Kings of Cornering: Part Five

GSX-R600. Balance of power

It would be downright rude, in a series of features about cornering prowess, to ignore modern supersports 600s. They serve up a delicious balance between tyre grip levels versus power output. Launched in the winter months of last year, Suzuki’s GSX-R600 is still a bit of an overlooked gem, if current sales figures are anything to go by. The baby GSX-R has been treated to a 0% finance package almost from the day it was launched and still people don't seem to be queuing up in their thousands to buy it. Very odd.

Like any of the modern SS600s, it’s definitely not for the lazy rider. Like a 21st century two-stroke (RIP), the little Suzuki needs to be thrashed mercilessly to extract the best from it but the rewards are enormous if you put the effort in.

It’s the balance of the bike that impresses the most. On the very limits of edge grip the communication from both front and rear tyres is huge. It’s no surprise that Suzuki spent many months optimising weight distribution with some fanatical attention to detail including such luxuries as thinner headlight glass to pair the weight distribution closer to the engineer’s ideal target.

But it’s the front end that really inspires cornering confidence. The big piston forks and radially mounted Brembos allow you to push and push with your braking markers and levels of trail braking to the point where you find yourself in disbelief at what you can get away with.

If you’re into track days, forget 1000cc sports bikes – they just make you lazy - the GSXR-600 will really make you think about your riding technique especially maintaining momentum and corner speed. It really rewards this kind of effort.

I should imagine that Alastair Seeley would agree.