The look is similar, but Niall discovers that Suzuki’s supersport bike’s beauty is more than just skin deep
Click to read: Suzuki GSX-R 600 2008 owners reviews, Suzuki GSX-R 600 2008 specs and to see the Suzuki GSX-R 600 2008 image gallery.
With so many new models to digest at the NEC back in November, my opinion of the 2008 GSX-R600 was that apart from a new exhaust, nothing much had changed in the looks or performance department. I’ll pay more attention in future, as after the recent press launch at the Misano circuit in Italy, I found a fair amount of work had gone on over the past two years in an attempt to make this middleweight the best in class.
Suzuki’s development concept of ‘top performer’ in each sports bike displacement segment continues with the latest GSX-R600. As always the focus has been on improved engine performance, handling and braking. However this time round, adjustability has been equally important for the engineers back in Hamamatsu.
Styling hasn’t been left out either as the harsh front-end looks have been replaced by something that is much kinder on the eye. The nose cowl and vertically stacked lights have a softer friendlier look while still retaining the definitive GSX-R identity. Less noticeable are the re-profiled ‘knuckle covers,’ which improve aerodynamics and help protect your digits. Other visual improvements are the lighter, stiffer wheels that now have skinnier, offset spokes replacing the previous versions that were vertically mounted. And then there is that exhaust.
I have to say it does look better in the flesh and is certainly an improvement on the more tacky GSX-R1000 silencers but I still preferred the stubby MotoGP style pipe on the K7 600s and 750s. But think positive, although the bulky new exhaust has added weight, it does help performance and also gives you the perfect excuse to order the extremely sexy Yoshimura GP Evo11. Being a fan of the many white bikes hitting the streets this year I thought the blonde version with matching wheels might be my favourite but the traditional royal blue Suzuki with colour coded seat in my opinion is the best by far. Its particularly pleasing as the side view resembles the Scottish Saltire!
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