The cast aluminium frame is actually lighter than Suzuki’s road-going superbike, but it has a longer wheelbase and lazier steering geometry for stability on the road. The aluminium swingarm is lifted straight from the GSX-R1000. Kerb weight is 207kg and 209kg with ABS. The GSX-S1000 is agile, confidence-inspiring, stable and the Dunlop D214s offers good grip for fast road riding. Forks are 43mm fully adjustable KYB items, but the single shock is adjustable for rebound and preload only.
There are no problems with ride quality, but it doesn’t offer the plush, sophisticated ride of more expensive suspension set-ups. Brembos are lifted from the GSX-R1000 and provide ample stopping power, but lack bite.
Powered by the now almost mythical long-stroke GSX-R1000 K5-K8 motor, Suzuki has made a host of detail changes to make it even smoother and more tractable, including 3% lighter pistons and rings than the original, re-profiled inlet and exhaust cams, a new airbox, 4-2-1 exhaust, curved radiator and long-nose 10-hole injector nozzles. The motor gurgles and growls through its rev-range, and has a long spread of power and a decent top end hit. But the power delivery is snatchy from form a closed throttle at low speeds.
This was the second Suzuki road bike to be fitted with traction control – the V-Strom being the first. TC has three stages and can be switched of completely. Analysing data from wheel-speed, throttle, crank and gear position sensors, the ECU makes 250 calculations a second. It retards the ignition and closes the secondary butterflies to control wheel slip.
And in 2017, the GSX-S got another 10bhp and more torque (up to 80ftlb at 9500rpm).
There are lots of nice touches, like the chassis and brakes from the GSX-R1000, traction control and the full LCD dash. The mechanicals are all tried-and-tested so won’t give you a problem, but Suzuki paint finishes can be notoriously thin. You’ll need to pamper it if you plan to ride through winter.
The GSX-S1000 is cheaper than its Japanese rivals, like the Honda CB1000R and Kawasaki Z1000 and much more affordable than the likes of the BMW S1000R, Aprilia Tuono V4R and KTM 1290 Super Duke R.
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It’s the first full LED dash fitted to a Suzuki. It features all the information you need for the road, including rpm, speed, TC information, a gear position, clock, fuel gauge and trips. A comfy riding position is topped off by a set of tapered aluminium Renthal Fatbars. But the Suzuki is built down to a price and doesn’t come with all the latest electronic rider aids, fully-adjustable suspension or current-generation sports tyres.
A slipper clutch was added in 2017 to make downshifts smoother.