SUZUKI RF600 (1993-1997) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Revvy engine, fine handling and roomy comfort are plusses. Frankly weird styling and brittle build are downsides"

Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding

"Revvy engine, fine handling and roomy comfort are plusses. Frankly weird styling and brittle build are downsides"

  • At a glance
  • 599cc  -  100 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  135 miles range
  • Insurance group: 14 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (775mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

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…

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

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.

Engine 3 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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

Equipment 3 out of 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.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI RF600 (1993-1997) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI RF600 (1993-1997)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.4 out of 5
Engine 3.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.4 out of 5
5 out of 5

27 May 2015 by Gilly

Read more

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
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Lovely little Sports Tourer

06 September 2012 by Crunkfingaz

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... Read more 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.

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

1st big bike

06 July 2012 by tetley74

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... Read more obtained very very quickly indeed kept up with friends zx6r on straights until he showed off around bends lol.

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

1st big bike

06 July 2012 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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.

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

Oh My.....

23 April 2008 by toe_down_sv_racing

"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... Read more 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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
2 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Affordable Hack

29 February 2008 by keithgpz

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... Read more 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.

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

Sadly Under-rated

17 April 2007 by Duke600

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... Read more 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!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1993
Year discontinued 1997
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £59
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 47.4 ft-lb
Top speed 147 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Specification
Engine size 599cc
Engine type 16v transverse four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel twin beam
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 775mm
Bike weight 195kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Rebound and preload
Front brake 2 x 290mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

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

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki RF600R motorcycle review - Rear view
All related reviews
All related bikes for sale