CHEAP THRILLS

Look­ing back 15 years, here’s how to buy the best ones 14-PAGE SPE­CIAL

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Bruce Dunn & Jon Urry MCN CON­TRIB­U­TORS

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.

Ver­dict

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.

MCN launch re­port, 2012 The classy matt black/ gloss red paintscheme looks ace THANKS TO Wheels Mo­tor­cy­cles, Peterborough for the loan of this bike

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