What own­ers say…

RiDE (UK) - - Buying Guide -

MOST OWN­ERS ARE ma­ture and ex­pe­ri­enced — not just with sports­bikes, as many have come through years of dirt bikes and tour­ing as well. They all ap­pre­ci­ate the way the GSX-R isn’t as sin­gle-minded as some sports­bikes. Garry Matthews is typ­i­cal: “My pref­er­ence is for sports bikes but my hips and knees are too stiff to ride them for long nowa­days. Then I tried a GSX-R L2, ad­justed the footrests to the low­est set­ting and it’s very roomy - the most com­fort­able of the non-rider-aided bikes. It has a great engine for road use and plush sus­pen­sion too. I’ve been to the Eifel moun­tains as well as the Nür­bur­gring and back to Bel­gium. Cruised at 90mph and av­er­aged around 50mpg on the au­to­bahns.”

Jim Vet­trino’s an­other hugely ex­pe­ri­enced rider (he still has his Laverda Jota from the 70s...). “I had a GSX-R600, then a mate let me have a ride on his 1000 K7 and guess what — yep, smit­ten. I was for­tu­nate that my wife bought me the new K8 for my 50th! It’s creamy smooth, very com­fort­able and great at scratch­ing or tour­ing. I use mine mainly for week­end fun and my Fazer for ev­ery­day use. It’s bril­liant for week­ends away, as it can carry a small amount of lug­gage if you are cre­ative. The bike has three engine modes but I have never used any but full power, so no idea if they make a dif­fer­ence. They never break down — my friend’s K7 now has over 80,000 miles on it. They even crash quite well!” Stu Good­son knows all about that — his K8 went down the road but found a new lease of life... “I had a GSX-R750 K6 — I wasn’t even in the mar­ket for a new bike as I loved my 750, but went to Cres­cent Suzuki for a cof­fee and a look round and no­ticed that the 1000s were on of­fer and ac­tu­ally cheaper than the 750. The 1000s were re­duced due to the new K9 model about to be re­leased, so they wanted to clear the K8s from the show­room. The fol­low­ing year was

“A mate let me have a ride - yep, smit­ten” Jim Vet­trino GSX-R1000 owner

when all the prices rock­eted and I think the K9 was about £2000 dearer, so I got a bar­gain. In 2009 I did my first track day on it and was hooked. Un­for­tu­nately in 2013, I had a nasty ac­ci­dent on the road and ended up slid­ing back-first into a kerb and break­ing all the ribs on my right hand side, as well as other bones. The bike dam­age was lim­ited to the back end (tail, sub­frame, ex­haust mainly) but even so it was a Cat C write-off. I bought it back from the in­sur­ers, sourced a race fair­ing and made it a track-only bike. In 2015, I started rac­ing it with Thun­der­sport GB. I’m now in my sec­ond sea­son and the bike has been through hell and back but never missed a beat.”

Garry Matthews likes his GSX-R as it of­fers a com­bi­na­tion of per­for­mance and com­fort

Stu­art Good­son tried a track day, got hooked and now races his in Thun­der­sport GB

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