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Old 18th December 2015, 09:45   #1
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Default My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report

Athena: The Greek goddess of warfare.

Prologue

I was happy commuting to office and back to my bachelor pad on a TVS Jupiter. It was easy, comfortable for the short distance that I was using it and low on maintenance - a proper fill-it-drive-it kinda vehicle. But, internally, I was not connected with it. I was doing all the regular services, but would dust only the driver's seat, not even the pillion seat. Then I met her - my fiancee. That late evening coffee (December 3rd, 2014) changed the course of my life.

Fast forward to May 2015, I was engaged to her and my commuting style changed drastically. Now I was riding even up to 150 km in and around the city. The Jupiter started to feel incompetent for the duties. The long rides felt really long and the spongy drum brakes were becoming more evident.

A plan of getting a good, stylish, geared bike was seeded in my heart. Riding a bike with my girl's arms around me also swayed my heart. But my mind had other plans. It was not co-operating with my heart to sell the Jupiter which had just 10,000 on the odo. Then, there was a great opening. My sister got a new job as a lecturer in our hometown. I decided to give the Jupiter as a gift to her with hearty congratulations. *Evil grin*

Once I had decided to get a new ride, I made a list of points important to me.
  • It must be a bike. I had dreams of roaming on the bike with my girl. It was time to make them come true.
  • I had learned bike riding on a Hero Honda Splendor. Also, over the years, I had regularly ridden only my dad's bikes. They were all 100cc commuters, starting from Hero Honda CD100 to the Bajaj Discover 100. So, due to my inexperience, I consciously decided to go with a 150cc bike.
  • Bike budget allotted by the home ministry was a maximum of Rs. 1 lakh.
  • The engine must have good low-end grunt as I won't be using it much for long highway rides and will use it mostly for city rides. It must feel light on its feet and should be eager to leap and run.
  • The bike must be comfortable for day trips on it. My girl isn't keen on really long drives on it. We use our Chevy Beat diesel for those longer-than-a-day trips.
  • The bike should have great road presence. I am a sucker for features. I had chosen the Jupiter over the Activa since it had features like pass switch, mobile charger (though I never used it), etc.
  • Bike must be great to look at. It must have a mature and aggressive look.
  • There were lots of bikes in the 150cc segment. I don't like faired bikes and commuter bikes. So, I decided to go with naked street bikes. I liked their styling a lot.

Decision Process

Bikewale lists 31 bikes for street bikes, which are between 110 and 150cc. Now, that's a problem a plenty! In the initial round of screening, I decided to keep on eliminating bikes from the list. All bikes from Hero now look either very dated or too quirky for my taste. Removed them all. This made the list a lot smaller. I also removed the bikes that were more commuter oriented and styled to please elderly gentlemen. Then, the remaining bikes were to be looked at more closely.
  1. Bajaj Pulsar: Yeah! There are so many Pulsars now, that I find it difficult yo understand how the showroom guys manage them. I find their product strategy baffling. Anyway, The original pulsar felt too old and on the test drive itself, I was bored. Then I looked at the 'new' Pulsar on the block, the AS150. Though the bike looked new cosmetically, I didn't like the ride and that front windshield. Over the years, I have seen so many Pulsars grow old and there are only a few which still look sound. My major issue is with their engine sound. I feel, for every year of the Pulsar, its engine grows by two years.
  2. Honda CB Unicorn 160: This was a newly launched bike. But, it was mostly a cosmetic upgrade. It had a smooth and reliable engine with very dull styling. It was not exciting to look at from my point of view.
  3. Yamaha FZ and FZS: These bikes have revolutionized the 150cc segment and were the benchmarks for the segment. The FZ bikes had superb engine and gearshift combinations. The seating positions were good with flat handlebars. Even though I liked the Version 1 bike a lot, there were so many of them on the road that no one would notice if you bought a new one. The Version 2 and FZS had very tacky stickers and weird looking headlights. I did not like them at all.
  4. Suzuki Gixxer: When I saw the bike for the first time in showroom, it was a love at first sight! The newly launched dual tone red and black colors were a perfect match for its butch looks. I turned on the ignition and pressed the self-start button to bring the engine to life. Wow! I was wondering till that point why its exhaust looked so different and then I got the answer. The Gixxer has one of the best engine notes I heard. It has also got the best engine note for a bike less than 200cc. It's not loud, it's just sweet to the ears. After a test drive, I was sold on it.
Looking back at my reasoning, I feel the look and styling of a bike can either make or break it. I may be at fault here.

