The Suzuki GSX-S1000 has been a big success due to its blend of ability, spec, and value,
and this new, significantly updated version at only £300 more, is a worthy successor.
Latest news: Suzuki GSX-S1000 updated for 2021
Its K5-derived powertrain and impressively competent chassis are improved and make for a great road bike and its electronics, quick-shifter and new dash are welcome upgrades.
The new-look is a step forward, too, but likely divisive. Best of all though is its value. This is a substantial, enjoyable, 1000cc naked that costs only slightly more than the more middleweight Yamaha MT-09SP and significantly undercuts all Japanese, let alone European, rivals. At that price, who cares about any quibbles?ide quality & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)
Although the GSX-S’s riding position has been tweaked, with bars that are 23mm wider and 20mm nearer the rider for a more upright riding position, although it’s still on the sporty side of neutral, its chassis is barely changed – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The old GSX-S already came with impressively multi-adjustable suspension for such a ‘budget’ bike, and this unchanged bar some revised settings. The big Brembo radial brakes are carried over, too, and provide powerful, classy stopping power.
While the tyres are now new Dunlop Roadsmart 2s. Handling is sharp enough yet stable; ride is OK although without the cultured class of better equipped (and significantly more expensive) ‘super nakeds’ and overall its behaviour is significantly more cultured than its budget price suggests.
4 out of 5 (4/5)
Smooth, grunty, responsive transverse four is still based on the ‘old’, long-stroke GSX-R1000 GSX-R1000 K5 motor but has had a hefty makeover.
New cams, valve springs, exhaust, revised injection, new airbox and more both help it become Euro5 compliant and gives a subtle boost to both peak power (2bhp extra) and midrange.
Aided by three switchable power modes, new standard quickshifter/autoblipper and improved slipper clutch it may be ‘only’ 150bhp compared to some £15K+ ‘super nakeds’ but is perfect in this form, exquisitely responsive, tractable and flexible, more than quick enough for the street and provides and endearing heart for a great real world, road bike.
It sounds better than ever, too. The only fly in the ointment is worsened economy – down from 50+ to a claimed 46mpg – although due to the larger tank range isn’t affected.Reliability & build quality Next up: Value4 out of 5 (4/5) Quality and spec has taken a subtle but significant step up and the new GSX-S’s core mechanicals (engine, frame, suspension etc) are all refinements of the old bike rather than all-new, so there should be few reliability concerns. That said, the changes to the engine are many, there’s the new ‘SIRS’ electronics suite, new ride-by-wire and more which, although already featuring on Suzuki’s latest V-Strom and Hayabusa, has yet to get extensive mileage under its belt.
Value vs rivals Next up: Equipment5 out of 5 (5/5) In a world seemingly awash with ultra-exotic, £15K+, 170bhp super-nakeds, the £10K, 150bhp GSX-S has always stood out as value-packed, real-world alternative – and the same is true with this new version. Although featuring all-new, bang-up-to-date styling, right down to its MotoGP-style ‘winglets’ and gaining performance, electronics, a quickshifter and more, this new GSX-S is only £300 more than the old version. If you like the new, more aggressive looks – and so far they’re proving a bit ‘Marmite – you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Some will argue that the GSX-S has been left behind by the likes of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 or Kawasaki Z H2 with their massive power, the Aprilia Tuono V4 or KTM 1290 Super Duke R with their massive torque and razor-sharp chassis or the BMW S1000R and Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS with their cutting edge tech.