So, onto today's update. Another day, another sportsbike. This time its the turn of the Suzuki GSXR1000R graciously borrowed from Crescent Motorcycle in Verwood, Dorset.
The last Suzuki I rode was a GS500E on the day I passed my motorcycle test so this has been long overdue.
The first thing you always notice is the colour. Nobody does blue like Suzuki. Yamaha try, but they just miss the mark. The second thing is that exhaust. Ahhh noise regulations; keeping aftermarket exhaust manufactures in business for years. As is so often the case, you approach any experience with a preconception and I'd heard that Suzuki sportsbikes all had narrow bars and that they were fast. In short, only one of those is true. A little hint, it's not the bars.
When riding at slow speed, the bike is pretty much the same as anything else I've ridden. Its fairly civilised with only a slightly lumpy response off the throttle in the lower gears. Having ridden a Ducati for so long, I'm used to slipping the clutch should it be needed, so its not the end of the world for me.
Heading out of town and picking up speed I was a little surprised by an apparent lack of serious acceleration when twisting the grip. I soon realised this was just me and twisting a little further revealed the real reason you would own a GSXR1000R. This is a seriously fast motorcycle!
Its a fabulous bike to ride. Beautifully balanced and easy to turn. I had the front go light on me a few times over the bumps, but it quickly regained it composure as I pushed on. The controls are easy and right where you expect them to be as well. The dash has lots of information and in an age when the competition is rolling out full colour displays, this did seem a little behind the times. In reality though, the only information you need to see if your speed when you see those big yellow boxes on the side of the roads. For that, its perfectly easy to read.
As I mentioned previously there is no mistaking this bike for anything produced by somebody else, but its design left me a little cold. Suzuki have stuck with their tried and tested design and you can see all the design cues that hark back to the K3 bikes, especially the style of the nose. Both Yamaha and Honda have introduced radially different looking flagships, but the Suzuki does feel like more of the same. If I had one I'd spend a few extra quid changing the exhaust, which when on song, actually sounds okay, and fitting a tail tidy. There is a very smart looking bike under here and it won't take too much to find it.
I'm not saying this is a bad motorcycle. Far from it, its pretty flippin epic actually. Civilised and easy to ride in town and extremely easy to get into trouble on when out in the wild. If Suzuki were able to introduce a bit more character, or have made the bike stand out from its predecessors a little more, for me it would really be pretty faultless.
This is without a doubt, the quickest bike I've ridden so far and if you're after a bike to ride and enjoy, the GSX1000R is certainly worth spending some time with.
A huge thanks to the world famous Crescent Motorcycles in Verwood. You can find them online at www.crescentmoto.uk Their two storey dealership is full, and I do mean full of some great stuff, including some WSBK machinery. Well worth a visit. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly and they have a great range of clothing and accessories in stock. This is how you do a bike dealership.