Bag a brilliant GSX-R from £3k
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.
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.