First ride: Suzuki GSX-S1000FA Tour Edition
GSX-S1000FA Tour Edition Specification
Engine 999cc (73.4 x 59.0mm)
16v inline four
Power 145bhp @ 10,000rpm
Torque 78ftlb @ 9500rpm
Capacity 17 litres
MPG 38.7 (as tested)
Seat height 810mm
Electronics ABS, three-way
Colours Blue or red and black
MCN tested Suzuki’s GSX-S1000FA back in July 2015, and we called it a ‘true road-going sportsbike in every sense.’ But there was one gripe: the FA lacked hard luggage and the possibility of hooking soft luggage on, too, ruining its potential for being the ultimate practical sportsbike Suzuki were suggesting it could be.
But they reckon they’ve remedied that for 2016 with the GSX-S1000FA Tour Edition. Put simply, Suzuki have strapped a tankbag, tailpack, taller screen, heated grips and a graphics kit to the standard FA. So we nabbed this new ‘touring’ model for a 250-mile blast to check out the differences.
Settle into the comfy cockpit and it all feels very misleading. My back is nearly straight with a relaxed reach to the raised, fat Renthal bars. The footpeg position is lower than the GSX-R’s and gentle on my sensitive knees. You get the impression that it’s going to be a soft and sedate ride. But fire it up and the oh-so-sweet exhaust note from the stubby end can and potent motor quickly reminds you not to be fooled by the relaxed ergonomics.
The FA is rapid. The Kayaba suspension is well set up, firm and planted as it negotiates bends with deft precision. The Brembos are powerful with plenty of bite and excellent stopping power, complimented by a Bosch ABS system, which can be switched off completely. The same goes for the three-level traction control, while the tractable engine pumps out 145bhp with a pleasing bang of torque in the mid-range to punch you between corners.
'It's an all-round win as a do-it all sportsbike'
It’s agile, nimble, fast and handles, which makes it all the more surprising when cruising along the motorway. It shouldn’t be this good, yet the long straights are effortless. The front fairing – coupled with the tall screen – does an effective job of deflecting windblast off my chest, without buffeting my head around. Unfortunately, the official Suzuki heated grips are sub-standard. Despite putting them on to the highest setting they take a long time to heat up, and are lukewarm at best.
But on a cheerier note, the luggage is excellent. The 15-litre tankbag is fitted using a quick release mechanism attached to the fuel cap, so it never comes into contact with the tank. It’s easy to clip on and off and is covered in pockets. The clever, expandable 12-litre tailpack is simple to take on and off by slipping the straps over the pillion pegs and hooking a pocket over the tip of the pillion seat. The process takes seconds.
All in (including the graphics kit) if the extras were bought separately they would total £696 – but the Tour Edition is priced at exactly £300 more than the standard FA model, effectively putting £396 back in your pocket. It’s certainly worth it… despite the grip gripes.
The riding position was perfectly comfortable after a 100-mile non-stop ride. If I had to pick fault, the pegs are a little vibey and the throttle response can be a little jerky for a touring machine. But overall, Suzuki have treated the FA to a host of much-needed touring accessories for a very decent price. It’s an all-round win for those looking for a do-it-all sportsbike.