SUZUKI RF600 (1993 - 1997) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Power: 100 bhp
Seat height: Low (30.5 in / 775 mm)
Weight: Medium (430 lbs / 195 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


3 out of 5 (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.


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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 14 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 47.4 ft-lb
Top speed 147 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.1 secs
Tank range 135 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

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

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI RF600 (1993 - 1997)

8 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 (3.9/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.2 out of 5 (3.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Equipment: 3.5 out of 5 (3.5/5)
4 out of 5 Great underrated bike with lots of potential
09 September 2015 by Mike RF600R

Version: RF600R

Year: 1993

Very underrated bikes and with minor mods really sharpen up handling and performance. it is a lovely bike to ride and to work on as it is relatively simple and everything is easily got at. As with any bike it has few weak points but value for money on these bikes is amazing. Also the RFOC forum is a great place to be with lots of good people and lots of knowledge so if you have a problem no doubt its been dealt with before and will soon be helped on your way.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

stock setup is ok. rear shock tends to suffer and needs replacing or rebuilding. GSXR 1000 K1-K7 shock is ideal replacement though mine currently has stock shock with hyperpro spring which is good too. Jackup kit quickens up the steering plus makes bike stance look much tastier

Engine 5 out of 5

Great engine the 4K flat spot will only be noticed in higher gear when rolling on from say 30mph, and tbh if doing that you not using the engine properly. keep it above 4k when rolling on and is smooth all way to redline. engine is vasty improved with a ignition advancer fitted gives the engine the much wanting midrange that it lacks as stock and generally smooths out the power everywhere, its much more usable for it. also dynojet kit helps with performance everywhere too.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

If you ride all year and do alot of miles like myself you will find the swing arm can have a hard time and being steel once it starts to rust it needs stripping and repainting, RF900 alloy swingarm is straight swap in though if want a easier time of things. Coils can be a pain so i'd recommend swapping them out for stick coils off modern bikes for smoother running better spark and ultra relaible

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

It is hard to put a price on this as depends how many miles you do, i change tyres every 3 or 4 months, oil every 6 months , oil filter every year, brake pads every year, air filter is K&N so needs clean every so often

Equipment 4 out of 5

Glove box is sooooo handy, also tons of space under rear seat for tool kit, sandwiches cans of relentless etc. lack of fuel guage is irritating but u soon get used to it. fill up, reset the clocks, ride 95 miles and fuel light will start to come on (mine comes on earlier than most as i have jack up kit fitted wich makes it come on earlier, when i fill up i still have 5 litres in the tank usually.

5 out of 5
27 May 2015 by Gilly

Year: 1997

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 1st big bike
06 July 2012 by

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.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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