SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2009 - 2011) Review
At a glance
|Owners reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£220|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||16-valve, in-line-four|
|Frame type||Aluminium beam|
|Fuel capacity||17.5 litres|
|Front brake||2 x 310mm discs|
|Rear brake||220mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 17 in|
|Rear tyre size||190/50 17 in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||32 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£220|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||161 bhp|
|Max torque||78.8 ft-lb|
|Top speed||179 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.01 secs|
|Tank range||123 miles|
Model history & versions
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
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2009 - 2011)
11 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£220|
Brilliant on the road. reasonably comfortable for a sports bike and fast. Puts a smile on my face every time I take it for a spin.
Brakes are awesome but do fade slightly under hard braking nothing to really worry about on the road though. It feels a little difficult to flick over from corner to corner or maybe difficult isn't the right word to use a bit heavy possibly same again though nothing to really be concerned about on the road. Distance? I would need a break after a couple of hour but I come from a tiny island and am not used to long distances.
Fast awesomely fast I couldn't really say anything more than that I wouldn't fault in any way.
Common problem with Suzuki the paint work is a bit thin and chips easierly and it didn't take long for the mirrors to start corroding. Other than that I can't fault it.
I couldn't really comments fairly on the service cost as I do all my own work on the bike so I only have to think about the cost of materials/parts. As far the mpg goes it's not too bad if you take it easy but as soon as you start opening it up on an open roads it drinks the fuel but let's be fair if your gunning it down the road you aren't thinking about fuel.
No abs or traction control but I prefer a bike without that any how. Definitly need a good set of tyres Bridgestone battle axe or Pirelli superscorsa's. Without spending a fair amount of cash I would just recommend a power commander, slip on and de-cat but I would put that down to personal preference.
Buying experience: I bought the bike privately for £4900 exallent condition with on 7000 miles on the clock but when I am from second hand bikes are cheaper than the UK.
Annual servicing cost: £215
Being lucky enough to have both a K6 1000 and a K9 1000, and being able to ride it back to back with the "last of the true superbikes" (K6 1000). I feel that I can give a balanced review and dispel a couple of myths against the K9, there are some that would have you believe that it isn't as fast as the K6 and this in entirely untrue the K9 is faster, the only difference is you have to work for the power.
Having the same wheelbase as the k6 it turns as quick as you like but is definitely more stable and not quite as skittish as the K6. although saying that i wouldn't say it isn't lively. at a trackday I was just a quick lap on lap riding the K9 than the K6 but felt a lot less worked doing so. Once the stupidly hard rear shock was backed off things were much better, luckily I'm pretty much the ideal weight for the forks so not much work needed there to get things where they should be, but straight out of the box it's set a bit too hard for UK roads. Again standard pads are brilliant and I've got no complaints on the stopping point, yes you could spend ££££'s on Brembo this and that but for the improvement v's cost equation I'd possibly just swap the lines and pads the calipers and master cylinder are great.
The K6 indeed has more torque earlier in the revs hence peoples "rip your arms off" comments but once the K9 hits 8,000rpm the K6 struggles to keep it in it's sights. If you keep the gears low and the revs high like a really really fast 750 this thing flies. there really is something magical about the 10,000rpm shove and the howl from the airbox is awesome. mine has Arrow "Y" piece and carbon cans with a BMC filter and made a very healthy 173.7bhp after a little tweak with a Yoshi box.
It's a Suzuki anybody that has ever owned one will tell you, bomb proof engine and the build quality is leaps and bounds on from the earlier bikes but still not Honda/BMW levels just yet. The paint work looks as if Suzuki have made considerable weight savings by not using much paint to cover the panels as it chips very easily.
no more expensive than any other bike and I use an independent garage. get around 130-150 miles from a tank with mixed riding including some reasonably fast stuff, can't comment on track consumption as I never fill the tank on track but 3 liters lasts 20 minuets and 9 laps of Oulton Park.
ditching the standard 190 50 off the rear and replacing it with 190 55 made it much better a definite recommendation. other than that junking the cat and exhaust for your favorite brand of after market exhaust will bring huge dividends
AWESOME bike brutally fast through every gear, massively over powered for the road, I'd put it up against anything on the road it will keep up if not out run it despite the review mcn have done saying it's a bit disappointing. If you want a bike that will get you where you want to be early when you're running late buy one of these.
If I had to try an out run a long range torpedo this is the bike I'd use, when you open the throttle it just plants it's self to the road and takes off like a bullet. In fact it's so fast when I first opened it right up I had to turn round and go pick my spine up off the floor. Believe me when I say this is not for the faint hearted. When you have that rev needle hitting the redline it's very much a bike that can turn round and bite you very quickly.
Only problem I've come across is the paint finish, it's s**t.
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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 being the only Japanese Manufacturer preserving good superbike design!
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 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.