THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN…
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!
HONESTLY, AFTER THE FIRST FEW LAPS I DIDN’T LIKE IT VERY MUCH!
As first dates go, this was a belter!