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  • November 21, 2017
  • Dirck Edge
  • Chris Rubino and Dirck Edge
  • 189 Comments

Suzuki 2018 GSX-S1000F ABS: MD Ride Review

Let’s get a couple of things straight before we dive into this ride review. The new 2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000F is not a sport tourer. It is not intended to be a sport tourer. This is, according to Suzuki, a “comfortable sport bike”. As such, the passenger accommodations are just as they appear, uncomfortable for anything other than short trips. Now, how does this bike perform as a comfortable sport bike? Extremely well, as it turns out.

We tested the naked version of the bike when it was first introduced to the United States back in 2016. Our test unit this year is largely unchanged from that bike, except that it has the wind protection of a full fairing and windscreen, and has some updates to the engine and clutch, as well as some other minor changes.

The relatively long-stroke 999cc engine based on the K5 GSX-R1000 is still present, but it now features ventilation holes between the cylinders to reduce pumping losses, leading to more power and torque. A new clutch actually increases plate pressure under acceleration, and also acts as a slipper clutch on deceleration.

Also new for 2018 is a black finish on the shifter, rear brake and both hand levers, as well as a new brake line for “improved stopping performance with better feel at the lever.”

Other features carry over from the prior model, including radial mount, four-piston Brembo monoblock brake calipers in front, ABS, as well as selectable traction control (four levels, including off).

Suspension is adjustable, and particularly impressive is the front KYB fork, which allows you to separately adjust compression, rebound damping and spring preload. It is a beefy, 43mm unit.

The K5 GSX-R1000 engine was known for its mid-range pull, and it turns out it is an excellent basis for a street motor. Low-end is strong and mid-range is stronger, with some very serious thrust on top. Akrapovic has dynoed this engine at 147 horsepower at 11,000 rpm at the rear wheel, with 78 foot/pounds of torque at 9,650 rpm.

This isn’t just a K5 motor, as that was just a starting point. Suzuki has revised the cylinder head design with different valves, different cam shape, reshaped intake and exhaust tracts, lighter pistons, and revised fuel injection with 44mm throttle bodies. Oh, and for 2018, there are those ventilation holes between the cylinders to reduce pumping losses for improved horsepower and torque.

The special frame created by Suzuki for this line of motorcycles is a twin-spar design that is actually lighter than the frame found on the 2016 GSX-R1000 superbike. Steering geometry is on the quick side, and the wheelbase is a short 57.5 in.

I don’t see where Suzuki mentions it in their press materials, but I understand that the fuel injection mapping has been revised for 2018, as well. This is consistent with our testing, where we noted much smoother power when transitioning from a closed to an open throttle.

That broad spread of power allows the rider to use at least two different gears for most situations, including corner exits. Power comes on smoothly, as stated earlier, but is very strong, particularly as the bike revs out. The front wheel will come up quite easily when traction control is turned off.

For the most part, the bike will be quicker than just about any other street bike, largely because it makes such excellent power at streetable RPM levels, where superbikes with higher peak horsepower need to be revved much higher than is practical on the street. Vibration levels are reasonable for a large displacement inline four-cylinder machine, and we experienced no comfort issues on longer rides as a result of vibration. The ergonomics of the machine are also comfortable, placed somewhere between a classic sport tourer and a sportbike.

The bar height is particularly comfortable, and well-placed for both cruising and aggressive canyon carving or a track day.

The suspension allows a rider to dial in a comfortable ride for commuting, yet tighten things up for canyon carving or a track day. Faster riders may need more damping for advanced track day use, or racing, but the chassis is otherwise up to it.

Those Brembo brakes are simply fantastic. This is a big bike with stupendous acceleration, and it needs excellent brakes. Suzuki has provided that, in spades, as the front Brembos, in particular, offer superb power and feel.

Just like the bike we tested back in 2016, the 2018 GSX-S1000F handles superbly. It is not as flickable as a 600, of course, but does change directions easily, particularly with the high and wide handlebar. Additionally, the bike holds a line well in corners, while sucking up chop and otherwise remaining on track. High speed, straight-line stability is also excellent.

A Suzuki hallmark, the 6-speed transmission changes gears easily and positively. We didn’t experience a single missed shift during our testing. The Dunlop SportMax D214 tires offer good grip and feedback, but this bike performs at such a high level, even more aggressive sport rubber would be welcome.

