The sporty one

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

You’ll be pleased to hear the iconic GSX-R1000 K5 en­gine is alive, well and living in­side Suzuki’s uprated GSX-S1000F.

The 148bhp, 999cc in­line four-cylin­der mo­tor has been tweaked to dish out more grunt and a smoother spread of power, but a leop­ard never changes its spots. It’s as rau­cous as ever and gives Suzuki’s sports tourer se­ri­ous teeth when you rev it hard. Ac­cel­er­a­tion takes you by sur­prise the first time you prop­erly open the taps and it wheel­ies off the clutch in third gear. The gear­box is a joy to use and that deep, in­tox­i­cat­ing in­duc­tion roar and scream­ing ex­haust note at full pelt is pure Gixer filth.

There’s no ques­tion the GSX-S1000F sits firmly at the sporty end of the sports tour­ing spec­trum, in the same ball­park as the Du­cati. It’s more per­for­mance-fo­cused than the much-loved and slightly softer Kawasaki Z1000SX, too. That en­gine never fails to ex­cite, but Suzuki hasn’t done enough to cure its ag­gres­sive on/off throt­tle re­sponse on this up­dated model, which makes it im­pos­si­ble to ride smoothly and hard to keep a steady speed on mo­tor­ways.

It’s not all speed and sav­agery, be­cause the Suzuki is roomy and de­liv­ers an Fjr-bust­ing 57mpg. But there are cracks in the Suzuki’s ar­mour: a low screen and min­i­mal body­work give you the least wind pro­tec­tion on the long haul, the buzzi­ness of the en­gine sends your hands to sleep and the crude­ly­damped sus­pen­sion and weak brakes can’t match the mo­tor’s greatness.

Yes, the feisty GSX-S1000F makes much more sense as an ev­ery­day sports­bike than as a race-replica, but it just can’t match its sports tour­ing ri­vals for long- dis­tance re­fine­ment and equip­ment.

‘Gear­box is a joy to use, and the in­duc­tion roar is pure Gixer filth’

Scot­land pro­vided some idyl­lic spots for leg-stretch­ing

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