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Suzuki RF600 Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

As Suzuki’s much anticipated and long overdue early 1990s CBR600 rival, the Suzuki RF600R nearly came up trumps. Nearly, but not quite. The Suzuki RF600R's revvy engine, fine handling and roomy comfort are plusses. Frankly weird styling and brittle build are downsides. Still; good value though…

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

On paper it should have been enough, but to eke out those 100 horses out of the Suzuki RF600R requires wrist-straining revs and leaves it a little gutless in the midrange. In isolation, it’s a decent, versatile, adequate unit. But the Suzuki RF600R simply wasn’t as flexible as the CBR or as fast as Kawasaki’s ZZ-R.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Suzuki RF600R's steel, rather than alloy, twin spar frame holds reasonable suspension front and rear and delivers sweet enough steering. But compared to then rivals the CBR and Yamaha FZR the Suzuki RF600R is a big old bus. Decent comfort and weather protection though, although not quite the classy two-up tool that is the Kawasaki ZZ-R.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

The Suzuki RF600R is a typical mid-90s supersport. So most of what you want is there (decent mirrors, fairing, pretty thorough instrumentation etc. Being RF flavoured it also means it’s a tad built down to a price (so lacks the class of the CBR and ZZ-R) yet the Suzuki RF600R is admirably roomy and practical for two.

Suzuki RF600R (1993-1997)

Detail Value
Used price range View Suzuki RF600 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 599 cc
Power 100 bhp
Top speed 147 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3

No major reported problems but the Suzuki RF600R's finish isn’t all it could be and, as one of the more budget bikes in the class, they tend to get used hard all year round so look out for worse than average winter corrosion. Mechanically, however, a Suzuki RF600R is a pretty solid choice.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

If you can abide the looks and are after a fairly worthy all-rounder sports 600, a Suzuki RF600R today represents excellent value. They’ve never been in as much demand as CBRs and ZZ-Rs, were cheaper when new and the styling is for some off-putting. All of which adds up to cheap used prices… Find a Suzuki RF600R for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

1993: Suzuki RF600R launched.
1997: Suzuki RF600R discontinued.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 147 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 47.4 ft-lb
Weight 195 kg
Seat height 775 mm
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 599 cc
Engine specification 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame Steel twin beam
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Rebound and preload
Front brakes 2 x 290mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17 in

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(6 reviews)

  • Lovely little Sports Tourer

    Crunkfingaz

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I found one of these bikes in the back end of the south west and after going to view it, I immediately bought it at a great price, especially as it only had 24k miles on it. It handles superbly, corners like a dream on both fast and slow turns, and is a comfy ride. My knees don't hurt on extended journeys, though my wrists do ache when weaving through traffic at slow speeds after a while. It has a "dead spot" at about 3-4000rpm, but it kicks in again after that, and then again at 10000 rpm, where the "holy mother of pearl" hits you. Nice for long journeys on Motorways too, did 200 miles one day without even thinking about it, and will sit at 90 no problem. As a 600 goes, it's a lovely bike and I'm really impressed with it. New spark plugs, air filter and carb balance have kept it running smoothly and should do me for another few thousand miles at least.

    06 September 2012

  • 1st big bike

    tetley74

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Hi,the previous review by (anonymous) is mine for somereason it didnt show my name dohh,for got to say build quality is average plastics seen cheap & brittle buts thats about only real bad thing i can say about this bike,oh and 3 fig speeds can be obtained very very quickly indeed kept up with friends zx6r on straights until he showed off around bends lol.

    06 July 2012

  • 1st big bike

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Bought this bike 3days after passing my das in may 2012 saw it at a local dealer coundnt get a test ride as had just passed test so bought it anyway lol.Anyway my impressions of it after riding over 1000 mixed miles, its comfy but bars are somwhere between sportstourer & sports,seat height low so can get both feet down flat very reasurring at lights etc,its abit heavy to push around but dont notice once on the move,and handles pretty well far better than my capabilities for now(got pirelli diablo tyres fitted)but does tend to want to drift out unless you get your arse of seat in tight bends.Fuel ecnonmy is not bad fuel light come son around 100miles fill up at 120miles and still not touched reserve getting approx 10miles per ltr of fuel but depends how you thrash it.Performance wise very docile below 4500rpm ideal for pottering around town gives just enough smooth power without scaring you senseless,but get above 5000rpm and it takes off like a scaled cat,then at 9500-10000rpm another power surge has you hanging on for dear life(got micron exhaust fitted),,,fantastic.Overall a great 1st big bike would recommend to anyone as they are cheap to buy good value etc,and lots % lots of fun.Safe riding people.