This bike is simply a blast to ride! With virtually all the performance you can possibly use on the street, and the dramatically improved comfort compared to a hardcore sport bike, you can really feel in control. Speed is effortless, cornering is confidence-inspiring, and the rider remains more relaxed with the relatively upright ergonomics.

While wind protection is obviously much better than it is on the naked version, don’t expect your shoulders or your helmet to be out of the wind. Frankly, for a sportbike, the wind path from the screen hits you a bit higher, reducing chest pressure at highway speeds. Nevertheless, a taller, wider screen would greatly benefit riders who might want to use the GSX-S1000F as a true sport touring bike (just don’t expect a passenger to be comfortable on longer rides).

Once in a while, we have a test bike in the garage that we don’t want to give back. The 2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000F ABS is one of those bikes. At a U.S. MSRP of $11,299, it represents a real bargain in the “comfortable superbike” class, if there is such a thing. Compared to open class naked bikes from competitors, the GSX-S1000F is frequently several thousand dollars cheaper without giving up much (if anything) when it comes to performance, and is more comfortable with the added wind protection.

The 2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000F is available in two colors, including Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Sparkle Black (our test unit pictured) and Pear Glacier White (pictured immediately below). For additional details and specifications, visit Suzuki’s web site.


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189 Comments

  1. mg3 says:

    Unfortunately it’s not just the rear end that makes this bike look so off-putting. The colors, materials and general layout are simply out of tune.

    How the machine looks has always been as important to me as how it performs. Owning and enjoying a motorcycle, or any machine for that matter, is an appreciation of function and form. But ‘taste’ is a difficult concept to pin down, especially as it pertains to the likes and dislikes of a market segment. I am just constantly amazed at how far off the mark the Japanese design industry has slipped. They seem to be stuck in this futuristic cartoon world of sharp angles and weird colors. Hopefully they will get out of their rut soon, probably just in time for the whole strange look to suddenly be everyone’s desire.

    Even more troubling for me – 5000 rpm at 70 mph?? That’s crazy!

    Oh well, my 2 cents, nothing more or less.

    • Paul says:

      “Even more troubling for me – 5000 rpm at 70 mph?? That’s crazy!”

      Please tell us why you think that is “crazy”.

    • todd says:

      5000 rpm at 70 means you don’t have to downshift for massive acceleration. Plus, it’s closer to peak torque at that rpm which means it will live longer and get better mileage than if it’s running in less efficient places in the power band.

      My K75S also runs around 5000 at 70 mph. So many people that have ridden it have remarked on how much stronger the top gear acceleration is than on their bike. I don’t quite understand the desire to neuter performance with rearly high gearing.

      • mickey says:

        I average a little over 25,000 miles a year and can’t remember the time I needed ” massive acceleration”. Every once in awhile I have to pass a car, and that might require a downshift, but that can be accomplished in a nano second and always provides all the acceleration I need. Maybe you need a more powerful bike lol.

        As far as better mileage, no way. The more rpms, the more gas it needs to reach it or maintain it. All of the fuel computers on todays vehicles amply demonstrate that fact. Guys that run their bikes at high rpms get worse gas mileage than the guys that ride their bikes at lower rpms.

      • MGNorge says:

        I honestly can’t think of any engine I’ve ever owned that would live longer from riding around at peak torque rpm or expect it to get better mileage, than say, cruising at a significantly lower rpm. Please explain!

        I would agree that an engine’s peak efficiency is at its torque peak rpm at WOT. But that won’t deliver best fuel mileage efficiency.

        If an engine is fueling correctly there’s no harm riding below peak torque rpm or anywhere in the rpm range. But over time, extra rpm will add comparative wear to reduced rpm.

        • todd says:

          It really is a balance. At lower rpm, an engine is efficient because the throttle is open more even though cylinder filling and flow characteristics might not be as ideal at those rpm. Putting an engine closer to its peak efficiency rpm potentially will have very small throttle openings if the engine was designed for higher rpm torque, choking the engine. This is why sport bikes don’t get good mileage – even though the engines are very efficient. Ideally, the engine is designed to have peak torque at a low rpm with such low power that you are also near WOT. This is why big V-twins make reasonable mileage even though they are not efficient. Likewise, any engine that makes relatively low power will have good mileage because the engine is near WOT even if is spinning 9,000 rpm.

