World first UK test Will it beat an S1000RR?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Front Page - By Michael Neeves SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER

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’

2016 2017

Macken­zie gets to grip with new GSX-R on a dry­ing Mal­lor y

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