I came back home and went to Team-BHP for a review or ownership report on the Gixxer. No, there was nothing. Without anything credible, I searched the internet for reviews. I had gone through a minimum of 10 pages of Google results. Most of the reviews and comparison reports had given Gixxer a thumbs up. It was the new benchmark for the segment as per the reviews.

So, It was decided. I was getting a Gixxer - Athena in red and black!

Booking and delivery

I went to Aryan Suzuki, Domlur for buying the bike. The colour I chose was not readily available and salesman said it would take at least 2 weeks. Since, I was paying all cash, I bargained so that I could get it earlier. I also got a helmet lock and Teflon coating for free. I paid Rs. 2,000 and booked my ride. Just a week later, I got a call from the salesman saying that the bike had arrived. I went over and did a detailed PDI. I was satisfied and asked them to register the bike. The same day, I transferred Rs. 50,000 electronically to the dealer's bank account. 2 days later, the bike was ready and I rode it out after paying the remaining amount. I went to a temple nearby and prayed to God to keep me safe on this bike always.

Overall, I would say whole process was just satisfactory. There were some small issues, but I didn't let them spoil my mood on the day of delivery. For example, I had asked not to put any dealer stickers on the bike. But, they were pasted on all possible locations on Athena. I went to the showroom twice to get a crash guard and helmet locks fitted, but they always seem to be out of stock.

Moving on to the bike itself.

Styling: The look of the Gixxer is a good selling point for it. The styling is obviously inspired from Yamaha FZ. But, the Suzuki people have worked cleverly and made the bike stand apart from Yamaha FZ.

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123004.59.45.jpg
Flat handlebar, LED brake light and monoshock suspension

At the front, the headlights and beefy 41 mm front fork suspension grabs your attention. The triangular headlight and that fork resemble the FZ the most. At the rear, the grab rails look well integrated into the bike's styling. The clear lens indicators are a new upgrade in the facelifted dual tone version. The brake lights are LEDs and are bright in day time also. Overall, the front and rear ends look clean and mature.

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123012.56.47.jpg
This has to be the best angle to view this bike from

Viewed from the sides, one can see the muscular stance of the bike and the chiseled edges. The fuel tank is big, with grooves and a bikini flaring. The grooves are functional and useful when you need to tuck in your knees while riding hard. Though the tank looks big, it can hold a maximum of 12 litres of juice. The one feature that distinguishes the Gixxer from other bikes is its sporty twin exhaust. The exhaust is meaty, chrome plated and shows that the bike means business. The design of the exhaust gels well with the bike. The stickers in red and black colours are tastefully done which enhances the aggressive looks. Overall, the sides the bike looks aggressive and mature - exactly what I wanted!

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123002.30.38.jpg
Night and day time view

The cockpit: Since the Gixxer always had the successful Yahama FZ in its crosshairs, its instrument cluster is all digital and improves a lot over what's offered in FZ. Turn the ignition on and the digital display comes to life with a full sweep and a "GO Ready" display. On the top it has the tachometer optimistically marked till 12K RPM with the redline starting at 9,500 RPM. The fuel gauge is on the right side. Speed and current gearshift indicator are put on the console prominently. It also houses a 12-hour clock at the center and two trip meters on the digital board. The turn indicator, RPM redline alert, high beam indicator and neutral indicting light are placed on either side of the digital console.

The instrument cluster feels complete and all the information is clearly visible even in broad day light. The cluster has a red back light when the parking/headlights are turned on. The RPM redline alert is programmable according to the rider's needs. All the information on the display feels really well thought out and I am happy. The switchgear layout is a common affair. The bike has engine kill and pass switches. The quality of the switches seems good and I feel they will last the distance.

Engine and Ride: Now comes the major part!

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123005.17.19.jpg
The gems - beefy exhaust and great engine

Hop on the Gixxer and you sit upright with a short, flat handlebars. The foot pegs are placed just a little backwards to get that aggressive riding posture. Even for taller riders, the posture will be right.

The seat is one piece and its somewhere between hard and soft. It is comfortable for the rider on a short ride. It may not be so on a longer ride. The pillion seat is narrower and will surely get uncomfortable even on a ride of 200 km.

