Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hooligan Suzuki Is Really Quite Civilised

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Hooligan Suzuki Is Really Quite Civilised

Article excerpt


SUZUKI'S GSX-R600 has been celebrated as the hooligan of the supersport class since its 1997 launch.

It owes its reputation to a lightweight chassis propelled by a screaming rev-monster of an engine.

It's been regularly overhauled over the years to keep up with rapidly developing technology, although the only changes to the 2010 GSX-R600 are a few design tweaks and new colours.

I picked up a white GSX-R600 that looks gorgeous, with its sleek lines and sexy tail unit. I love supersport machines for their light and agile handling and unintimidating power that let you take them by the scruff of the neck and ride them like you own them, not like you're scared of them as on the power-crazed litre superbikes.

Some riders steer clear of 600s because their physical size dwarfs the bike's diminutive chassis. But they feel tailored to my frame. The Suzuki feels more spacious and less cramped than, say, the more race-focused Yamaha R6; indeed the whole GSX-R package feels more forgiving for the road, from the softer suspension to the less wrist-heavy riding position, to the three-way adjustable footrests and even the bungy hooks under the tail unit. Who'd have ever imagined the hooligan GSX-R600 would ever be considered the more road-focused of the production supersports? But these machines are first and foremost road bikes, so it's no bad thing they're road-riding friendly.

However, if you want to do track days on Suzuki's baby GSX-R, it's perfect for the job thanks to the lightweight aluminium frame that produces telepathic handling, outstanding four-piston radial Tokico brakes, electronically controlled steering damper that allows light steering at low speeds and maximum control at high speeds, and slipper clutch for greater stability on corner entry. …

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