SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2009-2011) Review

Published: 26 March 2009

"On the road it fares much better, where it's comfy, predictable and still cosmically fast"

Suzuki GSX-R1000 - comfortable and very stable on the road

"On the road it fares much better, where it's comfy, predictable and still cosmically fast"

  • At a glance
  • 999cc  -  161 bhp
  • 32 mpg  -  123 miles range
  • Medium seat height (810mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 is the first completely new GSX-R1000 in the big Suzuki’s history, but it feels uncannily similar to the K7/K8 model it replaces. Despite a new short-stoke engine and an all-new chassis, the K9 hasn’t captured the spirit of the grunt-filled, lightweight K5 bike as we’d hoped and still lacks the agility to keep with its rivals on track. Although it lacks the pace of the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX-10R and Honda FireBlade on the circuit, on the road it fares much better, where it’s comfy, predictable and still cosmically fast. 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

For the road the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 is comfortable and very stable, even accelerating hard on bumpy roads. Three-way adjustable footpegs makes the Suzuki comfortable for short and tall riders alike and the handling is predictable. Turn up the wick, or ride the GSX-R1000 K9 on track and it becomes difficult to change direction quickly and heavy to turn in to a corner. Despite having new monobloc calipers, the brakes fade under hard use and don’t have the power of the competition. Disappointingly, during MCN’s group test the GSX-R1000 lapped 2.5 seconds slower than the 2009 R1 around Cartagena, on the same tyres.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 get a shorter-stroke engine for the first time, which Suzuki claims makes the same power and torque as the old model. Strangely our dyno results show it’s actually 7bhp down on the old bike, making 161bhp at the back wheel. The idea of the shorter stroke engine is to allow race teams to tune them and raise revs safely, compared to the old long-stroke motor. The power delivery has been softened off in the mid-range compared to the old bike, which gives you the confidence to open the throttle sooner and harder. There’s still lots of grunt to play with, despite the shorter stroke motor. The engine is physically 59mm shorter than before to allow for a longer swingarm, which aids rear tyre grip. This is a trick also used on the current Honda Fireblade.  

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Suzuki engines are bulletproof, so expect the GSX-R1000 K9’s motor to run on forever and never break down. The overall finish of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 isn’t right up there with the Hondas and Yamahas of the world, but overall it is very well built.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

GSX-Rs used to sit at the cheaper end of the sportsbike market, but not any more, it’s now more expensive than the 2009 Fireblade and ZX-10R, but you still get lots of performance, handling and fun for your dosh. Find a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for sale.

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

Equipment 4 out of 5

Only seen on the 2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R and Suzuki’s factory Suzuka 8-Hour endurance racer until now, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 is fitted with Showa’s Big Piston Forks. They’re lighter than standard forks and have simpler internals, with just one internal piston in each leg to control rebound and compression damping. They have a harsher feel than conventional forks, but work better and give more front tyre feel, the harder you push. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 also comes with a new chassis and ‘banana’ swingarm, wheels, fully-adjustable Showa rear shock, monoboc four-piston calipers, instruments and a cable-operated clutch to replace the old hydraulic item. Compare and buy parts for the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2009-2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

