Hero Xtreme Sports vs Suzuki Gixxer vs Yamaha FZS-FI: Comparison Test

26 October 2015, 06:13 PM Vikrant Singh

Quick Review

Rank 1: Suzuki Gixxer

Nice to look at, refined and an entertaining motorcycle to ride. It could do with better ground clearance, nonetheless.

For: Handling, Braking, Ease of riding, Fun-to-ride

Against: Size, Busy instrumentation, Front fairing design

Rating: 72.5/100

 

Rank 2: Yamaha FZS-FI

Follow up to the ever-popular FZ-S, the new bike is a master at handling and braking. But, it’s just too pricey.

For: Technology, Dynamics, Fun-to-ride, Braking

Against: Ride quality, Price, Mild design update

Rating: 69/100

 

Rank 3: Hero Xtreme Sport

Comfortable commuter with one of the best seats. It is well priced too. However, it lacks refinement and that dynamic edge.

For: Price, Ride quality, Roominess, Warranty

Against: Refinement, Old school mechanicals, Key slot positioning

Rating: 66/100

 

Introduction

This is where it all begins. For the young and restless, the 150cc class is the first step towards a fast and performance oriented motorcycling future. As they mature, both in age and in riding skill, the young will continue to invest in larger, more powerful, and more expensive machines. But, this, the 150cc class, sets the right tone.

There's another bunch – the majority if you will – who buy 150cc motorcycles not for chasing knee down antics (or has that now evolved to elbow down?) or wheelies or endos; for this bunch, the 150cc class is the final step. Before, of course, they go and buy Honda Activas and settle down in life. This is the commuter class. A class which prefers to chase long service intervals, reliability and high fuel economy to all else. 

So, a 150cc motorcycle must be multi-faceted, talented and beautifully engineered, in order to satisfy all. But which among these – the Hero Xtreme Sport, the Suzuki Gixxer and the Yamaha FZS-FI – manages to do it best?

Design & Style

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 7.5/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 7.5/10

Style is a personal thing, sure. So, personally (as a team), we prefer the Suzuki Gixxer. It is well proportioned; has the cuts, creases and the muscle to attract attention and it is the newest looking of the three. Yes, it is inspired by the older FZ; the meaty front forks, the tank, and the fat tyres, all remind you of it. But, it’s a good tribute.

The Yamaha FZS-FI is the encore to the original and not surprisingly all the visually pleasing bits (the same bits we mentioned for the Suzuki) continue on the new bike. Plus, it gets new grab rails and a stepped seat. The outcome is still great if not breathtaking.

The Hero, though, isn’t that great looking. It has some nice bits like the way the side and tail section integrate with the tank. But, the front fairing looks out of place, the tyres lack the visual girth and twin rear shocks are so passé.

 

Ergonomics & Quality

Hero Xtreme Sports: 7/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 8/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 8/10

 

The FZS-FI and the Gixxer score equally high on both build quality and ergonomics. These have upright seating ergos with easy to reach, flat handlebars and slightly rearset footpegs and comfy seats. The fuel tanks on the Yamaha and Suzuki are easy to grip too.

Hero Xtreme Sports

Hero Xtreme Sports

  • Displacement149 cc
  • Mileage - ARAI48 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)15.6 bhp
  • Kerb Weight146 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 78,350

The Hero Xtreme Sports, meanwhile, uses a pair of tall clip-ons for a handlebar compared to single piece units on the former two. These, along with the large, comfy and supportive seat, make the Xtreme more of a long distance commuter than a switchback star. But, the fairing mounted key slot is a pain to use and the tank is a tad narrow in order to grip properly.

Plus, the Yamaha and the Suzuki are a notch above the Sports when it comes to build quality with differences clearly visible in fit and finish, plastic quality and overall operability.

 

Feature & Technology

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 8/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 7.5/10

 

In terms of hardware, the three bikes are pretty similar. A diamond type frame, telescopic forks upfront, tubeless tyres at both ends and a disc brake setup at the front. But, the Yamaha additionally gets fuel injection, and it has a radial rear tyre, giving it an edge when it comes to technology.

