SUZUKI GSX-R600 (1996 - 2000) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£120|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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, it's a raw, involving, lunatic on wheels.
- Related: 2011-2018 Suzuki GSX-R600 review
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Overall, the Suzuki GSX-R600 is ok but patchy. 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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Suzuki GSX-R600 holds its value well next to its contemporaries: Honda CBR600RR, Kawasaki 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.
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.
|Engine type||16v inline four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||36 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£73|
|Annual service cost||£120|
|Used price||£2,200 - £2,300|
14 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||92 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||150 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.1 secs|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-R600 (1996 - 2000)
24 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£120|
Version: 600 srad
looking a little dated, but its back to basics riding with zero aids which makes it more fun
at its best on a track or ridden at higer revs, ican go 2 hours before a break needed its as good as modern bikes if not better than some.
I have the last of the srads, with better power delivery across the rpm range , amazing performance, loves to be rev'd , at lower rpms its very tame a pleasure to ride, would make a good touring bike/sleeper
well built, never broken down, easy and cheap maintain
Buying experience: privately brought
Annual servicing cost: £200
The motor is great. In the lower revs it is smooth as hell but once you rev that sexy thing it blows your mind. Brakes are lacking a bit of a feeling and rear suspenison is not the greatest. But anyway it really is a little blue and white Monster for cheap money. Love it!
It definitely is not a bike for making long trips. It is at it's best when reving it hard and braking late, although the brakes do seem a little bit sloppy. When riding it hard while hunching up behind the windshield you catch your self thinking for a slight moment " this bike is comfortable".
Great, great engine. Smooth as a kittens fur in the lower revs and fucking mad as Cal Crutchlow in the higher ravs. It's a real mad dog if you push it hard, but a handsome mate if you ride it smooth.
The bike fell down once and after that it is loosing both, oil and gas if it has'nt been ridden properly.
The service costs are not too high. However, if you rev it hard she swallows a lot of gas.
It has not that much equipment as it is very old. However, the space in underneeth the passengers seat is great to store your wallet etc. while driving.
Annual servicing cost: £70
Outstanding wee pocket rocket, very cheap to insure! Runs rings around anything if ridden properly, appreciate this bike and hot it works and it will reward you! Sound great, riding position is sore after 1 hours riding, other than that as a daily commuter for short trips and around town its faultless! Pegs are a tad high, but its a supersport not sports tourer, if you want something fast and comfy buy a sports tourer - ZX6R G/J or CBR600. If you want something that will catch you out and really make test your riders skill then buy a Gixxer! Stick a tank of super unleaded in and go thow it into some country bends and you will be VERY happy! The 180 section tyre works fantastic! When buying one take it on a test ride, rev it high, get the engine temp quite high and if starts smoking/smells funny, walk away and find another, theres plenty of them out there!
Suspension and Brakes are excellent! Solid handling, buy a rear hugger to preserve your rear shock! My first SRAD had Goodridge braided lines and my second one had HEL brake lines! Having them made the brakes outstanding! I prefered the HEL lines (just my opinion with stronger bite) Now comparing the SRAD's handling with its pre-injection rivals which ive owned: R6(98-02), ZX6R (98-02), ZZR600, RF600R, CBR600F3 (96-98)... As an everyday all rounder the CBR600 & ZX6R do it for me! But if you want something more sporty and demanding then the Gixxer & R6 is definitely the one to go for! The Gixxers gearbox is great too!
This engine for me is one of the best carb'd supersports engines of all time! Below 5k theres nothing there, rev it hard and it will reward you! Sounds amazing (not as nice as a old ninja (F-J model). I used both of my SRAD's as everyday bikes and i never really had any issues. Very reliable, although my second SRAD kept over heating just like my old R6, so look out for that! Stick a pipercross filter on and a K&N oil filter and it will run sweet if its a good one! Mine were dyno jetted and had full Yoshi exhaust, no lir i had 160mph and it kept pulling but i backed off! Very quick bike for a 600.
I never had any problems apart from my second SRAD started over heating and getting hot too quickly in rain...
Average really, just as much as any other 600 supersports. No matter what bike i have i get the same: -Pipercross air filter -K&N oil filter -NGK Iridium plugs -(-1)(+1) sprockets and gold chain -Stage 1 dyno jet to smooth things out.
Not really got anything, its an out an out sportsbike, no fuel guage or grab rail as standard...
