When I laid my eyes for the first time on this bike, I said to myself, “this bike looks much better in flesh and blood.” I wanted a bike with good power along with good enough average. In other words, I want a jack of all trades bike. After browsing through hundreds of pages online, I have short listed three bikes Hero Honda Hunk, CBZ Extreme and Suzuki Gs150R. I felt Hunk’s looks doesn’t fit bikers of my age (28). No offense as this is purely a personal opinion. Coming to CBZ Extreme, I loved the initial acceleration amongst many other features the bike possesses. However, I needed a bike with straighter posture.
The Pulsars and Honda Unicorn were not considered. I felt the Pulsars are too common on the streets. Some user commented on a blog, “Every one has a Pulsar my neighbor, my cousin, my friend and even my milkman rides one.” Honda Unicorn is an old horse and might have considered it, had the company made some major cosmetic changes.
So after much deliberation and friendly and unfriendly chats with friends and relative, I have zeroed down on Suzuki GS150R. I liked the commuterish posture on this bike and felt it will cause less strain on my back on long journeys than on bikes with sporty leaning posture.
After I made my decision, I stopped browsing the internet as I knew it will only complicate matters and make me more confused. Like everyone else I wanted to put my hard earned money on a perfect bike (a myth nonetheless). Finally, I purchased the bike on 26th December, 2009 on cash payment of 71000 Rs inclusive all. The crash guard, saree guard, rear view mirrors are part of the standard and do not count toward accessories.
I felt like a celebrity on the road as everyone checked out my bike. A few people even asked if this is an imported one. Please read on to know more about this beast “Suzuki GS150R.”
Looks and Style: The first thing anyone would notice about the bike is the huge tank and the majestic curve it creates with the saddle. The digital console is probably one of the best looking consoles I have seen around. The gorgeous orange console displays speed, clock and gear position along with a beautiful analog tachometer. The readings are easily visible on bright sunlight. Unlike other bikes the disc brake assembly is on the left hand side of the wheel. I think it is an effort by the manufacturer to be unique amongst the crowd and does not necessarily affect the bike’s braking performance.
I was not very impressed by the headlight as I thought there is nothing new and its looks are pretty similar to other premium bikes available on the market. However, the pilot lamps do give the look of a bull horn and looks good. At the back the tail lamp is clustered along with the signal lights. The tail lamp and the rear signal lights have LED (Light Emitting Diode) and looks absolutely stunning at night. Both the wheels sport 18” alloy wheel manufactured by Enkei. The front tyre dimension is ‘2.75, tube type’ while the rear tyre is of ‘100/90, tube type’.
Comfort: The rear suspension is of swingarm type and handles the potholes well. It comes with 5 adjustable settings, ‘1’ being the softest and ‘5’ the hardest spring preload. The front suspension is of telescopic type and gives horse ride feel on uneven roads until its (the shock abosorber’s) run in period is over. Once the run in period is over, it can negotiate the potholes pretty well. A 240 mm hydraulic single disc brake performs its duty on the front. At the rear the bike has a 130 mm drum type brake. The bike stops when you want it to stop and has worked well till now for me. However, I have not tried checking out the stopping distance from a high speed.
Performance: The 149.5 cc engine churns out maximum power of 13.8 bhp@ 8500rpm and 13.4 Nm of peak torque at 6000rpm. The curb weight of the bike is bit heavy at 149 kgs and affects the initial pick up. It manages to push past 60km in a lengthy 6 seconds. However, the torque is well distributed and hence very comforting to ride in the city as well on the highway. Although a bit heavy it is not difficult to maneuver around traffic.
It comes with 6 speed transmission with the gear shift pattern of one down and five up. The sixth gear acts as overdrive and is a boon on the highway. The responsiveness of 3rd and 4th gear is worth mentioning. However, it would have been amazing had the 1st and 2nd gear been more responsive.
It was a breeze to accelerate till 85km. After 85km it took ages to go past the three figure mark. As in this part of the world we only have single highway, I was not able to fully test the bike above the three figure mark. Due to its heavy weight the bike hugs the road very well and instills a great deal of confidence on the rider. I was not intimidated by the cross wind created by the giant 16 and 18 wheelers on the road.
In addition, due to the bike’s “engine balancer system”, I did not feel any vibration even on high speeds of over 90km per hour. One can expect an average of 45-50 km per liter in the city and can expect an increment of 4-5 km per liter on the highway. I have even heard users getting an average of 70km per liter. However, I have not had the good fortune to experience that kind of average. I am happy with the average I am getting as I know it always depends on the individual’s riding style.
What could have been better:
- Headlight: The headlight is very humble and does not light up the road well enough. Maybe the company will switch to all DC setup and instill some confidence into the headlight.
- Rear suspension: A mono suspension would have been great at the rear for we all know how the handling improves with a mono suspension.
- Tyres: Currently both the tyres are of tube type. I would have loved to see the wheels sporting tubeless tyres or at least tuff up tubes like the Honda Unicorn. I get scared even while thinking of being stranded on a dark road with no help nearby. Also the rear wheel sports MRF Zapper Y which is a nightmare on a wet village road. It performs all right on the tarmac but not all Indians ride their bike only on tarmac. I hope the company switches to a soft compound tyre at the rear.
Verdict: If you are no nonsense guy and want to go about your normal business without much fuss, buy this bike. This bike will not disappoint and you will happily ride ever after. However, if you are looking for that instant rush of blood, I am sorry to disappoint, you and Suzuki GS150R are not made for each other.
- Sixth gear, best looking console, warranty until 30000kms,
- Steady on high speeds, ultra smooth gearshift,
- Refined Engine (second to Honda Unicorn).
- After sales and service is a concern, weight of the bike,
- Rear brake could have been better,
- Initial acceleration,
- Not enough colour choice.