Simon Roots gives his opinion on his time on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5
I’m piling on the miles – and loving it. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 seems to be taking it in its stride too as the bike pulses its way through what should have been its 4,000-mile service and into unknown territory. The highlights remain numerous. One night I got home from Croydon to my folks place 68 miles away (er, both in Germany and therefore on the unrestricted autobahn) in 34 minutes. So that meant that I held open a GSX-R1000 in top for about 20 seconds before getting a grip on my senses again and returning to sub-150mph speeds.
My trip to Land’s End was fabulous too. While the speeds seemed much more sensible, Devon and Cornwall blurred passed almost more insanely – if that’s possible. But after a day of this you start to realise that the only place you can really let the GSX-R1000 loose is during the Proddie race at the TT, and I’m not doing that any time soon. At least my wheelies are improving, there’s simply so much power available that even this old fool can feel like AC Farias showing off to a burd.
And at the end of the day the Suzuki is getting me the 120 miles home with barely a whimper of discontentment. Is there anything this bike can’t do?
By the time a nail pierced the original rear Bridgestone BT-014 I’d already done the best part of 3,500 miles so they were a little bit worn out to say the least. ‘Squared off’ is the phrase that best describes them as they actually stood up on their own by the end of their life. The very helpful chaps at Barton Motors in Bath changed the tyres when everyone else in the West Country seemed to be suffering from a scrumpy hangover. A set of Metzeler Racetecs replaced the Bridgestones and they proved to be outrageously grippy on both my jaunt to Land’s End and our SuperBike trackday at Silverstone. Once the day dried out I really had my Bridgestone head on before I realised that there was tonnes more grip available. The wear on them at the end of the day looked as if the suspension wasn’t giving them the easiest ride, so I’ll have to get the bike dialled in for our day at Cadwell.
A SPANNER SPANNERS
I’m not the greatest mechanic in the world and I approach any task hesitantly, but I couldn’t put off fitting an exhaust any longer. The first one to try was the official Suzuki option (£699) that’s been developed with Yoshimura (like the stock bike) and looks as if it’s been freshly prised off a GP bike. It’s only an end can, but it’s lighter than the stock item and improves the looks of the GSX-R no end. Fitting it is a reasonable faff as the exhaust valve needs to come off and then be put back on precisely so that the fuel injection light doesn’t flash its warning. Somehow I managed to bodge it all back on and I can now sit and stare at it for ages. It’s beautiful and topped off by a neat Sato exhaust hanger (£57.95). The left rear pillion footpeg has been removed too for a really clean look. I’ve not got a dyno yet but the can is supposed to not need a Power Commander as it’s a factory endorsed part, but I’m not convinced so far as it feels fluffier than before.
The other successful part thrown on is the smart Ermax number plate bracket (£90) that rids the bike of the swathes of ugly black plastic at the rear. And then things started to go wrong. Despite using quality tools and a delicate hand I managed to round one of the heel plate bolts on the footrests just as I had a set of Arrow rearsets at the ready. So things have stalled there while I get a hacksaw and turn the allen head bolt into a flathead screw. I was also going to stick an Ermax screen on the bike but the integrated indicators in the mirrors are routed through the fairing and windshield through to the mirror and my patience doesn’t stretch to rethreading the wires down through the mirror’s arm or taking the front fairing off to unplug them from behind the speedo. I’ll just have to wait until the Marzocchi forks go on to do it. Yippee!
TOTAL MILES DONE: 5,002
STUFF DONE: Can on, pillion pegs off. Tail tidy on, dirty black plastic off. Wax on, wax off, wax lyrical
n Suzuki: 0845 8508800
online shopping at www.suzuki-gb.co.uk
n Ermax UK: 01522 697007
n Pertech Imports (Sato): 01524 733994 www.pertech-imports.co.uk
n Barton Motors of Bath: 01225 427906
n Metzeler: 0845 6094949