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
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…