Suzuki’s new bike resurgence is set to accelerate in style in just three months’ time, as the firm unveils a naked version of its GSX-R1000 superbike.
According to MCN sources in Japan, the new bike – likely to be called GSR1000 – will use a re-tuned version of the 182bhp 999cc inline four-cylinder from the GSX-R1000, and will retain a performance-orientated chassis. It’s aimed at rivalling the Aprilia Tuono V4R, BMW S1000R, and Kawasaki Z1000.
The new GSR1000 will be the first time Suzuki has had a superbike-derived naked in the range since the ill-fated GSX1300 B-King naked hyperbike was canned in 2012 after failing to meet sales targets.
Beyond the B-King, you have to look back as far as the 1977 GS1000 to find a pure naked performance bike from Suzuki.
There have been more recent attempts at unfaired lunacy, with the infamous TL1000S being the closest the firm has come to true naked hedonism, but the softer TL-derived SV1000 that followed it never really had the engine or chassis to compete in this fiercely contested category.
Suzuki’s current naked street bike, the GSR750, may boast shared DNA with the excellent GSX-R750, but the firm went too far with its re-tune of the engine, and undersold its capabilities and potential allure by fitting budget cycle parts to a very ordinary chassis.
However, all the indications suggest that the new bike waiting in the wings is aimed firmly at the sharp end of the class.
Suzuki has, of course, refused to comment on the existence of the new GSR, but the volume of leaked details has increased significantly over the past month, with several sources describing identical key features, seemingly emanating from the same sketch and an image of a test bike.
At the 2012 Cologne motorcycle show Suzuki announced plans to invest a huge amount of time and money into reinventing its large-capacity motorcycles, with the reborn V-Strom 1000 being just the first of many new arrivals we are expecting to see over the coming years.
Small capacity bikes, developed for the vast emerging markets, have been a serious distraction for Suzuki in recent years, but the firm has changed its strategy to concentrate more on lower-volume, higher-margin, bikes for mature markets – a perfect fit for a GSX-R1000-derived naked street bike.
During MCN’s visit to Suzuki in Japan three months ago, General Manager of Motorcycle Product Planning, Hiroyuki Nakai, confirmed that there would be 30 all-new and updated models over the next five years, with the first of them unveiled before the end of 2014.