Supersports and superbikes are my preference over the likes of dirt, naked, touring and adventure motorcycles. When the call came for the opportunity to do a review ride of Suzuki’s famed GSX-R1000R, it was accepted whole heartedly without question.
Also fondly known as its popular nickname of Gixxer, from its GSX-R namesake, this 1000cc inline four motorcycle is designed to compete in WorldSBK and World Endurance Championship series, using race technology derived from its MotoGP prototype, the Suzuki GSX-RR.
There are only 2 aspects of the Gixxer that I wasn’t keen on – the bike is front heavy when at idle phase; and being a 1,000cc superbike, it is factory-fitted with super sticky Bridgestone Battlax RS11 Racing Street tyres as Suzuki is expecting the majority of buyers would take it to the track.
The Battlax RS11 tyres are designed for super grippy performance not just on the straights but also at the corners, but the tarmac must be dry. At this period (Oct to Dec) of the year, wet weather conditions are the norm. And that’s a big risk trying to ride the Gixxer fast on RS11 rubber in wet weathers.
The alternative option when the weather isn’t great? Simple. Called it a day and went home. Out of the 3 days I had the Gixxer, 2 were cut short, with only 1 day been good. But that’s enough time spent on tarmac to give a complete description of the Suzuki’s performance.
Regarding the Gixxer’s front end being heavy, it has to be noted that this feeling only applies when the bike is idle and any effort to push it out of tight/narrow situations using leg power instead of throttle, is a hassle.
However, the bike feels featherweight when it’s powered on, and flicking the Gixxer left/right when cutting thru traffic or winding roads didn’t slow me one bit. In fact, the Gixxer handles most situations the rider throws at it very well, and is more agile and swifter in its handling than smaller capacity bikes.
For the record, the GSX-R1000R uses the same Showa BFF (Balance Free Fork) for both its inverted front forks and rear shock absorber as Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-10R/ZX-10RR.
When it comes to Traction Control (TC), the Suzuki GSX-R1000R has 13 different steps to choose from. The TC is also divided into 2 parts; Part 1 has 3 steps while Part 2 has 10. Sounds intimidating? Yes, for the first time, once you get used to it, all of them are easy to remember and set.
Part 1 is divided into alphabet steps – which are A, B and C. A is for track, B is city ride and C for wet & slippery conditions. Part 2 are listed as 1-10, of which steps 1-4 are for the track, 5-8 are city ride, winding roads & highways and 9-10 are for when it’s raining or slippery surfaces.