Learning to love his GSX-R600

Published: 26 May 2004

Matt Wildee is one of MCN’s team of news reporters. He is running an O4 Suzuki GSX-R600 this year. This is what he has to say about it so far.

The GSX-R and I are set for the ultimate summer. In then next few months we’re going to be inseparable. By the time that autumn comes the GSX-R and I will have taken part in umpteen trackdays, it’ll be faster accelerating and producing more power and if everything goes to plan, it will have helped me fulfil my life’s ambition – to take part in bike race.

I’ve only been in possession of the GSX-R two days, but already I know it’s the right choice for me. The CBR600 is excellent, but is too tiny for my lanky frame, the ZX-6R is harsh and too focused for my liking and the R6 is lacking in bling-factor. The GSX-R so far seems to have the best characteristics from each of these bikes – only time will tell what it’s main disadvantages are.

During the summer the GSX-R will be my only form of transport – I’ve taken my car off the road so that I am forced to ride the bike in all weather and conditions. Between now and November I plan to rack up at least 8,000 miles – two years worth of concentrated use, packed in six short months. By then we should know what the GSX-R’s real-world shortcomings really are.

So far it has proved comfortable enough to be an everyday commuter but shows a snarling wild side every time you open the throttle – above 10,000rpm it gives an addictive wail that will wake you up in the morning better than any alarm clock.

The first real test will come in the next week. With a seven days off work I am planning to put 1000 miles on it, with a trip up to see mates up north and two track days, including a thrash around Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Bring it on.