Buying guide: Suzuki GSX-R1000
Championship-winning superbike is useable on the road
FOR A BRIEF period in the late 80s, Suzuki’s big sportsbike — the GSX-R1100 — ruled the roost. Then sportsbikes moved on while the 1100 stood still and it wasn’t until 2001 that Suzuki turned things around with the brutally effective GSX-R1000 K1. Nevertheless, the opposition soon caught up, so by 2005 a new version was needed to keep up the momentum.
The K5 was an evolution of the K1-K4 version, but a big one — better suspension, better brakes, less weight and new clothes. Oh, and more power — Suzuki claimed 178bhp, 16bhp up on the outgoing model.
It worked on the track — Troy Corser took the 2005 World Superbike title (Suzuki’s first) and Suzuki, the manufacturer’s crown. And it worked on the road too, with excellent poise in the corners and on the brakes, and more power than all its rivals. It beat everyone by 10bhp but more importantly it was strong all the way through the midrange.
Subsequent models from 2007-on saw the GSX-R increasingly hamstrung by emission and noise regs, but it remained a fine bike — it was just that the competition moved on, going up in power and down in weight. Remarkably, it remained fundamentally unchanged from its last major update in 2009 until the all-new, electronics-laden, 2017 model appeared. That means 2005-2016 bikes make great used buys.