GSX-R600

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

It begs to be abused

Su­pers­port rac­ing is the rea­son the GSX-R600 ex­ists. But it’s never been a se­rial track head­banger like the R6, ZX-6R, CBR600RR or Day­tona 675, de­spite win­ning the 2011 BSS ti­tle.

So un­less you’re go­ing to race, it makes much more sense to buy the GSX-R750 for just a few quid more. It’s ba­si­cally the same bike with an ex­tra 150cc, so it corners, steers, brakes and screams like a 600, but it has a nice dol­lop of ex­tra grunt so you’re not up and down the gear­box.

Both the deal­ers and you say the main rea­son the GSX-R600 isn’t as pop­u­lar as it could be is be­cause the 750 ex­ists. You even say that su­per­bikes are just as at­trac­tive now, packed with elec­tron­ics that keep you safe. You also tell us that nine grand is stretch­ing it for a bike with lim­ited tech­nol­ogy. The GSX-R600 comes rid­ing modes, but there’s no trac­tion con­trol, ABS or a quick­shifter in sight. No ABS, what­ever next?

There’s also that per­cep­tion that 600 su­pers­port bikes are tiny, rev happy ma­chines, but the GSX-R600 is as roomy as a su­per­bike and has most of the grunt of a 750.

Lots of you agree and adore your GSX-R600S. You love its feath­erlight weight, the way it makes you smile and ac­knowl­edge that a 120bhp-plus 600cc in­line four-cylin­der en­gine is more than enough power for most.

The Suzuki never fails to sur­prise and im­press. It’s noth­ing spe­cial on pa­per com­pared to its ri­vals and it’s even down on power com­pared to most of them (ex­cept the Honda), but it man­ages to de­liver such easy grunt you hon­estly have to keep check­ing you haven’t jumped on a 750 by mis­take.

Three-way ad­justable foot­pegs guar­an­tee gen­er­ous legroom, the clip-ons aren’t too much of a stretch and the seat isn’t a pain in the rear. It’s just as adept at sum­mer tour­ing through Europe as it is hoon­ing around a track.

And talk­ing of which, prac­ti­cal­i­ties aside, this is still a su­pers­port brawler. It begs to be abused and shrieks with de­light when you dip the rev nee­dle into the red. It’s com­pletely sta­ble and even on track you’d be hard-pushed to get it any­where near out of shape.

There’s noth­ing like ham­mer­ing a 600, but when you’re not in the mood the GSX-R600 is your flex­i­ble friend.

‘ It makes much more sense to buy the GSX-R750’

The only gizmo on the GSX-R is rid­ing modes

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