Buy­ing guide: Suzuki GSX-R1000

Cham­pi­onship-win­ning su­per­bike is use­able on the road

RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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