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2018 Suzuki GSX-R125 AND GSX-S125 | Bike Tests | Latest Tests

Nimble, inexpensive and tech savvy are three stand-out features on the latest duo of tiddlers to bear Suzuki’s famous GSX moniker

love getting these calls from Dobie:

“Steve, I need you at the track for a launch, Australian Superbike champ Josh Waters is going to be there and so will a truck-load of Suzuki GSX-S and GSX-R models – oh, and you’ll need your leathers.”

It briefly crossed my mind that Suzuki has already launched its GSX-R and GSX-S1000 models, as well as the 750cc and 250cc versions – and I’d even tested Josh’s title-winning bike late last year – but who was I to ask questions.

He gave me the address, and the night before I gathered up my gear and punched in the co-ordinates. It suddenly made sense: the Westgate Go Kart complex.

The next morning, I arrived to indeed find a mixture of GSX-S and GSX-R machinery but, just as I (eventually) suspected, it was Suzuki’s brand- new range of 125cc models that will be hitting Aussie dealerships in April. Both a naked and a faired model which, to look at, replicate their big- bore counterparts remarkably well.

Both bikes are underpinned by the same water- cooled 124.4cc single-cylinder engine good for 11kW (15hp) and matched to slick six-speed gearbox. The cylinder and piston have received the same attention as Suzuki’s racebikes, with light weight being key and special coatings adorning both. Liquid cooling means tolerances are tight and that allows accuracy and more reliability to be engineered in to the build.

They both share the same chassis, too, with a basic spar frame running down from the head stock before splitting into a twin-tube motocross- style affair. Keeping it light was key, as was a big steering lock for tight going, and it was computer designed in a bid to achieve the most efficient high-performance, low-cost ratio.

Ergonomically, it’s not a big bike. At first it almost feels like a toy, but it’s not long before it starts to feel like a real motorcycle and, thanks to the importance placed in the design phase
on weight and compactness, it’s one of the most confidence inspiring packages to ride in its class.

It’s cheap to run, too. The bike I was thrashing around on track used just three litres per 100km, and that was giving it the berries (and then some).

Read the full story in the current issue (Vol 67 No 18) of AMCN on sale now!