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Suzuki GSX-R600 (96-On) Review

Suzuki GSX-R600 

The Suzuki GSX-R600 is the greatest superbike of them all. It is a bike that symbolizes sheer lunacy. Push the throttle and you will find that this is one bike that isn’t afraid of testing its limits. At low revs, the GSX-R600 is muddy at best.  However, that’s what makes it even more exciting. A slight push of the throttle and it will have you begging for mercy.

Over the years, the GSX-R600 has come a long way. The older versions were never refined as the latest iteration. However, that’s what makes the bike even more appealing and desirable. The GSX-R600 is nothing but follish fun and who doesn’t love their fair share of foolish fun?!

Timeline

The GSX-R first came into production in the year 1992. It was launched with a 36.6 cubic inch engine. In simpler terms, that’s 600ccs of displacement. It was a 4 cylinder engine with an in-line configuration. The first version of the GSX-R600 shared its body with GSX-750. In fact, it was basically a GSX-750 with a smaller 600 cc engine. This version of the GSX-R600 continued until the year 1993.

Between 1994 and 1996, the bike went off production, but, was reintroduced back in 1997. The 1997 version came with the all new SRAD or Suzuki Ram Air Direct system. This version was kept in production until the year 2000.

In 2001, the GSX-R600 was redesigned to accommodate a new fuel injection unit. This upgrade continued with the 2003 version. The 2003 version roughly remained the same with a few minor updates.

In 2005, customers were introduced to more significant changes in the GSSX-R600. These changes included a complete redesign of the fuel tank and the fairings. Other than that, the bike also came with radial-mounted brakes, titanium valves, a 32-bit ECU, and inverted forks.

2006 saw the launch of a completely new GSX-R600. It boasted of a new slipper clutch and an underslung exhaust. This version also saw the use of a brand new engine. However, the stroke and bore were kept the same.

In 2008, the bike received a new fuel tank, a new sub-frame, and all new bodywork. It also came with the newly launched S-DMS or Suzuki Drive Mode Selector feature.

Further ahead in 2011, the GSX-R600 shed some weight and became lighter by 9 kilograms. Other than that, it also came with Brembo Monobloc brake caliper on the front, a Showa Big Piston Fork, and a new gauge cluster.  The gauge cluster was similar to the one found on the GSX-R1000.

Performance

The GSX-R600’s chassis has been inspired by the one used in the Suzuki Grand Prix RGV500. The point being made here is that it’s made for some hardcore use. In general, the handling of the GSX-R600 is near perfect. However, hard acceleration might push it to the limit a bit. There is some skipping experienced at the back, but that’s what gives the rider a rush.

As for comfort, the GSX-R600 is quite good. However, longer distances might get tiring.

Engine

The GSX-R600’s engine is a reliable one with plenty of power on offer. The version from the 1996 to 1998 era was pure insanity, thanks to the fact that all its power was focused towards the top end. The 1998 version, on the other hand, was relatively more docile. It enjoyed more mid-range power, but, still required some pushing and prodding. Once that power range was reached, there was no stopping the GSX-R600.

Quality

On an overall basis, the GSX-R600 is quite good, quality wise. However, there were a few small issues. These issues were usually related to components such as chokes, cranks, carburetor, fasteners, cam chains and the gearbox. For instance, the fasteners were known to rust early and the chokes would get sticky.

High mileage users would often need to get their suspension checked and worked on. The calipers also required maintenance and cleaning every now and then.

In terms of value, the Suzuki GSX-R600 competes quite well with rivals such as the Kawasaki ZX-6R, the Honda CBR600, the Yamaha R6 and the Yamaha Thundercat. Apart from average build quality, the GSX-R600 still remains a very good bike, thanks to its top notch performance figures. It’s a classic that can still command a good price in the used market.

It’s not hard to find owners still running this particular with aftermarket components.

Gear

The GSX-R600 boasts of all kinds of gear. For starters, it comes with a seat cowl, which replaces the usual pillion seat. This is because the bike was never meant to carry around passengers. The dash is analog and the suspension is adjustable on both ends.

The gearbox and the brakes do more than just a good job.

On the whole, the GSX-R is well deserving of its superstar status.

Suzuki GSX-R600 (96-On) Review was last modified: May 10th, 2019 by Alan Charnock