Buying experience: Private! £1000-£1400
Version: SRAD X
Annual servicing cost: £100
Easily the best value sports 600, all or nothing like a 2 stroke, needs started every 4 days to keep sweet, setup you preload for your weight and enjoy, rear rebound is abit slow as standard, easy to work on, 140miles tank range cruising, comfy compared to more modern machinery, zx6r G/J more comfortable but not nearly as focused, great induction noise, very mechanical bike to ride compared to modern machines, try conti sport attack 2 for value sports tyre that you can really drive out of bends on, 2-3000 miles on a pair and feel great on there side,
Good initial bit leading to leg out four fingers
Good rush at higher rpms, makes you work but that's what you want right?
I've maintained mines
Halfords own oil, cr9e plugs, oil filter, air filter. £100 diy
All you need and no more
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer and got a massive discount.
Absolutely Mental when you wring its neck... Mine has a Dynojet stage 2 kit and has been on a rolling road - it just makes the GSXR Srad more Sraddish - a tad dead up to 4k and then it loses all sense of control, it rides you - It's a uncaged animal. Love her!
I'd give the engine 6 out of 5 if I could - Amazing power from its relatively small but shouty engine. Plenty of grunt and the sound of those huge ram air ducts is quite hair raising once you open her up. Bad cam chain tensioners can make the Cam chain very rattly but this is a small detail for the smiles per gallon that you received when owning one.
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 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!!!!
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 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
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 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..
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 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
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 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.
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 factor. Weaknesses: Wrists ache after 2 hours need lots of stops on a long run.
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 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.
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 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.
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. 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.
Very comfy for a sports bike, even 2 up wrists a pain in slow moveing traffic but great once you get going.
This is my second, K1 written off after deer accident at 99 days old. K2 replacement currently running in. Running in for second time a painful chore, but I know what is coming. Great handler which makes up for the lack of comfort at low speed, always stretch hamstrings before a ride. Paintwork is not the hardest wearing and black painted exhaust pipes were a warranty job on k1 which explains why stainless on k2. Steering damper awkward during slow speed manouvres but did its job to prevent slapper after hitting deer at speed.. Finish on things like pegs and brackets is poor, lots of rough edges, same applies to finish quality of forks. Buy one !
I had a 98, 600srad from new before this, that was a good bike. But this is the dogs danglies in comparison! yousit on, rather than in the bike, with more weight over the front. This is noticed as soon as you sit on the bike. Once ran in properly you can begin to have fun on it. The bike pulls cleanly, unlike its predecesor & has good midrange, admitted it doesnt have the pull of, say,an r1 but for what this bike costs its an absolute blinder in terms of smiles per pound sterling!
The bike is great to ride. Being off abike for a few years I found it very easy to ride and very forgiving when I made a mistake.
Cracking machine but stricly for scratching. Very uncomfortable unless riden hard which can be a drag in town, in traffic or heading to venues. Seems to require quite allot of input through the bars to make it turn beyond a certain point but that might just be the tyres which I had never used before. Paint work scratches very easily.
I had a VFR before, so this has come as total surprise. But what a great surprise it has been. Not as uncomfortable as I'd been led to expect, and I'm 6'4" - grip the tank with your knees and it takes the weight off your wrists. All in all, I couldn't be happier, the only fly in the ointment has been the dealer.
This is my second one... I had a new 97 model (which I trashed three times :-) Loads of fun, Loads of smiles.. have to be brave and keep the revs up on the bends, then you'll be riding past the bigger bore bikes on the way out... (high revs and good angles led me to trash my last bike three times - which is why I'm a little older/wiser these days!) I generally run with the tyre pressures a tad low, helps to make the back end movement a little more predictable... Strengths Weaknesses
I passed my test in August last year and bought this bike in March. This is my first bike and I love it. Scared the hell out of me for the first month or so, but really used to it now. Use it every day to commute 40 miles to and from Central London and it's a breeze. Very comfortable and manoeuvrable through traffic. I've done nearly 7000 miles without any problems at all.
STUNNING ENGINE , THE SEAT IS A LITTLE HIGH FOR ME BEING 5FT 5. CONTROLS ARE SLICK , GEAR CHANGES ARE V ERY SMOOTH.ENGINE REVS LIKE MAD FROM 7-8 K ON TO LIMITER AROUND 14750. FANTASTIC BIKE . CANNOT FAULT THE BIKE.
Absolutely Mint, I had a sports 600 before this one and thought that was good until I sat astride this little nutter. Pulls and Pulls leaving other 600's behind. Handling is superb, Acceleration and braking are flawless. If youre thinking of buying any other bike in this class forget it!!.