What do you get for your money?

RiDE (UK) - - Buying Guide -

Ev­ery­thing you need to go fast on road or track and not a lot else. Apart from the three-way switch­ing on K7 mod­els and beyond, there’s noth­ing in the way of giz­mos and rider aids (well, un­til ABS came along as an op­tion in 2014). Even when BMW in par­tic­u­lar started pil­ing on the tech with the S1000RR, the GSX-R stuck doggedly to its ana­logue ap­proach (you get the im­pres­sion the de­sign­ers would have used car­bu­ret­tors if they could have got away with it). For­tu­nately that’s just how own­ers like it — they want the pu­rity of throt­tle, brake, clutch and gear­box, un­fil­tered by elec­tron­ics. There’s also the handy bonus that there’s a lot less to go wrong...

What you do get is switch­able power modes from 2007, along with ad­justable footrests, a smart steer­ing damper, gear po­si­tion in­di­ca­tor and an un­wel­come ex­tra in the first of a se­ries of aes­thet­i­cally-dis­as­trous ex­hausts. Th­ese were leg­is­la­tion-in­duced but it’s as though Suzuki’s de­sign­ers gave up, say­ing ‘You know what, ev­ery­one’s go­ing to change the pipes any­way, so why should we bother?’

From 2009-on, you get a big tech­no­log­i­cal makeover, with a whole new chas­sis wrapped around an all-new engine. It looked more or less like the old bike though, so most peo­ple will only no­tice the Showa Big Pis­ton Forks — and an even uglier pair of ex­haust cans (de­sign­ers now work­ing no­tice, can’t be both­ered). And from 2012, a load more tweaks and the move to one huge, sin­gle ex­haust can (de­sign­ers now cleared desks, tea boy in charge).

The GSX-R1000 is in the busi­ness of go­ing fast. And busi­ness is good

If the engine on a bike you’re look­ing at re­sem­bles this, walk away

If you’re in any doubt as to its in­ten­tions, a red­line that starts at 14k should put you straight

Smooth and aero­dy­namic front end helps ter­mi­nal ve­loc­ity

Ad­justable Showa BPFS (2009-on) al­low be­spoke set-up for all rid­ers

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