Staff bikes: Suzuki GSX-R600 - Sneaking a ride
My biking past is littered with sports tourers, an SV650 here, a CBF1000 there, but never dedicated sports bikes. My experience of even mid-range performance bikes is limited to a few rides on a friend’s 1998 CBR600.
So the thought of leaping aboard a Gixxer was exciting, but also slightly intimidating.
All my fears dissolved within a minute of riding the Suzuki.
The power band is almost completely uniform across the rev-range, meaning that you can find power in almost any gear at almost any speed. Strangely, this makes it a very approachable ride. It’s not overloaded with low-end grunt or top-end speed, it’s just easy and smooth throughout.
The riding position, too, is accessible and comfy. It may not be as easy on the back as the Street Triple, but you’re so much a part of the bike’s momentum that the control feels complete. Think about leaning one way and the bike will follow without delay. It’s a reassuring ride and one that feels solid and effortless. It makes you feel a better rider than you are.
The only fear is the ease with which it achieves and holds high speeds. The bike’s natural cruising pace lies far beyond national speed limits, meaning any loss of concentration will see you easily drift above a license-friendly 70mph.
It’s not the most frugal of bikes either. You can coax 110 miles out of it before the fuel light begins to flash, but rarely more than that, which is a surprise after coming off a bike that can do 50 or 60 miles more to a tank.
Despite this, it’s been a real confidence builder, and I’m glad to have had the chance to get to know the GSX-R family.
Keeno may be enjoying the south seas with his new wife, but I think I got the best deal with this stolen week on the Suzuki.
James Keen is away