2004 Suzuki GSX-R600

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By the end of the day, I had to admit that the shy starlet of the Milan show managed to turn what was supposed to be a gray track day into an immensely enjoyable one. The fact that I was having so much fun in my first ever wet track outing was no doubt due to the extreme controllability and sincerity of the whole GSX-R 600 package. If I had a hard time, it was while trying to find fault with the new Gixxer so I'll try to nit-pick. Down shifting for the ultra slow turn two hairpin I had a couple of false neutrals but with such sweet shifting gearbox I believe they were more related to the extreme position of the footpegs and the acute angle that my legs had to fold into, I'm 6'4" mind you. If you would be getting straight off, say an R6, you might say that the GSX-R lacks that utter flickability that characterizes the last crop of extreme 600.

It's cold, wet, slippery and you have enormous feet, is it really that important to get your knee down?It might have been noticeable in Misano's couple of chicanes but it's on the super fast triple apex left-hander where you gain whole seconds, not on the slow chicanes and the extra stability of a 55.2" wheelbase should pay off at the end of a lap.

Last request for today, please move over the gear shifting warning light (programmable BTW) higher up as in its current position it's utterly useless.

When you end up a road test complaining about the position of a warning light, it means that all is well, really really well with this new Suzuki.

So let all the posers and machos run for their new liter tools. It might look slightly understated, an almost shy creature, but the 04' GSX-R should be in the right hands a smashing sporting tool and splendid track bike. It has all the right cards to play against the 600 opposition and then some.

I wouldn't be surprised to find it at the top of the heap in this year's SS 600 comparo.

2004 GSX-R600
** Information And Specs Provided By Suzuki **

New Chassis:
  • Distinctive new bodywork features a narrower front fairing with reduced frontal area, plus ram-air intakes moved 20mm closer to center for higher airbox pressure and cylinder charging
  • Vertical-type multi-reflector headlight, plus compact LED taillight and more aerodynamic turn signals
  • Compact instrument cluster features a step-motor-driven analog tach, digital LCD speedometer and programmable rpm-indicator light - also includes LED indicators for turn signals, high beam, neutral light, coolant temp., oil pressure, fuel level,
  • New aluminum frame with extruded main spar design similar to GSX-R1000 for optimum width and rigidity - includes new sub-frame mounting points
  • Aluminum swingarm with new external brace for increased rigidity
  • Compact 17-liter fuel tank - 10mm shorter and 20mm narrower at the rider's knees for easier rider movement and weight transition
  • New inverted Showa cartridge-type front fork with 43mm inner tubes and fully adjustable damping and spring preload
  • Fully adjustable Showa piggy-back shock absorber with larger diameter shock piston rod for improved damping performance
  • Radial-mount 4-piston front brake calipers for improved braking performance - calipers are lighter and more efficient allowing for smaller/lighter 300mm rotors - system includes radial piston front master cylinder for improved brake lever feel
  • Dual-opposed-piston rear brake caliper indexed to the swingarm - eliminates conventional torque arm for further weight reduction
  • Lightweight cast aluminum wheels and high performance radial tires

    New Engine:
  • More compact & lighter weight 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine features several changes to reduce mechanical losses and increase power
  • New cylinder head with more compact combustion chamber design, higher compression ratio, 2mm larger exhaust ports and narrow 22 degree included valve angle for increased power and acceleration
  • Lightweight titanium valves with steel alloy springs and aluminum spring retainers - operated by smaller, lighter bucket tappets and thinner-wall hollow camshafts to reduce weight and inertia
  • Lighter weight forged pistons with chrome-nitride-plated upper compression rings and oil control rings for a harder, more consistent ring finish and reduced friction
  • Narrower crankshaft main journals to reduce friction, plus shorter and lighter weight chrome-moly steel connecting rods
  • Hydraulic cam chain tensioner fed by new internal oil passageway system - external oil hose eliminated to reduce weight
  • New tapered, double-barrel throttle body design features Suzuki's SDTV throttle valve system, plus multi-hole-type injectors for optimum fuel atomization and throttle response
  • Faster 32-bit ECM with larger ROM memory and new 22 trigger-pole rpm sensor to provide more precise control of fuel and ignition systems - all housed in a smaller/lighter control box
  • One-piece cylinder block and upper crankcase section is equipped ventilation holes between cyclinders to reduce crankcase pressure and reduce mechanical loss
  • Lightweight stainless steel exhaust system featuring a higher capacity muffler with titanium core pipes and aluminum outer sleeve
  • Larger oil cooler with 10% more cooling capacity, plus more compact radiator and cooling fan assembly for reduced weight while maintaining optimum cooling capacity
  • 6-speed transmission with closer ratio 5th & 6th gears and high capacity clutch

    New Features:
  • Class-leading 600 performance model with increased engine and chassis performance, improved aerodynamics and reduced weight

Specs:

  • Engine: 599cc,4-stroke,four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve

  • Bore Stroke: 67.0 x 42.5mm

  • Compression Ratio: 12.5:1

  • Fuel System: Fuel Injection

  • Lubrication: Wet Sump

  • Ignition: Digital/transistorized

  • Starter: Electric

  • Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh

  • Final Drive: #525 chain

  • Overall Length: 2075mm (81.7 in.)

  • Overall Width: 715mm (28.1 in.)

  • Overall Height: 1145mm (45.1 in.)

  • Seat Height: 825mm (32.5 in.)
  • Ground Clearance: 128mm (5.0 in.)

  • Wheel Base: 1390mm (54.7 in.)

  • Dry Weight: 161kg (354.9 lbs.)

  • Suspension Front: Cartridge-type, coil spring, fully adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping

  • Suspension Rear: Link-type, gas/oil damped, fully adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping

  • Brakes Front: Dual hydraulic disc

  • Brakes Rear: Single hydraulic disc

  • Tires Front: 120/70-ZR-17

  • Tires Rear: 180/55-ZR-17

  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 liter (4.5 gal.)

  • Color: Blue/White, Yellow, Black

  • MSRP: $8,099.00
 


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