SUZUKI GSX-R600 (2011 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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 a Yamaha R6, Kawasaki ZX-6R or Triumph 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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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, new pistons and new 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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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 Honda CBR600RR.
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.
|Engine type||16v, inline-four-cylinder|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm Big Piston Forks forks, fully-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, fully adjustable|
|Front brake||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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||42 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£67|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£5,000 - £7,500|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||126 bhp|
|Max torque||51.4 ft-lb|
|Top speed||165 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||159 miles|
Model history & versions
Model introduced in 2011
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-R600 (2011 - on)
6 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R600 (2011 - on) 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:|
I love this bike, turns head, especially with a full Yoshimura system on it, fast enough to keep up with the big boys to an extent, tame enough to get out of trouble easily should you go into a corner a bit too hot! All round great bike, riding position is a bit full on and long rides tend to leave you with sore wrists and an aching back but it's not designed for long distance touring so for short little blasts it's perfect! Bridgestone tyres it comes with aren't very good and don't offer much feel so I changed them to Dunlops and it sticks like glue into corners now.
Servicing is a bit pricey
I've changed the standard Bridgestone tyres for Dunlop Q3's and they're so much better, never had faith in the bridgestone whilst cornering but on the dunlops you can throw it into any corner and it just sticks!
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!!
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.
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
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.
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.