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HomeZA BikersBike ReviewsSUZUKI GSX-S1000 - It’s A Gixxer At Heart

SUZUKI GSX-S1000 – It’s A Gixxer At Heart

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

So I got first dibs at riding the GSX-S1000 that Harry and I got to put together in our victorious fun build-off against our buddies from Dirt & Trail. I don’t think that Harry and Bjorn were showing me any kind of undue respect by giving me the first go on the naked Gixxer. On reflection, it was probably a nagging doubt as to whether we had tightened everything up adequately. They didn’t want to be the ones singing the old song, “You picked a bad time to leave me Loose Wheel”. Well, the fact that I am typing this is proof of the exemplary job that Harry and I did.

The heart of Suzuki’s naked litre bike is the tried, tested and much loved DOHC, 4-valve, 4-cylinder 4-pot motor that originally did duty in the legendary GSX-R K5. Riding the bike you are instantly reminded of what all the hype was about. Despite running the bike in, the benefits of the lovely K5 motor shine through.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

150 hp and 108 Nm of torque, 70% of which is available from 3,000 rpm, endow the bike with a seamless silky shove from the moment the clutch is out. Having also subsequently ridden the GT version of this bike for over 2,000 k’s, I can confirm that the fun continues all the way to redline. The three ride modes give varying degrees of urgency to the fly-by-wire throttle response. ‘A’ is just too snatchy, ‘C’ a tad lethargic but ‘B’ is the bee’s knees!

The chassis, as with the motor, is perfectly matched to the performance potential of the bike. Not overly stiff, which is a boon on our way less than perfect roads, it is well-damped and perfectly up to the task of containing the power. 120 mm of travel from the fully adjustable KYB USD fork is complimented by the 130 mm travel on the preload and rebound adjustable back shock.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Naked bikes need ‘pose value’. They are the prize fighters of the bike world. All their talents are bare and naked for all the world to see. The Gixxer S certainly looks the part. Broad shouldered around the 19-litre tank and narrow-hipped in the seating area, it has the street cred to go with its performance potential.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The 190/50×17 back wheel and 120/70×17 upfront compliment the muscular look, unlike the fellow that spent all his time in the gym on his upper body at the expense of his spindly pins. Completing the rakish look is a stacked LED headlight assembly, complimenting both form and function. The exhaust is a 4 into 2 into 1 which is beautifully integrated into the bike, exiting into a stubby and tidy tailpipe.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The riding position is sporty but comfortable, with adequate leg room as well as a not-too-hectic amount of lean to the wide and comfortable flat handlebars. This is a naked bike, so obviously, the ability to sustain high speeds is compromised. Having said that, it also makes it easier to stick to speed limits till the twisty fun bits start. Unlike sport bikes, you will not need the duties of your Chiropractor after extended saddle time.

Photo credit: Meredith Potgieter / ZA Bikers

Speaking saddle, the rider is on a reasonably comfortable, albeit firm perch. The same cannot, in all honesty, be said for the passenger accommodation. The tiny seat is made even tinier by the grab strap across the front. The fact is no one is likely to buy this bike for its long-distance two-up touring ability. A breakfast run blast or cruise to a local coffee shop is more what it is about.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Our bike is Glass Matte Mechanical Gray. We are so conditioned by traditional Gixxer blue, that any other colour needs some mental adjustment. As I have spent more time around the bike I have grown fond of the mechanical, almost industrial gray. This bike is a real urban brawler. Strong motor, good chassis and kick-ass looks. I am really looking forward to putting some quality kays on this beast! It makes an excellent cool summer commuter, giving plenty of airflow and sneaking through the traffic effortlessly. Even at running in revs, it dispenses with Boy Racer in his hot GTI without even trying.

That kind of sums it up for now. What we have here, in essence, is a naked GSX-R with a more usable riding position and generally more suitable demeanour for everyday duty. When you ride a bike daily, as opposed to as a “weekend warrior”, it needs to be pretty foible free. Really minor irritations can become a big deal for the everyday rider. On that score, the Suzuki GSX-S1000 has acquitted itself admirably to date. Let’s get the running-in done with so we can lean a bit harder on that brilliant motor. Watch this space…

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Suzuki GSX-S1000

For more information on the bike featured in this article, click on the link below…

2022

Suzuki GSX-S1000

Pricing From R225,900 (RRP)


Brand: Suzuki
Dave Cilliers
Dave Cilliers
My name is Dave Cilliers, from as far back as I can remember I have loved travel. Africa provides salve for the gypsy in my soul. My best trips are done travelling to unlikely places with unlikely vehicles, keeping it as simple and basic as possible.
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