Like most of my fellow moto scribes, my passion for two-wheeled machines had led me on a path where I get to make a living out of riding bikes. In this line of work though, even a fanatic motorcycle enthusiast like myself will at times become jaded due to the sheer number of test units that pass through my garage. Similarly, our daily riding to and fro the office sometimes may feel like a chore as it becomes as mundane as simply getting from point A to point B. Thankfully, Suzuki has something that could probably be prescribed to treat anyone suffering from this condition, the GSX-R150.
Strictly speaking, the Suzuki GSX-R150 is not a “sporty commuter” but in fact is a light weight sport bike. Staying true to its racing DNA, this entry-level GSX-R shares most of the characteristics of its bigger siblings, save for its relatively modest 147.3 cc single cylinder engine. Don’t be fooled though, Suzuki did an excellent job of squeezing out every bit of power from the small but capable mill. It is able to produce 14.1 kw at 10,500 RPM and 14 Nm of torque at 9,000 RPM. Another great feat of Suzuki engineering is that this rev-happy sport bike runs smoothly at low revs as well. There’s no jerkiness or shuddering even when navigating through congested urban areas at near idle. Clutch pull is delightfully light and engagement is rather progressive. Novice riders, or those used to riding scooters won’t have a hard time operating this little crotch rocket. What felt a bit grabby though, is the front disc brake, but I easily got accustomed to it after a short while on the saddle.
To be honest, I almost never got to engage the 6th gear as most of my riding is done in the city but whenever an open road presents itself I found myself reaching three-digit speeds in second gear. If that doesn’t break the monotony of your daily commute, I don’t know what will. Please be reminded however, that it is best to test the full potential of the GSX-R150 in the race track because given our road conditions, chances are you’ll run out of tarmac before you ran out out gears.
Now, let’s talk about ergonomics. It’s a sport bike, what do you expect? The clip-on grips are placed low that you really have to reach for them. The crouched riding stance make sense when you’re on the open highway but it’s really not that bad otherwise. It only bothered me whenever I was stuck in a gridlock. It could be worse. Some sport bikes have their seats slanting downward towards the front. The seat on the GSX-R150 is leveled flat. So while my back maybe complaining, the family jewels at least, weren’t pressed against the fuel tank.
Talking about high-pitched tones, the one-into-two muffler set-up of the GSX-R150 almost doesn’t sound like is came from a single cylinder. If the MotoGP inspired color scheme of the demo unit we had is eye-catching, the exhaust note is…ear-catching. Other features that will surely catch your attention include full-LED lighting, a fully digital instrument panel which has a speedometer, a rev counter, an odometer, a trip meter, a fuel gauge and a clock, plus a hi-tech knob in place of an ignition keyhole. With the electronic key in your pocket, just press the knob then turn it as soon as the tiny indicator bulb lights up. Then just thumb the electric starter switch to fire up the engine. With all the technological gadgetry, The GSX-R150 is still reasonably priced at P 156,000 but at that price point I would expect Suzuki to throw in an anti-lock brake system. Especially since this bike is not exactly a slow poke.
The GSX-R150 maybe what we need to re-ignite our passion for riding. I found myself coming up with excuses just to have the chance to take it out for yet another spin, sore back, notwithstanding. That condition, though, can be easily treated.