Suzuki’s GSX-R600 wasn’t the original supersport bike when the category emerged in the mid-1980s, but with more than 20 years of development, it ranks among the best of the breed today. Like most machines in the segment, power comes from a 599cc DOHC 16-valve four that loves to rev, with peak power arriving above 13,000 rpm. Naturally, lots of throttle and shifting of the six-speed gearbox gets the smallest GSX-R performing its best, making riding this one truly a participant sport.
It’s been years since the GSX-R600 got a full model change, and so it continues as a carryover model for 2018. In the crowded and competitive 600cc class, noteworthy features include rider-selectable power modes, radial-mount Brembo Monoblock front brakes, MotoGP-derived camshaft profiles, an exhaust-system power valve to coax more low-rpm torque, a race-bred Showa Big Piston fork, and a built-in lap timer. In short: In capable hands, the GSX-R600 can destroy larger machines, so there’s ample performance on tap. And its claimed curb weight of just 412 pounds and tidy dimensions mean it also suits smaller riders just fine.
Likes: Silky-smooth engine with a terrific high-end charge, laser-sharp chassis.
Dislikes: Street riding requires lots of revs and constant shifting.
Verdict: Amazing performance in a small package.