A potent middleweight bike with more than a thing or two left to prove in its class, the Gixxer 600 is a beast backed up by the same fuel-injected 599cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that is perfectly valued through a six-speed transmission, both units working closely together to power smoothly the light and nimble chassis out of those tight corners of the track.
Most to do with that will have the innovative
Without a doubt, the GSX-R will stand out from any scenario, but more important is what keeps it on the scene, goodies such as the light aluminum frame, Showa suspensions and Tokico brakes.
Suzuki started production of the GSX-R 600 sport
The bike carried on without changes in 1993 and afterwards production was stopped for the next three years.
In 1997, the Gixxer marked its comeback with a totally redesigned engine featuring the SRAD (Suzuki Ram Air Direct) system. The horsepower would have been lowered to 97hp at 12,100rpm for longer engine life, but the bike remained as fast as always due to the 75 lbs weight loss. Also, the new Suzuki looked way more refined than when it was first introduced, leaving no doubts that it would carry on with no interruptions this time.
The 1998 model year was produced without any changes brought to the bike.
But for 1999, things were about to go the way the motorcycle press anticipated. The low weight was still a thing the GSX-R 600 could brag about only that it was now moved by a greater stud: 110hp at 11,800rpm. That year marked a big evolutionary step and the bikes produced then are recognized after their yellow paint schemes.
Except from lightening that yellow color, the year 2000 brought nothing new to this Suzuki.
A major revision was planned for the 2001 Suzuki GSX-R 600 involving a redesigned exterior and a more powerful engine. The first had the effect of lightening the bike to 359 lbs (pretty good compared to the previous 383 lbs) and, of course, making it sharper looking while the technical modifications brought to that water-cooled 599cc inline-four, DOHC, 16 valves engine resulted in 115hp at 13,000rpm.
Lighter, more aggressive, both in style and performance, the middleweight Suzuki sport bike didn’t reserve any upgrades for the next two years. From 2002 we can remember the GSX-R 600 M Telefonica while 2003 brought the GSX-R 600 Z Alstare.
AS you already know, 2004 was a big year for Suzuki and that reflected on the bike we review today. Entirely new, the GSX-R 600 features a 15mm narrower twin-spar black-coated frame, 20mm narrower at the knees fuel tank, 200mm closer together footpegs, fully-adjustable inverted 43mm front forks as well as a new rear shock. Also, the front braking system now featured four-piston radical-mount front brake calipers actuated by a radial-piston master cylinder. By now, the engine produced 126hp at 13,000rpm Color schemes available were Black/Red, Blue/White, Yellow.
The 2005 model year carried on with only new graphics added to it.
The 2007 model was painted Blue/White, Red/White, Black/Matte Black and Blue/Black.
The highest level of development was achieved on the 2008 model year. This is when the bike received significant revisions to the chassis and to the ingenious fuel injection system while the exhaust was now the coolest ever seen on a Suzuki bike and it also didi the job well. Horsepower remains the same, but colors change in Blue/White, Silver/Yellow, White/Silver and Black/Matte Black.
For example the 2009 Honda CBR 600RR ABS is an awful threat for the Suzuki, especially now that it evolves significantly for 2009. Engineers have developed a new, electronically controlled Combined ABS system which will be standard on the bike and will gently intervene in the very last moment before the rider will practically lose the bike during a high speed corner. This gives confidence and support, resulting in better lap times. It also ads 10kg to this bike’s mass, but the fuel-injected 599cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine is there to keep performance numbers at the same level as last year (118hp at 13,500rpm and 66Nm at 11,250rpm). MSRP is $10,799.
Like Suzuki, Yamaha didn’t revise its 2009 middleweight sport model, the YZF-R6, but simply added new color schemes to it: Racing Red and Midnight Black for Europe and Orange/Raven and Pear White for the U.S. So the R6 remains the same awesome performer behind which sits the also fuel-injected 599cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, forward-inclined parallel four-cylinder engine. This develops 129hp at 14,500rpm and 65.8Nm at 11,000rpm so everybody should watch out for it. MSRP was not announced yet.
2009 will be a big year for Kawasaki as the ZX-6R model features both engine and chassis refinements, improving the bike’s overall already positive characteristics. With an MSRP of $9,799, the ZX-6R is one the cheapest motorcycles in its class.
In what concern’s this Gixxer’s design, it remains pretty much unchanged for 2009. In fact, ever since the 2006 redesign, they haven’t done much to it apart from modifying the headlight’s shape and creating that stylish looking exhaust. Still, Suzuki seems to have ridden the winds of change pretty good with this model, resulting into an aggressively styled piece of machinery with little in common with the one that first came out the factory gates back in 1992.
The front end is cockpit-aerodynamic with the headlight being perfectly integrated into the fairing and the signal lights into the mirrors supports. In fact, if you remove the mirrors and cover the headlight you’re in for a mean machine with pretty much nothing to distinguish it from a racing bike.
On the sides, the fairing has significantly slimmed-down compared to previous model years, contributing at cooling down the engine and at making the bike lighter overall. On the right side, the lower part of the fairing blends perfectly in with the exhaust’s covering plate, creating the look of these two units being actually one.
The gas tank is very narrow while the seat isn’t as inclined as you would expect from a bike in its category and that can only mean enhanced comfort. What I like about the GSX-R series is that they don’t feature the sharp rear end, leaving room for a passenger to decently find its place on it.
No matter color schemes, the frame is matte black painted, matching perfectly with 2009’s Black, Blue/White, Orange/Black and White.
Like Kawasaki, Suzuki does its best in keeping its 600cc sport bike priced under ten grand and actually achieves the same “performance” as Kawi. The suggested retail price for a 2009 Suzuki GSX-R
ConclusionIf we turn back and look at Suzuki’s strategy for the GSX-R 600 we can clearly notice that the next major revision awaiting is in 2010. But the question is: what more can be done to the most advanced middleweight model of this Nippon maker?
Engine and Transmission
Engine: 599 cc (36.5 cu. In), 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Bore Stroke: 67.0 mm (2.638 in) x 42.5 mm (1.673 in)
Compression Ratio: 12.8 : 1
Fuel System: Fuel
Lubrication: Wet sump
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: RK525SMOZ8, 114 links
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Inverted, telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Overall Length: 2040 mm (80.3 in)
Overall Width: 715 mm (28.1 in)
Overall Height: 1125 mm (44.3 in)
Seat Height: 810 mm (31.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 130 mm (5.1 in)
Wheelbase: 1400 mm (55.1 in)
Curb Weight: 196 kg (432 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.0 L (4.5/3.7 US/Imp gal)