2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R world launch
Things we love about the new Gixxer and a few we didn’t
Suzuki’s all-new GSX-R1000R was presented to the world’s media at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit last week. Journalists flocked from all over the world to sample the bike and AMCN was given a dedicated R to play with.
The litre Gixxer is an entirely new bike for 2017 and there are certainly a lot of aspects I liked about the bike and some I didn’t.
What we like.
It’s comfortable, and from the first time I sat on the bike I felt at home. Although it’s smaller in dimension than the old 1000, there is plenty of room to move around. It’s especially easy to move your body weight forward and aft. You don’t feel stuck in one place and you can move your weight over the front in acceleration and backward in braking making it easier to keep the wheels on the ground…
I found the new GSX-R to be very stable as well. It handles very flat allowing the rider to be a little lazy in body positioning but still get away with a composed ride. There is not a massive weight transfer feeling from front to back or visa versa, and that allows you to concentrate more on your line than keeping the bike in control.
What struck me straight after I released the clutch for the first time was the GSX-R’s engine. It has retained a decent amount of bottom end to mid range power. This can sometimes mean a sacrifice in top-end power, but not on the new GSX-R1000R thanks to Suzuki’s Variable Valve Timing which seamlessly kicks in at 10000rpm, changing the valve timing on the fly and making the Suzuki feel like a jet.
The new aerodynamic package is also a masterpiece. It’s lower than the old bike and narrower too, but when you are hitting 280kph plus down the main shoot at the Island you can tuck down with room to spare. The wind flows right over the top, providing a much easier ride. Suzuki must have spent a massive amount of time in the wind tunnel to get that right and it’s bloody good.
The all new electronics package deserves a lot of praise. I would hate to think how many kilometers of wire are mated together the array of black boxes that keep the GSX-R in a straight line. An Inertia Control Unit is fitted to all the other major brands now, so Suzuki had to follow suite. This little box is a gyro that lets the motorcycle understand exactly what attitude the bike is at, and feeds information to the ECU which opens and shuts the throttle butterflies as well as retards the ignition, and in the Suzuki’s case activates the ABS.
What’s not so hot
There were a couple of things I didn’t quite gel with on the new R. A lot of guys were doing some quick times on the more track orientated rubber (Bridgestone R10). The OEM rubber was not as good as some other OEM rubber on the market. It didn’t take long for me to get the RS10 rubber spinning up big time coming out of turn 12 at the island and after three twenty minute sessions, it had cried enough.
The other thing I noticed was that when the spin initiated sometimes it wasn’t coming on smoothly and it felt like the bike had a light crank which wicked up without warning.That made things interesting on a couple of occasions. I would like to try the bike again with a set of tyres I have prior experience with, that way we can see what’s what.
Look out for my full test review of the highly anticipated 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R in the next issue of AMCN.
Report: Steve Martin