Suzuki’s GSX R1000 has been out of the spot­light, out­classed by sharper, smarter ri­vals. No more. Say hello to their all-new 2017 su­per­bike

BIKE (UK) - - CONTENTS - By Mike Ar­mitage Pho­tog­ra­phy Suzuki

Yes, it's got trac­tion con­trol, modes and flash­ing lights. Suzuki's new flag­ship also brings gen­uine en­gi­neer­ing and en­gine cun­ning, how­ever. This is big.

WE DON’T HAVE things that are just ‘new’ any­more. Oh no. When some­thing is up­dated it sim­ply has to be re­ferred to as ‘all-new’. Doesn’t mat­ter if it’s a lightly spruced bike, a mo­bile phone with more func­tions or the next run of a tele­vi­sion se­ries – it’s got to have the ‘all’ pre­fix. In the case of Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 the term is more than de­served, how­ever. It might not be a vis­ual revo­lu­tion but it’s new from slimline nose to rocket launcher can. You can count the num­ber of sig­nif­i­cant parts that it shares with the out­go­ing GSX-R1000 on the fin­gers of no hands. We saw it this time last year, of course. The ‘pro­to­type’ was wheeled out at ma­jor shows, in­clud­ing Mo­tor­cy­cle Live, and there were noises about a launch. Then it all got blurred. There was con­fu­sion over a re­lease date. It might be spring. Then it was go­ing to be a 2017 model, re­leased in the sum­mer. Then it all went dis­ap­point­ingly quiet. The wait has been worth it, mind. The new GSX-R is not only a def­i­nite, cer­tain, com­ing-soon model for next year, it’s also much changed from the con­cept shown last year. About the only thing the en­gine has in com­mon with the out­go­ing bike is its in­line four ar­range­ment. There’s a wider bore, shorter stroke and 1000 more revs, fin­ger fol­low­ers rather than bucket and shims, and a heady 13.2:1 com­pres­sion ra­tio. And, us­ing tech from their Mo­togp race bike, the new GSX-R has vari­able valve tim­ing too, along with ride-by-wire throt­tle

‘There’s much more go­ing on here than new elec­tron­ics’

con­trol, ex­haust valves in the head­ers’ bal­ance pipes. No power fig­ure yet, but we’re told to ex­pect around 200bhp. Elec­tronic man­age­ment al­lows a gid­dy­ing ar­ray of wid­gets. There’s ten-level trac­tion con­trol, three modes and ABS, and a widescreen dig­i­tal dis­play car­ry­ing end­less data, in­clud­ing gear po­si­tion, trac­tion set­ting, fuel info and ev­ery­thing else. The alu­minium twin-spar frame is new, with the ex­pected ‘op­ti­mised rigid­ity’. How­ever it’s also 10% lighter and 20mm slim­mer. New swingarm and wheels, too. Sus­pen­sion is Showa and sim­i­lar to that of the de­part­ing ver­sion, with their big pis­ton front fork. No chas­sis ge­om­e­try info yet. Maybe they’re still rid­ing round suck­ing wind, rub­bing chins and ar­gu­ing over last-minute tweaks. Not enough? Fear not, there’s also a GSX-R1000R. En­gine spec is the same, how­ever it uses Showa’s plush ‘bal­ance free’ forks and shock, and adds launch con­trol, cor­ner­ing ABS and a quick­shifter (for both up and down changes). Natty LED strips above the air in­takes, too. It’s easy to see the new elec­tron­ics and de­cide the GSX-R is now like a Kawasaki ZX-10R or Yamaha R1. But there’s more go­ing on. If the vari­able tim­ing de­liv­ers on its prom­ise (see box-out, next page) this en­gine could mean the Suzuki has the kind of im­pact made by the first GSX-R1000 in 2001 and the le­gendary K5. Prices should be avail­able by Mo­tor­cy­cle Live. Ex­pect the GSX-R1000R to be in the ball­park of the ZX-10R, and the cheaper base ver­sion to be a se­ri­ous propo­si­tion.

New large-screen dash, rather tasty Showa fork tops, GSX S switchgear

R ver­sion uses Showa’s ash ‘bal­ance free’ sus­pen­sion

R’s front fork is the same type as used on the ri­val ZX 10R

LED light? Of course. LEDS for the num­ber plate too

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