SUZUKI GSX-R600 (1996-2000) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A raw, involving, lunatic on wheels"

Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding

"A raw, involving, lunatic on wheels"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  92 bhp
  • 36 mpg  -  140 miles range
  • Insurance group: 14 of 17
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  • Medium seat height (830mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

A raw, involving, lunatic on wheels. The more throttle-happy you are with it, the more the Suzuki GSX-R600 will thrill. Virtually dead low down, wake it up at higher revs and you’ll be clinging on for dear life. Not as finely honed as today’s Suzuki GSX-R600 but, for some, that just adds to the manic appeal. Ridiculous, dangerous fun.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R600 chassis is based on that of Suzuki’s Grand Prix RGV500 bike so it’s built for thrashing and it works. The handling’s fantastic, if a bit frisky under really hard acceleration… and the back skips a bit occasionally but at least it makes you feel alive. The Suzuki GSX-R600 is surprisingly comfy, although wrists can ache after a while.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R600 has a reliable engine offering masses of power. Between 96 and 98, the Suzuki GSX-R600 was wild: with every ounce of energy lurking dangerously at the top end. In 1998, Suzuki toned it down a bit to make it easier to use, giving it more midrange, but you still needed to wring its neck. Hit that power band and it the Suzuki GSX-R600 takes off.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Overall, the Suzuki GSX-R600 is ok but patchy. Suzuki GSX-R600 problem areas included: cam chains, cranks, gearboxes, sticky chokes, rusting fasteners, carb icing etc… Suspension needs attention in higher mileage machines and the calipers need very regular cleaning and maintenance.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R600 holds its value well next to its contemporaries: Honda’s CBR600, Kawasaki’s ZX-6R and Yamaha’s erstwhile Thundercat, then R6. It’s let down by slightly shabby build quality (where the Honda, especially, wins out) and many owners covering them in aftermarket parts but prices show it still gives its rivals a good run for their money. Find a Suzuki GSX-R600 for sale.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

A seat cowl swaps for a pillion seat but the Suzuki GSX-R600's not exactly built for the task of taking passengers! The simplistic, analogue dash lies beneath a small screen and there are bungee points at the back. Fully adjustable suspension, both front and rear, is a great bonus. The Suzuki GSX-R600's brakes and suspension are good and the gearbox is smooth.

Owners' Reviews

19 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R600 (1996-2000) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

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Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
4 out of 5

My First Machine

08 December 2009 by 66Dannyboy

Having past my test in July this year I lept off of my Suzuki GS500 training bike onto my Xreg 2000 Gixer 600. I could not believe the power of this thing. Truly Awesome. Have had some fantastic days out with my bike. All i can say is its the most... Read more fun I have ever had with my clothes on. The old girl has been locked away till next season now when I am hoping to do my first track day, On my Gixer of course. I dont think I could have chosen a better bike to learn the ropes on. Heres to many years of safe riding and fun!!!!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

My first knee down

18 December 2008 by DAVEGRANGER

I have had the bike a 98 SRAD since March 08 I have done 4500 miles on it. Its my first sports bike since the late 80,s and I got my knee down for the first time ever . I use Dunlop D209 these give great grip and feed back. The bike has good power... Read more and is a Great all rounder, but try as I might I can never get the old girl to lift the front wheel. Happy days

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

FUN TRACK MACHINE

04 February 2008 by KJNASH2001JESS

I BOUGHT THIS BIKE LAST WEEK, HAD A BLACKBIRD BUT DUE TO FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS HAD TO SELL IT, SO I BOUGHT MY 2000 V REG FOR £1500, FORGOT WHAT IT IS LIKE TO HAVE A FUN LITTLE MACHINE, TAKES ME BACK 10 YRS FROM WHEN I FIRST PASSED MY TEST AND HAD A... Read more TZR 250. THIS BIKE HANDLES LIKE A TRUE SPORTS BIKE, CANT WAIT TO TAKE IT ON THE TRACK AT OULTON PARK ON SAT 09/02/08 WITH FOCUS EVENTS, I WILL WRITE IN AGAIN AFTER THE TRACK DAY..

