Get a GSX1400 muscle bike from just £4k
What we said then
“You’d have thought the GSX14 was a real knuckle-dragger but there’s surprisingly little Neanderthal about this big-bore beast.
“Wrapped around its huge, 1400cc, fuel-injected, oil-cooled motor is a steel, double-cradle frame that has the right amount of flex. At any speed, the engine is surprisingly manageable and tractable – but by no means tame. There’s a hell of a lot of torque – 93ftlb to be precise, 20 more than a GSX-R1000. This is biking at its most naked, most stripped down – which, for some, is not simply one way to ride, but the only way to ride.” MCN first ride | April 22, 2001
But what is it like now?
Before I even climb on board this immaculate 2006 example from Peterborough dealer Wheels (01733 358555, www.wheelsmotorcycles.co.uk) who’re offering it for £5495 with 16,400 miles, I’m reminded of the brash class of the GSX1400. The monster Suzuki may have been a latecomer to the big, retro roadster class, being launched, in 2001, well after Honda’s CB1300, and Yamaha’s evergreen XJR1300 but it was quickly considered one, if not the best, of the bunch.
With handsome looks set off by classic Suzuki white and blue livery (by far the most popular choice, although others are available), class-leading grunt from the biggest displacement in the category and more than its fair share of classy touches, such as spanadjustable levers and chrome twin dials incorporating LCD info displays, the GSX had the stature to match its size. And as I ride out in the winter murk its class still shines through: smooth, strong-arm turbine drive; a roomy, man-sized upright riding position, reasonable enough handling (though the bulky GSX always benefitted from careful fine-tuning of its multiadjustable suspension) and equally big and powerful six-pot stoppers up front. Bikes don’t get much more butch.
Common faults explored
GSX14S are generally pretty bombproof with the main problem being leaking shock preload adjusters on earlier, pre-2003, twin pipe models. This, however, is the later example with single pipe and red springs. Cosmetically it’s better than average, too, although wheels, fork bottoms and engine cases can be vulnerable to water getting in through chipped lacquer.
Another possible area of concern is warped discs, brought on by excessive use, the sheer bulk of the bike and incorrect pad fitment – you’ll soon feel a horrible juddering when on the brakes. This one, however, is fine.
Accessorising GSX14S, as with most big retro roadsters, is virtually compulsory. Indeed, the end of the line Final Edition FE model, is distinguished by having Suzuki Gb-fitted Yoshi can and main stand. This one’s typical with a Givi flyscreen, Renntec rack, white hugger plus front fender extender (although neither seem to do much to keep the road grime at bay), lots of R&G crash bungs, stainless radiator guard, heated grips and a Datatool alarm – though oddly no performance can. Most are decent quality additions and can easily be removed if not to your taste.
The big GSX14’S reign was short-lived, killed off by Euro3 after just six years, which was a huge shame and part-explains its strong following and continued popularity today. Mechanically solid, most are also cosmetically pampered and, as with this one, festooned with accessories. As a result, they’re not cheap but find a good one (and most, like this, are) and you’ll have a classy, burly roadster that’s without equal, remains immensely comfortable and roomy for two, is reasonably practical and versatile and has more menace and presence than any. As long as it’s in white and blue.
Other colours are available… but why would you?