Looking back 15 years, here’s how to buy the best ones 14-PAGE SPECIAL
What we said then
Òthe GSX-R was already an exceptional bike with a cult image and deep history. But with this evolution Suzuki has simply rectified the modelõs weak points to bring it back into contention on the road. The end result is that, in the real world, the big GSX-R is even more of an exceptional road bike. Loads of mid-range power, the quality suspension giving masses of feel and inspiring confidence, all make the GSX-R really easy to ride.ó
What’s it like now?
There is no ignoring the GSX-R1000ÕS significance, it led the dawn of the litre-bike era and its heritage is ingrained into all British sportsbike riders.
At the turn of the millennium the big Gixerõs performance and styling put it light years ahead of its rivals, but these days itõs a little behind the tech curve. Machines like Kawasakiõs ZX-10R and the BMW S1000RR are lighter, more powerful and have sophisticated electronic rider aids, whereas all the GSX-R could boast was three-way riding modes and ABS. But all that technology comes at a price and, if weõre honest, does it really make that much of a difference on the road?
Peterborough Suzuki dealer Wheels Motorcycles (www.wheelsmotorcycles. co.uk) loaned us this standard 2015 model, which is up for sale for just £8600, and straight away the outgoing GSX-R reminds us that itõs packing an awful lot of bang for the buck.
At its 2012 launch, high-compression pistons and revised cam profiles ensured this evolution of GSX-R1000 had the strongest mid-range of all the litre-bike class (86ftlb @ 8000rpm) without sacrificing a smidge of its claimed 182bhp peak power. Itõs an engine that definitely gets your attention, producing a massive wave of torque that provides amazing flexibility, ideal for blasting between B-road bends, but thereõs still that top-end rush thatõs so unmistakably GSX-R.
The riding position is spacious and roomy, in fact, allied with the smooth suspension and endless rush of power, the whole package comes together as if it were conspiring to propel you faster and faster. The Showa Big Piston Fork front end on this particular model has been beautifully set up and oozes confidence in the Bridgestone S20 tyres.
For such a physically large and roomy motorcycle, the 2015 GSX-R1000 dances through bumpy B-road bends Ð set free by the weight loss gifted from the lightweight single-sided exhaust Ð better than any of its 1000cc rivals. So, while the departing evolution of Gixer Thou may not be the most sophisticated sportsbike, it definitely delivers on-road performance thatõs up there with the best of them.
Any obvious faults?
Even with close scrutiny, there is no evidence of neglect on this 6400mile example, a credit to the previous owner. Although Suzukis can often suffer furring, corrosion and thinning paint, this bike shows none of those weaknesses, even in places like you expect it such as behind the headers.
Any worthwhile extras?
The well set-up suspension is a joy on even the most pitted of Fenland backroads and the Bridgestone S20 tyres, fitted as a replacement to the OE Bridgestone BT016 Pro, boost the bikeõs stability and handling characteristics throughout the speed range. A typical used machine will feature a tail tidy and double-bubble screen, and ideally the stock parts should be included in a sale.
Itõs often said that the GSX-R1000 lags behind its rivals in terms of its outright sporting potential, and perhaps when measuring tenths of seconds in a headto-head track shoot-out this is true. But as a sportsbike on the road it delivers every time. And letõs not forget the price, you can bag a 2013 one-owner GSX-R1000 for just under £7k.