Gixer fights for its crown

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The GSX-R1000K4 was the first of the 2004 superbikes to arrive in the UK and it’s ready to defend its mantle of ‘best 1000cc sports bike’ against scorching new tackle from Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki.

There are no mechanical changes to the GSX-R this year, just new colours and a list of bolt-on accessories (see below), but then it didn’t need updating – it’s simply amazing already.

The GSX-R1000 is currently the lightest superbike – and weighing a Kylie-skinny 168kg dry will remain so against its new 2004 competition. Mix in an engine that unleashes 146 angry horses through the rear tyre and you have one very potent machine. Acceleration is ferocious and unrelenting all the way to the red line.

Despite all that mind-altering speed, the motor is actually very user-friendly. Power delivery is smooth and the throttle response is perfect. For normal everyday riding it is possible to forget the lower gears, snick into sixth, and let the Suzuki’s big mid-range power (available from as little as 4000rpm) and light weight provide you with all the forward urge you need.

With its beefy tank and wide fairing, the GSX-R feels a lot bigger than its weight suggests – even when on the move. But once you become familiar with it, it starts to feel nimble, solid and confidence-inspiring.

The only disappointing aspect of the Suzuki is its brakes. Despite using the latest radially-mounted four-piston Tokico calipers the action lacks feel and they need a big squeeze. After 10 hard laps or so on track they fade too.

To read the full review of the 2004 GSX-R1000 click the link at the top of the page

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff