Suzuki’s new Gixxer and the time tested Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 sit at the very top of the 150cc heap. Both bikes adopt a no-holds-barred, well-equipped approach to strive towards the perfect streetbike on Indian roads.
Suzuki’s Gixxer is the Japanese giant’s first truly complete motorcycle for our shores, combining sporty styling, an engine tuned for good low-end performance and adequate equipment, three pillars that Suzuki hopes will put this sleek new motorcycle on solid ground in the segment. Suzuki’s previous GS150R failed to really shake up this market, and was an only average package, but the Gixxer has massive potential, built in tune with the times and ticking all the right boxes.
Yamaha’s respected FZ-S V2.0 is now more efficient with fuel-injection, making it a touch more rev happy as compared the original, carburettor-equipped model.
Match time rings out the bell; so read on to find out who will be king of the ring.
Dressed to thrill
The Suzuki Gixxer and Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 are two quite similar looking bikes. The Gixxer leans a little more eagerly forward, sporting a leaner look and one can’t miss noticing its grab-bars, as they integrate so nicely into the motorcycle’s rear. The Yamaha is older in the market, but still looks handsome with its muscular stance and bold styling. The Gixxer sports stylish six-spoke rims, so in sync with the times.
The Gixxer uses a smooth flowing dual-tone front mudguard, while the FZ-S sports a more rugged look. Both motorcycles come with headlights that shine brightly at night, underlined by smart, chin-set lamps. Minimal headlight cowls are standard, as are digital instruments, easily legible and nicely laid out.
Suzuki’s Gixxer comes with a white shift-warning beacon that flashes out in protest once you’ve maxed out revs in any gear, whereas the Yamaha FZ-S has an economy light that lights up when riding with fuel saving in mind. The two handlebars are almost the same, deploying wide, near-straight alloy units, with beautifully styled bar-end weights.
Good grips and crisp switches are the norm, yet the switchgear on the FZ-S feels a notch more precise and better quality. Mirrors on both bikes offer good rear view, with the neat units on the Gixxer being cleverly shaped. The tanks on both motorcycles offer sufficient thigh grip with functional indents for knees that also lend the bikes a masculine touch. The knee indents on the Gixxer are a bit more pronounced, whereas the FZ-S V2.0 sports a dual-tone tank. Chic fuel-filler lids are standard equipment on both motorcycles, but the absence of a hinge robs convenience at the filling station. Smartly styled tank extensions have made their way onto both bikes, well designed to complement styling. The Gixxer’s rear mudguard is a more bulky, better protecting unit that can also be detached to reveal a smaller, sleeker version when the sun is out, the FZ-S using a standard mudguard with the added protection of a tyre hugger, that doesn’t look so smart.
The really attractive conical exhaust canister on the Gixxer comes with chrome accents and
dual outlets, whereas the FZ-S goes with a racy, more edgy muffler.
Smooth city runners
The Gixxer and the FZ-S V2.0 have air-cooled and four-stroke engines of similar construction. The Gixxer makes a little more power to score higher thanks to its slightly larger capacity 155cc carburetted engine. This comes at a cost though; for the fuel-injected Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 steals a march to feel a touch smoother on power delivery across its powerband. Both motorcycles aren’t all that rev-happy towards their top ends, feeling more at ease when ridden in the meat of the rev range. Bottom and mid range performance is excellent and similar natured on both motorcycles. Likewise, these Yamaha and Suzuki machines offer near identical feel from their light, city friendly clutch systems and five-speed gearboxes.
The Gixxer is powered by a four-stroke, SOHC and CV carburettor-fed powerplant, with good torque output. The Gixxer puts out a healthy 14.6bhp at 8,000rpm, and 1.43kgm of peak torque, delivered nice and low in the powerband at 6,000rpm. The FZ makes 12.9bhp at 8,000rpm, and max torque is 1.3kgm at 6,000rpm, Suzuki racing ahead here with higher numbers.
Both bikes perform well and proved very close to one another when put to the test, both churning out near-identical acceleration. The Gixxer manages a 0-60kph run in 5.61 seconds, where the FZ-S V2.0 took 5.60sec. The Suzuki is faster to 100kph by a reasonable margin, taking 19.25s where the Yamaha ran the same in 21.77s. There’s a significant difference in true top speeds as well, where the FZ-S manages 109kph, as compared to the faster Gixxer’s 116kph.
The two motorcycles offer identical riding positions and feel when it comes to comfort and handling, the tyres, suspension and brakes performing as close as can be. Both bikes use fat 41mm telescopic front suspension and large diameter discs up front.
The FZ-S and Gixxer offer excellent handling for their class, whether cornering at high speeds, or riding hard and looking for stability in a straight-line, and both feel ever so sure-footed thanks to their excellent, tubeless MRF-made tyres, with fat radials at the rear. The Gixxer turns in a bit lighter than the Yamaha, although both bikes do well to feel ideal for everyday city commutes. Both Japanese streetbikes offer a single brake disc up front and drum rear brakes, facilitating benchmark braking. The Gixxer offers sharper bite while braking, whereas the FZ-S brakes with a more progressive, still powerful feel. We managed to get the Suzuki Gixxer to a stop from 60kph in 16.10m where the Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 took 17.55m.
Fair and square
When it comes to overall fuel-economy, the fuel-injected Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 takes the cake to manage a better 47.5kpl as compared to the Suzuki Gixxer’s 42.9kpl.
The Suzuki Gixxer and the Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 are, without doubt, two of the best bikes in their category, so it’s no surprise they both make such excellent all-round performers.
So closely tied do both these competent bikes run towards the finish line of this duel that there’s only one truly decisive factor that brings fairness into naming any one a victor. Pricing! For the Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 costs that little bit more at Rs 78,250, relative to the Suzuki Gixxer at Rs 72,199 (both ex-showroom, Delhi). The Suzuki Gixxer it is then, that has managed to pip the long-standing champion from Yamaha at the post, to carry home the best overall Indian 150 crown this time round.