SUZUKI GSX-R400 (1990 - 1996) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
Power: 61 bhp
Seat height: Low (28.0 in / 710 mm)
Weight: Low (368 lbs / 167 kg)

Overall rating

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

Suzuki’s GSX-R400 is easily mistakable for its larger brother the 750 with its distinctive slingshot looks and aluminum frame.

Not as sought after as the other Japanese 400cc imports, but that keeps prices low and means you can grab a bargain. Handling is excellent handling, but the engine requires a thrashing as its all revs, but it’s still rewarding to ride fast.

Ride quality & brakes

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

The Suzuki GSX-R400 feels very similar to its larger brother – but shrunk down. Its tiny pegs are high and are a nightmare on the road but they make sense on the track. However, you need to play around with the suspension. On most models the rear is too soft and causes under steer. But once set-up, despite its old-fashioned-looking frame, it’s a little track weapon.


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

Some versions of the Suzuki GSX-R400 were speed restricted to just over 110mph, however, once de-restricted, the engine loves to rev all the way to an 15,000 rpm redline. Real back wheel figures can be as much as 60bhp which makes the GSX-R no slouch but don’t expect anything below 6,000rpm. 

Reliability & build quality

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

The Suzuki GSX-R400’s bodywork can soon appear shabby, especially if it’s seen a few British winters and been trashed by excitable youngsters. Clutches can take a real hammering, also, but the engine seems reliable, just like every GSX-R.

Value vs rivals

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

You need to shop really wisely, as there are many different models and early bikes will be feeling and showing there age by now, don’t be tempted with cheaper early models, opt for a later GSX-R with upside down forks onwards. Usually they are considerably cheaper than the competition which makes them a bargain buy.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Suzuki GSX-R400’s upside-down 41mm front forks are adjustable for pre-load only but the rear is fully adjustable. Nissin front brake calipers and that distinctive looking aluminium frame give it the appearance of its bigger brother. Overall, it’s comparable to the other Japanese four-cylinder 400s.


Engine size 400cc
Engine type 16v 56x40.4mm, 6 gears
Frame type Twin aluminium rails
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 710mm
Bike weight 167kg
Front suspension 41mm USD
Rear suspension Single shock fully adj
Front brake 2 x 300mm 4 pot cal
Rear brake 210mm disc 2 pot
Front tyre size 120/60x17
Rear tyre size 150//60x17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 50 mpg
Annual road tax £55
Annual service cost £100
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 10 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term One year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 61 bhp
Max torque 28.3 ft-lb
Top speed 127 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 210 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

1990: Model introduced with inverted forks and twin loop frame.
1991: As 1990 but with new graphics
1992: As 1990 but with new graphics
1993: As 1990 but now just 53bhp and new graphics
1994: As above.
1995: As above.
1996: Model discontinued

Other versions

1984: First GSX-R400. Japan only with early-GSX-R box-section ally twin loop frame and 59bhp. V. rare
1985: As 1984
1986: Revised with twin spar frame and more subtle styling. Again, Japan only.
1987: As 1986
1988: New model: Slingshot styling but still twin beam frame. SP version available for first time.
1989: Revised graphics. SP now with single seat.

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-R400 (1990 - 1996)

2 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSX-R400 (1990 - 1996) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI GSX-R400 (1990 - 1996)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £100
5 out of 5 sp 400 love in
30 August 2023 by graham lummes

Version: suzuki gsxr rl 400 sp

Year: 1990

Annual servicing cost: £100

great styling,really focused scratchers dream.brilliant handling,brakes and suspension.after decades of riding[i am 61],it taught me how to ride,ie,carrying corner speed.also,i dont need big power to have fun.i have more powerful bikes,but this,along with my 750rk has given me the rides of my summary,i love it! j

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

adjustable sp suspension provides a typical slingshot quality ride[vast improvement over standard 400 suspension]nissin brakes and ebc pads are excellent.[i also owned a non sp model,it was great as well].

Engine 5 out of 5

loves to rev,really smooth.back to back with an nc30[which i also owned at the time]lost nothing in the mid range,and out performed it on top end.very high first gear,all part of the sp experience.close ratio box keeps you in the power band when going for it.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

bullet proof engine,fantastic close ratio box.never let me quality at least on a par with other japanese manufacturers.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

engine service is cheap and easy.brakes,tyres etc,are down to me.i dont use this as transport,purely for scratching.

Equipment 5 out of 5

brakes,suspension,gearbox.k&n filter m max derestrictor,free flow down pipes and race can really allow engine to breathe.ebc brake pads are great.all modern sports tyres are good and provide tons of grip.

Buying experience: bought through a dealer,paid 3200.was incredibly original and low mileage[16000kms,10k miles],no probs with seller.

5 out of 5 gixxer 400.
13 January 2010 by motoxmad80

I had a 1993 plate gixxer 4. It was and still is the best handling bike Ive ever ridden. I currently own a zx636 A1P. I would p/x with sum pennys in an instant!! Ive had R6's,cbr 600, and nothing meets it for me personally. Obviously its a little 400 so the need to keep up the revs is a must if you wanna get anywhere, but I would sacrifice that for the ride and confidence it gives you which is fantastic.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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