BUY­ERS’ GUIDE

Awk­ward and tetchy at low speeds, set­tled and flu­ent when the go­ing gets in­ter­est­ing. A de­vice for the com­mited speed freak

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

The sav­agely quick Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1 and K2. Why you need one, what to look for

So it was a long time com­ing but when the Suzuki GSX-R1000 hit the show­rooms in 2001 it went straight to the top of the litre bike class.the firm had been with­out a litre sports­bike of­fer­ing in the UK since 1996 and the GSX-R1100WT.

While the GSX-R750 might have been more than enough for many, there was no way Suzuki were go­ing to let the com­pe­ti­tion have it away in the big sports­bike sec­tor for­ever. It was un­der at­tack from be­low as well, as 600s edged ever closer to the three-quar­ter litre bike in per­for­mance terms. In an in­stant the GSX-R1000 leapfrogged the Honda Fire­blade,yama­hayzf-r1 and the Kawasaki ZX-9R with more power, less weight and hence a higher (180mph) top speed.

Cer­tainly the thou bor­rowed much from the 750.The frame is essen­tially of the same di­men­sions al­though the walls are half a mil­lime­tre thicker and there’s an ex­tra en­gine mount.the swingarm is sim­i­lar too aside from a few small in­ter­nal con­struc­tion de­tails. Chunkier Kayaba sus­pen­sion with gold-ni­trided fork slid­ers re­placed the 750’s Showa kit. Front brakes used To­kico six-pis­ton calipers where the 750 had four-pots.

The en­gine is the same width as the 750 as the crank­shaft mea­sures the

same end-to-end, de­spite the pis­tons ob­vi­ously be­ing big­ger. Suzuki also con­trived to make those pis­tons lighter too. Di­men­sion­ally there’s lit­tle in it in en­gine size else­where, with the 1000 be­ing just 14mm taller and 6mm longer.the cylin­der head de­sign came from the 750 too al­though of course the com­bus­tion cham­bers were big­ger to match the larger slugs. Fuel in­jec­tion came from a Suzuki Dualthrot­tl­e­valve SDTV sys­tem with 42mm throt­tle bod­ies sim­i­lar to that on the 750.

Claimed dry weight for the GSX-R1000 was a mere 4kg more than the 750 and there was plenty of ad­di­tional power avail­able to over­come any slight gain in mass.

A ca­pac­ity of 988cc might look like a mis­print – the YZF-R1 nudged the full litre at 998cc – but Suzuki had half an eye on the im­mi­nent shift to four-strokes in Motogp where the cu­bic cen­time­tre ceil­ing would be 990cc.as it turned out they de­vel­oped av4, the GSV-R, for the new class for its launch in 2002 rather than an in­line four.

For Suzuki the GSX-R1000 was a con­tin­u­a­tion of their hooli­gan form.the K1 and K2 are plainly and sim­ply un­re­fined, un­re­con­structed loony tools. Light, wheelie-prone off the throt­tle and dev­as­tat­ingly fast. Ev­ery sports­bike fa­natic wanted one back then.and we still do.

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