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Rating 7 7

2009 Suzuki GS 150R review, test drive

30th Sep 2009 7:00 am

Suzuki’s new GS 150R is a competently priced bike with nice overall quality

  • Make : Suzuki
  • Model : GS 150R

Good looks come easy to the GS 150R, which looks good both from front and rear, the smooth, conservative lines and GSX R lineage easily doing their bit. Like most new Indian models, the bike conceals elegant, flowing five-spoke alloy wheels, and the handlebar and engine clad in a mean shade of black. Rubber boots protect the front fork tubes from harsh Indian road conditions. Biking enthusiasts will spot Suzuki DNA in the GSR’s distinctive and sporty headlight cluster where twin city lights sit besides a bright halogen bulb-equipped main headlight. The GSR has clearly legible amber backlit instruments that are rather intelligent, with a handsome rpm counter set at left and the rest of the bay filled by a digital speedometer plus the usual icons. A helpful gear indicator is inset in the tachometer and displays the gear the bike is in at all times. This bike includes twin-trip meters, a clock, fuel gauge as well as an economy and power mode indicator. You might mistake a beacon just below the rpm counter for redline warning, but that can be set to help rider’s shift gears for optimal fuel economy. Users can adjust this light to stay off, or light up at 4500rpm to ride in the interests of economy, and also to a power mode whereby it flashes from 8000rpm onwards. The mode can be switched by holding down the select button on the instrument bay and then using an adjust button just next to it.

The new Suzuki comes with fine quality grips, dogleg levers and comprehensive switchgear that works well and includes engine cut-off on the right. Its rear view mirrors work well even at speed. The GS 150R’s humpbacked, creased fuel tank is delightful to look at, as well as feels really comfortable while riding. Chunky, with perfect knee recesses, it comes with a beautiful flush fuel filler. The seat flows backwards into a silvered alloy grab handle. The bike uses alloy sub-frame sections to mount the rear footrests.

The negative news is the GS 150R’s side profile which shows a clearly discernable Pulsar resemblance. We quite liked the curvaceous, flattened tail fairing. The tail comes with integrated indicators and a horizontally split brake lamp, while just below sits a bulky rear mudguard that should provide good protection in the rains.

As expected from Suzuki, the GS is a well engineered motorcycle, with bright paint lustre, good fit and finish, strong build quality and top- drawer rubber and plastic parts.

The GS 150R has both kick and button starters for its 149.5cc engine. This four-stroke, twin-valve and air-cooled powerplant sounds just as mild and boring as other modern Indian bikes that have to conform to stringent sound norms. It uses a CV-type, BS 26 carburettor to put together the correct air-fuel mixture for its single cylinder.

The silky-smooth engine provides buzz-free power throughout the power band, thanks to a balancer that always keeps the crankshaft in check.

Power output is a conservative 13.8bhp made at 8500rpm, while the maximum torque figure is 1.36kgm at 6000rpm. The GS 150R goes the extra mile to provide a six-speed gearbox which shifts in the universal one-down, rest-up pattern, via a heel-and-toe type shift lever.

Young enthusiasts will surely welcome the addition of an extra cog, while some may look at this as extra work in city riding conditions. The GS clutch is smooth to operate and well weighted. Its gearshift quality is butter-smooth but lacks a prcise feel. The GS 150R needs to be revved hard and high into its power band to extract serious performance, and its performance is just par for a 150cc model, lagging behind most of its faster rivals. It could do with improved low and mid-range grunt too, managing to push past 60kph in a lengthy 6.33 seconds. True top speed was achieved in fifth gear, at 106kph, with this immediately dropping as soon as the bike shifts into its tall top gear.

The latest Suzuki sits on 18-inch rims at front and rear, and uses a single downtube frame with dual front fork suspension and twin gas shock absorbers at the rear. The rear swingarm is fabricated from box section metal. Suzuki hasn’t scrimped on tyres, thankfully providing proven MRF footwear for both ends.

The GS 150R comes with a nice seat and an excellent riding position that keeps a rider comfortable and free from aches and pains even after long biking excursions. This Suzuki uses a long 1340mm wheelbase, and is surprisingly heavy tipping the scales with a 149kg kerb weight. This results in a stable, reassuring feel at higher speeds, but can be a bit cumbersome when crawling along in typical urban traffic conditions typically encountered across India. Cornering the GS 150R is a pleasure, with its aforementioned stability coming to the fore here. Small road undulations and bumps find it tough to shake this bike once it’s committed and into a fast corner.

A 240mm front disc brake, and 130mm pedal-actuated drum at the rear work well together. Brake bite is really fierce, totally fade-free, and our best stop from 60kph had the bike coming to a standstill in 16.26 metres and 2.0 seconds.

ENGINE Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Fuel Petrol - - - -
Installation Inclined from vertica - - - -
Bore/stroke 57/ 58.6mm - - - -
Compression ratio 9.35: 1 - - - -
Valve gear 2 valves, sohc - - - -
Power 13.8bhp at 8500rpm - - - -
Torque 1.36kgm at 6000rpm - - - -
Power to weight 92.6bhp per tonne - - - -
TRANSMISSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Type 6-speed - - - -
Gearbox 1-down, 5-up - - - -
BRAKES Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front 240mm disc - - - -
Rear 130mm drum - - - -
SUSPENSION Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Front Telescopic forks - - - -
Rear Dual shocks, rectangular swingarm - - - -
BODY Petrol Petrol AT Diesel Diesel AT Electric
Wheels 5-spoke alloys, 18 inches - - - -
Tyres 2.75 x 18' front, 100/90 x 18' rear - - - -
2009 Suzuki GS 150R review, test drive
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