VICTORY EMPULSE lOM TT VICTORY ELECTRIC SUPERBIKE ADV RIDING TIPS DAINESE D-AIR
2016 SUZUKI GSX-S1000
BY THE NUMBERS
K5 2005:The long-stroke GSX-R1000 remains a favorite with many Gixxer fans for its meaty midrange delivery.
39 HUNDRED DOLLARS: Price difference between base model GSX-S1000 and 2015 GSX-R1000.
A naked, friendly, and affordable GSX-R
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, Suzuki's GSX-R supersports have fulfilled the sporting ambitions of multiple generations of enthusiasts. As a guy who owned and raced the original GSX-R750 when it was introduced to the States in 1986, I now fit the target demographic of the all-new GSX-S models with their upright ergonomics.
At the core of the 2016 lineup of Suzuki GSX-S1000 models—which includes a naked (with ABS option) and a faired ABS-equipped F version—is the 2005 GSX-R engine. This is the much-lauded 999CC long-stroke inline-four, which has better midrange torque than more recent Gixxers. Revised ports, cam timing, and lobe profiles all further conspire to boost lowto midrange torque delivery. The 44mm SDTV throttle bodies are those of the GSX-R, while stainless-steel valves of the same diameter have replaced the titanium ones of the GSX-R. The six-speed gearbox has identical ratios, but two teeth have been added to the rear sprocket for lower overall gearing. A conventional clutch has replaced R’s slipper/assist unit.
On the CWdyno we saw 138 peak horsepower at the rear wheel, at 11,280 rpm. Torque is good, with a 74 poundfeet arriving at 9,250 rpm. The gains lower in the rev range do come at the expense of top-end production, as evidenced by a 2,000-rpm-lower redline, which is now at 11,500.
The overall result? This is a smoothrunning tractor of a motor that offers steady roll-on response from as low as 1,500 in top gear. Stoplight departures are a snap, and slick shift action means the bike reaches speed in fluid fashion.
Engine vibes remain subdued until the LCD tachometer passes 6,000 rpm, where a tolerable buzz builds in the taperstyle Renthal Fatbar. Freeway cruise is pleasant enough, with the engine turning 5,500 rpm at an indicated 80 mph on the compact all-digital dash.
At the press ride, which was held in Monterey, California, I experienced allday comfort in the deeply padded saddle. As I rode north to the famed Alice’s Restaurant nestled in the coastal mountains,
I found the riding position roomy on droning stretches of highway yet with enough of a sporting posture for some good fun while hustling the bike along the twisty redwood-lined back roads. I spent equal time on both models and can confirm that no ergonomic difference exists between them, aside from the F’s added wind protection.
As the second Suzuki model to feature traction control, the GSX-S utilizes the same left bar-mount switch array introduced on the current V-Strom 1000. The system offers three levels of TC sensitivity, and the calibration is sportier than on the big Strom. The rider can switch among the settings or even turn TC off while riding. Level 3, intended for wet conditions, saw the yellow status light on the dash signal ignition retard intervention under modest acceleration on the dry road. It took some serious cornering effort to trip TC in the normal setting, and Level 1 seems like it will prove useful at an aggressive trackday pace. Turning the TC off allowed for unadulterated wheelie antics with a snap of throttle in the bottom two gears.
The presence of GSX-R-style aluminum footpegs with no rubber damping hints at the S’s sporting intent. In fact, its twin-spar main frame is said to be lighter than that of the GSX-R, and its gullstyle swingarm is that of the R. With a claimed curb weight (with 4.5-gallon tank full) of 456 pounds for the naked (add 5 pounds for ABS) and 472 pounds for the F, both flavors of GSX-S are featherweights of the category.
The fully adjustable 43mm KYB inverted fork appears to have been lifted from the 2005 Gixxer parts bin, providing firm sporting performance and excellent feedback and feel when attacking an apex. The shock has provisions for preload and rebound-damping adjustment. Steering was light and neutral, while overall stability proved excellent, even when I rode the Suzuki at a swift pace on the bump-strewn Highway 236 out of Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
I never encountered a lack of cornering clearance on either bike, and braking performance was excellent. The Brembo monoblock four-piston front calipers biting on 320mm rotors provided strong, consistent power and very good feel at the lever. While the Bosch ABS cannot be turned off, I didn’t feel a need to do so because the system performed well in a sportriding role.
Perhaps the best news for an old Gixxer guy such as myself is price. The 2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000 will set the retirement savings back only $9,999 when bikes arrive at dealers in late August. For another $500, ABS is a wise investment for aging reflexes. The tough part is deciding between the naked or the $10,999 GSX-S1000F.
Just like at Alice’s Restaurant, these two new Suzukis allow you to get anything you want...
THIS IS THE MUCHLAUDED 999CC LONGSTROKE INLINEFOUR, WHICH HAS BETTER MIDRANGE TORQUE THAN MORE RECENT GIXXERS.
2016 SUZUKI GSX-S1000
ENGINE TYPE DOHC inline-4
SEAT HEIGHT 31.8 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.4 gal.
CLAIMED WEIGHT 455 1b.
BASE PRICE $9999