Suzuki has unveiled two new stunning models: the 2017 GSX-R1000R and GSX-R1000, but is it enough to keep up with Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda? Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on the two new models, and we’ll let you be the judge… Ever since the covers came off the two new machines at Cologne’s INTERMOT show, we’ve been excited. Why? Because the all new 2017 GSX-R1000R and GSX-R1000 are sublime and sophisticated, in every sense of the word. It’s been a long time coming, Suzuki – but boy, it’s been worth the wait.
To give you a quick overview, we have the base GSX-R1000, the sportier and premium GSX-R1000R, and further up the evolutionary scale, you’d find the Suzuki GSX-“RR” – keep the “RR” in mind, because it’s thanks to that MotoGP prototype that we have this unprecedented new generation of GSX-Rs. It’s no secret that there is a lot of MotoGP inspired flair in these two bikes, and that’s thanks to Shinichi Sahara: the GSX-R1000 project manager, and former MotoGP technical director. Using his experience, he managed to develop a brand new engine, capable of 202 hp at 13,200 rpm, making it Suzuki’s most powerful GSX-R of all time.
Now that 202 hp figure has been quoted by Suzuki, but we’ve also been told 199.2 hp too, however, if it’s one or the other, it doesn’t really matter at this stage in the game. It’s only just been unveiled, and we’ll get proper clarification sooner or later. Either way, it’s not about the power figures; the new breed of GSX-R1000s come filled to the brim with modern technology, and that’s what gives it the edge.
Both models come equipped with an all-new 999.8cc inline four power plant, but it’s Suzuki’s revolutionary Variable Valve Timing, and finger following valve train that give it such an incredible top end power boost. This awesome system was tried and tested on the GSX-RR MotoGP bike, and if you’ve been following the 2016 season, particularly with an eye on Maverick Vinales, you’ll know that it works.
The Variable Valve Timing differs from other manufacturers units, because Suzuki’s is purely mechanical and neither hydraulic or electronic. The new finger-follower valve train allows the GSX-R to rev higher than ever, increasing top end power. The engine has also been designed to accommodate new pistons, pins and rings, and titanium valves and new cam shafts. The engine also comes with new exterior dimensions and a new layout. This is to improve the GSX-R’s cornering abilities, and improve front end feel and increased stability.
There’s also a new slipper clutch in there for good measure, and a new cooling system with a more efficient radiator, with dual electric fans.
Honda aren’t the only ones boasting the impressive multi-directional inertial measurement unit, because Suzuki have got one too. In fact, Honda’s is 5-axis…but Suzuki’s is 6! The new IMU has been complimented with a sophisticated 10-mode traction control system, cornering ABS, and three distinct rider modes. There are differences between the GSX-R1000 and R1000R electronics packages. Both will get the new IMU, traction control settings, and will in turn come with gear positioning sensor, crank position sensors and throttle valve sensors, which will be processed by the ECU for optimum traction.
Braking electronics are a little different though. Both versions have been treated with the Suzuki Motion Track Brake System, but only the GSX-R1000R gets the full “whilst leaning the f*ck over” ABS. The GSX-R1000 still has a decent ABS package, and an improved Anti Stoppie system too.
Both models come with an up and down quickshifter. In the electronics department though, the 2017 GSX-R1000R model comes with the added bonus of a clever launch control system that limits engine RPM and controls the throttle valve, keeping starting wheelies to a minimum…
Both models are built on top of a brand new aluminum frame, which is around 10% lighter than the previous incarnation. It’s narrower, lighter, and more agile too. Both come with a new swingarm that promises improved handling. Although the two versions share the same frame, the suspension systems are very different. The base GSX-R uses Showa Big Piston front forks, and a Showa rear shock, while the 2017 GSX-R1000R is supported by Showa’s top of the line Balance Free front forks, and rear shock.
The braking duties are handled by Brembo monobloc calipers, but they’re working in tandem with bigger 320mm rotors than before.
The instrumentation is also brand new, with a fancy LCD dash; the base model gets a black on white dash display, while the 2017 GSX-R1000R gets an inverted version. The lighting arrangements are all LEDs, at the front and back, including turn signals, but the R1000R comes with a set of LED DRLs, too.
And then there’s the overall look of the machinery. It’s more than a little bit MotoGP inspired, wouldn’t you say? And that’s no bad thing. The front headlight is a bit too MV Agusta for my liking, but it works. Aside from that, everything looks great, and aerodynamic efficiency has been improved, and the air intake has been better positioned for increased airflow. All in all, good job. Now, if we can all just ignore that exhaust, then we’ve got a killer superbike on our hands. Talking of the exhaust, surely for an “R” version, Suzuki could’ve called in some help from Yoshimura?