Turn the ignition on, depress the clutch and press the start button. BOOM! There is that sweet sound. The engine idles with a happy grunt at around 1,000-1,200 RPM. The exhaust note of the bike is just superb. Every day, I just listen to it for few seconds before starting off. I feel like Athena is wishing me "good morning!"

The engine is an all new 155cc motor developed by Suzuki with SEP (Suzuki Eco Performance). The engine has 14.3 BHP and 14 Nm on tap. Though this is not much, the Gixxer has the highest power and torque figures in the 150cc category (the bike weighs 135 kg). The engine is not fuel injected like the newer FZs and still uses a humble carburettor. The engine is mated to a 5-speed sequential gearbox.

Slot the bike into gear and you will notice that gearshift is not that smooth - especially the downshifts. But, as you move ahead, the revs keep climbing swiftly and you will be cruising at 60 KPH at 4,000 RPM in fifth gear. The engine revs freely from 2,200 RPM to around the 6,500 RPM. The engine is limited to 8,500 RPM. If you are looking to ride sedately, you can shift up easily at 2,700-3,000 RPM and the engine feels butter smooth. Hold the revs at 4,000-4,200 before upshifting and the bike flies like a rocket and you will be pasted with a wide grin every time.

While riding, the engine is very stable with few vibrations felt by the rider. The gearshifts are on the harder side. I would not call them smooth at all, but they are precise. The bike feels stable and eager to change direction while riding. The balance is superb. Neither the front. nor the back of the bike feels heavy. The balance is good even with a pillion. The Gixxer is a breeze to handle in traffic. Keep it in the correct RPM and gear and overtaking is just a twist of the accelerator away. I have to mention that it has a fairly wide turning radius. The bike is at its best while in the range of 80-90 KPH. Go over 90 KPH and the crosswinds become very evident and scary for a newbie like me.

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123005.20.42.jpg
Front disc brakes

Stopping power comes from a single disc (Bybre 266 mm) at the front and drum at the back. The disc brake has good bite, though its not fully progressive. The front brake inspires confidence as I use it more and more. The rear brake is OK. It were very weak when I got the bike. I tuned it to bite a little more during the first service.

The tubeless 100/80 R17 front tyre and 140/60R R17 rear tyre offer fairly decent grip. This may be due to my inexperience, but I feel a little nervous while going over gravel-filled roads. But, I was confident going over wet roads during the recent heavy rains in Bangalore.

Suspension duties are handled by a swing arm, mono suspension at the rear and telescopic fork at the front. The rear suspension has 7-step adjustments. I use the middle setting and its comfortable over bad roads. The rider can adjust the suspension to his/her liking with step 7 being the stiffest. I have been riding over the worst potholes in Bangalore and never felt a jolt on my back. But, I have scrapped the bottom on a few of the badly designed humps.

Kitna deti hain? OK! The all-important question. I will keep updating this post with mileage data after each service.

At odo reading 2,135 KM
Average mileage is 46.57 KMPL
Best mileage is 50.76 KMPL
Worst mileage is 42.55 KMPL

Finally summing it all up,

What you’ll like:
  • Gem of an engine - it's refined, smooth, vibration-free and has a sweet sound.
  • Handling - the bike feels stable, nimble and balanced.
  • Stylish - the bike looks fresh. Even after 2 months of ownership, I still see people looking at it in the office parking lot.

What you won't:
  • Gearshift - it's on the little harder side, though it's never been a problem. It's gotten smoother since the first service, but it's no where close to be called smooth.
  • Lights - the headlights are just adequate and many people might need an upgrade.
  • Suzuki after sales service is an unknown territory. They never had a hot-selling bike (except the Access scooter). I found the service center jam packed with Gixxers during the first service. With more bikes selling now, handling service may become tricky.

Athena
My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123005.26.51.jpg

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123005.28.54.jpg
Your's truly

Small and Significant things:
  • I am a member of the "Official Gixxer Club Bangalore". The points I noted here are a collaboration of views I heard in group chats.
  • The left and right mirror positions are not symmetrical! The right mirror is mounted on the brake lever, whereas the left mirror is on the handlebar itself. I didn't notice it during the test drive or even during the PDI. Why Suzuki, why?
  • Suzuki has the legendary GSX-R1000 super bike. Suzuki says Gixxer has been designed keeping in mind the ideologies of the that super bike.
  • Faired version of the Gixxer, the Gixxer SF was designed to be aerodynamic. Though I have heard many complaints of the engine overheating in SF variant.

