At the business end of the bike are a pair of 46mm fully-adjustable forks keeping the front firmly on the Tarmac. It has 320mm discs. Suzuki says the Tokico set-up up front is the same as that used on the GSX-R1000.
Rear suspension is a pair of piggy-back, fully-adjustable shocks that are no more, or less, than you’d expect for a motorcycle of this stature. There’s also a 190-section rear tyre, and while that may not suit the retro theme, it provides ample grip and a more menacing rear view. The wheel is held in place by a cast alloy swingarm, rather than the tubular steel design you might expect to find on this type of bike.
The riding position when compared to, say, a Bandit 1200, is squarely upright. The saddle is comfortable and all the switchgear and control levers are within easy reach. Holding it stationary, it certainly feels a little heavier than anything else in its class. But once you’re on the move, you’re too busy hanging on to the bars to worry about the physical dimensions.
Low down urge separates the Suzuki GSX1400 from its competitors. 93ftlb at 5000rpm is more than impressive – it gives the bike a real rhino feel. Tiny throttle movements equal serious acceleration. Suzuki’s got a long history of brawny big-bore air-cooled in-line fours developed over the last 30 years and the GSX1400 is a peach.
If I have to find fault with the GSX1400, I’d point to the mechanical noise of the oil-cooled engine. That’s not likely to bother most hard-core musclebike fans who like to hear the sound of the beast coming at them from all quarters. But I’d expect a little more aural refinement.
Reader question: Why are my Suzuki GSX1400 downpipes glowing?
Q: I have a Suzuki GSX1400 and I have just fitted a four-into-one Akrapovic exhaust system. When I start it up and it’s ticking over, my exhaust headers glow bright red. Could you tell me why this is happening as I didn’t have this problem with the original exhaust?
Gsxken, MCN forums
A: Aftermarket exhausts are often single-skinned, while standard pipes have a double skin, which slows down heat conduction. But if the pipes are glowing red hot in daylight without the engine being worked hard (ticking over) then that would indicate that the mixture is very lean and you could do some damage to the motor if you ride it in that condition. The bike needs setting up on a dyno to adjust the mixture correctly.
Well bolted together but can suffer from corrosion if ridden through winter and not cosetted. A few bikes suffered leaking shocks but replacements aren’t expensive. Most Suzuki GSX1400's tend to be well cared for sunny Sunday toys.
If you like the looks there’s little to touch the Suzuki GSX1400. Yamaha’s XJR1300 is similar but smaller and lacks the presence. Suzuki’s own Bandit GSF1200 is cheaper and more practical but arriving on one just isn’t the occasion it is on the GSX1400. Add a modest fairing and you’ve got a capable all round bike.
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The Suzuki GSX1400 has huge underseat storage – one of the best on any bike with 11 litres of secure space. Fuel gauge and twin trips are welcome in a class that often sees two traditional clocks as all that’s required. Official engine bars for the K2, K3 and K4 Suzuki GSX1400s are available, as is a fly screen.