Making first contact with the Suzuki GSX-S1000GX | Is there life after adventure bikes for Michael?

After more than a decade riding adventure bikes, my transition to Suzuki’s new GSX-S1000GX has been a relatively simple and satisfying one. In terms of what the bike can do, other than go off-road, it appears to be every bit as versatile as some of the flagship adventure bikes I’ve enjoyed in the past

Probably the single biggest difference is the engine. Instead of grunty twins, the Suzuki is blessed with the descendant of one of the most stand-out inline fours ever to grace a motorcycle. Originally making its debut in the revered GSX-R1000 K5, the GX’s derivative may have put its roots down 20 years ago, but this oldie is a goldie.

The engine likes to be revved so I’m having to re-calibrate my mind to that. My initial concern was that I’d end up going too fast everywhere. But while I’ve had to catch myself from edging into licence endangering speeds, it hasn’t been as big an issue as I thought.

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX long-term test bike left side

The main reason for this is that the GX is quite low geared. With 149bhp and 78lb.ft, it feels like it could easily handle higher gearing. The plus side is instant acceleration pretty much regardless of gear, along with the fact you can rev the bike hard through the gears without it getting out of hand.

The flip side, of course, is when it comes to fast lane motorway cruising and I really thought I’d be constantly searching for an extra gear, but that hasn’t been the case. Could it handle higher gearing? Yes 100%, but with an engine as smooth and rev happy as this, it’s not caused the problems I’d initially expected. But I can’t believe sitting high in its rev range will do much to help fuel consumption, so I’ll be keeping an eye on the mpg.

With long-distance trips planned, the only change I’ve made so far is to the screen. Disappointingly, the screen isn’t adjustable without the need to reach for some tools. And even then it’s a ten-minute job, as four bolts along with their associated rubber grommets need to be removed and repositioned.

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX long-term test bike screen

I’ve now gone up to the highest setting which does a decent job of deflecting the wind. The wind noise itself is still surprisingly intrusive, so I need to experiment with a different helmet as well as the screen position itself.

So – so far, so good. I have a trip planned up the Lake District so that will be a solid test for the touring, comfort and scratching credentials.