecture as before, with the same 599cc and 67 x 42.5mm bore and stroke. It makes around the same power, but with more midrange torque. It has new cams, pistons and pentagonal ventilation holes in the block. Compression is up and each piston assembly is 78 grams lighter. A new lighter, close-ratio gearbox has a taller first gear and shorter ratios for second, third, fourth and sixth. The final drive is changed from a 17/45 to a 16/43. A new four-into-one exhaust has stainless steel down pipes, a butterfly valve to improve low and midrange power and a titanium end can. The whole system is l.7kg lighter.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

The GSX-R600 gets a new twin spar aluminium frame with more built-in flex, which is lighter, shorter and narrower around the seat area. The new swingarm is lighter too. The overall chassis set-up is typical GSX-R: pliable and friendly, but now with a tougher edge. It’s not as stiff as an R6, ZX-6R or Daytona 675, but it gives masses of feedback and you feel very comfortable pushing to your limit straight away.

For the first time the GSX-R600 is fitted with lighter-weight Showa Big Piston Forks (BPF). Unlike the old units the new forks have lots of adjustment in them for hard track riding and give a good solid feel into the corners. The harder you use them the better they are. The new brakes are a revelation too and fade very little on track.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The GSX-R600 is as well equipped as any other supersports machine, but electronics are restricted to a two-mode power map and an electronically adjustable, speed-sensitive steering damper. The lower of the two power maps has so little power you’d barely use it and the steering damper isn’t as good as a manually-adjustable aftermarket item. Compare and buy parts for the GSX-R600 in the MCN Shop.

Suzuki GSX-R600 (2011-current)

Detail Value
New price £8,799
Dealer used prices
£5,890 (2011) - £7,690 (2014)
Private used prices
£5,690 (2012) - £6,920 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 599 cc
Power 125.8 bhp
Top speed 165 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

It’s too early to say how the GSX-R600 will stand the test of time, but previous models aren’t quite there when it comes to durability compared to its rivals. The paint is quite thin and liable to stone chips and unless you keep it in sparkling condition, some components can lose their shine. But reliability is never in question, the cycle parts are robust and the engine unburstable.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

It wasn’t that long ago when a new GSX-R600 cost way less than seven grand, so today’s prices seem a lot to pay for a 600. It’s also more expensive than all of its rivals aside from the R6 and the ABS version of the CBR600RR. Find a Suzuki GSX-R600 for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

Model introduced in 2011

Other Versions

None

Specifications

Top speed 165 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 125.8 bhp
Max torque 51.4 ft-lb
Weight 187 kg
Seat height 810 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 599 cc
Engine specification 16v, inline-four-cylinder
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment 41mm Big Piston Forks forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Single shock, fully adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 310mm discs with Brembo monobloc four-piston radial calipers
Rear brake 220mm single disc with single-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycles for sale

Suzuki
GSX-R600

14400 miles

£3,950

Suzuki
GSX-R600

16026 miles

£1,695

Suzuki
GSX-R600

9213 miles

£4,895

Suzuki
GSX-R600

25000 miles

£4,595

Suzuki
GSX-R600

17000 miles

£2,595

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(5 reviews)

  • 3 Months on.....

    Doobz84

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
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    Engine

    I have been a gixxer fan for a long time and have only just got my licence and decided why ponce around, lets get one as my first bike! What a great idea that was, I absolutely love this bike, it's amazing. After running it in as it was new, it now performs amazingly. It's comfortable to ride and goes beautifully. I'm 6ft 2 and sit comfortably on the bike although very long motorway journey's which I have only done a couple of times will hurt your backside and legs. Other than that, it handles corners amazingly and is rapid and sounds AMAZING!!! If you like gixxer's and want a 600, don't think, just buy, you will not be disappointed. Amazing machine!!

    08 May 2014

  • One Year On

    jocasaja

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have now had my 'little cracker' for a year, and I absolutely love it. Maybe it is just me but I always seem to have more fun on a 600 than a 1000. This bike handles fantastic, sounds fantastic - especially with the yoshimura end can. I also think that the blue and white with white wheels looks great - especially with the black yoshimura. Have now done 5k miles - keep the chain adjusted and lubed and the gearchange quality is superb - I love to snick snick up through the box with the revs approaching the red line. The close ratio box is great fun when you are gunning it. Have recently fitted Michelin 'Power Pures' as they seem to fit in with the whole light as a feather theme that this bike has got! - I do keep it nice and clean and I think the build quality is pretty good - Try one - they sound fantastic, even with the standard can, and I am sure that this is a bike that you can hone your skills on in relative safety.

    13 June 2013

  • Little Cracker

    jocasaja

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    I traded in an 11 reg blade (11000 miles) for a pre reg 600 gsxr, the blade was great bike - loads of grunt, but I fancied a change, and fancied another revvy 600, as I have had several R6s and loved them all. I had a test ride on the GSXR and I had to have one - incredibly light, lovely handling and a fantastic noise. I bought mine from Wheels in Peterborough, £7000 for a pre reg with a reasonable px on the blade. I have the R&G Tail Tidy, DB screen and Yoshimura R77j can. Had 1 week - 650 miles, can now take up to 11000 rpm. First service booked for tuesday. As well as being fun to ride It is also one of the most comfortable. I accept that the finish on Suzukis is not quite as tough as on Honda or Yamaha, but I wipe down and polish my bike after every ride anyway. I have a lot of experience - been riding 25 yrs, nearly all sports bikes, and I reckon that this bike can really be enjoyed by experienced and novice riders - cracking little bike

    29 July 2012

  • No faults found

    Mike2909

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    One year after buying the bike and I still love it.Very hard to fault and if there is anything to fault its the paintwork.Very minor signs of ageing so it is looking for faults rather than there being any.

    08 April 2012

  • Would be brilliant, but for a few flaws

    slow learner

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Overall: It's the best bike I've ever had, everything hoped for. Ride & Handling: It handles perfectly, it seems to have been built for me personally. Not one moment where it's even started to give the impression, "I didn't expect that!" On the contrary, it's felt completely true well past a point one might have expected twitchy uncertainty. It can definitely surpass anything in my ability to throw at it by a very wide margin. Equipment: It was a bit disappointing to have no proper fuel gauge (like a low level warning light). The flasher switch has been replaced by the engine mode switch, and the new position of the flash isn't well placed to hit it in a hurry. There are no "added extras" with this bike - not even the tail fin, to cover the pillion seat - say goodbye to the best part of an extra £100 for that. Reliability: No complaints about anything except the fact that it sometimes won't go into 1st from neutral, after coming to a quick halt. This is not a fumble or user-error - it is an intermittent but nevertheless genuine fault. It will not go into first, unless one reengages the clutch in neutral, then disengages the clutch and tries the gear change again. Most embarrassing after filtering to the front of a queue of traffic at the lights, to find onself fumbling with gears instead of making a quick break for it. It may be associated with 'block change-down', knocking down several gears sequentially in a single clutch pull. Value: It's very good indeed - probably the best 600 right now - but it ain't cheap. Engine: An absolute beauty. For an engine that comes on with such wild power, delivered near exponentially well before you hit the redline, it has a surprising amount of low down, usable, around-town sensibleness . One could spend a lifetime just riding it around town, thinking it to be a perfectly good commuting machine, never guessing what it was capable of once taken above 7000rpm. Having been run in very carefully, it's smooth, sweet and delivers better than I had thought possible. * All round: Niggles about the fin and fuel gauge aside, apart from the gearbox (which I trust the dealership will fix), this bike is the perfect 600 for me.

    28 January 2012

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vivster

vivstersays

Changeable power modes still in?

I remember the old model had a number of 'power modes' - A, B and C. A was 100% power, B provided 80% while C gave you 60%. I was wondering if anyone with this latest model can confirm whether this feature is still included?

I am moving up from a Ninja 250 to a 600 and would welcome a staggered approach to handling the extra power on tap as I adjust to the bigger bike.

05 February 2012 02:17

alernest

alernestsays

Managers dumped inspired aesthetics

The OLD (2008') GSX-R600 was IMHO one of the BEST LOOKING BIKES IN HISTORY.   It was overshadowed by mediocre performance and handling (too soft for most of the press) and by the fame most Japanese and Gixxer bikes' design have had in the last three decades.   Yeah, most of them were conceived mainly by managers and psychologists with the only target to "appeal" to as many people as possible and hence to sell well.   Zero inspiration, zero cultural references, zero passion.

It was different with the '08 GSX-R600, especially in all-white, it was a very svelt and subtly aggressive motorbike design concept.  The most delicate headlight design for motorbike ever?

It seems average sells have moved the Suzuki managers to opt for populist, mass-market aesthetics again for the '11 model.   A bitter paradox that just when the bike seems to have gotten back its dynamic edge, the businessmen have to interfere with the bike again.

WHAT A SHAME.

13 January 2011 19:18

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