Nakedbike fans have been making street-fighters out of GSX-R1000s for years. To be honest, I always thought why ruin a perfectly good sportsbike? Most backyarders pulled the fairings off, chucked on a random set of flat bars, which only served to ruin the handling, while protecting their limp wrists, and made various deformities that just looked as though they had crashed a GSX-R, then couldn’t afford to fix it properly. Many people love this sort of backyard streetfighter thing, clearly I’m not one of them. A few are worthy objects of desire, but most are just crap.
Now Suzuki has finally decided to do the job properly. The new factory produced GSX-R1000 turned naked is dubbed the GSX-S1000, and a semi-faired version of the same is called the GSX-S1000F.
While the GSX-R has a 30-year lineage, the GSX moniker started the whole four-stroke, four-cylinder thing for Suzuki in 1976 with the GS750. My first road bike was a GS750, complete with flat-slides, hot cams and the loudest shorty exhaust on earth, shrieking across the Western Australian countryside as only air-cooled bikes could. I have also owned a GSX-750F, it’s okay I didn’t have it long… But you see, there is a lineage there with this GS naming convention. Just that now is the first time Suzuki have done a proper job with a GSX-R derived nakedbike and voila, we present the GSX-S1000.
Has it been worth the wait?
Yes. It’s got plenty of grunt, is comfortable, practical but, importantly, still maintains that fun factor, and will almost certainly go forever with minimal maintenance.
And to be blunt, one of the other chief positives is that Suzuki have set an RRP that starts out at a reasonable $14,990 (plus on roads), instead of putting some silly new model premium on it, before predictably then having to drop the price later on. Other manufacturer’s please take note. The semi-faired model comes in at an $800 premium.
The drivetrain, chassis, suspension and braking systems are all directly lifted from the GSX-R parts catalogue. Those parts have then, for the large part, been redesigned for their new purpose, that of a sporting nakedbike.
The long-stroke GSX-R1000 engine that debuted in the K5 has reached legend status amongst street riders. For many, this version of the GSX-R1000 powerplant is the best ever, and thus the 2005 GSX-R1000K5 now rolls across hallowed ground in the GSX-R lineage. Suzuki has used this more flexible design to produce the torque-laden grunt that you want in a nakedbike, plus this engine allows for a lighter frame.
Internally, the pistons are now lighter due to improvements in technology. The cylinder head is ported to provide mid-range grunt and with less aggressive camshafts than the supersport machine, it has obviously come at the expense of a little GSX-R top end.
A liquid oil-cooler is used in the place of the air-cooled unit seen on the GSX-R, it’s smaller size helping the nakedbike look and header routing.
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