World first UK test Will it beat an S1000RR?
Newly crowned National Superstock 1000 champ Taylor Mackenzie is a few metres ahead, carving through Gerrards. I’m on the current GSX-R1000 and he’s on the heavily revised new one, in all its nimble, lightweight, 199bhp glory.
We can’t ride the new Suzuki until its Phillip Island launch in February, but Hawk Racing have just taken delivery of the first one to arrive in the UK, so they can transform it into a BSB racer.
This season the Buildbase team ran Beemers in MCE British Superbikes, but have now switched to Suzuki. Taylor won the 2016 Superstock 1000 title on an S1000RR and the team have given him a quick run-out to get his first impressions of the GSX-R1000 he’ll ride in next year’s stock series.
‘It looks like a 600’
We can’t wait to hear what Mackenzie Junior thinks of the bike we’ve been looking forward to for too many years.
Old and new are parked together in the paddock and the new GSX-R1000 looks more like a 600. It’s a lot slimmer, especially the frame rails and back end. The new bike’s going to look as sexy as hell once you get rid of the standard number plate hanger.
The low November sunshine isn’t strong enough to dry the track immediately, but slowly a dry line appears and Taylor can put some heat in the standard Bridgestone RS10 trackday tyres.
‘More of everything’
It’s hard to know what the GSX-R will sound like in stock trim because the standard titanium can has been replaced with a fruitysounding Yoshi.
The new Suzuki looks slim, agile and easy to ride fast, but the current bike isn’t exactly shabby. The old motor is packed full of easy grunt and can pull third gear power wheelies. It too is agile, has confidenceinspiring handling and strong brakes. In fact, its Bridgestone S21 tyres are better-suited to these cold damp conditions than Taylor’s RS10S. But he’s got traction control, rider modes, anti-wheelie and engine braking control. I’ve got an LCD clock.
The new bike promises more of everything: easy speed, safety, agility and electronic refinement. You never really notice the step up in superbike evolution when you ride the latest and greatest, but when you go back the differences are blinding.
Jump on the current GSX-R1000 from a top superbike like an R1 or S1000RR on track - bikes that have a good 30bhp more – and you’re stunned by its relative lack of power, but on the road the Suzuki is still a joy thanks to its raw, low-down grunt. The new Gixer’s VVT motor promises all the current bike’s meaty bottom end with a searing top end. It should be the best of both worlds with sharper handling and cutting-edge electronics. And with competitive pricing, the new GSX-R1000 looks appealing.
‘From where I’m sitting the Suzuki looks slim, agile and easy to ride fast’
Mackenzie gets to grip with new GSX-R on a drying Mallor y