I've been riding sports bikes for 6 years, mainly GSXR's, which were all mighty great bikes but not in the environment I was spending most of my time. I knew I was not completely honest trying to convince myself that a gixer was the best bike to have. In town it was cumbersome and intimidating and there are n...
I've been riding sports bikes for 6 years, mainly GSXR's, which were all mighty great bikes but not in the environment I was spending most of my time. I knew I was not completely honest trying to convince myself that a gixer was the best bike to have. In town it was cumbersome and intimidating and there are no nice fast twisty roads in the area where I live. The only real point to own a gixer was Track Days which happened like 2 or 3 times a year. So no real point then... It was time for some drastic measures. The reason why I ride is to have fun every minute I'm on the bike and not 2 or 3 times a year. And the SM fulfils the task admirably. It has such a playful personality it hurts. And its sooo easy to manage! Around town it will blow a sportsbike to weeds no questions asked. The ergos are perfect for city commuting and the bike feels almost weightless. It's a traffic jam ultimate weapon. Oh, and I was 3 times faster around the local go kart track first day I took it there then I ever was on my gixer. On tarmac it bloody rails! Just sort the tire pressures, set the suspension for ya and it will cut through any corner with laser precision. And if you had enough on the street just jump off the tarmac and make your way through that lawn or park. Thanks to this bike I'm starting to discover the pleasures and joys of dirt riding. It's just a set of dirt bike wheels away from a serious trail bike. But surprisingly the tires are quite capable off road and the bike climbs hills pretty well, just stay away from mud, deep gravel or wet grass. The motor is no monster, but it's healthy, smooth and has a modern feel to it. Actually it's a bit more than I expected it to be after reading some other reviews. The bike pulls to 60mph real fast and then tops out at around 100. By the way I suggest using mototune usa break in method. I rode it hard from 0 km, used mineral oil, changed it quite frequently and switched to synthetic a couple of days ago with 1500 miles on the clock. The motor feels really strong and never misses a beat. Pros: Looks funky, completely reliable, handles beautifully, seriously cheap to run, excellent build quality (I mean it), good adjustable suspension, breaks have good power and feel, and it's not intimidating to ride but tons and tons of fun. If you have never managed a rolling stoppie in your life you will on this puppy, trust me on that one. And it crashes well too: I looped it in 5th doing 80mph and all the damage went to the rear lights, kickstand and handlebar protector. Gixer wouldn't be even rideable after such one. Cons: Seat is hard and pain in the butt after an hour of riding, especially if you ride in jeans (leathers seem to do a trick and it's not so bad). Avoid highways or you will bore yourself to death. Could use another 50cc of motor. It's not a beast like other SM's from Husky, Husaberg or KTM but I prefer Suzuki's reliability instead. Radiators and engine cases are the weak points, invest on guards without thinking about it for too long. Standard Dunlops are ok, but not great, I wouldn't buy them again. Pilot Powers seem to be the choice for ultimate performance on tarmac and Avon Distanzias are the ones to go if you like to jump off the road occasionally and still have excellent grip on the road. Verdict: So is it a perfect bike? No, no doubt about it. It has its clear weak points. But for what I use it's probably the best choice. It's hard to find a better bike for city use and it's an absolute blast around a go kart track. Is it the most fun bike I've ever been on? Oh yes, no doubt about that either! Besides it's so much less expensive to buy, run, maintain and repair than a sports bike. I know many of you are hesitating like I was. But give it a try and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I'm yet to hear of someone feeling sorry for getting this fabulous bike. Many of my riding buddies on sports bikes think I'm some kind of eccentric odd twat who dumped a mighty gixer for this weak mosquito. But I just keep smiling in my helmet and feel being one step ahead of them and somewhat smarter.