The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is one of the legendary litre-fours that have set benchmarks that the other 1,000cc sportsbikes have had to work hard to eclipse. It's been one of the pillars of the Japanese sportsbike pantheon, the quartet that is the Yamaha YZF-R1, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and the Honda CBR1000R Fireblade. But of late the Suzuki GSX-R1000 (and the Honda) were said to be lagging behind. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 generation change, in fact, happened in 2009 - centuries ago in litre-sportsbike time, you could say. And this is without taking into account the resurgent Italian sportsbikes, the Ducati Panigale and the Aprilia RSV4. Well, all of that is past history because all-new this year is the 202PS Suzuki GSX-R1000 which also now gets a track-focussed GSX-R1000R model that adds a quickshifter, cornering ABS and launch control to the base model apart from upgraded suspension units. Here's a quick overview of what's under the blue/fluoro-green bodywork on the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R is so compact and comfortable (relatively speaking) that is is a disarmingly friendly motorcycle to ride
The recession hit the sportsbikes hard and development, especially for the 600s slowed to a stop. The litre-class bikes haven't seem too much action either. But finally, Suzuki has a completely new GSX-R to offer. With the clear intention to make a smaller, lighter and more powerful motorcycle, Suzuki has reworked the engine. This motor makes 202PS at 13,200 rpm and generates 117.6Nm at 10,800rpm.
The 999.8cc inline four on the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000A is brand-new and shared with the R model. Makes 202PS now and comes with variable valve timing and titanium valves!
The bore increases 1.5mm to 76mm while the stroke falls 2.1mm to 55.1mm. The more oversquare configuration favours top-end power and it causes the displacement to reach 999.8cc. The bigger pistons have shorter skirts to save weight and the new dome shape bumps the compression up to 13.2:1 from 12.9.
That badge is so famous! The fairings on the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000A are not very complex in shape and they look good!
Once you have the possibility to make more power you have to ensure that the engine can breathe. First, the bucket tappets were replaced with a finger follower system. 24mm titanium valves replace 25mm steel - this, Suzuki says, allows the redline to rise to 14,500rpm. That's staggering if you think about it. The intake valves are 1.5mm larger and are also titanium.
Then Suzuki took the variable valve timing from the MotoGP bike and slotted that in so that the new fierce top-end could be matched by a fat mid-range. The Suzuki Racing Variable Valve Timing (SR-VVT) uses centrifugal force that pushes 12 steel balls towards the outer edge of the intake cam sprocket. The effect is that it retards intake cam timing. So Suzuki can run low overlap at low revs while allowing more overlap at high revs to get both torque and top-end power. Next in the breathing cycle is the intake. Suzuki uses dual stage funnels only for two cylinders unlike, say the Yamaha R1 which has moving intake funnels for all cylinders.
For compactness, Suzuki also increased the throttle body bore size while making the bodies themselves smaller to mount the tank lower and closer to the centre of gravity.
This apart are smaller changes - a more compact stator unit, new oil passage design in the bottom-end etc. All that allows a smaller engine size - and Suzuki has seen fit to remove the balancer shaft from the GSX-R1000 this time around.
The Suzuki GSX-R1000's wheelbase has become slightly longer but the company says the compact engine allows more serious changes without affecting the 1,420mm wheelbase a lot. The distance from the front axle to the swingarm pivot is 20mm shorter while the swingarm - now braced on both sides - is 40mm longer for more mechanical traction.
Though we suspect that the black finish will eventually be worn through, the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000A and R get all-black pegs, peg-frame and heel plates that look and feel great!
Suzuki sticks with the twin-spar frame but it's new and narrower by 20mm. A 60mm wider spread at the rear engine mount, according to Suzuki, helps with vibration control. Weight falls 10 per cent while the subframe is nearly 40 per cent lighter.
New 10mm larger Brembos with monobloc calipers headline the stopping power on the Suzuki. Multiple articles note that the Suzuki runs rubber brake lines which is a surprise. ABS is standard and both models gets cornering ABS that modulates braking while taking into account lean angle.
The Showa BFF, or Balance Free Forks, are a thing of beauty. They clearly have the ability to make the chassis feel responsive and taut and yet, they feel so, so plush. Fully adjustable, naturally.
The 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000A rear brake is a Nissin calliper on a Brembo rotor
The base GSX-R1000 gets Showa Big Piston Front Forks and a Showa monoshock, both fully adjustable. The R version gets the higher spec, also fully adjustable Balance Free Front Fork and the matching Balance Free Cushion Lite rear shock. The R also has a drilled upper triple clamp for lighter weight.
The left switch cluster includes this new button that you use to change settings and work the LCD screen. It isn't the easiest system to use we have tested but it's an easy one to be sure
Suzuki has added the new buzzword in performance motorcycles, an IMU, or inertial measurement unit to the Suzuki GSX-R1000. This permits the chassis electronics to understand rider intent and bike state minutely for accurate intervention and support. So now, the Suzuki has Motion Track TCS, its 10-level traction control. There's also anti-stall and one-touch start. The R model adds a launch control system as well as cornering ABS and an up- and down-quickshifter. The Suzukis get riding modes that modulate engine response but Suzuki says wheelie control isn't there as a system although the traction control system takes care of it.
The new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R frame only has a marginally longer wheelbase. But the swingarm grows 40mm while the distance from axle to engine has reduced
Suzuki has never been accused of being at the cutting edge of motorcycle design - Katana aside - and the GSX-R1000 is not an exception. The design is inspired by the MotoGP bike and boasts a 16mm narrower front faring with a tiny headlight flanked by massive intakes. Drag is lower, says Suzuki, and the R model adds LED DRLs to the LED headlight cluster. The instruments are all-digital and what's that, a fuel gauge on a GSX-R? It's a first in the motorcycles history.
The 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 was priced at ?19 lakh, whereas its more aggressive GSX-R1000R twin was ?22 lakh, ex-Delhi. Post-GST, the new prices continue unchanged but now apply pan-India. These prices sit well with the pricing of the other Japanese litre-class sportsbikes. The Yamaha YZF-R1 is the exception, continuing to command a premium of approximately ?6 lakh lakh over this Suzuki (basic GSX-R1000 to YZF-R1), the Kawasaki ZX-10R and RR and the Honda CBR1000R Fireblade and the SP.