As for features, the Suzuki Gixxer packs in the most with a gear indicator, programmable shift light, a clock, and trip meters as part of the instrumentation. It also gets LED tail lamps and tries to match the Yamaha on tech with a radial rear tyre.

The Xtreme Sports also gets LED tail lamps and its instrumentation has a clock, and side stand and service indicators bringing more to the table on this count than the Yamaha. But overall, considering both technology and features, the Hero can’t match either.

 

Engine & Gearbox

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 8/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 7/10

 

Single cylinder, air-cooled engine and a slick shifting 5-speed gearbox; that’s the recipe for all three bikes here. Plus, the three also come standard with a fancy title. Yamaha’s is simply called Blue Core. Suzuki has a slightly more complicated one called Suzuki Eco Performance or SEP. And Hero uses an equally complicated but lengthier Advance Tumble Flow Induction Technology. But, no matter what the tagline, they are all there to get the best fuel efficiency possible, which we will get to in a bit.

First let’s talk power and the Hero has the most. Its 149.2cc engine has an output of 15.6bhp. The Suzuki’s 154.9cc unit comes in next with 14.6bhp while the Yamaha even with its fuel injected 149cc engine (the other two are carbureted) only makes 12.9bhp. But, the Yamaha and Suzuki do score higher on refinement compared to the more vibey and the not-so-nice-sounding Hero. The Xtreme also feels more stressed when ridden hard.

 

Performance

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 7/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 6/10

 

More power should have meant better performance for the Hero Xtreme Sports, but that isn’t the case in the real world. The Sports is slower than the Gixxer to reach 60kmph and it also takes longer to get to its top speed. Rideability through the gears, or tractability if you will, is better on the Gixxer too. The FZS-FI though manages to come close to the Suzuki, but only initially. As speed rises, the Yamaha continues to drop back, and it has a lower top speed compared to the Gixxer as well.

 

Ride Quality

Hero Xtreme Sports: 7/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 6.5/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 6/10

 

The Hero Xtreme Sports with its larger 18-inch tyres and suspension that’s set up more for commute in the city than outright switchback riding, expectedly has the best ride quality. It is absorbent, quiet and well sorted to take on almost anything that the road might throw up…even with a pillion on board. The Gixxer is setup slightly stiffer but it isn’t uncomfortable. As for the FZ-S, it has the least impressive ride. And when the going gets rough, one can feel it in the back. It lacks the finesse, the travel and the suppleness exhibited by the Hero and to an extent by the Gixxer as well.

 

Handling & Braking

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 7/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 8/10

 

The Yamaha FZS-FI makes good of its shortcomings in the ride by being the best bike here when it comes to handling and braking. It has a quick turn in, and the agility to take on fast direction changes. It feels pretty much unflappable when leant over as well. The Suzuki comes very close and we love the tyres on the Gixxer. There’s just lots of grip there. As for the Sports, with its tall stance, larger (less grippy) tyres and softer suspension setup, it can’t keep up with either bike on a tight and twisty section. But, in a straight line or around longer, sweeping corners, the Hero with a good rider, should be alright.

 

Fuel Efficiency

Hero Xtreme Sports: 7/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 7/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 7/10

 

The Yamaha has fuel injection and it is the lightest bike in this test. The Hero meanwhile produces the most power but it is also the heaviest, and by a good 10kg or so. Surprisingly, the real world fuel efficiency for the three bikes isn’t far apart with all three delivering in the range of 45-48kmpl.

 

Price & Warranty

Hero Xtreme Sports: 9/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 7.5/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 6/10

 

If it’s hassle free ownership you want, you can’t do better than the Hero Xtreme Sports. It comes with 70,000km or 5 years warranty, it has the largest service network in the country, and it has proven to be a reliable package in all sorts of situations. It’s also the cheapest! The Gixxer and the FZS-FI, however, come with identical warranties: 30,000km or 2 years, and it’s nothing to write home about.

