Suzuki GSX-S1000 Review – Tested by Jeff Ware

The very first thing I consider when it comes to wanting, needing, owning, craving or even considering purchasing a motorcycle is – would I sit in my garage on a rainy Sunday night, drinking beer, just looking at and admiring the curves? Would I glance at the bike every single time I walk through my garage and smile?

For me, very few nakedbikes pass this test but plenty of sportsbikes do. I like fairings. I have nine bikes and eight of them are sportsbikes… However, I’ve busted my back twice. I’m 40. I’m a bit overweight and I think it’s time for a nakedbike – without losing the fun.

It’s not purely a looks thing – it’s a connection and an emotional visual experience I’m after in a bike. I have a connection with some and not with others. The GSX-S connected with me as soon as I saw it.

Somehow the curves of the tank and the radiator shrouds, from a certain front three-quarter angle, reminded me of my old GSX-Rs and Hayabusas. I was thinking about the bike after I saw it and then later sat on it and I could not help but think about it a lot more. What that did for me was confirm that Suzuki really have done some outstanding market research during the development and concept period of the GSX-S.

I’m almost the perfect target market for them according to their press kit – 40-years-old, sportsbike rider, experienced, don’t like gimmicks or too many gizmos to play with, seek quality and style in a motorcycle and appreciate easy to ride, great handling and smooth power delivery these days on the street instead of outright performance.

For me to look at a bike and want one without a ride is a rare thing… But it happened…

Suzuki GSX-S1000
Suzuki GSX-S1000

It’s a big year for Suzuki this year – the 30th Anniversary of the GSX-R750, the 10th Anniversary of the GSX-R1000 K5 (that powers the GSX-S) and the 35th Anniversary of the GSX range. So what a great way to celebrate with a new machine. I had a K5 GSX-R1000 and now 10-years later, I’m 40 not 30 and I’m able to buy a bike with a chassis that suits my old bones but still has that K5 engine I loved. I can’t help but think that a lot of GSX-S1000 owners will be people who once had a GSX-R1000 K5…

While the GS750 was Suzuki’s first four-stroke inline four, it was the GSX range that kicked off Suzuki’s four-stroke 16-valve lineage. The original concept of the GSX series from the 750E to the 1100S Katana was high performance yet with a broad powerband, nimble handling and great durability. Suzuki has continued this tradition with the new GSX-S1000. In case you are wondering, the GSX family starts with the new GSXRR MotoGP bike (Prototype), then the GSX-R comes next (Racing) followed by the GSX-S (Street Sport) and GSX-F (Sport Standard).

According to the Suzuki press kit, handed to us at the World Press Test in Alicante, Spain, the GSX-S concept is that it had to be a bike with the spirit of the GSX-R, ready for the street. After spending a full day testing in the Spanish sunshine, I can tell you, Suzuki have pretty much nailed that brief…

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