I'm pickin up bad vibrations

14 July 2012 by Anonymous

apologies to the beach boy for the title. owned about a month now and having had a 40 year diet of suzuki's I have to say this one is a nice try to get back somewhere near the glory days when suzuki spanked everyone but still fails. the bodywork is... Read more flimsy as though it was made in china. the engine is very "rough" not sure that's the right word but it growls but also feels like something is grating/grinding and the vibrations between 40 and 70mph are probably caused by the growl. The engine is a big improvement low down and mid range where you need it most on the road. the bike feels shorter and very very easy to turn (compared to my old k7 which felt 10 ft long) but also feels compressed as though it's a little fatter and taller (probably isn't but just feels like it is). the front suspension "clonks" over small holes and the front brakes (which are very good) seem to make noise when I push the bike along. (maybe I got a friday afternoon one). It's hard to explain but it just feels cheaply made, I know the engine will be awesome and the handling is great but it feels like my k7 did after 5 years of very very very bad abuse and neglect although the k7 felt more robust. This is a nice bike but even though I knocked over a grand off the asking price I still feel I overpaid.... it's a great try but it's just not quite there yet. oh and the pass switch is a real swine, I like the mode switches and the ability to cycle through clock, odometer etc without taking your hand off the handlebars but when travelling down unlit roads the old pass switch was great for holding on for short bursts where the new one is activated by your thumb on top of the cluster which never feel right not having your thumb round the handle bars (also awkward to feel with gloves on) these are only small points but they are like an itch I can't quite reach. Overall 4 ride and handling 4 (handling 5 ride 4 because clunky forks) Equipment 3 no electric gizmos which is not a bad thing but switches mounted in bad locations) quality and reliability 3 (again these should be separate) quality 2.5 (it really does feel like the materials were sourced from elsewhere) reliability 5 (It is a suzuki after all) value 3 there is no way on earth this is worth £11130 on the road, £9200 would feel right for value comparing it to honda/bmw engine 4 usual great gsxr engine let down with harsh sound and vibration

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

K9

30 October 2009 by cjenkins

Hi, picked my K9 up on sept 1st and just thought i'd share my thoughts. came from a K7 gixer 750 which i loved. I would give the bike 9 1/2 out of 10. i absolutley love the bike. it is crazy fast, my first 1000, and to be honest it's too fast for the... Read more roads. i'd say i was an average rider both on roads and track and would admit the bike is a lot faster than i am capable of. however my thoughts on the handling would be that it's like my other gixer as it rides very flat. there's no front or rear bias and is very neutral. the suspension is obviously fully adjustable but on standard settings are about perfect for me. i took a blade out before i bought the gixer and the one area i think the blade was better was on bump absorbsion. the blade floated over bumps and crests where as the gixer will skip and feels more lively. i enjoy this aspect but i suppose it's personal choice. i've changed the brake fluid on mine as they lacked initial bite and wern't that strong and it's helped. also ive got the akrapovic 4-1 and a power commander on the bike and the fueling is perfect with a custom map but i cant comment on the standard bike.one thing i don't like is the standard bridgestones 016's. i'm not that keen on them and i'll be putting some supercorsa's on it for spring/summer next year. really happy with the bike and won't be changing it in the next couple of years.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

it's nearly a k5

14 October 2009 by Anonymous

I bought my k7 without a test ride and was disappointed with the overall size of it and the power placement. Earlier GSXR 1000's have a huge wave of power from tickover. The K9 still lacks this one thing that used to set suzuki apart from the other... Read more big 3.... but they have addressed the size issue... it feels as though it is three quarters the size of my k7 and handles incredibly well. Definitely on par with the k5/ k6 (which may well be the best sportsbike ever produced) the engine although well suited for town and commuting still lacks the bottom end grunt that makes big bikes exciting from pull away. It's not a million miles behind the fireblades engine (which is the best engine at present) it is just more user friendly (nullifying the need for the 3 way power switch) and less scary after 6500 rpm. That said, it will wheelie from 60 mph off the thottle in 2nd and is less twitchy on typical pot holed british roads. I must agree with SteveW19 regarding MCN's Yamaha bias it has been going on for a few years since the 2007 bike came out (every year the new yamaha is the best thing since sliced bread). Also it is true that the other 3 will pull away from the gixxer round a track at wsb rider pace but average riders on all 4 wouldn't tell the difference. On the road is what counts. Personally I'd just like the k9 with a tweaked k5 engine in it but euro regulations and emission restrictions wouldn't allow it so this is as good as it gets.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 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

