Suzuki GSX-R1000 (01-On)
When it comes to superbike top dogs, very few names come to mind instantly – one of those names happens to be the Suzuki GSX-R1000. The GSX-R1000 was definitely the top dog during its day. The superbike was produced as a replacement for the GSXR-1100. So, it had big shoes to fill. But, did it? Of course, the GSXR-1000 did more than just fill its big brother’s shoes.
This was one of the most competent sports bikes out there and as it evolved, so did its way of doing things. Later versions of the bike became more rev oriented and were excellent around corners. On the whole, the GXR-1000 turned out to be legendary.
The GSX-R1000 was introduced in the year 2001. It came with a 61 cubic inch or 1000 cc engine. The 1000 cc engine was about 100ccs smaller than the one used in the GSX-R1000’s predecessor, the GSX-R1100. Also, many thought the GSX-R1000 to be a bigger version of the GSX-R750. However, this wasn’t the case. Though both bikes shared quite a few components, they were, in essence, very different bikes.
Both bikes shared an identical main frame; however, the GSX-R1000 used thicker material (.5 mm thicker). Apart from a thicker main frame, the GSX-R1000 also enjoyed a 10% boost in torsional rigidity.
The GSX-R1000’s engine was also a redesigned version of the GSX-R750’s engine. The R1000’s engine had a bore that was 1mm thicker. It also had a longer stroke; 13mm longer to be more specific. The pistons were also completely new and had a lower crown. The new counter-balancer was also gear-driven.
At 130 pounds, the GSX-R1000’s engine was also the heavier one. It produced 160 horsepower at the crank, which peaked at 9500RPM. However, at the rear wheel, the power came down to 143 horses. The redline maxed out at 12000 RPM. Torque figures were at 80 pound feet, peaking at 8000 RPM.
The bike had a top speed of 278 kmph or 173 mph. It could do the quarter mile in 10.1 seconds at 228 kmph or 141.7 mph. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph/100 kmph was achieved in a mere 3 seconds.
This was the initial iteration of the GSX-R1000. Over the years, the bike went through several upgrades and changes, with the latest one being executed in the year 2007.
As implied earlier, the GSX-R1000 was a powerful bike. It was more than capable of winning races. To make things even better, it was a highly stable bike. The steering may not have been as responsive as expected, but the GSX-R1000 was nimble enough.
As for braking, there have been a few cases where overuse affected the effectiveness of the front brakes. However, this was easily fixed by switching to new pads and adding fresh fluid. If that failed to do the trick, a switch to a Brembo 1920 master cylinder was implemented.
The engine in the GSX-R1000, as described earlier, has always been one of the most powerful in the 1000cc category. In fact, the GSX-R1000 is referred to as the king of the segment. Power is available right on tap. At mid-range, it just gets blazingly fast and at the top end, one could probably head into space.
Lower gear ratios allow it to perform better than the other similar bikes from Suzuki. The GSX-R1000 is sheer raw power that excites you and puts a smile on your face.
The GSX-R1000 is well-built and quite strong. However, a few, but, minor issues have been reported. For instance, some owners have complained about the gold Titanium Nitride coating on the front forks peeling off in flakes. But, this sort of problem is only cosmetic and will not affect the overall build quality or performance.
Other than that, complaints concerning the gearbox have been made, but, that’s only from owners who’ve pushed the GSX-R1000 too hard.
The large and complex engine does have issues now and then, but nothing that cannot be taken care of.
A used GSX-R1000 can be had for as little as £3000. However, getting a deal like that will require some serious effort on one’s part. There’s a lot of hunting that needs to be done and such a price is usually negotiated in private. But, with that kind of price for a bike this good, the effort is absolutely worth it.
Of course, you could get yourself a Fireblade or an R1 for less, but, neither of them offer the GSX-R1000’s maddening performance and speed.
The equipment on the GSX-R1000 is top notch. In fact, they are class leading. What makes things even more appealing is that the GSX-R1000 is super comfortable, which is a rare feature for hardcore sport machines. The riding position is practical and gel filled seats offer plenty of cushioning. The fairings are good as well, which means touring on the GSX-R1000 shouldn’t be a problem.
Additionally, there is some basic storage capabilities under the seating. Headlights and mirrors are of superior quality too.