Looking back over the last 15 years, here's how to buy a Suzuki GSX-R1000.
What we said in 2012...
“The GSX-R was already an exceptional bike with a cult image and deep history. But with this evolution Suzuki has simply rectified the model’s weak points to bring it back into contention on the road. The end result is that, in the real world, the big GSX-R is even more of an exceptional road bike. Loads of mid-range power, the quality suspension giving masses of feel and inspiring confidence, all make the GSX-R really easy to ride.”
What’s it like now?
There is no ignoring the GSX-R1000’s significance, it led the dawn of the litre-bike era and its heritage is ingrained into all British sportsbike riders.
At the turn of the millennium the big Gixer’s performance and styling put it light years ahead of its rivals, but these days it’s a little behind the tech curve. Machines like Kawasaki’s ZX-10R and the BMW S1000RR are lighter, more powerful and have sophisticated electronic GSX-R could boast was three-way riding modes and ABS. But all that technology comes at a price and, if we’re honest, does it really make that much of a difference on the road?
Peterborough Suzuki dealer Wheels Motorcycles (www.wheelsmotorcycles. co.uk) loaned us this standard 2015 model, which is up for sale for just £8600, and straight away the outgoing GSX-R reminds us that it’s packing an awful lot of bang for the buck.
At its 2012 launch, high-compression pistons and revised cam profiles ensured this evolution of GSX-R1000 had the strongest mid-range of all the litre-bike class (86ftlb @ 8000rpm) without sacrificing a smidge of its claimed 182bhp peak power. It’s an engine that definitely gets your attention, producing a massive wave of torque that provides amazing flexibility, ideal for blasting between B-road bends, but there’s still that top-end rush that’s so unmistakably GSX-R.
The riding position is spacious and roomy, in fact, allied with the smooth suspension and endless rush of power, the whole package comes together as if it were conspiring to propel you faster and faster. The Showa Big Piston Fork front end on this particular model has been beautifully set up and oozes confidence in the Bridgestone S20 tyres.
For such a physically large and roomy motorcycle, the 2015 GSX-R1000 dances through bumpy B-road bends – set free by the weight loss gifted from the lightweight single-sided exhaust – better than any of its 1000cc rivals. So, while the departing evolution of Gixer Thou may not be the most sophisticated sportsbike, it definitely delivers on-road performance that’s up there with the best of them.
Any obvious faults?
Even with close scrutiny, there is no evidence of neglect on this 6400- mile example, a credit to the previous owner. Although Suzukis can often suffer furring, corrosion and thinning paint, this bike shows none of those weaknesses, even in places like you expect it such as behind the headers.
Any worthwhile extras?
The well set-up suspension is a joy on even the most pitted of Fenland backroads and the Bridgestone S20 tyres, fitted as a replacement to the OE Bridgestone BT016 Pro, boost the bike’s stability and handling characteristics throughout the speed range. A typical used machine will feature a tail tidy and double-bubble screen, and ideally the stock parts should be included in a sale.
It’s often said that the GSX-R1000 lags behind its rivals in terms of its outright sporting potential, and perhaps when measuring tenths of seconds in a head- to-head track shoot-out this is true. But as a sportsbike on the road it delivers every time. And let’s not forget the price, you can bag a 2013 one-owner GSX-R1000 for just under £7k.
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