Fast Bikes|March 2020

Fun but flawed, why Suzuki's naked litre bike could now be worth a second Look.

Considering Suzuki are a company that have a reputation for brashness, not to mention a real flair for naked bikes that sell, it seemed remarkable that as the world turned super naked crazy, they were the only manufacturer missing out. Surely they could take their aging, but packed full of grunt, GSX-R1000, rip off its fairing, fit a set of flat bars and hey presto, create a proper full-on super naked? Well, in late 2015 it looked like they had finally done just that as the GSX-S1000 was launched. Or had they…

A deeper delve into the GSX’s spec sheet revealed that it was indeed powered by a GSX-R1000 engine – but not the latest version, one that was based on the K5 lump. Hang on a second, wasn’t that a motor that was released over a decade ago? Why not use the K9 motor? Or better still, the L2? The signs were there that Suzuki had once again pulled their punches and when the GSX-S1000 arrived, things didn’t get any better.

Visually, the GSX-S1000 was far too safe to be appealing. Naked bikes don’t have much in the way of a fairing to make them look cool, but the GSX-S lacked any form of characters, such as funky lights or even a few sharp styling lines here and there. It was, well, a bit bland. And sadly this feeling didn’t dissipate once on the go.


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March 2020