Suzuki’s GSX-S1000 – a Gixxer Thou’ with manners, a light chassis and comfy seating position

The Suzuki GSX-S1000 engine is a detuned version of the powerplant found in the GSX-R1000 sports machine

Handling is improved thanks to a new swingarm and upside-down forks by KYB

Paul Browne

There’s a new GSX-S1000 on the market, offering the rider a more rounded and easier to use package. Rather than dramatically redesign the bike, the Japanese giant has revised it and done so in a very thorough manner indeed.

Mostly the idea behind the new machine is to bring some of what is wonderful about the mighty ‘Gixxer thou’ to the road in a more manageable manner. The plan starts with using the same legendary engine in a friendlier state of tune. Lob it into a light chassis and plonk on top of it a friendly, upright sitting position that lends itself to an unintimidating riding experience, and the whole package is sure to be a rip-roaring success.

Starting with the styling, the designers have managed to make this look like the brand new bike that it is. The bodywork looks sharper and features like the LED headlight, not only look the part, but it also save weight while being more powerful than a standard unit. Those Moto GP winglets seem to be compulsory on every new bike in the 1000cc class. The ‘S’ is no exception, with a set built into the front cowl where they create a sense of intent.

The whole affair is still powered by that Gixxer 1000 motor, but the GSX-S1000’s state of tune is more in keeping with something built for the road rather than the track. A suite of electronics comes as standard, as is usually the case these days. The ride-by-wire throttle is combined with SCAS (Suzuki Clutch Assist System), while the ABS braking system makes stopping in a hurry a whole lot less dramatic. The same system makes taking off less likely to launch the bike and rider into orbit.

Then there’s the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS). There are three power settings: Sport, Street and ‘I Should Have Bought a Scooter’ mode. The setup is complimented by a traction control system that has five different settings. These include the option to switch the whole lot off. As an added bonus, the new beast even has a bi-directional quick-shifter.

Moto GP winglets are built into the front cowl of the GSX-S1000, giving the bike an aggressive look

Handling is hugely improved by a new swingarm as well as a set of upside-down KYB forks which, just like the single shock on the rear, are fully adjustable. That excellent braking system is in turn delivered via a set of beautiful Brembo callipers. Conventional handlebars, rather than the parent RR machine’s clip-ons, make it so much friendlier to those of us who have passed an age milestone along the way.

Good as it may be, there will never, ever be a bike as good as the Suzuki TL1000S back in the late Nineties. Back when men were men, speed limits were advisory, a swingarm failure on a track day was an acceptable risk and a rider we knew called Zippy used to write off one per week and somehow stay alive…

The new Suzuki GSX-S 1000 will run you €13,950 and is available from your local Suzuki motorcycle dealer.

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