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When I think of Suzuki, I think of the Hayabusa. I also think of the legend of the Ghostrider somewhere in Sweden doing insane speeds on one of his all black GSXRs. Somewhere along the way Suzuki forgot to update and keep up with the Joneses as far as the GSX-R 1000 is concerned. It is the least talked about litre class superbike out there, but by no means less potent than any other. Though that might change soon, as per the concept bike displayed at EICMA 2015 by Suzuki.
However, I have been a great fan of naked streetfighters. I had the raw and brutal Yamaha FZ1, on which I went around India and did various other rides as well. And currently the futuristic Benelli TNT 899 is there in my garage.
However, the GSX-S1000 catches my interest. It is visually bulky and carries itself like a fully purposeful streetfighter –I’ll-do-my-own-hooligan-s#*t look right off the showroom. The blue colour that I rode is the ‘official’ Suzuki colour and does look good but to me a streetfighter is best dressed in black.
It has got all the right visual cues to have substantial road presence and carries an explosive performance in a small package. The engine produces a very healthy 145bhp (still less than one of the most powerful nakeds out there, the FZ1 at 150bhp). It is just a little less bulky than the FZ1 in the way it feels. The engine is super smooth as you would expect from a Japanese motorcycle and it is as flickable as it gets. I suspect it would be a decent track machine with better rear-sets, though a naked isn’t really built for the track. The street is where the real fun begins with it, where it lives and where it plasters a manic grin on the face of the rider.
Though this street naked’s engine is derived from the GSX-R1000, the engine on the bike is tweaked for the street and not the track. So different engine internals find their way into the heart of the S1000 to improve its bottom and mid-range. The powerband where you will find yourself most of the time in the city and on the highways. The bike is surprisingly easy to manage at slow speeds and doesn’t cause any heart-in-the-mouth moments as you let go of the clutch and start rolling. But get the engine revving into its meaty mid-range and you can fully appreciate the power all the way to its redline at 11500rpm.
Yes, this isn’t a litre class full blown sportsbike, but it has got enough to keep most riders happy. In addition to it, the comfortable ergonomics and saddle which allow the rider to flatfoot the bike. Suzuki does seem to have a winner on its hands ready to join the party alongside the FZ1, CB1000R and Z1000; albeit a few years late. The Suzuki in this group doesn’t get any fancy electronics or tech wizardry, but the bike is a solidly built unit, which oozes quality and attention to detail that we have come to expect from Suzuki. Though you do get 3-mode Traction Control and ABS for those who are looking for the safety net that these two provide.
The S1000 handles very well. You can pick it and throw it around with minimal effort. It is not as sharp as the superbike, but it will surprise at how easy it is to point and shoot! The wheels are shod with Dunlop rubber, which does a reasonably good job of aiding the handling. But the sweetest deal on the bike is the suspension. An aggressively set-up unit allows the bike to handle as well as you can hope and expect from a 209kg motorcycle, but the downside is that you might find it a trifle hard on not so smooth roads, that our cities are filled with. The suspension is easy to adjust, so softening it a bit should work well for most riders. Suzuki also claims that the chassis on this bike is actually lighter than the one used on the GSX-R1000 currently, which goes to show the effort the company has put into making this bike a potent machine.
As an all-round package you realize that Suzuki has done a fine job of giving something for everybody. An easy handling bike for the city, a stable bike for the highways and a bike which should do reasonably well on a track once in a while. And all of this with great looks, though for the more highway biased rider, a S1000F would probably make more sense. All this at an Ex-showroom Delhi price for INR 1225000 does make it a very tempting proposition indeed, especially taking into account that Suzuki has a number of Hayabusas on Indian roads and thus a decent after sales network. In comparison the Honda CB1000R ABS and Yamaha FZ1 retail for Rs 1326600/- and Rs 1143000/-, both prices ex-showroom Delhi. Though the FZ1 doesn’t have ABS.
Suzuki GSX-S1000 Review Technical Specifications
See how the Suzuki GSX-S1000 fares when put in comparison with similar products from other manufacturers