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

love and hate

12 June 2007 by Guybike

Ive owned my gsxr for 3 yrs now..Not all happy times its a bike that when its going its going great and when its not great its bad. The cam chain tensioner broke and one of the carbs was leaking days after i brought it. Cheap fix though and ive added... Read more mtc can that sounds awesome the ride can be a bit hard on back roads with the rear skiping abouta bit but when this bike has a good day itll keep up and overtake most things but you have to be willing to thrash it as theres not much power at low revs. Ive been looking for a replacement but theres nothing for similar money that makes me smile everytime i take it out... Good points are excellent windprotection, Revy engine great colours, Cheap and very responsive suspension..Bad points are the quality and finish of nuts bolts and paint work. They all look the same as standard

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Wicked sports bike, very fast but easy to ride

03 February 2006 by Rick06

This is my first sports bike and Im 17, good engine easy to tune very fast 600. Good suspension handles well. Rides like a normal bike under 6000rpm then goes mental till the 14500rpm redline very quick to 120/130mph. Brakes are good but not... Read more brilliant cud do with improving. Strengths: Engines bulletproof, can keep up with much larger bikes. Weaknesses: The brakes cud do with more power just the front.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

A hooligans bike will stay with the big boys and eat some of the others (you know who you are)

29 October 2005 by von41

What a great mid range bike dos not suffer fools give it too mutch right hand and it will spit you off does what it says on the tin always come home with a big grin on me face... Strengths: Handles great...brakes great...motor great and a big grin... Read more factor. Weaknesses: Wrists ache after 2 hours need lots of stops on a long run.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Suzuki have built a great bike an they keep making it better...well done Suzuki

02 August 2005 by evil1

Wot can I say which has not been said already about the GSXR600.. My first GSXR and I love it the power, handling an the sound of the it screaming.. It goes where I want it to.. You can change the line on it. When you get it wrong or... Read more bottle it mid cornor lol.. Strengths: Engine an handling brakes are ok too up to the job on the road not done a track day so cant really comment on that. Weaknesses: Not to keen on tyres Dunlop D207's think I might change them for Bridgestone's when the the Dunlop's are worn out.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Excellent Bike!

19 July 2004 by tomr2992

Having had this bike for 2 months Im really impressed. I had a zxr400 (bless) for 4 years before and that was a excellent learning tool. This bike on the other hand can only be discribed as awsome! The response is there as long as your over... Read more 5000rpm..and once you are theres no holding back. Still getting used the handling but im sure that'll come with time. Overall...chuffed to bits! Excellent buy. Strengths: Power, handling, looks. Weaknesses: Docile at low revs.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Fast, but painful.

02 June 2004 by Mr Monkey

The GSXR commands respect where-ever you go, bikers love em, pedestrains are in awe of them. Everyone knows the name GSXR, so it gets you plenty of attention. The bike itself is well powered, fairly light (at least I thought so), and decent brakes.... Read more All adding up to a decent package. However I am not one of the masses of Sports bikes fans. Dont get me wrong, I love the power and the looks, but I cant enjoy the body position, and the strain on my wrists. This bike was great, but only for short runs. Those of a lighter disposition will probably disagree, but then its my review so tough! Back to the bike..... Power was plentiful, if a little chocked from low revs, but I am told that race cans have this effect on the Gixxer. Handling was crisp and direct....You point it and go, although I admit I struggled with fast cornering I think due to my size/weight (and excess of it!), so those of us who favour the Chip Shop may have to work hard on this bike. Strengths: Looks, Reputation - Everyone loves a Gixxer. Weaknesses: Ride position - My hands were numb after 20 mins, which cant be good.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

My Review

02 April 2003 by steveybabe

Very comfy for a sports bike, even 2 up wrists a pain in slow moveing traffic but great once you get going. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 19 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1996
Year discontinued 2000
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £58
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 92 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 36 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16v inline four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 174kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1996: Suzuki introduce the Suzuki GSX-R600 which is, visually, virtually identical to its Suzuki GSX-R750 bar different forks and brakes, rear wheel and swingarm.
1998: Suzuki GSX-R600 engine gets an overhaul to improve midrange performance and the screen gets lower.
2000: Getting a bit tired versus the fierce competition, all-new Suzuki GSX-R600 is launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle review - Riding
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