1. It is extremely quick and powerful
This new Suzuki is quick. This simply means it is not only slightly faster than your trusted old motorbike, but it is right up there with the ZX, R1, 10R and the 1299 Panigale. This is actually not that surprising since it is equipped with a 199 bhp engine which is housed in a newly-designed shrunken case.
But even more remarkably, there is a rush of power across the entire rev range. This is due to the new broad power system by Suzuki which comprises of secondary injectors, dual-stage inlet trumpets, brand new exhaust valves and, naturally, the eagerly-awaited, newly-designed VVT system.
The motor of the new bike combines the high-end rush of a modern-day superbike and the grunt of the retro GSX-R1000, a precise throttle, and a pure power curve. Think sleek ZX-10R with extra mid-range bite.
The bike packs so much zip that you can negotiate corners at a fast pace, and this is great when riding on the road where torque without high revs is important.
2. It is equipped with a highly-efficient gearbox
The new, close-ratio, six-speed cassette gearbox cuts through cogs using blade-like accuracy. It is efficiently aided by a super-smooth electronic-based quick shifter and an automatic blipper system. You can easily shift the gear pattern for riding on track ( called the 'race shift' which means holding up one and five down)by putting the gear linkage on reverse.
3. It has ultra-modern electronics
There are other gadgets in the toy box of the GSX-R besides the shifter and the blipper. Every silicone gizmo has been installed including a futuristic dashboard with all kinds of information, ride-by-wire, anti-stall (which monitors rpm and makes an adjustment when you ride slowly or pull away) and a 3-way riding mode selector.
A six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) controls the launch, wheelie, and the ten-stage traction control. The system is as good as the ones used on the ZX-10R, 1299 Panigale, RSV4 RF and the R1.
Traction control maintains you safely into a slide or spin when you step on the gas. Open the throttle wider and you go forward smoothly without splutters or electronic cuts. It is easy to get accustomed to the bike and lean on after just a couple of laps.
The same case applies to the wheelie control. It gently reduces power as the front end of the bike lifts after hard acceleration. This saves you the trouble of having to reach over the front wheel as you try to control its massive power. And if you are not partial to electronics you can turn off the wheelie and traction control.
4. It corners exceptionally well
The GSX-R1000 handled reasonably well, but the swing arm in Suzuki's new bike is longer –and this means sharper handling and a new compact beam frame made of aluminum.
The new balance-free light extra light rear shock (like the one in the ZX-10R) and Showa-made fork provide a satin-smooth ride and much better grip. However, the regular set-up is a bit soft and therefore more suited for riding on the road. You have to tweak it if you wish to ride on the circuit.
5. It is destined to be an excellent road bike
With its slinky bodywork and small chassis, sitting on the new 1000 Suzuki feels eerily like the GSX-R600/750.The short and stubby riding position is classic GSX-R. However, taller riders have sufficient legroom and the seat feels more comfortable than that of the ZX-10R or the R1.The bike has new running lights, LED headlight, and redone switchgear. This complements the classy dashboard and makes it very easy to shift modes and various settings while on the go.
One potential reason why it may not be
The steering feels on the heavy side when riding at high speed. This could be corrected by using more responsive suspension settings that are suitable for stickier tires. This is where a more pointy, stiffly-set superbike such as the R1, RSV4 RF, and 1299 Panigale have crisper handling while on the track.
The ABS slightly affects the riding quality on track at maximum performance. It is not possible to switch it off but we attempted to ride when the system was disconnected to find out what the brakes are able to do.
With larger discs (10 millimeters extra to make it 320 millimeters) and modified Brembo caliper settings, the stopping power is robust, but a bit of feel is lacking and some fade is apparent after a couple of hard laps. This seems to be a characteristic of the latest braking systems from Japan. However, the brakes of the GSX-R pack more punch than those on the ZX-10R and R1.
Save yourself three grand by going basic and opting for the new GSX-R1000
If shelling out 16 grand feels a bit too expensive, the company will issue a somewhat more basic bike, the GSX-R1000, from March. This will be some two months prior to the GSX-R1000R reaching the dealers. Priced at £13, 249, it will be the most affordable of all the superbikes. The great news is that its features are not really that different from those of the R model.
Instead, you get big piston forks designed by Showa and a regular shock in place of the balance-free ones. You also forgo a blipper/shifter. In addition, it lacks the lightweight battery and top yoke, black LCD dashboard display, and the LED position lights.
Apart from that, you get the same chassis, engine, the entire suite of electronically-operated rider modes (without cornering ABS) and all other aids. The bike actually weighs one kilogram less and costs about three grand less.