    06 July 2012

  • Oh My.....

    toe_down_sv_racing

    Average rating rating is 1.5

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    "I was expecting more than this" where my thoughts throughout. i gave it a 25 minute raz down a common route of mine i know inside out and unlike even heavy twins like the RSV, the RF6 just didnt like what it was doing. my riding style (more off the better) didnt endear either, a very heavy clutch combines to make smooth semi slipper clutch moves very hard learnt/ fought after. i was initially expecting maybe too much, but it was the fore farther in some ways to my favoured SV. with the SV, iam looking at easy power which isnt intimidating, but "there" nonetheless. these are clearly snapped up by the winter hack riders and the "first big bike"rs, a combination of cheapness bodes people to it, although, i really dont mind the look, i like it as it IS an RF! but it IS also heavy and i had to spend a good 5 mins adjusting the susps to suit my now 14.5 stone semi athletic build. If it where new i may of had a better reaction but i came in contact with what i was told to be a "decent example", which doesnt hold much sway with me anyway, but it felt terrible, i cant get a redeeming feature outside "but its cheap for everything", so yeah, sorry RF!

    23 April 2008

  • Affordable Hack

    keithgpz

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Had this bike for a year now and use it daily for the ten mile congested stretch of city laden roads. Its been modified as the handle bars are just too far forward for this type of work.Was very uncomfortable, but I find most sports positions are a little awkward. With straight bars it becomes a useable tool. It does need to be wound up and has a nasty flat spot lower down the rev range, just about 3-4000 rpm. Can be a little annoying at the lights. But has been reliable for the daily grind. Had to change plugs due to misfire but as its a wear and tear item can't grumble. This is a commendale machine and with confidence can keep up with most stuff(it ain't what you've got its how you ride it), brakes are fine just coming up to first pad change. For the money it has been fantastic its not the best but it does what it says on the tin.! It is a good honest work horse which continues to deliver a reliable service in the morning followed by a destressing phereputic BLAST for the way home.Satisfying touching and holding the throttle to the stop for as long as you can. Wouldnt be able to do that on bigger bikes. Easy to service by your self and comes apart easily. Only workshop work really would be a valve clearance check/adjust every 8000. But most people don't even do that much mileage in 4 years. Working mans two wheels.

    29 February 2008

  • Sadly Under-rated

    Duke600

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    On my second RF600. I traded the first for an exotic italian and regretted it immediately. Three years later (and far fewer miles than there should have been) I sold the Italian and bought another RF. They are cheap (especially if you get a US/Canadian import - only difference is that the headlight and tail-lights are always on... big deal!) and totally reliable - five years ownership and one puncture been the only issue. Gearbox is a delight, brakes are OK, engine is amazing if only plastics were not so brittle :-( Heavyweight, all-year sports-tourer ... Recommended!!!

    17 April 2007

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dghackett

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dghackettsays

Rf600 rt

This is my 2nd RF, the 1st being the 900. I bought this in June 2010 with around 64k on it and it is now 89750 abouts. It is a great bike for me as I like the design very much. I have made some easy alterations for my style and body. 4 degree ignition advancer (best & easiest engine mod to do), Bandit 6 top yoke and Renthal bars (I'm getting on a bit), GSXR srad front brake master cylinder (clearance for the fairing). Bandit 650 slip on can (3 bolt fixing cut off by me),SV650 clutch cable (long one). RF900 21 litre tank (straight swap as it is only taller), 16 tooth front drive sprocket (14 standard) to aid economy. Yes with the 16t front sprocket it has damped down acceleration but it is still faster away than the tin cans. I think fitting the 4 degree advancer has given it a lot more grunt with no apparent flat spots. I very rarely take it over 8,000 rpm. 70 mph = 5000 rpm (standard gearing about 5750 rpm

14 January 2012 18:59

davehackett

davehackettsays

RF600

The RF6 is the second RF I have owned the first being a RF9. The 6 is a lot more chuckable around the twisties and runs just as reliable as the 9. I find it very revvy in relation to the 9 but slightly more fun if out for a blast. The fuel tank I find is too small at 17 ltrs but it can be changed to the tank from the 9 at 21 ltrs. The flat spot at 3-4000 rpm can be almost wiped out with superunleaded petrol. If I were to go back to a RF9 or other I would try to hang on to the RF6. Great underrated (by the press) bike that looks are not like run of the mill others. If it had been some Italian exotica people would be singing from the roof tops of it's looks.

27 June 2010 07:58

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