Best 150cc Performance Bike? Battle Of The 150cc Sportbikes!
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Best 150cc Performance Bike? Battle Of The 150cc Sportbikes!

Reviews by Team Drivio | Apr 06, 2023

The Suzuki Gixxer SF or the Yamaha R15 V3, which one should you choose for your daily commute? We find out exactly that: 

  • The Yamaha R15 V3’s 155cc liquid-cooled engine makes 18.4PS and 14.2Nm. 
  • Suzuki, meanwhile, has tuned the Gixxer SF to make 13.6PS and 13.8Nm. 
  • That said, it’s a lot, lot more laid back than the aggressive Yamaha. 

The Yamaha R15's golden formula has been a racetrack-worthy chassis and a high-tech engine packaged into a racy-looking motorcycle at a price just within reach of college students. In many ways, the third generation R15 is even more familiar. But, with the introduction of the Suzuki Gixxer SF, is its hegemony being challenged? Let us find out:

Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha R15 V3: Design & Features

FeaturesSuzuki Gixxer SFYamaha R15 V3
LED HeadlampYesYes
Fully-digital ConsoleYesYes
LED indicatorsNoYes
Riding modesNoNo
Alloy wheelsYesYes
Split seatsYesNo
Bluetooth connectivityNoYes

The Suzuki Gixxer SF BS6 gets LED headlights, LED tail lights, and bulb turn indicators. The digital instrument panel has been improved and is now easier to read. The speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, gear position indicator, odometer, and tripmeters are all included.

The Yamaha R15 includes a new LCD instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity through the Yamaha Y-Connect app. It shows call/SMS notifications, phone battery status, and even a lap timer. However, the console lacks turn-by-turn navigation. Yamaha has provided two display modes for the bike: Street and Race. In addition, the R15 has segment-first features like traction control and a quickshifter, which are available on some variants.

Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha R15 V3: Engine & Gearbox

SpecificationsSuzuki Gixxer SFYamaha R15 V3
Engine155cc single-cylinder air-cooled 4-valve DOHC engine155cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled 4-valve DOHC engine equipped with VVA
Maximum Power13.6PS @ 8000rpm19.3PS @ 10,000rpm
Maximum Torque13.8Nm @ 6000rpm14.7Nm @ 8,500rpm
Transmission5=speed6-speed transmission

The Suzuki Gixxer SF was known for its powerful bottom and mid-range performance, making it a fun city bike to ride. Fortunately, the new motorcycle maintains this characteristic. In terms of roll-on figures, the bike chugged along from 25kmph in fifth gear. The sleek 5-speed transmission unit continues to impress. Suzuki claims a WMTC figure of 49.4kmpl for fuel efficiency.

The R15 V3's new and slightly larger 155cc liquid-cooled four-valve motor, on the other hand, has more low-end power. While it is still a high-revving engine, it features Variable Valve Actuation (VVA), which changes valve lift after 7400rpm for improved top-end grunt. 

This enables engineers to run two valve timings: one for improved low-speed grunt and another for improved top-end. It has a larger sprocket, which improves in-gear acceleration times even more. The R15 clocked 30-70kmph in third gear in 5.71 seconds in our tests. In comparison, 40-80kmph in fourth gear took 6.65 seconds. These figures are comparable to those of other 200cc motorcycles we've tested.

Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha R15 V3: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsSuzuki Gixxer SFYamaha R15 V3
Front suspensionTelescopic fork41mm conventional telescopic fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockDie-cast aluminium swingarm with 7-step preload adjustable monoshock
Tyres

Front: 100/80-17

Rear: 140/60- R17 

Front: 100/80 - 17

Rear: 140/70 - 17 (Optional Metzeler radial tyre available)

BrakesDisc brakes at both ends

Front: 282mm disc, dual-piston caliper

 

Rear: 220mm disc, single-piston caliper

The suspension and braking systems have been carried over from the previous model. Given BIC's near-perfect tarmac, evaluating ride quality was difficult. However, Suzuki officials confirmed that the rear suspension has been made slightly softer for improved ride quality. The brakes are also more progressive than before.

