It may well be the last of the GSX-R1000 range that comes without traction control or ABS.
A proper racer on a proper BSB Superstock 1000. Seeley, GSX-R1000. 2009.
At the launch of the new bike
, the Suzuki technical bod made a point of telling us that the revisions made to the 2012 engine had led to "an eight per cent"
improvement in fuel economy. A little bit of me died when I enthusiastically scribbled this factoid down in my notes, but then I spotted fuel had somehow crept up to £1.39 a litre and didn't feel like such a dweeb.
So I finally had a chance to sit on a motorway and clog along at more or less legal speeds to see how much I could squeeze out of the tank. Well, as you can see from the pic below, I bottled it at 166.9
miles and the yellow light was still only flashing, as opposed to staying on, which means I had loads more fuel to go before I ran dry. In fact, I brimmed the tank and it took 14.80 litres
, so, if Suzuki is accurate and the tank does indeed hold 17.5 litres,
I had 2.7 litres of unleaded to go (I don't believe it! Seriously.) Anyway, I never got figures that good on the BMW S1000RR last year under similar Motorway meandering, save-fuel mode riding. So, mark that as a victory to the Suzuki. Get in!
Long term readers will know that I keep a keen eye on
stock racing of various kinds, reasoning that our road bikes have more in
common with them than anything in any superbike class. Where superstock racing
rules mean that modifications are kept to a minimum, global superstock results tend
to show which ‘basic’ bike is best in class.
We can argue that by sheer dint of the numbers of certain
models on grids that you would expect to see lots of BMW S1000RRs on podiums,
but the reason why it's the superstock bike of choice is because its such a
strong basic package. There’s a chicken and egg thing going on (the bike wins a
lot because there are lots of them on the grid, but there are lots of them on
the grid because they are good and win a lot), but you get the drift.
After chatting to various racing and tuning contacts, the sad news for fans of
Suzuki is that there are fewer new GSX-R1000s on the grids than there have been
for years. The chassis might be spot-on for the road, but in superstock racing,
all other things being more or less equal, then a heap more power is more
Interestingly though, for 2012 a few riders who were on BMW last
year had opted to race Honda's Fireblade, preferring its chassis and handling
as well as the advantage it had out of corners with a punchier midrange. The
word was that the Honda engine responds better to tuning and boosted mirange
punch better than any gearing change and tuning tweaks could do with the BMW
lump. Such is the pre-season gossip. If anyone is racing a 2012 (or even a 2011) GSX-R1000 in superstock trim, I'd love to hear from you.
I'm allowed to be biased. I could pretend that I'm not, but that would be a lie. I can try to be un-biased (which is worthwhile and what I intend to do) but I can't deny I'm a fan of the Suzuki GSX-R
range. I like the looks, I like the noise, I like the ride, the engine character, the ergonomics and feel of the bike. When I sit on a Suzuki, it feels like an old friend. I may not ride one for months on end, but when I throw a leg over one, it feels familiar.
After the launch
of the bike in Miami
(Homestead track and the soggy roads around south Miami), I first rode the bike in the UK through shite London traffic. What did I notice? Light steering, a decent back brake and good lock and steering at low speed. And a more eager engine from low revs. For the time being that's as much as I can say with any confidence (the clutch is light too), but once I've put in a few more road miles, I'll be back with more. In the meantime, anyone with any questions or tips can email me at email@example.com and let's see how we can improve the beast! ('Improve' is a loose concept of course....).
Oh yes, the numbers don't lie. Come on, unleaded is £1-39.9 a litre!