Today was another dream day. Back in the late 90s Suzuki released a ground breaking machine. The GSX-R600 had a revolutionary look. The bike which was given the nickname the SRAD (from its innovative Suzuki Ram Air Direct system) was a huge success with it’s radical styling and aggressive nature.It was my dream machine.
Thanks to Mark and the team at Laguna Motorcylces in Maidstone, Kent I got to test ride the latest 2014 model.
I’ve been on the look for my next ride for a few months now. Last month I took a day out to give the latest incarnation of the Triumph Daytona 675 a run and left the saddle somewhat bemused. The Daytona is an interesting bike. It’s got a jet engine inside it, plenty of torque but it’s just not for me. It’s really stiff all over, the rear-sets are severely high and the ergonomics are curious. The Triumph Daytona 675 has been designed for the track pure and simple. The fact they’ve created the R version just to upgrade the shock sets is completely pointless.
In contrast, the Suzuki GSX-R600 is a bike that has been designed and redesigned over and over to the point of what I am going to risk saying, perfection. Suzuki have acknowledged that people buy bikes for the road. The ratio of road to race circuits throughout the world is heavily swayed in the favour of roads – that’s what a bike needs to be good on.
Where I found the seating position on the Daytona to be a battle, the GSX-R600 instantly felt comfortable. Riding position meant that it felt as if the usual pressure you expect from a superbike – on the wrists – was instead being channelled through my hips, I don’t know how it just was and that meant flexible elbows, and no pressure being put through the bars.
After a casual run from Maidstone to Tonbridge I made the wise decision to go meet up with my old man and get him to put me, and the GSX-R600 through its paces on some more technical and, knowing my dad, goat-tracks.
Unfortunately, I completely forgot to put a microphone into my backpack as such the video doesn’t include a good commentary or engine notes, but it’s still worth a look to see how smooth the ride is.
What Suzuki have done with the latest incarnation of the GSX-R600 is re-imagine that stylish superbike of the 90s. The back that everyone loved has long been forgotten and yes, perhaps that rounded dolphin nose was looking a little untidy but that can all be forgiven.
The Gixxer ass looks killer with the indicators now brought up into a single rear unit under the seat like a flared cobra. Even with the European law on rear hangers it doesn’t look bent out of shape, in-fact I probably wouldn’t bother with a tail tidy.
The front also has some smartening up with the indicators built into the mirrors and a subtle amendment to the nose cone that continues to move it further away from the mantis face of the YZF-R6.
The ride was very comfortable. After an hour of mixed country lane and street riding with a smidgen of dual carriageway I didn’t feel tired, uncomfortable or like my wrists were about to be torn off.
Nothing on the ride got out of hand, power is readily available everywhere and stopping power appeared responsive – despite the fact that the GSXR still doesn’t have ABS on any model.