SUZUKI GSX-R1000 (2017 - on) Review

Highlights

  • A great value superbike
  • Better than GSX-R1000R
  • Brilliant handling

At a glance

Power: 199 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.5 in / 825 mm)
Weight: Medium (448 lbs / 203 kg)

Prices

New £13,199
Used £9,400 - £12,200

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 can’t match the peppery 200bhp power figures of its rivals, but it’s still a phenomenally capable superbike, packed with grunt, attitude, sharp handling and surprising long-distance comfort.

Best of all it's stonking value for money in this base spec and only missing the R model’s slightly plusher suspension and gearbox electronics. So go for this version and spend the change on aftermarket suspension (which will be better than the R’s anyway) and a quickshifter and still be quids in.

Suzuki have managed to imbue the GSX-R with their typical aggressive hooligan edginess. In many ways, it feels like just its predecessor, but with more power. Despite being outgunned by the competition these days, the Suzuki will still hit 150mph in just over 10 seconds, so it's far from a slouch.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

With its compact new cast ali frame and longer swingarm the Suzuki is easily one of the sweetest steering and neutral handling superbikes you can buy. It’s one of the most comfortable, too. It comes on lower spec (but still fully adjustable) Showa suspension than the R, which is slightly firmer and doesn’t offer such a plush ride.

That extra stiffness actually gives the base GSX-R1000 a sportier feel on the road and even crisper steering. In fact, it helps the stock machine accelerate quicker (there’s less wheelie-inducing rear squat) and stop sooner (more support from forks/less prone to stoppie). 

Brakes are a weak point, not so much on the road where they’re safe, powerful and reassuring, but on the track, where they’re prone to fade. Its cornering ABS system is overly conservative, too and releases the brakes at the slightest hint of rear wheel lift.

Suzuki GSX-R1000 turning right

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The base model GSX-R1000 uses the same 199bhp, liquid cooled 999cc inline four-cylinder engine as the more expensive GSX-R1000R.

New from the crankcases up, it runs a shorter stroke than the previous model’s and features VVT (Variable Valve Timing), which along with new exhaust valves, secondary injectors and dual stage inlet trumpets gives a less peaky, wider spread of power. It also has a slick new six speed close ratio gearbox, but unlike the R model, has no quickshifter or autoblipper. 

It makes around 185bhp on a dyno, which is less than its rivals (bar the pre-2020 Blade), but with so much grunt on tap you never feel short-changed on the road or track.

And in any case, it’s easy to get blasé about big power figures – in the real world the GSX-R1000 is seriously potent with a wide spread of power that’s perfectly suited to the road.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Paint finishes aren’t the deepest, but general mechanicals are generally robust. There have been reports of wayward electronics/exhaust valve catalytic converter issues.

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Suzuki GSX-R1000 exhaust

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Not only is the base model GSX-R1000 significantly cheaper than the R model, it’s an absolute steal compared to its German, Italian and Japanese rivals. It’s still a powerful superbike and isn’t cheap to insure, but servicing costs aren’t overly expensive and it’ll even return 47mpg on the road.

We tested the GSX-R1000 against the cream of the 2017 superbike crop in the form of the Yamaha R1, Ducati 1299 Panigale, BMW S1000RR, Kawasaki ZX-10R and Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and this is what we said:

Suzuki’s new-for-2017 GSX-R1000 really divided opinion. Some loved the looks and styling, others thought it was more reminiscent of a 1980s shellsuit. And that wasn’t a compliment. Some liked the simplicity of the clocks, others already thought they appeared dated – even by comparison to the older bikes.

On the move, the rider modes are easy to change, and the TC can be easily deactivated on the fly. Everything is intuitive and uncomplicated, and backed up by one of the strongest road

engines on test – thanks to Suzuki’s ‘Broad Power’ ethos and VVT technology. Its light-steering and stable, too.

On the road the GSX-R’s ace card is its engine, delivering a superb wave of torque and mid-range drive, accompanied by that trademark Suzuki induction roar that underpins every hard acceleration. Suzuki have certainly poured plenty of GSX-R DNA into the new bike’s gene pool.

The riding position is natural, the screen protective, the seat comfortable– all of which mean the Suzuki was popular for distance slogs at pace. Our test bike’s only self-indulgence was the addition of a Suzuki quickshifter/autoblipper (£645), which works beautifully with the already slick gearbox.

The GSX-R is a great all-round bike, it has plenty of power – but it does feel a bit ‘normal’. It just isn’t outstanding at anything, so it doesn’t shine. It’s hard to fault, but just not dazzling. And that’s the rub. It’s very nearly the best roadbike on test, but ultimately lacks charisma.

The superbike market has become an even more hostile environment since then and the GSX-R1000 has fallen further behind as bikes like the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, 2019 BMW S1000RR and Ducati Panigale V4 S have hit the market.

See how the best superbikes of 2020 stack up here:

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Aside from lower spec suspension, the lack of up/down quickshifter and painted air scoops the base GSX-R1000 is identical to the R, so you get ride-by-wire, IMU-controlled electronic rider aids and power modes.

It also has a multi-function monochrome LCD dash (black on white for the base model, reverse for the R), which, even when it was new looked dated next to the colour TFTs of its rivals.

Suzuki GSX-R1000 dash

Specs

Engine size 999cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 16v, inline four
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 203kg
Front suspension 43mm Showa forks fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single Showa rear shock, fully adjustable
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial caliper.
Rear brake 220mm single disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £13,199
Used price £9,400 - £12,200
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 199 bhp
Max torque 87 ft-lb
Top speed 180 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2001: GSX-R1000K1. Raised the superbike bar and blew the doors off the Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX-9R, Honda FireBlade, Aprilia RSV Mille and Ducati 998 of the day.
  • 2003: K3. Major update. More power, torque, less weight and revised styling.
  • 2005: K5. Major update. Lightest GSX-R1000 to date with the handling, grunt and attitude to put the class of ’04 (Kawasaki ZX-10R and underseat pipe R1 and Blade) in the shade.
  • 2007: K7. Although the GSX-R1000 gained more power it lost some of its famed midrange grunt. Euro3 friendly sprouted twin pipes, gained weight and for the first time lost its crown as the go-to superbike.
  • 2009: K9 Major update. New shorter-stroke motor, Showa Big Piston Forks, banana-shaped swingarm, a cable clutch and monobloc four-piston calipers.
  • 2012 – Minor update and facelift.
  • 2017 – Major update. Fitted with electronic rider aids for the first time, variable valve timing and tuned to give 199bhp GSX-R1000.

Other versions

  • GSX-R1000R: Identical engine and chassis, higher spec Showa suspension, up/down quickshifter, painted air scoops and white on black monochrome dash.

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