Could New brakes and some midrange for the 2012 GSX-R1000 make a big difference?

The 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 has been blessed by Brembo, gained some midrange, lost some weight and now has only one end can. Nice.


The 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 has been blessed by Brembo, gained some midrange, lost some weight and now has only one end can. Nice.

Right, let’s cut to the chase. The 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 L2model is a better model than the bike it replaces.
Why? Because it’s lighter, it has more midrange power and torque than the previous model, it has better brakes than the old model and it looks nicer than the old model by dint of the fact that it now only has one exhaust.

It has the same chassis (there have been some mods to the Showa fork to soften it a little), but the geometry is the same and essentially it is the same chassis with the same wheelbase and suspension, wheels and clocks.

But the engine has been revised. The pistons are now lighter, the pistons have been re-shaped, there’s new crank case architecture to reduce pumping losses and there’s now midrange where once there was…less. Peak power and torque remain the same as the old model and you’ve got 500rpm less to play with, although the compression has been raised.

The fact is that it feels like it revs more freely, spins up a bit quicker and certainly has some shunt where once there was none. All good.

And then there are the new Brembo monobloc calipers. As anyone who has been reading bike tests over the past decade will no doubt know, the GSX-R range was cursed with fading brakes. Well, on this evidence, a massive step forward has been taken. The master cylinder remains the same, but the new Brembo monobloc allied to some new pads and new brake rotor discs means braking on track at Homestead Raceway was never an issue.

While the brakes lacked an initial bite, once you got the hang of them, the longer and harder you squeezed, the better the brakes got, with excellent feel and power. But you have to get over that initial lack of reaction on first squeeze. Rather that though than scary and unpredictable brake fade.

Honestly, after a day on the track, I could find no fault. Yes, maybe a little more power would have been nice (in this class), maybe Suzuki is playing it too safe chopping off 500rpm and maybe some will find the brakes still need ‘something’ but the chassis and midrange are improved and, for me, the brakes were too. Suzuki has delivered on what it promised us on the spec sheet.

And, we’re not quite done, because unlike in the recent BMW, Honda and Yamaha litre bike launches, we’ll be riding the bike on the Florida roads tomorrow (Thursday 9th Feb). So there will be more later then, but so far, so good.