A big beast from the land that time for­got. Lairy, and in­deed slightly scary, this is a di­nosuar, and still a very, very fast one

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - Words: Alan Seeley Pic­tures: Bauer archive

Suzuki GSX-R1100W ex­am­ined

The world was chang­ing when the Suzuki GSXR1100W barged into show­rooms in 1993.The Honda Fire­blade of the pre­vi­ous year had re­de­fined what a big sports­bike could be. Over in Brus­sels there was talk of a manda­tory 100bhp power cap.

How­ever there will al­ways be hotrod riders who couldn’t give a hoot about race track han­dling and the EU backed away from hob­bling new mo­tor­cy­cles, al­most as the re­vised, re­vamped and newly liq­uid-cooled GSX-R1100 ar­rived in the Spring of 1993.That sec­ond fact made the re­stric­tor plate Suzuki had fit­ted to the in­lets of the first batches of the 1100W re­dun­dant – not that peo­ple wouldn’t have taken them out any­way.

Suzuki didn’t hold back in adopt­ing liq­uid-cool­ing for their big­gest, bad­dest bike. Even the oil cooler got liq­uid-cool­ing. Ca­pac­ity went down to 1074cc from the 1127cc of the last air/oil-cooled 1100 with a 1mm longer stroke and 2.5mm nar­rower bores help­ing to cre­ate a cylin­der head which de­spite be­ing liq­uid-cooled was a mas­sive 61mm nar­rower than the old one.the crank was 51.5mm shorter, 38mm was shaved off the cams and the al­ter­na­tor placed be­hind the bar­rels.

Liq­uid-cool­ing of course al­lows closer tol­er­ances which means more power, a claimed 155bhp in the case of the 1100W. Big­ger valves, up 2.5mm on the in­takes and 2mm on the ex­hausts, helped this too as did lighter pis­tons and con­rods.valve ad­just­ment was now by shim rather than screw and lock­nut.

A slimmer en­gine meant it could sit lower in the frame with­out ham­per­ing ground clear­ance. Wheel­base was up by 20mm over the old bike, trail by 9mm while rake was slightly re­duced. Fully ad­justable sus­pen­sion front and rear gave own­ers the op­por­tu­nity to fi­nesse/ bug­ger up the han­dling de­pend­ing on their level of un­der­stand­ing. Suzuki also hedged against us end­ing up in a hedge with a steer­ing damper.

To­kico six-pis­ton front calipers took care of the brak­ing busi­ness al­though as time would show, Bri­tish roads and weather aren’t the best en­vi­ron­ments for them un­less very reg­u­larly main­tained.

In its day the GSX-R1100W was ex­pen­sive to in­sure and un­less you re­ally needed all of that power there were other bet­ter all-round choices, even from Suzuki in the form of the GSX-R750.

To­day thew rep­re­sents a time, place and at­ti­tude that it en­cap­su­lates per­fectly. Go on, you nut­ter…

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