Used Spe­cial

Bag a bril­liant GSX-R from £3k

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

What we said then

“The K5 has put the GSX-R1000 back at the top of the su­per­bike tree. Sub­lime, lithe er­gonomics and han­dling, rad­i­cal styling and full-on but use­able power.” MCN launch re­port, 2005

But what is it like now?

The K5 is re­garded as the quin­tes­sen­tial GSX-R1000 model and de­mand is high for this ex­cel­lent gen­er­a­tion. When you ride one, it is no sur­prise as it’s one of those bikes that just feels right. This over­all im­pres­sion is due to a lovely bal­ance be­tween its ag­ile chas­sis and storm­ing mo­tor.

De­spite sound­ing typ­i­cally GSX-R raw and buzzy, the K5 mo­tor is fan­tas­tic to use and has a lovely throt­tle con­nec­tion as well as se­ri­ous power. With 160bhp at the rear wheel, the way Suzuki’s fuel in­jec­tion de­liv­ers such a pre­dictable feel­ing means it never feels ag­gres­sive or un­con­trol­lable like ear­lier gen­er­a­tions could.

You can get on the power and re­ally feel like you are rid­ing the bike and us­ing as much of the K5’s per­for­mance as you want, rather than be­ing in­tim­i­dated by it. This feel­ing is only en­hanced by the K5’s chas­sis.

Suzuki recog­nised that K1-4 mod­els were a touch too flighty for most, so with the K5 they con­cen­trated on pro­duc­ing a sharp han­dling mo­tor­cy­cle that re­tained its poise. While this may make a K5 sound like a soft op­tion, that is far from the case and its han­dling is still im­pres­sive in a mod­ern con­text; its brakes are also more than up to the job.

So many mod­ern clas­sics fail to live up to their hype, but the K5 is ev­ery­thing you ex­pect it to be. It’s a real rider’s bike, de­void of elec­tron­ics and enough spirit and punch to thrill, but not one that will scare or do some­thing untoward with­out giv­ing you bags of warn­ing.

What to watch out for

The K5’s clutch bas­ket doesn’t get fed enough oil, caus­ing it to be­come grabby. Like the ear­lier mod­els, there are mod­i­fi­ca­tions that can be made to sort this out, rang­ing from drilling ex­tra holes in the bas­ket to fit­ting a GSX-R750 jud­der ring.

An Fi warn­ing code could be a TPS go­ing down, but on the K5 it could also be due to the ex­haust valve ei­ther seiz­ing or the con­nec­tors lead­ing to it be­com­ing cor­roded and fail­ing. Check the valve, lo­cated by the right-hand foot­peg, is mov­ing freely. The fin­ish on the K5/6 is pretty poor and also be wary of any bike with a quick­shifter fit­ted. While the gear­box is stronger than that fit­ted to K1-4, it can still de­velop se­lec­tor fork is­sues and th­ese are ex­ac­er­bated by a quick­shifter.

There was a re­call in Amer­ica for K5/6 GSX-R1000S due to frame crack­ing is­sues around the head­stock welds. There was no of­fi­cial UK re­call, in­stead a ‘proac­tive safety im­prove­ment cam­paign’, but al­ways check this area on any bike that has been in an ac­ci­dent as they can frac­ture. The GSX-R was in­cluded in Suzuki’s re­cent world­wide front brake re­call, so en­sure this was com­pleted.

2005 Suzukigsx-r1000

Colours White/blue, yel­low/ black, sil­ver/black Dealer £5000 Pri­vate good £4500 Pri­vate av­er­age £4100 This one This K5 is in a pri­vate sale for £4200 and is good value as the owner claims it has re­cently has a ma­jor ser­vice and only cov­ered 16,500 miles.

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000

Colours White/blue, white, black, black/pur­ple Dealer £5500 Pri­vate good £5000 Pri­vate av­er­age £4600 This one “In very nice or­der”, this £5296 K9 has cov­ered just over 20,000 miles and is slightly be­low list price.

Watch out for fit and fin­ish on K5s as it wasn’t ex­actly Suzuki’s finest work The busi­ness end de­liv­ers all the right noises to thrill any sports rider

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