8 Reasons Why You Should Buy The 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R
Still not convinced? If you’re debating whether or not to invest in a new sports bike this, then give this a read. While there are plenty of new and exciting models for you to choose from this year, there’s definitely one stand out model: the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. You won’t have to search very hard to find articles that sing its praises: the journalists love it, it photographs amazingly well, and it’s got so much going for it that it’s easy to kill your word count waxing lyrical about this thing.
It’s got the power, it’s got the touch of modern, it’s got the technology, it’s got the lineage…and most importantly, it’s got a very attractive price tag. But if you’re still on the fence about whether to bring the hammer down on the GSX-R1000R, here are a few good reasons to help you beat your wallet into submission.
It’s Got An Extra “R” In The Name…
Anyone could add an extra “R” to their product, but when it comes to sports bikes, it’s more than window dressing. If I had to guess what the extra “R” stands for in the GSX-R1000R, I’d like to think it meant “responsibility” because (as Spiderman’s dearly departed Uncle Ben would attest) “with great power comes great responsibility,” – and the GSX-R1000R is certainly powerful. Claiming 199 horses thanks to Suzuki’s revised engine cases, and a veritable fury of power right through the entire rev range, you can bet this GSX-R1000R flies. The new power curve is thanks to the new VVT (Variable Valve Timing) system, partnered with revised exhaust valves and new secondary injectors.
If you ever wanted a GSX-R that could spar with the likes of Kawasaki’s ZX-10R or a Yamaha R1, without compromising the GSX-Rness of the whole package, then this is truly the bike for you.
The Electronics Are Tip Top…
In terms of on board gadgetry, the GSX-R1000R has the works. Well, it doesn’t have everything but it has more of what we want, and what it doesn’t have, we don’t need. For the sake of ticking items off the list, it has: a ride-by-wire system, three distinct ride modes to choose from, ABS, wheelie control, launch control, anti-stall, and a 10 level traction control system.
Like the rest of the top level liter bikes, the GSX-R1000R’s traction control is carefully monitored and controlled by a six axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). This means that you’re going to stay upright whether you’re spinning here or sliding there, and as long as you apply a bit of extra throttle, the IMU will make up for your initial error, without coughing or struggling. It might seem a bit over the top, but it’s the modern standard, so rather than shun the electronic riding aids, it’s time to fully embrace them. But if you want, you can simply turn the traction and wheelie control off with relative ease, thanks to the all-new dash controls.
Of course, a quickshifter and an autoblipper are thrown in for good measure – but more about that below…
The Glorious Gearbox…
The new pair of GSX-R1000s may have had some nice engine revisions, but let’s not forget the gearbox. The gearbox has been completely redesigned, and the new six-speed cassette type arrangement is clean, clinical, and a sharp as a razorblade. The new design has also been enhanced by the addition of a rather smart quickshifter, as well as an autoblipper system too. Even though both GSX-Rs are road focused, the GSX-R1000R is the one you want if you have serious track time in mind. For a start, the gearing is easily swapped from the conventional one down five up, to the more track-friendly one up and five down by simply reversing the gear linkages. Which is a pretty handy feature.
It’s A Track Day Weapon…
There’s more to its track day appeal than a simple gear pattern shift – because the GSX-R1000R still retains the nimble handling and compact experience you already know and love from its predecessors. However, Suzuki have taken it up a notch, and turned it into a cornering master. How? First up, they’ve made some interesting chassis changes, such a new aluminum beam frame, which has been partnered with a slightly longer swingarm for better control.
But it’s not the chassis that pushes the GSX-R into the big leagues. It also boasts a sophisticated and top of the range suspension system courtesy of Showa. At the front, it’s armed with a pair of Showa’s new “Balance Free” forks, and at the rear it boasts a “Balance Free Cushion Light” shock at the rear. You’ll need to give it a bit of setting up to give you dominance on the track, but that’s no problem. And since you’ll probably be spending more time on the road than on the track, it’s no big deal.
And Just As “At Home” On The Road…
If you were to line up the GSX-R1000R and place it next to a relatively new 700 or 750 model, you’d immediately notice that they’re not terribly different in size. The rider comfort is very much in the same vein, and will be very familiar if you’re a veteran GSX-R rider. It’s comfortable, or rather, as comfortable as you can be on the slight frame and narrow bodywork, but it still comes with enough padding on the seat to cushion the boniest of asses, and comes with a surprising amount of legroom for the vertically gifted rider.
