This is no soggy, soft sports tourer, the GSX-SF flicks through bends like a well dialled-in race bike. It’s precise, planted in corners and uncannily stable at speed. There’s fully adjustable Kayaba suspension up front, running slightly more fork oil and a different shim stack to that of the naked version in order to compensate for the fairing and also give the GSX-SF a sportier ride. At the rear a preload and rebound adjustable monoshock links to a current-model GSX-R1000 swingarm to help you hook up the 145bhp from that stonking GSX-R1000 K5-derived engine.
Suzuki have retuned the legendary, long-stroke inline four from the 2005-2008 series GSX-R1000 with revised camshafts that are more suited to road use, as well as new lightweight. And in 2017 the bike got 10bhp more and torque was increased to 80ftlb.
The GSX-SF’s ‘crouching beast’ inspired looks aren’t as dynamic as the range-topping Gixer, but it’s the only area where the GSX-S1000F falls short. The build quality appears to be excellent, chunky and robust. It has a slightly Honda-esque feel to it – chunky and well-made but not particularly inspiring. The K5 engine is a well proven unit, so reliability shouldn’t be an issue.
When you consider that the new GSX-SF is £1000 cheaper than the flagship GSX-R1000 superbike, plus you get the added bonus of traction control too, it makes real sense for riders looking for a seriously useable, comfortable sportsbike.
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With flat bars 136mm higher than the GSX-R’s clip-ons, and footpegs that are 24mm lower and further forward, the SF’s riding position is a lot more upright and roomy than the race-bred GSX-R1000. Full LCD dash runs the full complement of features: full gauge, gear position indicator, trip meters, traction control level plus live and average mpg readings. There’s also slipper clutch was a welcome addition when the bike was updated in 2017.