As you can probably tell already I am a huge Suzuki fanboy, I own a 750 L1 and have ridden pretty much all of the current Suzuki range. I love Gixers, the king of sportbikes they always have, and always will be, in my eyes, but the L series GSXR1000 was going stale. Don’t get me wrong the bike was mega, but it needed an overhaul to update and refresh it compared to the advancing competition.
Unveiled at Emica in 2016, the new L7 GSXR and GSXRR showed off revised styling, a new 1000cc engine, a new LCD dash with the RR getting some big beefy suspension, some cool looking daylight running lights, and an up and down the box quick-shifter/blipper. A wealth of new colour schemes to tickle everybody’s taste buds including MotoGP colours, a matte black and blood red, but also a Gloss black and deep blue colour in the RR version, this being my particular favourite.
Of course, whenever a new bike is released there is always going to be some unfavourable remarks, this time it’s mainly due to the size of the exhaust can. I agree it is rather large, but it does sound good for a stock can, and since then I have held the stock can after being replaced with an aftermarket system, its thin wall stainless steel construction means it is very light. The Suzuki boffins have done a great deal of work with the exhaust system getting it to flow well, despite hitting those god-awful euro 4 regulations. The exhaust can hasn’t had the best reception, 98% of the population hates it, I don’t think it is the nicest can ever, but I genuinely have seen worse stock cans. Aftermarket offerings for the new Gixer are plentiful. Yoshimura has 2 cans on offer, the Alpha T and the proven R11, in various finishes with combinations of titanium, stainless steel and carbon fibre. Offerings from other manufacturers include Racefit, Arrow and Scorpion, all of which look and sound amazing, however, if you are planning track use, check the Db levels first!
Suzuki has redesigned the engine from the ground up and come up with some very clever ways of extracting extra ponies while maintaining efficiency. Firstly with a very clever VVT (Variable Valve Timing) system, which helps the torque down low but then also helps with the power when reving it hard. The VVT system kicks in at 10K revs and being honest, I can’t say I got it that high on the road because I’m a good boy. Cough.
The new engine revs higher and makes more peak power, that the previous model, use of titanium valves and narrower valve angles, and use of an oversquare bore/stroke ratio coupled with a higher redline and upped compression ratio all add to more smiles per gallon. Some fancy tweaks on the exhaust manifold including balancing the runners together with butterfly valves which adjust the flow with RPM’s to increase the torque and horsepower figures more. Suzuki also has introduced top feed secondary injectors increasing higher rpms without the low and mid-range suffering. All these fancy words and engineering mean a lot, but does the engine actually work? Even with the strict Euro 4 regulations, the new gixer is 200hp out the box.
The RR is equipped with Showa’s new Balance free forks, identifiable by the pressurized sub tanks on the front units (looks like a big cylinder on the front hubs), and Showa Cushion lite rear shock, the ride is firm but smooth, but will no doubt need properly setting up and adjusting to the riders weight, as always this is one of the best mods you can do to any bike.
Other lovlies included on the RR is the LCD dash, and adjustable rider modes, wheelie, launch (not tested, despite really wanting to) daylight running lights and traction control and cornering ABS as standard. Again none of this was really tested on the road, but from reports from others, it all works as you would expect to a high standard.
The new bike has had amazing successes in racing too, in the American superbike race championships with MotoGP legend Toni Elias, and Roger Hayden the brother of the late MotoGP legend Nicky. In the UK, new gixers litter most race ravings in BSB and British Superstock as well as many privateer and club championships. Suzuki also beat up the competition on the road racing scene with Michael Dunlop winning the senior IOM TT being the highlight. Now I would love for my name to be uttered in the same sentences as Elias, Hayden and Dunlop, but I am nowhere near their standard and I’m probably not even quick enough to make the tea back in the motorhome.
Demo day approached and I was more excited than a kid that had eaten a bag of pure E numbers. Being such a big Suzuki fan I was also slightly nervous. I didn’t want to have such high expectations, and then be disappointed. I had ridden an old K series 1000, and I thought it was a bit iffy. Compared to my 750 the old k series felt heavy, lazy and sluggish, like comparing a hummingbird to an albatross. It was quick, but it just felt cumbersome and it took a lot of effort to ride it quick.
The new Gixer 1000 has been completely redesigned so I had faith it wasn’t going to disappoint. Plus the success it was having on track also filled me with confidence it wouldn’t!
I can’t say how quick it is at full chat, but at roughly 61 or 62 mph on the UK roads, it is BALLISTIC. The torque down low is crazy, lifting the front wheel through most of the gears. The abundance of torque through the rev range means that a higher gear can be used and it still pulls hard for when overtaking other road users in a sensible manner when in the higher gear. Also equipped with a quick-shifter and auto-blipper (blipper on RR models only) both work seamlessly, admittedly they are not necessities, I manage just fine on my L1 without them, but they are very nice to have and use properly, and provide a massive grin factor with the pops it creates when in use.
The handling is sharp and precise, and the bike itself feels light, agile and nimble. The tyres provide endless amounts of grip for mere mortals like me and the suspension soaks up bumps smoothing the ride. Whilst the ride feels sporty, it is also very comfortable. The suspension inspires confidence, and also the rider assists also give you that ego boost making you think and look like a pro. The dash is clear and concise, but still packed with information and the riding position is sporty, yet comfortable, not touring bike comfortable but certainly comfy enough to munch the miles on!
For 2018 Suzuki have introduced new colours, in the R version last years GP and the matte black and red stays, accompanied by a new pearl white option, and a matte black, with blue accents on. The two new colours look fantastic.
For the RR version, the GP colours remain as does the beautiful gloss black and blue, now there’s also a grey on black and a white version.
Prices remain the same at £16,099 for the RR version, and £13,599 for the standard R version. Also, Suzuki offer a huge catalogue of upgrades and accessories to trick your new bike out with. Ranging from case protectors and fairing sliders to lever protectors and carbon yummy bits.