Cologne Show: All-new Suzuki GSX-S1000

Published: 29 September 2014

• 999cc inline-four
• 155bhp (est) / 80lbft (est)
• GSX-R1000 K5 engine
• All-new chassis
• 3-mode traction control

If disaffected sportsbike owners need somewhere to channel their desires to – Suzuki’s new GSX-S1000F could well have the answer. It’s not an adventure bike, retro, cruiser or even a sports-tourer – no, this is what sports-tourers should have become, and there’s a naked version, too.

Based around the now legendary engine from the 2005 GSX-R1000, although retuned to better suit this mildly less focussed model, it’s been designed to give effortless performance without compromising on comfort. Suzuki describe it as a ‘pure sport roadster’, and that seems like a pretty good fit to us.

The heart of the GSX-S
Both iterations of the GSX-S1000 are powered by the 999cc inline-four from the 2005–2008 GSX-R1000. The long-stroke design allows the combustion chambers to be compact and delivers a broad spread of power throughout the rev range.

This isn’t a cut-and-shut engine transplant, Suzuki have been through the mill looking for improvements. Newly designed pistons are 3% lighter than the GSX-R’s, and new cam profiles optimise the valve timing for an improved spread of torque, Iridium sparkplugs ensure a strong burn, and the bores are plated with Suzuki’s Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM). A new radiator helps to keep the engine cooler, and the new liquid-cooled oil cooler is light and compact, making more room for exhaust routing.

Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) system controls the feed of air and fuel to the pistons, squirting through 10-hole fuel injectors for optimum atomization, while balancers sit between each pair of headers – all aimed at improving low-to-mid-range output.

Three-mode traction control
Suzuki’s flagship GSX-R still flies without traction control, but the GSX-S gets a 3-stage system for added peace of mind. It works via front and rear wheel speed sensors, plus  throttle, crank and gear position sensors, taking readings 250 times a second looking for discrepancies. It then near-instantaneously knocks back the ignition timing whenever it detects wheelspin, softening the drive to the back wheel. If you don’t like, or want, it to intervene, then you do have the option to turn it off completely.

Mode 1 is for sporty riding (minimal intervention), Mode 2 is for normal road conditions, while Mode 3 is for wet or particularly poor road conditions. There is an ABS version of the GSX-S, while the base version gets unassisted radial mounted Brembo monobloc calipers (straight from the 2014 GSX-R1000).

Information overload
The instrument cluster is a lightweight, brightness-adjustable LCD with readouts including speedometer, tachometer, odometer, dual tripmeters, gear position, coolant and ambient temperatures, driving range, average fuel consumption, instantaneous fuel consumption, traction control, and a clock. The display is flanked by LED indicators for all the usual warning lights.

All-new chassis
The GSX-S gets all-new main frame, focused on great road handling and control. The main tubes are straight from the steering head to the swingarm pivot, allowing high rigidity and low weight (it’s lighter than current GSX-R1000’s), while the aluminium-alloy swingarm comes straight from the R.

The cast-aluminium wheels are new, too, and run 120/70 R17 front, and 190/50 R17 rear tyre sizes, suspended from a new 43mm KYB inverted front fork which is fully adjustable damping, rebound, compression and spring preload, and the rear shock is adjustable for rebound and preload only.

In your hands
Both models of GSX-S feature a Renthal FatBar, a welcome relief from the usual bendy chromed nastiness often found on production bikes. Oddly, Suzuki have also answered a question no-one asked by developing an Easy Start System. This means you no longer hold the start button and wait for ignition, you just press it briefly, and then release it – just like a car system. More usefully, they’ve also ditched the need to hold the clutch in while starting the engine.

There’s no firm word on price yet, but we expect the GSX-S1000F ABS to cost around £9500, while the naked version will be circa £9000. The Non ABS versions should cost around £400 less, but we’d recommend opting for the loaded versions.

Engine
Based on the best GSX-R1000 motor ever, the 2005 unit has been updated with new pistons and cams to re-profile the torque and power curves for the best road-bias balance.

Chassis
The main frame is all new, and actually lighter than the GSX-R’s, while the swingarm is taken straight from the current GSX-R. The 43mm inverted fork is fully adjustable, while the shock is adjustable for rebound and preload.

Electronics
Both GSX-S variants get 3-stage traction control as standard equipment. The modes are effectively intended as Sport, Road and Wet modes, and the system can be completely disabled, too.

Brakes
Both models get the radial-mounted Brembo monobloc calipers from the 2014 GSX-R1000. ABS is an optional extra, which will cost around £400 over the base model, and which is well worth having.

Naked aggression
The naked version of the GSX-S is identical in every aspect to the F model, except for the swooping fairing and dual headlamps – which are replaced with a single light and small binnacle. The radiator cowls – intentionally or otherwise – read as an R on one side, and an S on the other.