 

Desirability

Hero Xtreme Sports: 6/10

Suzuki Gixxer: 6/10

Yamaha FZS-FI: 6/10

 

None of the bikes here score high on desirability. It’s all pretty much run of the mill stuff be it engine specs, cycle parts, performance or even styling for that matter. Needless to say, all three score average points here. Clearly, these motorcycles aren’t worth flaunting.

 

Verdict

Suzuki Gixxer: 72.5/100

Yamaha FZS-FI: 69/100

Hero Xtreme Sports: 66/100

 

Hero MotoCorp hasn’t been able to produce a winner in the 150cc class ever since its first CBZ broke cover. It has produced good bikes, no doubt, and the Xtreme Sport is a good example. But, the competition always seems to be a step or two ahead. Here too, even with great pricing and warranty, the Sport only finishes third.

The Yamaha FZS-FI hasn’t been able to move the game ahead from where the older FZ left off. In fact, the new bike is now lacking in a few areas compared to the first FZ-S. It still sets the handling and braking benchmark in this class, and it is a great commuter being light and flickable. But, in terms of comfort and features, not to mention outright performance, it simply can’t match the Suzuki. And, it is pricey for its class, costing almost a lakh of rupees.

The Suzuki Gixxer then is our winner. It outscores the others on styling, build quality and ergonomics and it also does well in the engine and performance departments. It is the 150cc motorcycle to buy whether you want it for commute or to hone your riding skills before moving up the performance ladder.

 

Photography: Ritwik Bhatt

Final Scores

 Parameters/Models  Max Points  Suzuki Gixxer   Yamaha FZ-S FI  Hero Xtreme Sports
 Rank    1  2  3
 Looks & styling  10  7.5  7.5  6
 Ergonomics & Quality  10  8  8  7
 Features & Technology  10   8  7.5  6
 Engine & Gearbox  10  8  7  6
 Performance  10  7  6  6
 Ride quality  10  6.5  6  7
 Handling & Braking  10  7  8  6
 Fuel Efficiency  10  7  7  7
 Price & Warranty  10  7.5  6  9
 Desirablility  10  6  6  6
 Total  100  72.5  69  66

Specifications

 MAKE  Hero Suzuki Yamaha
 Model  Xtreme Sports Gixxer FZ-S FI
 POWER TRAIN      
 Engine Type  Air-cooled Air-cooled Air-cooled
 Capacity  149.2cc 154.9cc 149cc
 Max Power  15.6bhp 14.6bhp 12.9bhp
 Max Torque  13.5Nm 14Nm 12.8Nm
 Gearbox  5 speed 5 speed 5 speed
 Clutch  Wet, multiplate Wet, multiplate Wet, multiplate
 CYCLE PARTS      
 Chassis  Diamond Single downtube Diamond
 Supension F  Telescopic Telescopic Telescopic
 Suspension R  Twin shocks, 5 step adjustable  Mono shock, 7 Step adjustable  Mono shock, 7 Step adjustable
 Brakes F  240mm disc 266mm disc 267mm disc
 Brakes R  220mm disc 130mm drum 130mm drum
 Tyre F  80/100-18 Tubeless 100/80-17 Tubeless 100/80-17 Tubeless
 Tyre R  110/90-18 Tubeless 140/60-17 Tubeless radial 140/60-17 Tubeless radial
 MEASURES      
 Fuel Tank  12.1 litres 12 litres 12 litres
 LxWxH  2100mm x 780mm x 1080mm 2050mm x 785mm x 1030mm 1990mm × 770mm × 1050mm
 Wheelbase  1325mm 1330mm 1330mm
 Kerb Weight  147kg 135kg 132kg
 COST      
 Price (on-road, Mumbai)  Rs 86,983 Rs 90,500 Rs 99,000
 Warranty  5 years/70,000km 2 years/30,000kms 2 years/30,000kms

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