Just pick your colour

31 August 2009 by SteveW19

Background - whilst I'm no self confessed track-day God, I am more than a little tired of people raving about alledged massive differences between the latest crop of superbikes. I am fortunate enough to have owned a lot of bikes over the years,... Read more including 4 GSXR1000's and I am awaiting delivery of a new K9 in 2 weeks time (to replace a K7). In my opinion - unless you really are a track day junkie etc. (and an advanced one at that) then you choose the bike that you think looks best. Splitting hairs is down to personal preference, and I agree with other comments here that for journalists to rave about 1 model as being significantly better each year - is really wearing thin with most of us. I used to rely on the road tests as being a fair account, but I agree that there seems to be a fair old bit of brand sponsoring going on. If you like the GSXR family, then you'll love the new one. I have a demo bike at the moment whilst mine is on order, and it feel very similar to the K7, I like the new touches, the dash, engine note. As I liked the R1s that I've owned too. I would have happily gone for a new R1, but I don't like the looks of the current model - and isn't that what many of us use as a buying decision? I am pleased to now see some of the UK magazines giving a more real world assessment on the bikes i.e. the differences are minimal and any bike will suit 99% of riders, you just choose the style and colour that you prefer. Sorry MCN, but as a long term reader can I simply ask for some basic objectivity and honesty.

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

K9-Fantastic bike

21 July 2009 by samsico

I ride 600RR'07 before I upgraded into K9 happy with all the features I wanted. smooth delivery agile and lighter. I give 5 stars for this all new features Gixer. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Bike

27 April 2009 by dal750

In the last 6 weeks i have owned the new R1, Blade and now GSX R1000. They are all great bikes so i think it just comes down to personal prefence. Gixer wins for me though. Read more

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

I concur

22 April 2009 by caboyd

I have to agree with you GMan7, I suggest you check out MotorcycleUSA.com. They have a massively different opinion of the K9, written by someone who isn't on the Triple Tuning fork's payroll! I haven't ridden the K9, but I give Suzuki 5 Stars for... Read more being the only Japanese Manufacturer preserving good superbike design!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

K9 - Awesome

15 April 2009 by GMan7

After reading the MCN test of the new K9 I was somewhat disappointed but after a long test ride I can confirm that it is an awesome motorcycle! I think MCN have lost a lot of Gixxer loving readers and Yamaha racing Michael Neeves has gone down in my... Read more estimation. In this time of economic troubles the last thing we need is a report on a new bike that actively turns people away from buying it. I have had a K1, K5 and soon a K9 and am so glad I dismissed and resisted opting for an R1 as instructed by Mr Neeves in your heavily Yamaha biased MCN test report.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued 2011
Original price £10,825
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 161 bhp
Max torque 78.8 ft-lb
Top speed 179 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.01 secs
Average fuel consumption 32 mpg
Tank range 123 miles
Specification
Engine size 999cc
Engine type 16-valve, in-line-four
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 17.5 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 203kg
Front suspension Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Fully-adjustable
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/50 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2001 – Original GSX-R1000K1 launched
2003 – K3 model launched, complete model update
2005 – Iconic K5 launched, grunty, light, agile and still the best
2007 – K7 launched, heaviest GSX-R1000 and now with twin exhausts

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - comfortable and very stable on the road
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - fitted with Showa big piston forks
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - difficult to change direction quickly on track
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - tail unit
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Doesn't keep up with the competition on track
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - the GSX-R is no longer the budget option
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - heavy to turn in
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - new chassis and banana swingarm
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - clocks
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - 7bhp down on the old model with 161bhp
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - doesn't have the spirit of the grunty K5
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - stripped down
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - end cans
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - nose
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - top yoke displays Showa badge proudly
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - monobloc 4-piston calipers
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - comfortable and very stable on the road
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - fitted with Showa big piston forks
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - difficult to change direction quickly on track
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - tail unit
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - Doesn't keep up with the competition on track
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - the GSX-R is no longer the budget option
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - heavy to turn in
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - new chassis and banana swingarm
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - clocks
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - 7bhp down on the old model with 161bhp
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - doesn't have the spirit of the grunty K5
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - stripped down
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - end cans
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - nose
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - top yoke displays Showa badge proudly
  • Suzuki GSX-R1000 - monobloc 4-piston calipers
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