The controls are ergonomic, with a new switchgear for easy access to the usual features, and the bike boasts a new LED lighting package. Naturally, it comes with ABS, but it’s not possible to switch it off without fully disconnecting it, but that’s no bad thing on the roads. The Brembo brakes package helps you throw the anchor down in a hurry, and it’s a great, versatile sports bike. You’d think we’d exhausted all the reasons to buy one, but we’ve still got a few more. In fact..
Kevin Schwantz Has One
According to Suzuki, Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz will be getting one. Now, whether it’s the GSX-R1000 or the GSX-R1000R remains to be seen. But from what they’re reporting, the one that rolls out of the factory sporting the 34th VIN number (in homage to Schwantz’s #34 racing number) will be sent directly to the man himself as a gift. Which is awesome.
It’s always nice to see factories supporting their riders, even long after they’ve gone their separate ways. Although that’s not strictly true…Schwantz has been seen in a lot of promotional material for the new 1000s, and maybe getting one of his own was part of his fee. Who knows? Either way, if it’s good enough for a world champ, it’s good enough for the likes of us.
Then There’s The Price
How much? The MSRP is a very attractive $16,999 for the GSX-R1000R. If you want to weigh that up against the rest of the competition, take a look below. It’s a steal.
Kawasaki ZX-10RR: $18,999
Honda CBR1000RR: $16,999
Honda CBR1000RR SP1: $19,999
Yamaha YZF-R1: $16,699
Yamaha YZF-R1M: $22,499
But If You Can’t Afford It…
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable that still packs a considerable punch, then you can always go for the standard GSX-R1000. It’s priced at a mere $14,599 (MSRP), which is easily the cheapest of the rest of what’s on offer within the same class. Cheaper, sure, but what you save in cash, you don’t really lose in features.
The suspension is a little different: you get Showa’s “Big-Piston” forks instead of the “Balance-Free”. The technology is a little more basic: you’ll have to sacrifice the quickshifter and the autoblipper, and the dash is a little less dramatic. But you save about $1,500 for a very similar product. And funnily enough, you actually save a kilo of extra weight. The chassis is the same, engine is the same, and the rest of the electronics are the same, too.
The Suzuki GSX-R1000 & GSX-R1000R Prices In Detail
When we first saw the two new superbikes, we were impressed with Suzuki’s much needed upgrades and were more than satisfied with both of their products. However, with new additions like Suzuki’s own patented, mechanical Variable Valve Timing and the other onboard goodies they were promising, we expected a price that reflected their efforts…However…
The 2017 GSX-R1000 Price
Suzuki Motor of America have recently announced the new prices for the two flagship models, and if you’re in the market for a 2017 sportsbike, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of these prices. First up, Suzuki’s all new GSX-R1000 for 2017 will start at $14,599 MSRP. Keep in mind that this is a fully revised GSX-R that boasts 199hp, 86.7 lbs – ft of torque and their new Variable Valve Timing technology… If you want to put that price in perspective, you can compare it with Kawasaki’s ZX-10R which offers less but costs $16,099 for the ABS model. Or take a look at Yamaha’s R1S (the S being the tamer version) which retails for $14,999. The Suzuki is the sensible rider’s option.
The standard GSX-R1000 comes complete with a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit that measures the pitch, roll and yaw, and all that jazz to allow the bike to optimize its own settings depending on the conditions, for more tactical traction control, the leaning ABS feature, and the wheelie control. The suspension isn’t as fancy as some of the rest of the bikes in the class, but the Showa Big Piston units do the job. For $14,599, you can’t go wrong…
The 2017 GSX-R1000R Price
But then you’ve got to think “I’m spending this much on a new sportsbike already, so I might as well supersize it while I’m here” and opt for Suzuki’s incredible, top of the range GSX-R1000R instead. Why? Well, apart from the additional “R” to boast to your friends about, you also get Showa Balance Free gas forks (BFF) at the front and a BFRC-lite shock on the rear, an up and down directional quickshifter, launch control, LED lights, a different subframe, a lighter chassis, an overall weight of 203 kgs and a fearsome 202 hp. Every other feature is the same as the standard, including the clever IMU.
What’s the cost? $16,999 for the GSX-R1000R. And if you’ve got the extra $1500 to upgrade to the “R” version, you should definitely do it.
No matter how you measure it up, the Suzuki GSX-R1000R is a very tempting option. A seductive power to weight ratio? Got it. A sophisticated electronics package? Oh yeah. Heavy duty suspension? Big time. Value for money? Well, that’s up to the rider and how they ride it. But is it an economically sound package? Most definitely. Will we be trying one? Only a fool wouldn’t!