SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2003-2004) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Ultra fast, capable track missile that works far better on the road then you'd imagine"

Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding

"Ultra fast, capable track missile that works far better on the road then you'd imagine"

Overall Rating 5 out of 5

Ultra fast, capable track missile that works far better on the road then you’d imagine. The MK II Suzuki GSX-R1000 (K3-K4) thou is smaller and more compact than the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1-K2 models. It’s easier to flick around race tracks but, bizarrely, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 makes an acceptable one-man sports tourer too.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

This version of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 has better suspension than previous Gixxer thous. Fingertip effort is rewarded with millimetre perfect precision – it’s a delight to ride fast. Dedicated track heads may say it doesn’t turn as easily as K5 onwards Suzuki GSX-R1000s or R1s of similar vintage but it’s picking faults in a stunning motorycycle. Besides the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K3 is more stable than the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 and most of the time that’s more useful. Brakes excellent – better than previous Suzuki GSX-R1000s.

Engine 5 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 was always the king of the 1000cc class – performance is scintillating – obscene, indecent, intoxicating – get the throttle on the stop in any gear except the top two and everything goes backwards. Unlike many sports bikes the Suzuki GSX-R1000 hasplenty of low down urge and it’s got enough rough edge no-one could call it bland.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Like the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1/K2, gearbox problems are not unheard of but fortunately they’re rare as it’ll be £750+ to fix. The odd electrical gremlin can appear but it’s no worse than any other bike in that respect. Finish is better than early Suzukis but still not perfect so care’s needed if the Suzuki GSX-R1000 is used in winter.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is a brilliant motorcycle and a real bargain on the used market. Rivals of the day aren’t quite as capable. Clean examples fly out of dealer showrooms and decent private sale Suzuki GSX-R1000s don’t hang around long either. Avoid machines which have been raced or had heavy track use. Find a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The best tourer of the Suzuki GSX-R1000s. That doesn’t mean it’s the slowest or worst handling – just that this Suzuki GSX-R1000's riding position, seat and screen are the best for covering plenty of miles and long days in the saddle. There’s little extraneous but there’s some room under the pillion seat, the clocks are pretty comprehensive and the mirrors and headlights acceptable.

Owners' Reviews

11 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2003-2004) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2003-2004)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

A lot of fun!

10 July 2016 by Dean

So much fun you have to have one! Went from a 600 to this and its amazing. Docile and will potter then will go ballistic! It has attitude and character open that throttle and it just goes but very controllable and looks great. Downsides its a sports... Read more bike so a little uncomfortable, get side tank protectors as paint wears and will eat tyres when you give it welly which you will and it loves it! 😁

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Good feel nice brakes, think rear could do with a bit more oomph.
Engine
5 out of 5
Stunning! Not as silky as my Honda and I like that, has a roughness to it and I like that 😁
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Only because paint is wearing on tank, my Honda had far more miles and was like new. engine lovely has attitude and I like that but very sweet no issues.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Not much more than a 600 to run insurance £50 more and a bit more thirsty if you give it welly. Not priced the 190 tyre yet :(
Equipment
4 out of 5
Its an old bike so none of the new gizmos but does what it needs to.
Buying experience

Private 6500 miles so very clean

5 out of 5

Fantastic fun, but hold onto your grips !