The Gixxer SF now has a clip-on handlebar, which it should have had when it was first released in 2015! The clip-ons aren't particularly low-set, and the footpegs are only marginally rear-set. This means that the riding posture is slightly sporty while still being comfortable. It's not as fast as the KTM RC 200. Long hours on the bike wouldn't be too exhausting.

The front suspension has a softer setup that absorbs harsh road surfaces well. Over bumps and potholes, the rear suspension appears to be a little too reactive and bouncy. The R15 v3.0 does not float over potholes, but it handles them admirably, despite the fact that the rear transmits some of the shocks to the rider.

The soft front end on the R15 V3, meanwhile, dives under hard braking, making the rear end light enough to cause an unintentional stoppie. It's fortunate, then, that the front Bybre (Brakes by Brembo) unit, which consists of a 282mm front disc clamped to two-piston callipers and a rear 220mm disc, provides adequate feedback for you to modulate the appropriate amount of brake pressure. 

Braking is adequate for most situations, but could benefit from more bite. The Yamaha R15 v3.0 came to a complete stop from 100kmph in 51.67 metres and from 80kmph in 34.15 metres in our braking tests. 

Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha R15 V3: Dimensions

DimensionsSuzuki Gixxer SFYamaha R15 V3
Length2025mm1990mm
Width715mm725mm
Height1035mm1135mm
Ground clearance165mm170mm
Kerb weight148kg142kg
Fuel tank capacity12-litres9.5-litre
Seat height795mm815mm

The 150 shares the same frame as the Gixxer SF 250, which helps to explain why it's heavier than before. The new frame has thicker pipes, which increase rigidity but add 1.5kg to overall weight. The revised frame has also resulted in a 10mm increase in wheelbase.

So the big question is, is it still as much fun as it was before? The straightforward answer is yes! In fact, the new bike is more agile than the old one, and it tips into corners faster. And that too in a confident manner that will be appreciated by both novice and experienced riders.

When it comes to handling, the V1.0 has been the preferred R15 for more experienced riders. It moved quickly and felt telepathic while switching lines. The longer wheelbase and larger tyres of the V2.0 traded some of the lightness for confidence. Yamaha has increased tyre sizes even further with the V3.0, though the rear tyre is no longer a radial. However, an optional H-rated Metzeler Sportec M5 is available as an option.

The famed Deltabox frame is retained, though the overall setup has changed. On the plus side, the wheelbase has been reduced from 1345mm to 1325mm. Still, it's not as small as the V1.0's 1290mm wheelbase. In terms of steering geometry, the rake is half a degree sharper and the trail is 10mm shorter. The shorter swingarm, by 11mm, accounts for the smaller footprint. 

Suzuki Gixxer SF vs Yamaha R15 V3: Price

PriceSuzuki Gixxer SFYamaha R15 V3
Ex-showroom, DelhiRs 1,37,100 onwardsRs 1,40,000

So in this battle of these Japanese faired bikes, the Gixxer SF wins in terms of pricing. Suzuki has priced the Gixxer SF from Rs 1.37 lakh, while the Yamaha carries a sticker price of Rs 1.40 lakh, both ex-showroom. 

Verdict

The new Gixxer SF is priced at Rs 1.37 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which is nearly Rs 8,000 more than the previous Gixxer SF. So, does it justify the extra cost?

Given the type of updates, a price increase of Rs 4,000 would have been reasonable. 

Having said that, the new motorcycle retains all of the positive aspects of the previous model, and the improved handling dynamics make it an even better bike. The lack of top-end grunt, however, is the only flaw in an otherwise well-executed motorcycle.

The Yamaha R15, on the other hand, was a revolution in a country devoid of affordable performance motorcycles. To this day, is the R15 still a game changer in comparison to the competition? No, it does not. 

The game has progressed and expanded in scope. You have the 200cc segment, which may be lacking in features but provides comparable performance, value, and dynamics that should keep you satisfied. With a slightly higher budget, KTM promises even better performance and dynamics.