199.2bhp | 203kg | Seat height 825mm
10-stage traction control Quickshifter & Autoblipper Cornering ABS
The most impressive thing about the all-new GSX-R1000R probably isn’t a single physical aspect, but more the ethos that has created the whole. Yes, it’s littered with some lovely hardware and software – but it’s important to understand some of what this bike isn’t before we catalogue what it is.
The new GSX-R has been built with an almost cunning dedication to simplicity – a level of reductive thinking that makes it lighter, more mechanically simplistic, reliable and robust, while taking nothing away from the sorts of electrickery that we’ve come to expect.
This is the first superbike with Variable Valve Timing ( VVT) – and the way in which Suzuki have achieved their fully in-house designed system is impressive. Developed for their Motogp bike (and that’s been doing pretty well), it uses a system of centrifugally activated ball bearings that are flung out on the end of the cam gear to change the orientation of the cam, and thus the intake timing, to give a boost at peak power. This creates a 5% (10bhp) boost between 10,000rpm and the redline. All logical enough, but that’s not the clever bit per se. What Suzuki have done is given riders all the engine, all the time, delivering an inherently strong midrange, and a boost at the top end – the opposite of most VVT engines. The system is also lighter, dramatically less complicated to build, maintenance-free, and claimed to be durable enough to easily outlive the engine.
Showa’s excellent Balance Free Fork and Balance Free Cushion shock for the R take care of the suspension action, and hanging off each are newly-designed, lightweight, six-spoke rims wearing 120/ 70 R17 and 190/55 R17 Bridgestone RS10S.
As well as three rider modes for engine delivery, the new model also gets a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), 10-level traction control, banking-sensitive ABS, and – on the R – launch control and a bidirectional quickshifter. These systems are the same as you’ll find on most other highend superbikes and road bikes now, but all tuned in to the GSX-R’S character.
The tank has a lower profile to enable the rider to get over it, and behind the screen more effectively. And while you’re tucked in over that lower tank, you’ll get a good look at the all-new LCD dash, which hosts a bewildering array of information, but it’s actually clear and easy to understand, and the menus are a doddle to scroll through. There’s LED lighting all round, too. Can it be king again? Watch this space.
Like the Motogp bike, but about a million quid cheaper
Price £14,999 (est)