12 April 2016 by Undertoker

Engine is a monster, it pulls from 35mph in 6th gear all the way to 185mph - if you dare ! Loads of torque and the last of the real low and mid range monsters before the emissions ruined it all from k7 onwards really. Brakes are a LOT better than... Read more the K2, but I'd recommend some braided hoses just to give it that bit more on a track day. Suspension is probably the best in its class and far better than the K2, it's also more stable than the K5, which i preferred at high speed over the K5. Super comfortable, much more so than any other in its class, especially for a bigger rider. I found the K5 far too small, the K3 is perfect I'm 6ft 2" and 16 stone. Don't open it up on a wet white line like you did your 600 or it'll drop you on your ass. Respect it or it really will bite you. Paint could be thicker on fairings as could the fairings is my only gripe, they are more flimsy than the K2, but I guess that's a lot to do,with shaving weight off the bike, I'd rather have an extra kilo of plastic and paint and it be a bit harder wearing.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
It's a rocket, pull back on the throttle and hang on for grim death. Stomp grips are a must on the tank or you'll honestly struggle to stay on it when you open it right up. Brakes are ok, much better than the K2, get some branded lines and your sorted. This bike it really stable and though not as small as the k5 it can still be thrown into a corner with confidence on warm tyres, knowing if you commit fully, you'll get round it and out the other side with a wheelie into the straight from 80-120mph no problem.
Engine
5 out of 5
I picked mine up from a wealthy collector, it had just 190 miles from new on the clock at 13 years old. I ran it in carefully, not going over 6k rpm for the first 500 miles, then 9k rpm for the 1000 miles with an oil and filter change at each stage. Even 6k in 6th is 100mph, so it wasn't a hard thing to do and it gave me a chance to get a feel for the bike without going too mad. Once It was run in fully, the first thing I did was had mine set up on a dyno with a Power commander 5, a K&N air filter and a micron end can and then custom mapped, I spent about £350 in all. These K3 1000s remap really well, do it is my advice. It leapt up from 145 BHP at the back wheel to 155 BHP and was a far better ride. The torque also went up from 71 to just over 81 and you can really feel it. It's became a much smoother, harder pulling better all round ride and I cannot emphasise enough that you need to get your gixxer on. Dyno with people that know what they are doing, it's the best £350 i've spent. These were the last of the real beasts before emissions ruined it all. Are you brave enough to have one ?
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
It's never missed a beat. These Gixxers led from the front in their day and are still a bloody good bike, not much will get away from you. Two screws in behind the clocks I've heard can work loose on occasion, you'll notice excessive vibration on the clocks, that's the time to tighten them up with a spot of locktight on the thread. I've heard fork seals can be a thing to look for, but mine have been fine thus far, though I've only got 1100 miles on mine from new ;0)
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
No more than any other bike, the bits are cheap to source on eBay now. Good oil and filters are a must to keep any sports bike in good shape. How hard you ride it dictates what you'll spend
Equipment
4 out of 5
They are a sports bike, so luxuries are sparse, it's all about speed on a gixxer really and that's at the expense of luxury riding I fitted a fair few extras to mine though. A Gear selection LED display and heated grips are a nice touch to add on and you'll also need a rear hugger as these were not fitted as standard, the PYRAMID ones are the best I've come across and I swear by them now. It's comfortable but there isn't any room for luggage and a tank bag means you cannot lay on the tank at speed, so limits your riding. A good size and well made rucksack is the way to go on these bikes.
Buying experience

I was very lucky, I got mine from a wealthy collector who was inning his collection. It lived in a snooker room for 13 years from new and had just 190 miles on it when I picked it up in January of 2016, a rare find indeed. Having graduated off a K2 600cc, I wanted a K5 initially, but after sitting on one it felt like a 250cc and in honesty was, unstable and uncomfortable. I'm a big guy, so to find a refined and improved version of the K2 in the K3 for me was perfect and I will never part with it now.

5 out of 5

Gixxer K4 - say no more!

18 October 2015 by seancharles

Fantastic Bike on road and track. On a track day everyone will admire you on this beast and on the road everyone will want a butchers. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Had my bike set up by a professional to suit my weight and requirements. Brakes are brilliant on road and track.
Engine
5 out of 5
You cant want more than this!!!! - unless your a total nutcase or race at ACU level.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Ridden 7000 miles and several track days - not missed a beat.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Great value bikes. I prefer mine to the S1000RR which I've ridden. The BMW its not so engaging and has less character, besides everyone knows the Gixxer is the 'dogs'.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Has everything though I usually borrow my wifes a Glpro gear indicator for track days. Also, the dipped and main beam are poor for night time roadwork. So because of the poor lighting only 4/5.
Buying experience

Purchased privately with extras in November 2013. Low mileage, £3,600.

5 out of 5

nearest thing to warp drive.............

29 September 2015 by daveyboy58

owned two 1200 bandits, traded one in for the gixer. great bike. really torquey motor but can take off like an exocet in a moment. Once use to riding position, found it quite comfortable. Came with cowl and pillion seat but not made for two up. makes... Read more a reasonable touring bike. fuel worked out better than the bandit!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
it will potter along at 35mpg in top gear. bike at its best on fast A roads but I found it OK on back windy roads, with a restrained right wrist. Motorways are boring but can be fun on a gixer thou! Easy to enter motorways from the slip road at a ridiculous speed
Engine
5 out of 5
all round, excellent. Looks reasonable to work on as well
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Bike was imacculate when I bought it
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
came with new tyres and chain so cannot comment on wear as only had bike for four months. running costs seem reasonable for what the bike is
Equipment
4 out of 5
speedo/rev counter pretty good. could do with a fuel guage but warning light gives ample warning. replaced OE number plate holder with tail tidy and mini indicators. Bridgestone tyres are good
Buying experience

bought from dealer. Advertised at £3800, bought for £3600. Low milage for year (15k)

