Fast Bikes - - LONGTERMERS -

It’s been a bit of a long wait for the new longter­mer this year as, like many bikes, they’ve been com­ing into the UK in a tardy fash­ion in 2017. But, fi­nally, the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R is here! For any­one won­der­ing where the Yamaha MT-10 has gone, fret not, I still have her for a lit­tle while and you’ll be able to watch the con­clu­sion of our ad­ven­ture on­line via our YouTube chan­nel, web­site and Face­book out­lets.

But, on to the Suzuki! Can I be just a teeny tiny bit dis­ap­pointed with the colour scheme on it? Ac­tu­ally it’s pretty fly, just a lit­tle bit anonymous as black bikes some­times can be. I ac­tu­ally adore the Mo­toGP rep’ colour-ways it comes in and had been se­cretly hop­ing that’s what would be com­ing our way. Well, never mind, luck­ily for me I don’t care too much what a bike looks like so long as she rides well! How­ever, I was go­ing to have to wait to do that, too.

The bike ar­rived on the eve of this year’s SBOTY test which you can read about ear­lier in this very is­sue. As you can see, she did pretty well!

But the first thing I got to do was swap out the stock tyres with the Bridge­stone R10s and then sling her on the JHS dyno. Just a sliver un­der 172bhp may not sound like it’ll blow doors off, but the torque is pretty de­cent and Suzy has a secret weapon in her ar­moury that makes up for any deficit in power. Ac­tu­ally she has three – ex­cel­lent gear ra­tios and that VVT valve tech­nol­ogy al­lied to a bril­liantly ac­tu­ated ex­haust-valve sys­tem, which means she can keep up or out­ac­cel­er­ate nearly ev­ery­thing else out there. Not that I’d found that out per­son­ally at that point, of course.

So, not a dyno buster and nowhere near as pow­er­ful as the best Euro 4 litre bikes, but I was still very much look­ing for­ward to get­ting her out around Por­ti­mao. In fact, it was the se­cond bike I rode there. And, if I’m be­ing com­pletely hon­est, for the first few laps I didn’t like it very much! Noooo!

The R10 tyres ap­peared to be too much for the stock sus­pen­sion setup and it was bounc­ing around the place, and the brakes were back to the bar after just four laps. How­ever, the engine was amaz­ing. Not so much the top-end but the low to midrange surge was so de­li­cious it al­most came with its own taste, and very tasty it was too! But then the faster and harder I pushed it, it started to come alive, it re­ally re­sponds to a lot more in­put and ag­gres­sion and by the end of my first stint I knew Suzuki had nailed a bril­liant comeback at the first at­tempt.

After that I barely had any time on her, as the filthy tart let one bloke after an­other rinse the drink out of her, lap­ping it up metaphor­i­cally and fig­u­ra­tively. Is this what it’s like for blokes who get off on see­ing their Doris railed by other peo­ple? Be­cause it bloody well felt like it!

As you’ll have seen she breezed through to the top three and a fresh set of slicks, and there­after I took her out again. It still loved a bit of a bounce with the daft grip lev­els from slicks, but it was truly epic. Apart from the brakes, though, which means my very first port of call will be fresh brake pads. I know the prob­lem likely lies deeper with the mas­ter-cylin­der, but ef­fec­tive pads will at least give me a tem­po­rary boost.

The only other prob­lem is she’s been re­turned to me on slicks. I’m not sure which way I’ll turn for tyres, but will make a choice soon so I can start rack­ing up the miles and, doubt­less, the smiles. Once I wash all that SBOTY multi-man drib­ble stains that is!


As first dates go, this was a bel­ter!

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