Let me just come clean at the start here. Ideally, I should have weaved my Endurance race experience with the riding feel as part of this story. But, even though we raced – my endurance racing partner and me – and finished the race, we were disqualified at the end. Why, you may ask? Well, let’s just say we got into the groove so much that we forgot we had to switch riders and by the time we realised it, well it was too late.
Here then is a straightforward riding feel of the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 MotoGP race bike. Did I mention the race bike sounds better than the stock motorcycle? And that it feels quicker, better geared, and more agile as well? Well, it does. On all counts.
The turn-in of the race bike is sharp and intuitive. It also feels light and agile on its feet making quick direction changes through Kari’s chicanes like it was a much smaller bike. Plus, there’s lots of feel from the front end. The brakes are better too; better bite, better feel, and better progression. So, not only can one brake later on the race bike, one can also carry handsome amounts of braking into the corner.
And thanks to the grippier tyres – I think the motorcycle was running Metzelers – and the higher set footpegs, one can lean the motorcycle more as well. Moreover, it seems to have more grunt coming out of corners. In fact, in at least two corners I had to short shift so that I didn’t end up sitting on the rev limiter mid corner. And even though the short shifts did drop the revs out of the optimum range, the engine never felt like it was lacking any pull. Plus, on the Kari’s long straight, the race bike was redlining even in sixth gear!