Conclusion:
No, this is not the end. This is the beginning of a new journey. Athena being the first bike in my name and my newly approved Team-BHP membership has made me attempt this write up. I have ridden almost 2,500 KM till now. I will keep this thread updated with service and other updates.

P.S.: I have never written any blog or reviews earlier. Hence, pardon my writing style/flow. Hope this post is up to Team-BHP standards.

My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report-picsart_123005.22.51.jpg
GO, Ready

Photo Credits: ccm photography

Last edited by Aditya : 31st December 2015 at 16:30. Reason: Spacing - thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th December 2015, 16:11   #2
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First Service Update:
I have been riding the bike below 4,500 RPM till now. It's really hard to limit the Gixxer. First service is due at 1 month/700-1,000 KM. I gave mine at the 1 month mark with 890 KM on the odo.

The following work was carried out along with the wash:
  • Engine Oil filter change
  • Engine Oil Change - MOTUL 4T10W40.
  • Chain cleaning and lubrication
  • Teflon coating - I can get another teflon coating done within 6 months.
The total bill came to Rs. 1,200. The teflon coating was for Rs. 600.

Last edited by Aditya : 31st December 2015 at 16:13.
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Old 31st December 2015, 11:57   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st December 2015, 16:32   #4
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Default Re: My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report

Congrats on the mini GSX-R.

Even my 2 wheeler journey was similar to yours, first Jupiter followed by back pains. Had to get a bike to manage the traffic in Bangalore and after numerous testdrives, it happened to be a Gixxer. A real pleasure to drive this bike between 4000 to 8000 rpm's. Enjoy your ride.
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Old 31st December 2015, 17:09   #5
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Originally Posted by NaviRai12 View Post
Congrats on the mini GSX-R.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NaviRai12 View Post
A real pleasure to drive this bike between 4000 to 8000 rpm's.
Completely agree with you. The bike is very stable and confidence inspiring in that range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NaviRai12 View Post
Enjoy your ride.
You too.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 2nd January 2016 at 08:16. Reason: Typo.
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Old 31st December 2015, 21:10   #6
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Congrats bro on your new ride, she looks smashing! Nice choice of colour there. Wishing you loads of trouble free kilometres.

Also, do you plan to upgrade the headlight bulbs anytime soon?
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Old 1st January 2016, 08:11   #7
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Originally Posted by Raj_RD View Post
Congrats bro on your new ride, she looks smashing! Nice choice of colour there.
Thanks bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raj_RD View Post
Also, do you plan to upgrade the headlight bulbs anytime soon?
The lights are ok for me now. I adjusted the headlight leveler to exactly how I need. But still, If I start using the bike for long highway riders, I will upgrade the bulbs.
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Old 1st January 2016, 13:12   #8
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Congrats on your new bike brother. I really like the road presence of Gixxer. Wishing you thousands of miles with smile. Drive safely.
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Old 1st January 2016, 19:29   #9
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Default Re: My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report

Hi,

Congrats on the baby GSX. I really think that you've made the right choice. I think the Gixxer is a perfect blend of practicality and sportiness: best of both worlds.

And man, I really love the way the Gixxer looks. I prefer it to the styling of the SF, which is overdone IMO. Great choice of color too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya.bhat View Post
Athena: The Greek goddess of warfare.]
The engine is an all new 155cc motor developed by Suzuki with SEP (Suzuki Eco Performance). The engine has 14.3 BHP and 14 Nm on tap. Though this is not much, the Gixxer has the highest power and torque figures in the 150cc category
I am afraid not. Honda has the crown now with the launch of the CB Hornet 160R.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya.bhat View Post
First Service Update:
  • Teflon coating - I can get another teflon coating done within 6 months.
But why? It does more bad than good. Has been discussed umpteen times on the forum.

Neel

Last edited by petrolhead_neel : 1st January 2016 at 19:36.
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Old 2nd January 2016, 10:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Hi,

Congrats on the baby GSX. I really think that you've made the right choice. I think the Gixxer is a perfect blend of practicality and sportiness: best of both worlds.
Thanks. Thanks for the encouraging words.

