Long-term Suzuki GSX-S1000GX review update two | The hits and misses after 2350 miles

With more than 2350 miles completed, Michael has got to grips with the new Suzuki GSX-S1000GX – so what does he like and what’s left him feeling a bit underwhelmed?

Engine – Hit

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX engine

The 1000cc inline four motor that sits in the GSX definitely falls into the category of ‘old, but gold’. Nearly two decades since it made its debut, it’s the engine that defined litre sportsbikes when it powered the company’s landmark GSX-R1000 K5 back in 2005.

Silky smooth and linear, it’s a different animal to the big V-twin and parallel twin bikes I’ve grown used to over the past ten years. But I love its willingness to rev, the way it digs in and how the GSX flies like a superbike when the needle approaches and exceeds 8000rpm. It sounds good too, as you would expect, but I also like the fact that it’s not overly noisy.

Gearbox – Hit

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX gear shift

While the engine may be old school, the gearbox and accompanying quickshifter and auto-blipper feel modern. It’s lower geared than you would expect and due to the healthy amount of torque (78lb.ft @ 9250rpm) you end up changing up through the gearbox rapidly.

The gear lever operation is slick, light and combined with the well dialled in electronic cut, every gear change is a pleasure – taking minimal time to complete and rewarding you with yet more effortless acceleration. 

Comfort – Hit

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX seat

Having done a couple of hefty trips – the Lake District and a run through France to Northern Spain, I’ve done serious hours in the saddle and rate this as one of the most comfortable bikes I’ve travelled on for a long time.

The seat is soft, yet supportive and although it’s not overly wide it doesn’t seem to affect comfort levels. Although my legs are more bent than they were last year when I ran the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R, it hasn’t been the negative in terms of my knees hurting. I actually believe that my legs being bent in turn reduces weight on the seat. 

Screen – Miss

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX screen

Given the intended use of the Suzuki as a crossover sports-touring bike, the fact that the screen isn’t easily adjustable is disappointing. While it does have three positions, it can’t be adjusted on the fly – in fact I’d say you need between five and ten minutes to change it.

Saying that, since my first long trip where I put the screen in the highest position I haven’t felt the need to touch it again. There’s no buffeting, but the level of wind noise remains high.

Electronics – Miss

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX switchgear

While the electronics that control the quickshifter are hard to fault, the fuel maps and cruise control feel dated. Run in the highest power ‘A’ fuel map the throttle is jerky, making it hard to manage the initial tap. I now run it in the smoother ‘B’ setting.

The cruise control, while easy to operate, feels crude when it comes to adjusting your speed. It’s not an adaptive/radar system so you need to be able to adjust your speed smoothly. Sadly this is not something it manages.

Creature comforts – Miss

Suzuki GSX-S1000GX heated grip

It’s a bit lacking in places. While things like the fact it doesn’t have any cubbyhole or storage sounds like a first world problem – I found out that it’s actually a major inconvenience when it comes to storing your toll ticket and bank card on French autoroutes.

There’s also no centrestand, which makes oiling your chain on a big trip, not impossible, but certainly more difficult. You can add one at a price of £470 along with heated grips, but they’ll cost you £300.