Yamaha Fazer Fi fight it out with Suzuki Gixxer SF as both are similar on paper in some aspects and totally different when it comes to the qualities they offer
The premium 150cc bike category in India is heating up so intensely that the sun would get shy. All of a sudden four top manufacturers have taken things in charge and dropped products one after the other in their fashion. Suzuki, one of the last entrants in this category bought life into the segment when it went head on with the second largest 150cc motorcycle seller in the country, Yamaha and launched the Gixxer. Soon, the Gixxer SF followed and its styling and slight mechanical changes made it stand up in the crowd and get serious with the competition. Yamaha Fazer is the one who is going take the hit as the Japanese fight is bang on in terms of price and category. Gixxer SF is the one, which is extremely promising on paper. However, Yamaha says Fazer Fi may lose the fight on books, but isn’t a slouch either. We had to put them together to tell you who exactly aces this test.
In terms of design both these bikes wear their elder siblings clothes and don’t look out of shape at the same time. Fazer carries the dual-headlight half-fairing them that Fazer series carries worldwide with 600cc and 1000cc motors underneath them. This time around, the Fi gets new tank shrouds that protrude towards the ground and look sharp and give it the typical Japanese bike styling cues. Tail-piece has changed and so has the mudguard. Overall, as good as the old and iconic Fazer and not ruined like how the company treated the naked sibling.
Meanwhile, the Gixxer SF gains tops marks only for its stunning MotoGP livery. The radium green color on the wheels and use of it on the iconic blue color of Gixxer race bikes makes it stand out of the crowd even from miles away. The full fairing has same significance in terms of weightage as it has been executed very well. The Hayabusa inspired headlight and sharp and bold tail-light along with sleek tail-piece clearly makes it look a proper race bike for the road. Overall, it’s the Gixxer SF that wins the design round as simply is aces over the Fazer.
2Instrument Console And Switchgear
Yamaha has revised their odd-looking console with all digital unit, but it does even have a clock and has the bare essentials like trip meter and that’s about it. Red back-lit for console is the only new thing here. Gixxer SF on the other hand gets same console as the impressive Gixxer and gets loads of features such as Economy and power mode indicator, along with gearshift indicator and a clock along with RPM redline light indicator and basic essentials. Switchgear on both these bikes is top-notch in terms of quality, design and intuitiveness.
Both have very similar riding position and as raised handlebar comes to your hand despite you sit low. The Fazer handlebar is raised even more than the Gixxer SF, which equals to more easy to ride through town feature. Gixxer is no harder to ride in the city despite its racy intentions and position, which hint’s typical Suzuki ergonomics as it involves you more. Both have rear set pegs and comfortable seats for long and short distance journeys.
Leg room for tall riders is present on the Gixxer SF, but same cannot be said for Fazer. These bikes also feature good pillion seat comfort this time around, especially for the Fazer. Mirrors on both these bikes are mounted on the fairing are boon on the highway, but slightly cumbersome on tight crowded city streets.
Powering these bikes are a similar type of engines yet totally different at the same time. The 149cc Yamaha engine is now fuel injected and looses 5cc’s. Meanwhile the all new Gixxer gets 155cc engine, which is equipped with a carburetor. The Yamaha Fi engine produces same 14 BHP, but looses torque and is now rated at 12.6 Nm. Meanwhile the Gixxer SF has 14.8 BHP and 14 Nm of torque from its engine. The weight is Yamaha is higher at 141 kg meanwhile the Gixxer weighs at 139 kgs. Both have 5-speed gearbox mated to their engines. The engine on Yamaha is a Blue Core unit, which does not compromise on fuel efficiency while delivering power and vice versa. Same claims from Suzuki with SEP technology. Both engines are smooth and refined till redline, which make riding in the city an easy task. Both these bikes make excellent low and mid range torque.
However, Yamaha does not make top-end power like the Suzuki does due to clever gearing, which is mainly a more generic approach to gearing rather than the Yamaha, which specifically focuses on low and mid-end torque and has set the gearing in that manner. Hence fourth gear onwards, the Yamaha looses steam and falls behind by almost FIVE SECONDS to Gixxer SF when it comes 0-100 km/hr timing. 0-60 times are similar and Fazer is minutely ahead. Thanks to full fairing and top-end power. Gixxer SF has a higher top speed, meanwhile the Yamaha is stuck at 120 km/hr while the Gixxer SF crosses that mark and does 126 km/hr plus.
Highway companion award clearly falls in to Gixxer SF hand since both are excellent in city. Gixxer easily nails the Fazer in performance. Fuel efficiency game is similar too. Gixxer SF gives around 48 km/l in the city 55 km/l on the highway. Meanwhile the Fazer yet again falls behind as the city FE is around 45km/l mark, but highway efficiency is 55 km/l too. Yet again, the Suzuki triumphs over the Fazer and largely because of the gearing.
Yet again similarities are endless. Same diamond frame, telescopic forks and monoshock suspension are things that make these stand up. Even the tyres are very similar. REVZ tyre on Gixxer is M type while the Fazer has REVZ Y type. They look similar at first glance, but there substantial amount of difference in their performance, which suits their power delivery and chassis dynamics. Both are great to grip on dry and wet, but they take a little extra time to heat up. Chassis wise, Gixxer SF feels more racier of the lot while Yamaha also feels quick and neutral, which makes things extremely easy for newbie riders. Gixxer SF too is good at being a commuter as its quick, nimble and agile like the Yamaha, but it feels more sporty and front end is so much better as the rake is more inwards.
Everything right from leaning, tipping into corners and turning is spot on these bikes, but Gixxer SF aces the test by being more racier. I keep saying that the Gixxer SF feels racier again and again because Suzuki has managed and fine tuned the ergonomics, dynamic package quite brilliantly. The more responsive motor also helps in that regard. Both have a good ride quality, but the Gixxer is more stiff, but mind you not harsh like first generation Yamaha Fazer/FZ. Overall, mid corner bumps are taken well on Fazer and in terms of the same feel, the Gixxer SF isn’t that behind and it is behind because it feels more sporty. Both bikes have front disc and rear drum brake as standard. Both bikes have really good stopping power, but the Yamaha has a slightly better feel at the lever (disc). This round is clearly a tie, but if you want a slightly more racier bike to feel, get the Gixxer SF.
The reason why you will be getting yourself the Gixxer SF is clearly because it’s a fully faired bike with bhai’s backing. Jokes apart, Secondly it’s the most feature loaded, more powerful, more economical bike in this test. There is no surprise that it undercuts the Yamaha by a good Rs 2500/- too. If the carburetor one also made it to this test, it wouldn’t aced it either because the performance on both siblings is identical despite a deficit in power in FI variant. Yamaha needs to make a more generic approach towards bike rather specifying roles. Leave that to the customers because even they want an all rounder and that is why Suzuki Gixxer SF wins this test