In the past, I have not been a huge fan of Suzuki’s legendary Gixxers. I thought them to be mildly attractive and borderline commonplace. This was before I rode one, and the 2015 Suzuki GSX-R1000 is the bike that entirely changed my opinion. I am a young guy, but I can happily say now that I have been in love. The new and beautifully bold graphics, the curves of the tank, the edginess of the rear end, and even the key to the machine: Suzuki meticulously crafted every component of this vehicle to embody the essence of power. And damn, did they do a good job.
To start off, the GSX-R1000 turns heads. It was as if I was riding around the city on a majestic stallion, and everyone was asking me if they could pet it. If only I were so lucky to be the GSX-R1000, for the number of compliments I received on that bike eclipses that which I have received for myself, and for good reason; this bike is gorgeous. The 2015 model comes with new, bolder graphics that cast a shameful shadow on its predecessors. The overall look of the chassis has remained the same, but the graphics have improved the aesthetic feel of the bike greatly. The front headlight has been altered to have a darker tint than the 2014 one, further contributing to the bolder look of the new model. Straddling the bike is no exception in terms of maintaining that feel.
The GSX-R1000 is most definitely styled as a track bike: the handles are placed forward and quite low, the pegs are higher up and towards the rear, and the seat isn’t exactly a pillow. Every time I swung a leg over, it felt like I was riding to war, except, still, not without comfort. The seat and riding position are not nearly as uncomfortable as the others in its class; in fact, I could easily ride it for hours without much pain in my rear-end or lower-back. Still, it is perhaps not the best option for someone who regularly experiences back pain. The 17.4 L tank has a decent bit of girth, yet is quite comfortable to tighten your knees around.
With the stylishly bulky key in the ignition, the dash hums to life. The GSX-R1000’s dash includes some standard features such as a clock, reserve trip meter, engine/coolant temperature, and a dual-trip meter. It is also equipped with readouts designed specifically for racing, such as a lap timer, stopwatch, and gear indicator. All-in-all, the dash is informative and damn good-looking. An analog odometer proudly displays the GSX-R logo and the bike’s redline of 13,750RPM. And boy is this bike happy to rev. The 999cc 4-cylinder engine hidden inside the fairings is absolutely monstrous.
Suzuki designed the engine in efforts to optimize it for the racetrack, and the GSX-R1000 was constantly begging me – perhaps even commanding me – to take it to the track. The engine is modified from that of the GSX-S1000 and GSX-S1000F in that it is slightly more oversquare in its design. Combined with the 4-2-1 exhaust system, this means better low- and mid-range power, which translates to quicker and smoother pulling out of corners.
I can fully attest to this; the GSX-R1000 pulls smoothly and evenly throughout the entire rev-range, though it truly excels in the 10,000RPM and higher zone. This is where the scream of the engine charmed my heart and this machine made its way into my list of top three bikes I want to own. Unfortunately, seeing as how one can ride every legal speed in first gear on this bike, I did not get to push this bike to its full potential. Still, it was a blast to ride anywhere and everywhere.
Accelerating hard requires a decent amount of body weight on the front wheel, as it wants to rise up quite often. The electronically-controlled steering damper makes handling such situations a lot more worry-free. Shifting up and down was confidence-inspiring and seamless, and neutral was also always easy to find. As fast as this beast rides, it stops equally as fast; radial-mount Brembo monobloc calipers make the stopping distance of the GSX-R1000 phenomenally short. The 2015 model is also available with ABS, which was not previously available for the 2014 version.
Handling is as sharp as a knife’s edge at both low and high speeds; you tell this bike to dip and it dives. The amount of input it requires to turn is incredibly low, and it could teach a new rider a thing or two about looking where you want to go. Suspension is, consequently, quite stiff. The GSX-R1000 features fully-adjustable Big Piston Front forks (BPF) and road feedback is phenomenal. At all times, the rider is fully aware of what each wheel is doing and how much traction is available. Rear shock absorbers are also fully-adjustable in terms of rebound damping and preload.
The GSX-R1000 is available for $14,999, and current incentives offered by our friends at Suzuki Canada mean it can be had for as little as $14,099. This bike has completely changed the way I perceive the entire GSX-R line. It’s only a matter of time until I own one of these immaculate machines to boot around the track.