The 2-½ years of lockdown due to the global Covid-19 pandemic had caused almost everything to come to a halt. And media test ride is no exception to the freeze. When Suzuki Motorcycle Sdn Bhd, which is the new company set-up to import and distribute the Japanese brand locally, decided it’s time to organise such a ride again, the Malaysian motorcycling media community heaved a relief again.
Held at the Impian Golf & Country Club, the 2022 Suzuki Media Test Ride was organised to let the media have their first impression ride on the 3 most-hyped 150cc 4-stroke motorcycles in the market; the Raider 150Fi, GSX-S 150 and GSX-R 150.
Before the flag-off, the media were briefed on the specifications and new features available on the trio of motorcycles. Altogether, there were 5 units of the GSX-R 150, with 4 units each for the GSX-S 150 and Raider 150Fi made available by Suzuki Malaysia for the test ride.
The test ride was accomplished over a combined distances of over 70 km, taking the media via LEKAS Expressway to Pajam and Mantin towns, with a short tour of the twisty roads and back to the Expressway for a return to the golf club. There were 2 stops along the way where assembled media get to swap motorcycles among themselves.
The first batch of media members was flag-off from the club by Faez Yahya and Dato Jeffrey Lim, chairman and general manager of Suzuki Malaysia respectively. I get to ride the full-fairing GSX-R 150 sportbike from the flag-off, had it swapped for the GSX-S 150 during the first exchange stop at Pajam R&R, and switched to the Raider 150Fi during the swap at Mantin R&R.
All 3 motorcycles used the same 149cc engine, with the Raider 150 being a little unique of the trio as it is basically a Super Cub instead of a naked or sportbike, unlike the other 2 machines. The trio share the same specification parts too, such as the single front disc and rear brakes, front telescopic forks and almost similar styling (for GSX-S and GSX-R).
4-stroke technology have improved tremendously over the years. Previously, it’s a given that a 4-stroke bike wouldn’t be as fast as its 2-stroke counterpart of similar engine capacity. Now a modern-day 150cc 4-stroke motorcycle could compete with any 2-stroker based on yesterday’s tech in terms of torque and acceleration. Of course, an ageing 2-stroke machine still has a slight edge in top speed but in reality, it’s the acceleration and engine torque that make the difference in having a pleasant ride.
Of the trio, I prefer the Suzuki GSX-R 150 as an all-rounder motorcycle, with the GSX-S 150 as short travels between smaller towns and districts. The Raider 150Fi is superb as a daily errand bike – it's lighter, slimmer, easy to do lane splitting and running one’s errands without the hassle of enduring excess weight, overall length and agility during morning and evening rush hours.
Stay tuned for each of the trio’s performance review in future articles from this site as when they are due.