[quote=petrolhead_neel;3881765]
And man, I really love the way the Gixxer looks. I prefer it to the styling of the SF, which is overdone IMO. Great choice of color too.[\QUOTE]
Yeah. SF styling is little overdone. As I have mentioned, there are even complaints of engine heating due to the fairing. IMHO, it looks better than Fazer though.

[quote=petrolhead_neel;3881765]I am afraid not. Honda has the crown now with the launch of the CB Hornet 160R.[\QUOTE]
Yeah. It was launched just after I got my Gixxer. Good effort Honda. All other bikes from Honda are more commuter oriented I feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
[/list]But why? It does more bad than good. Has been discussed umpteen times on the forum.

Neel
Oh. I have missed that. I will go through the forum and study the discussions. Thanks again.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 13:48   #11
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Default Re: My Athena - Suzuki Gixxer, Review and Ownership report

Wow! The Gixxer also has appealed a lot to my heart, especially after seeing the blue example with the full fairing. Suzuki makes some really great 150cc bikes, but their advertising department is a big dud (when was the last time you saw their ad on TV?) I own a Suzuki GS150R for the last 6 years and I can relate to every point you have noted here.

Downshifts and overtaking always bring a smile on your face, just downshift one gear and twist the throttle. The response from the engine will leave you smiling ear to ear. Gearshifts as you mentioned are a bit of problem on my bike too, they can nowhere be called as smooth; acceptable, but not smooth. The 150cc engine is a gem, and gives decent fuel efficiency too. I get around ~45-50kmpl when driven in a dignified way. Put some more twist in the throttle and it goes to ~40kmpl.

Overall, I will say Suzuki makes some really nice 150cc bikes and this one is no different. However, the bikes could do with some nice advertising campaigns.
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Old 3rd January 2016, 15:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
I am afraid not. Honda has the crown now with the launch of the CB Hornet 160R.
l
Not quite,

The CB Hornet and the Hero Xtreme Sports share the same power figure of 15.6BHP though the CB Hornet has a 13cc displacement advantage.

Name:  CB Hornet.JPG
Views: 16885
Size:  49.0 KB

Name:  Xtreme Sports.JPG
Views: 17061
Size:  31.6 KB

The most powerful 150cc in India(apart from the R15 and the CBR150R) is the Pulsar AS150 with 16.8BHP.

Name:  AS150.JPG
Views: 16648
Size:  39.8 KB

Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya.bhat View Post
Oh. I have missed that. I will go through the forum and study the discussions. Thanks again.
Congratulations on the Gixxer. It is a truly lovely motorcycle.

If you really want some good protection, you could try Paint Protection Film.
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Old 4th January 2016, 09:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
Overall, I will say Suzuki makes some really nice 150cc bikes and this one is no different. However, the bikes could do with some nice advertising campaigns.
Completely agree with you there. Now with Gixxer twins Suzuki has a great chance. Target audience(i.e. youth as per my understanding) have warmed up to Gixxer. I see a lot of Gixxer's on road now. Its the last chance to up the marketing for Suzuki and build the hype for upcoming Gixxer 250.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin.terminat View Post
Congratulations on the Gixxer. It is a truly lovely motorcycle.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin.terminat View Post
If you really want some good protection, you could try Paint Protection Film.
Yeah. I will look it up. The tank is prone to lot scratches. Already It has one and its breaking my heart.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th January 2016 at 13:53. Reason: Back to back posts merged. Please use the multi-quote feature (QUOTE +) to quote and respond to multiple posts.
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Old 4th January 2016, 12:52   #14
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Good write up to a great bike bro. Have a great year ahead with Athena :-)

Mine is a White and is completing 10k Kms now and is about to complete 1year next month.
The Gixxer's battery is a bit too small for my liking, so I went for LEDs all round(for blinkers too) to save some power for adding dual Horns.

Last edited by swami.n : 4th January 2016 at 12:56.
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Old 4th January 2016, 13:55   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
Good write up to a great bike bro. Have a great year ahead with Athena :-)
Thanks a ton bro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
The Gixxer's battery is a bit too small for my liking, so I went for LEDs all round(for blinkers too) to save some power for adding dual Horns.
Yeah. I have heard from some of other Gixxer owner's also the same thing. Many have changed the Headlights to LED ones. Which one did you chose bro? Was it a simple swap or any modifications were needed? I think it does not void the warranty. by the way, I am happy with the horns but may change the bulbs.
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