Posted On 25 May 2024
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This entry is part 3 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#33


A couple of years ago I mentioned to Suzuki Australia that the brand desperately needed a hyper-naked machine in its range. Roll on to 2015 and here it is – the GSX-S1000. And to make it even more special, Suzuki has also released the full faired version – the GSX-S1000F.

Both bikes are essentially the same, except for the obvious full fairing of the F. Both are centred around the super torquey K5 GSX-R1000 in-line four engine, which powered the 2005- 2008 GSX-R1000. The engine has been updated to modern “standards”; not that there was anything wrong with the K5, it’s just that there are stricter emission controls now on the one hand, and newer processes for an even smoother engine. The K5 engine was chosen for its long-stroke design, rather than a “screamer” type engine with all the power up the top end. The K5 engine was also known for its broad low-end torque, smooth throttle response and a very strong top end for fun.

The things they changed internally were the pistons – they are three per cent lighter – cylinder head, crankshaft and rods, camshafts, cylinder plating (SCEM), gearbox and ratios, intake system and exhaust system. The plugs were upgraded to Iridium spark plugs.

Suzuki has chosen an engine suited to what an experienced rider would want from a hyper-naked or full faired “Street Sport” motorcycle. After riding both versions over the two day launch I can attest to the engine being silky smooth and having lots of torque and power right through the rev range. Matched to that is a silky smooth gearbox with nicely spread ratios.

You can hold it in a lower gear and keep the engine in its “fat” range, or it in sixth and cruise along. I even got it down to around 37km/h in sixth and strongly accelerated away, which is excellent.

2005 GSX-R1000 stripped down / The new GSX-S stripped down – looks similar, doesn’t it!

Suzuki has fitted a five sensor, three modes and off, traction control system.

The sensors work on the front wheel, rear wheel, crank position, gear position and throttle position. Suzuki’s system precisely controls output by optimising ignition timing and air delivery. This results in a smooth, natural control of power, which does not affect sportier riding even when the system is working.

The frame looks very similar to that of the K5 GSX-R, but you’ll see that you’re wrong once you look at it closely. The frame itself is all new and the current model GSX-R1000 swing arm is fitted.

In fact, the frame is lighter than the current GSX-R’s! You get great stability and loads of feel.

Suspending each end are forks and a monoshock from KYB, which are sporty yet plush in soaking up crappy road surfaces. However, the models are different in the front end. The F version has less air gap, or more oil (your pick).

This makes for slightly more nimble turn in on the F – something I came to love about it. The naked version is slightly slower in turn in, but when you think that the naked might well be ridden by someone who travels a little faster than an F owner, this is a good thing to have. It might not help you keep your licence, though.

For the launch, Suzuki had wound in one ring more preload on the front and one notch more on the rear. For a big unit like me, this made a world of difference, whereas with the standard (softer) front setting, it wouldn’t ride rough sections of road as well.

Gripping the road are Dunlop D214 tyres, or Road Sports as sold in Australia.

They are sports tyres with high levels of grip, excellent wet weather performance

Stuart is wearing a Shark Speed R Carbon II helmet, Dririder EXO 2 jacket, Dririder Rapid gloves, Draggin jeans and Sidi Vertigo boots.

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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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