Motorcycles

Automotive Blog – PowerDrift Specials Suzuki Gixxer SF Racing Bike Preview

Automotive Blog – PowerDrift Specials Suzuki Gixxer SF Racing Bike Preview

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome
to PowerDrift. The reason why I’m so elated, is because I’m back at my favourite place
on earth, the race track. The Kari motor speedway to be specific, to sample this! The highly
anticipated race-spec Suzuki Gixxer SF. Isn’t this one sweet looking motorcycle.

Sharper,
sleeker, ready to race. But how different is it from a stock SF? Well, a lot. The first
thing you do to make your motorcycle faster, is to make it lighter. Which is why, they’ve
stripped off the main stand, the side stand, the indicators, the tail section, the headlight
and the rear seat has been replaced by a race cowl as you can see.

The taller handlebars
have given way to the lower set clip-ons. The exhaust has been replaced by a free flow
megaphone exhaust, and all of these changes we are told amount to a massive weight saving
of over 10 kg. And thats not all, with therestrictions taken out, with the new aftermarket
air filter and new jets for the carb, we are told that this one maked over 17 Ps of power.
And to suppliment this grunt, you also get super sticky race-spec MRF tyres. Those are
a lot of changes.

And thats me doing a lot of blabbering. So I’m gonna shut up and let
the bike, do the talking. Now we love the stock SF for its outstanding front end which
invoked a lot of confidence during corner entry, hard braking and quick change of directions.
Things which are paramount at a track like this, the Kari motor speedway, best known
for its technical sections, the long straight and the flowing double apex first corner.
And thats where, the SF, the race-spec SF shone even brighter. SF has become even more
nimble, more agile, the turn-in’s now lightning quick, and because of the lower
set clip-ons, the feedback from the front tyre is so good, that it gives you immense
confidence at corner entry, to push even harder.

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And all of these changes haven’t come
at the expense of stability, because this bike is rock solid, even at the long flowing
bowl, at the back. But the lack of testing time has seen this bike run into some teething
problems. For example, most of the testing was done on stock tyres, and now with the
addition of this low profile soft rubber, its run into some cornering clearance issues,
because even though the grip and the feedback is briliant, you cant really carry a lot of
speed into corners, because once the lean increases, you end up dragging the rear brake
lever, or the side stand mount. So thats one problem.

And also, with limited testing time, here at Kari, with the new jets, and with the free flow exhaust, the fueling also wasnt
that great. The bike is sputtering at around 8500 RPM. Also the brakes aspect could have
been a little better, especially to compensate for the increase in power. But then to be fair, this is a part in parcel of the development of a race bike.

And this is the very reason
why, we have decided to stay back and give this bike in the hands of our pint sized racer
who’ll race it and see how it improves and see what its truly, capable of. Picking up
from where Sagar left, I got to ride this bike some more, during practice sessions,
and it looks like the Suzuki crew were able to fix the problem that we were facing yesterday.
The rear brake lever has been raised a bit and the side stand mounting point has been
grinded off to increase cornering clearance. That helped me to carry a lot more pace in
the corners and the bike can still go even faster, if they raise the rear sets a bit more to
utilize the unused edge section of the tyre. The fueling is a lot better now.

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The bike still
stutters at 7000 RPM but overall, the bike revs freely. So all these changes have helped
me qualify in the seventh place. Not my best, but I’m really confident about the race tomorrow.
Lets see how it goes, and wish me luck. That was race 1.

I had a lot of fun. Uhm… I did
not get a good race start because my clutch was not dis-engaged properly but, I did a lot of
overtaking on my brakes. The brakes on this bike are really really good.

They have a good
bite and they have really nice feedback about them. And the tyres are super super sticky.
I mean, even after doing a free practice on it, a qualifying on it and now the race, they still
stick to the ground very well. I am just done with Race 2, and the results are in front
of you, third place in both the races. I can’t believe how much the bike has improved over
the weekend.

Yes, it does lack a bit of power, but its a 150cc air cooled, two valve carburetted
engine which is closer to the heels of what has been the benchmark so far, the fuel injected,
liquid cooled four valved R15. That is indeed very impressive and has the potential of a very successful series in the coming years. Hope you guys enjoyed the episode as much
as I did, and thanks for watching, Subscribe to PowerDrift!.

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