SUZUKI GSX-S1000 (2021 - on) Review
- Economical alternative to more exotic super nakeds
- Engine still based on excellent K5 GSX-R1000 lump
- Only £300 more than previous version
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Suzuki GSX-S1000 has been a big success due its blend of ability, spec and value and this new, significantly updated version at only £300 more, is a worthy successor.
Its K5-derived powertrain and impressively competent chassis are improved and make for a great road bike and its electronics, quickshifter and new dash are welcome upgrades.
The new look is a step forward, too, but likely divisive. Best of all though is its value. This is a substantial, enjoyable, 1000cc naked that costs only slightly more than the more middleweight Yamaha MT-09SP and significantly undercuts all Japanese, let alone European, rivals. At that price, who cares about any quibbles?
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Although the GSX-S’s riding position has been tweaked, with bars that are 23mm wider and 20mm nearer the rider for a more upright riding position, although it’s still on the sporty side of neutral, its chassis is barely changed – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The old GSX-S already came with impressively multi-adjustable suspension for such a ‘budget’ bike, and this unchanged bar some revised settings. The big Brembo radial brakes are carried over, too, and provide powerful, classy stopping power.
While the tyres are now new Dunlop Roadsmart 2s. Handling is sharp enough yet stable; ride is OK although without the cultured class of better equipped (and significantly more expensive) ‘super nakeds’ and overall its behaviour is significantly more cultured than its budget price suggests.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Smooth, grunty, responsive transverse four is still based on the ‘old’, long-stroke GSX-R1000 GSX-R1000 K5 motor but has had a hefty makeover.
New cams, valve springs, exhaust, revised injection, new airbox and more both help it become Euro5 compliant and gives a subtle boost to both peak power (2bhp extra) and midrange.
Aided by three switchable power modes, new standard quickshifter/autoblipper and improved slipper clutch it may be ‘only’ 150bhp compared to some £15K+ ‘super nakeds’ but is perfect in this form, exquisitely responsive, tractable and flexible, more than quick enough for the street and provides and endearing heart for a great real world, road bike.
It sounds better than ever, too. The only fly in the ointment is worsened economy – down from 50+ to a claimed 46mpg – although due to the larger tank range isn’t affected.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Quality and spec has taken a subtle but significant step up and the new GSX-S’s core mechanicals (engine, frame, suspension etc) are all refinements of the old bike rather than all-new, so there should be few reliability concerns.
That said, the changes to the engine are many, there’s the new ‘SIRS’ electronics suite, new ride-by-wire and more which, although already featuring on Suzuki’s latest V-Strom and Hayabusa, has yet to get extensive mileage under its belt.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
In a world seemingly awash with ultra-exotic, £15K+, 170bhp super-nakeds, the £10K, 150bhp GSX-S has always stood out as value-packed, real-world alternative – and the same is true with this new version.
Although featuring all-new, bang-up-to-date styling, right down to its MotoGP-style ‘winglets’ and gaining performance, electronics, a quickshifter and more, this new GSX-S is only £300 more than the old version.
If you like the new, more aggressive looks – and so far they’re proving a bit ‘Marmite – you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Some will argue that the GSX-S has been left behind by the likes of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 or Kawasaki Z H2 with their massive power, the Aprilia Tuono V4 or KTM 1290 Super Duke R with their massive torque and razor-sharp chassis or the BMW S1000R and Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS with their cutting edge tech.
Watch some of the hottest super naked competition compared by Michael Neeves here...
The old GSX-S was always, despite some quality cycle parts and decent performance, conspicuously budget-orientated and affordability remains at the core of this new version.
That said, spec, equipment and more has taken a notable step up. The new ‘face’ is dominated by those twin stacked LED headlights, with LEDs elsewhere, too.
There’s an uprated, more sophisticated and stylish digital dash (although it’s still an LCD rather than TFT design), finishes and detailing are improved and the new GSX-S also gains Suzuki’s ‘SIRS’ (Suzuki Intelligent Ride System) electronics suite.
The system made its debut on the latest V-Strom and Hayabusa – although being an ‘affordable naked’ means the GSX-S gets the budget version with no IMU so no cornering traction/ABS etc.
Even so, comprising five-way traction, quickshifter, ‘Easi-start’, ‘low rpm assist’ and three riding modes it’s decent for the price and probably enough for most.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled transverse four|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm inverted KYB forks, fully-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, preload and rebound adjustable|
|Front brake||2x310mm discs Brembo four-piston radial calipers, ABS|
|Rear brake||240mm disc, single-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70x17|
|Rear tyre size||190/50x17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£9,900 - £11,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||150 bhp|
|Max torque||79.6 ft-lb|
|Top speed||145 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||194 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2015 - Suzuki GSX-S1000 launched as naked streetfighter version of the GSX-R1000 sportsbike. The engine was taken from a ten-year-old version of the GSX-R and is tuned for torque and useability rather than power.
- 2021 - First major update since the bike's launch.
In 2019, Suzuki reimagined a classic with a modern version of the Katana based on the previous GSX-S1000.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSX-S1000 (2021 - on)
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