We’ll be riding the long-awaited new GSX-R1000 at its world launch at the Philip Island MotoGP circuit in Australia on Wednesday.
Suzuki’s flagship superbike was last updated in 2012m but since then the GSX-R1000 has fallen further behind the competiton. But the Japanese firm hopes that’s all in the past because the new GSX-R1000 has the power and technology to challenge the best.
Suzuki has reworked the GSX-R’s 999cc inline-four cylinder motor and increased power from 182bhp to 199bhp. Just like its rivals it now has ride-by-wire, but unlike any other superbike it boasts a new VVT system (Variable Valve Timing), which should give the 203kg missile strong power right across its rev range. The new motor is also 22mm shorter and 6.6mm shorter than before.
There will be two GSX-R1000 versions: standard and a high-spec R. Both share the same engine, with its staggered-length inlet trumpets, new aluminium chassis, brakes, IMU controlled 10-stage traction control, LCD dash, riding modes and cornering ABS. The R model will also have a quickshifter, autoblipper, Showa Balance Free forks and rear shock and a lightweight battery.
We were at Mallory Park last year when new BSB signing (and current British Superstock 1000 champ) Taylor Mackenzie tested the first new GSX-R1000 to arrive in the UK in road trim for the first time. He said: ‘It’s small and feels more like a 600, but the power is very similar to my old BMW S1000RR superstock bike.”
Ducati’s 1299 Panigale and the Yamaha R1 are currently the road-going superbikes to beat, but the Suzuki looks all set to give them a hard time when it arrives in the spring. And that’s not forgetting the new Blade, which is also a big leap forward over the old model, as MCN Road Tester Adam Child discovered at its launch at Portimao few weeks ago.
Check back here next week and on MCN’s social media channels to discover our first impressions and read the full test in the 15th February issue of MCN.
Aprilia RSV4 RF 201bhp, n/a kg
Versions: Just the top spec £19,999 RF
Updated for ’17. New Euro 4 spec machine has a tweaked engine, electronics, brakes, colour TFT dash and now comes with an autoblipper. Beautifully-balanced and easy to ride fast, the Aprilia is always at the superbike sharp end.
BMW S1000RR 199bhp, 208kg
Versions: One base version starting at £13,950. Goodies are extra.
Virtually unchanged for 2017 except for a Euro 4 spec motor and ABS Pro (as part of the optional Riding Modes Pro package). 7-stage DTC as standard and single seat are standard. The best combination of performance, practicality and comfort on road and track of all the 10000s.
Ducati 1299 Panigale 205bhp, 166.5kg (dry)
Versions: Standard (£17,999), S (£21,995)
MCN’s reigning superbike of the year. Other than an upgraded traction control system (DTC Evo) taken from last year’s limited edition Anniversario, the 2017 1299 Panigale is identical to last year’s machine. It’s tricky to ride fast, but when you get the hang of it is devastatingly quick…just ask Shakey.
Honda Fireblade 189bhp, 196kg
Versions: Standard (£15,225), SP (£19,125), SP2 (£TBA)
Updated, at last after all these years, the 2107 Fireblade doesn’t disappoint. Power is up to 189bhp, it’s 14kg lighter and for the first time it comes with electronic rider aids, including cornering ABS, traction control, riding modes and semi-active suspension (on the SP version).
Kawasaki ZX-10R 197bhp, 206kg
Versions: Standard (£14,149), RR (£16,249)
Launched last year, the Euro r friendly ZX-10R received a host of upgrades, including the latest IMU-controlled electronics, a quickshifter, Showa gas forks and more power (192bhp at the rear wheel on our dyno). It’s a smooth and unflustered on the road but lacks the sharpness of its rivals on track.
Yamaha R1 197bhp, 200kg
Versions: Standard (£15,599), R1M (£19,399)
Yamaha’s R1 has been right up there with the Ducati fighting for MCN superbike honours for the past two years. While the Panigale is a handful, the R1, with its peachy crossplane power delivery, race chassis and smooth electronics is a cinch to ride fast. Minor updates for 2017 include a Euro 4 spec motor.
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