In fact Suzuki Gixxer SF belongs to a different category all together, it is not fair to compare Gixxer SF with these performance machines loaded with electronic gadget and loads of high quality tech. There is no direct competition for the Gixxer SF as far as 150cc budget class faired motorcycles are concerned.
The Gixxer SF gets the same 154.9cc mill producing 14.8 Ps at 8000 RPM and 14 Nm of torque at 6000 RPM. Now with the faired Gixxer, there are absolutely no mechanical changes to the bike and hence for some reason we wonder how the bike would be received by the masses. 1. Added Fairing with no Power Bump:
The thing about faired bikes is that they do provide better wind protection and stability on the highway due to reduced crosswind resistance to the bike which helps the bike hold its line. But that comes at the cost of added weight of the fairing which eventually leads to loss of the power to weight ratio. This is the reason why many manufacturers bump up the power of the faired siblings by a little to keep the power to weight ratio in check and make the bike feel sluggish due to the added weight.
However, believing the allegedly leaked brochure of Suzuki Gixxer SF it seems Suzuki has successfully kept the weight checked but still a little increase in the power figure would do wonders.
2. Stronger Market Competition:
If we look at the competition the Gixxer SF will be facing, they all are mean machines with higher power outputs from the same size of engine like the R15 and the CBR150R and are also pretty refined. The Bajaj though has a bigger capacity engine in the RS200, but stands its equal ground due to the cost factor. The KTM is not considered because it has a league of its own. So if you really want to choose a faired bike, you have plenty of better options even if you are on a budget. 3. Air Cooling:
Naked bikes have the advantage of air flowing around its engine helping it naturally cool down. But the faired bikes have the engine covered which does not allow the engine to cool off naturally that easily. And add this to extreme riding at longer hours and it could spell disaster pretty soon. So unless Suzuki has taken special care about this by providing special air ducts for the engine to cool off, then Kudos! Else we feel at least oil cooling, if not liquid cooling should have had been in order.
4. No new Tech:
Everyone expected Suzuki to comes up with some value to the bike in the form of at least fuel injection & oil cooling which its all other faired siblings have received. This makes the Gixxer SF more sub-standard looking among the competition. Suzuki really missed the bus here with the tech in place for the bike. But again doing all Suzuki must have kept the cost of manufacturing on the lower side, which will eventually be passed on to the customers.
5. High Cost with no Added Value:
Now the Gixxer costs around 87-88k on road in Maharashtra, which means Suzuki will have to price the bike spot on. The SF is going to get a price bump for the added fairing, but if the cost of the bike crosses Rs 1 Lakh on road, it is bye-bye sales because the competition also costs north of a lakh and for some extra thousand will give you a lot of value to the machine in terms of added power output, more refinement, and not to mention the new tech like Fuel Injection and even ABS for that matter.
Now with the tentative pricing for the Gixxer SF supposed to be coming at around INR 1.05, Suzuki will have to come out all guns blazing for marketing the bike and drive up the sales after the initial hoopla over the bike subsides. If Suzuki keeps the pricing of the Gixxer SF bang on target, there is no doubt about the brand repeating its success story this time with aerodynamic fairing on board.
Let's wait and watch what's gonna happen in the already happening two-wheeler market of India.
By: Pratik Patole