The 150-160 cc segment has been one hell of a wrestling pit in India. The race started with the Hero Honda CBZ and later the Bajaj Pulsar 150. Later, the baton was passed on to the Yamaha FZ16. The latter gained fuel injection, but the advent of Suzuki Gixxer completely changed the game.
The Gixxer had almost everything that you could wish for. Amazing handling capabilities, great brakes, butter-smooth gearbox and a punchy engine. What it lacked, though, was fuel injection. While we are yet to review it, here’s a quick specification comparo against the competition:
Design: Naked aggression has a new challenger – Suzuki Gixxer
|Specification||Suzuki Gixxer||Yamaha FZ-S FI||TVS Apache RTR 160 4V|
|Engine||155cc air-cooled, SOHC 2-valve||149cc air-cooled, SOHC 2-valve||159.7cc oil-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve|
|Max Power||14.1 PS at 8,000 rpm||13.2 PS at 8,000 rpm||16.8 PS at 8,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||14 Nm at 6,000 rpm||12.8 Nm at 6,000 rpm||14.8 Nm at 6,500 rpm|
|LxWxH (in mm)||2,020x800x1,035||1,990x780x1,080||2,050x790x1,050|
|Wheelbase||1,335 mm||1,330 mm||1,357 mm|
|Kerb Weight||140 kg||137 kg||149 kg|
|Ground Clearance||160 mm||165 mm||180 mm|
|Seat Height||795 mm||790 mm||800 mm|
|Fuel tank||12 litres||12.8 litres||12 litres|
|Price (ex-Delhi)||INR 1,00,212||INR 98,180||INR 99,101|
The 2019 Suzuki Gixxer has been given a major update in the looks field. The solid colour themes are only perforated by minor stickering (a fuel injection, Gixxer and SEP badging). Suzuki calls this design language very European, and it's a perfect mix between sporty and sober. The headlamp console, though, could have been designed better. The new taillamp and exhaust canister tip add freshness to the Suzuki Gixxer. This is also the only bike in this comparison with a split seat. Colour options include 3 shades (black, silver and black-blue).
The Yamaha FZ-S FI, on the other hand, benefits from its strong resemblance to the previous generation model. It is not as sharp as the more premium MT-15 but it gets the overall theme. The muscular tank extensions are a relief to the eye. However, the tail section now looks dated. The exhaust canister, despite following the same theme since the bike was first introduced, still looks fresh. This model's LED headlamp unit is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Colour options include black, blue and blue-cyan. Also, we love how the matte blue shade makes the bike shine.
The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V follows the design language of the Apache RTR 200 4V. It has clear, unmistakable links to the Draken concept seen at Auto Expo 2014. The bike has been aerodynamically chiselled for one purpose – how to be the fastest. However, the only thing the Apache RTR 160 4V misses out on is an LED headlamp. Besides that, we love those split grab rails. Colour options include red, black and blue.
The 2019 Suzuki Gixxer has a new LCD instrumentation with gear shift light while the Yamaha FZ-S FI has reverse backlit instrumentation. The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V has the most informative instrumentation with a lap timer, 0-60 km/h acceleration timer and top speed recorder.
Cycle Parts: Where INMRC experience helps TVS trump
All the three motorcycles in this comparison get a conventional telescopic fork up front and a monoshock at the rear. The latter gets adjustability for preload. The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V, though, gets a monoshock tuned by Showa. It boasts of a perfect balance between dynamic response needed at race-tracks and cushioning need on everyday roads.
The TVS chassis too has been tuned for their racing team, lending the bike one of class-leading riding dynamics. However, the Yamaha FZ-S FI and Suzuki Gixxer are not far behind. Both these bikes have been a delight to ride. I have ridden the two Japanese machines extensively, be it city traffic, open highways or off the beaten tracks. Every single time I have ridden them, the bikes have left me with an ear to ear grin. I am sure the new Suzuki Gixxer will only continue to make us smile.
That being said, the stiffer suspension setup of the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is a bigger delight to ride with its chassis and stiffer suspension setup. Also, the optional Pirelli tyres mean that the Apache RTR 160 4V is the grippiest of the lot. However, I wish TVS had given the bike a wider 140-section rear tyre as seen in the FZ-S FI and Gixxer.
All three of these machines get disc brakes at both ends and a single-channel ABS in the front. The TVS Apache also flaunts petal discs.
Engine: Who’s got the power?
The Suzuki Gixxer in its latest iteration is powered by the same 155 cc air-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve mill. The engine has ditched the old carburettor in favour of modern fuel injection technology, which should lend the motorcycle improved throttle response and crisper fuelling. The engine churns out 14.1 PS of power and 14 Nm of torque.
Yamaha’s work in the engine department has been pretty much how things were in 2014. The 149 cc SOHC, air-cooled, 2-valve mill is the same peppy unit. The engine can produce 13.2 PS of power and 12.8 Nm of torque. While the numbers may not be great on paper, the real-world feel continues to be on par with the competition. Besides that, the lightweight 137 kg body helps it return great acceleration and handling prowess.
However, the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V rules the roost when it comes to the powerplant. Powering the bike is a 159.7 cc oil-cooled, 4-valve engine with fuel injection. It can churn out 16.8 PS of power and 14.8 Nm of torque. The engine has been tuned by the folks at TVS Racing, the same guys who have been winning the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship for 6 consecutive times.
TVS’ powerplant also gets ram-air assist which is claimed to reduce engine heat map by 10 degrees! Besides that, the company also claims that the Apache 160 4V gets a lightweight Nano friKS coated piston delivering high-revving engine with linear power delivery and longer engine life.
Price: Money matters!
The Suzuki Gixxer has experienced a price bump of nearly INR 12,000 and now costs INR 1,00,212 (ex-showroom, Delhi). In fact, it is the most expensive bike of the fuel-injected trio. The Yamaha FZ-S FI will set you back by INR 98,180, while the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V FI will cost you INR 99,101 (both ex-showroom, Delhi).