4 out of 5

15 August 2015 by Ian McAdam

useability Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Fast, Comfortable and a Real head turner

12 December 2012 by Anonymous

This is the only 1000cc sports bike I've ever ridden, that is as enjoyable driving across Europe as it is around a race track. Excellent torque though out the whole rev range, can be ridden sensibly or not. Clocks are very clear and stylish,... Read more but lacking Fuel gage and Clock! Storage under the back seat is amazing, I get a full tool kit, Thermals, a fold up rucksack, an Alarmed Disc lock and a large heavy Abus chain and pad lock all in with ease. The bike looks fantastic and drives like a dream. Also Fuel economy is excellent. I went for the K3 as I think its better looking than the K4 but they are the same bike in every other way so I guess its down to personal taste.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

oh my god

22 July 2008 by c750jp

just bought my 1000k3 from my local dealer only went in for a look around as i was getting bored with my tricked up bandit 1200 and boy oh boy is the 1000k3 insane how the hell you are supposed to keep your lience i don`t know but it will be fun... Read more trying

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

much missed

08 February 2008 by gravy1

I owned a K4 before regrettably trading in for a puny K7. Motorcycle manufactering comes in peaks and troughs new bikes are awesome followed by not such good models until they get a big update at the next peak, The K4 was definitely at a peak the... Read more engine is comparable to my busa and having owned an rry blade in between... the k4 made it seem like a 400. it will wheelie from 20 mph or 120 mph and everywhere in between. It revs effortlessly and will lift the rear as easily as the front. It WILL spank every bike made after 2003 (newer doesn't mean better) and with the exception of the 06 blade there isn't a better looking bike. My K7 isn't a trough but it's on the downward slope which means the K4 will rule for many years to come... and should emission laws get tighter it may well be the last REAL sportsbike ever made.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
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4 out of 5

MY K4

05 December 2007 by GAZZAS GIXER

I did a straight swap for a K5 750 4 days before a 10 day jaunt to europe! Insane? Possibly, but touring wise it knocks spots off it's smaller brother. Two up through France and into Germany with soft luggage was easy. New front discs required after... Read more 7500 miles was a bit of a shock though! Still love the awesome power and the way it delivers it!

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Stunning!

08 March 2007 by Txbone

This was my first litre sports bike, I had always ridden 600's before this and was totally stunned by the difference! A tad naive you may think but honestly, if you have only been used to a 600 with the odd shot of a mates 'thou' nothing can prepare... Read more you for what this bike will do to you!! I bought it off a friend when it was 7 months old, he got the last Ltd Edition 'stealth Black' model in the country but needed cash and I fell in love at first sight and was only too happy to part with said cash! I removed all decals and got a Yosi tri oval carbon exhaust put on, rather than go the power commander route my local dealer (Saltire Suzuki, Edinburgh) suggested I let them set it up on their 'Yoshi Box'. Sure said I, beats paying £400 for the commander!! The difference with just a little setup is amazing, I thought the bike was a rocket ship before, now it is positively lunar!! So smooth right through the range, added some extra ponies, and mores to the point, saved me £400 into the bargin!! I would suggest changing the end can, loses a good bit of weight, and put a Yoshi on and ask your dealer if they have a Yoshi box, it may not have the massive tuning range of a Power Commander, but be honest, do you REALLY need that amount of tuning to ride this on the road and the odd track day?? I personally don't think so, and if you can get the most out of it on the road, then you are a better man than me! What I have on mine is more than enough to keep grinning from ear to ear. I removed the rear pegs and got a black hanger on, a pair of black rearsets and this machine looks amazing! Still not sold on the dold wheels though, no idea who came up with that plan?!?! It handles like my old ZX6R, has twice the power and triple the fun! If you are thinking of 'stepping up' then I would strongly reccommend this bike! The K4 was an excellent year for it, before they brough out the awkward "ducks arse" rear end, but after they had ironed out the niggles from previous models! I love this bike and wouldn't change it for the world!!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 11 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2003
Year discontinued 2004
Original price -
Used price £2,900 to £6,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £220
Performance
Max power 164 bhp
Max torque 80 ft-lb
Top speed 186 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 988cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 168kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2003: Suzuki GSX-R1000 K2-K3 launched.
2005: Suzuki GSX-R1000 replaced by all-new GSX-R1000 K5.

Other versions

GSX-R1000 K4: Sold in 2004, identical to the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K3 except for colour differences.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle review - Side view
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