          Reducing rpm doesn’t always improve fuel mileage, depending on how poorly the engine flows at those rpm. The added efficiency of wider throttle openings might not be enough to offset the turbulent flow characteristics.

          • Tim C says:

            Ask any Ninja 250 rider, you basically zip around all day, no choice about it. Perfect example of small/low-powered phenomenon mentioned here. And they are pretty bullet-proof, plenty have high miles as they get passed down a chain of new riders.

          • mickey says:

            That may be true of a 250, but we are talking a 4 cyl liter bike here. Running 5000 rpm at 70 mph is going to be a gas sucker for a bike tuned for riding on the street. A liter 4 cyl with 65+ ft lbs of torque should be turning about 3500 rpms at 70 mph and it will get better gas mileage at that rpms than it will at 5000 rpms. Suzuki could have solved this with a taller 6th gear.

            a 250 Ninja HAS to run 9000 rpms to maintain 70 mph because it has no power.(relatively speaking)

          • MGNorge says:

            OK, there’s engine efficiency pertaining to power output for a displacement and engine efficiency related to fuel usage. I can almost guarantee you that running around at or close to peak torque rpm, where best torque would be delivered if at WOT, that fuel mileage would suffer compared to running that same engine at lower rpm and up a gear or two. Of course you can’t expect that engine running at lower rpm to snap to it in the same way that it could if at closer to peak torque rpm when given a handful of throttle. Today’s engines are marvels of engineering and last much longer, more reliably, than just a few decades ago. But operating any engine at a higher than necessary rpm will increase wear compared to knocking it back a rung where better fuel mileage will be realized too.

  2. sherm says:

    Looking at the profile picture with the rider on the bike, the rear doesn’t look all that different from other sport bikes. If you saw the bike ride by on the street, I doubt that the rear end would even catch your attention. Looks like most other sport bikes.

    Some of the still photos are taken at an angle that exaggerates the tail.

  3. carl says:

    Great bike for us old goats who still love our sportbikes but don’t need a visit to the chiropractor every time we ride. Thank you Suzuki for not forgetting us, we don’t all ride 1000lb V-twin turds.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      It’s nice to see the manufacturers giving us fast bikes that don’t require advanced yoga skills. I’d disagree that “old goats” were the target demographic, however. Your V-Strom is right over there, sir. hahaha

    • motocephalic says:

      Carl,

      your smokin way too much, my v twin weighs less than 500# made by sukuki, and Chiro’s are NOT in my life, nor will they ever be, and I am over 55, and been riding all my life.

      This bike sucks!

  4. Rapier says:

    I didn’t know it was ugly until I read the comments. Well I still don’t know. No, it isn’t a 916 or an F4. In my opinion the trend to large underside exhaust collection boxes and stubby mufflers is in general harmful to aesthetics. Often ugly and never pretty.

  5. SensibleSteve says:

    I bought one. Agree, it’s not the best looking bike, but it does handle really well and it’s fast. Range approaches 200 miles.
    On the downside, my one still has a snatchy throttle I want to sort – most users seem to think ECU re-map is the most comprehensive fix. It’s also low geared – approx 5k rpm = 70mph. This could be good thing as it improves acceleration in the real word, but will limit outright top speed on track.

  6. Trent says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Looks like people always need to find something to complain about. I wanted a superbike with better ergos. So I bought a ZX10R and ‘fixed’ it with a (LSL) handlebar kit and a Corbin seat. For me, this bike is the closest I’ve seen to getting what I was looking for without having to do any customization. The paint scheme on the white one, though, reminds me of looking at a scooter. The blue one is very purdy. And I don’t mind the Angry Birds look. I bet it’s a hoot to ride.

    • sdboxer says:

      Same here, I was thinking just that. I too got a cbr600rr for the same reason. I have exactly what I want after the LSL handlebar “upgrade”. My back and neck are thanking me.

      Glad Suzuki is offering this riding experience to those who will appreciate it.

  7. bmidd says:

    I see multiple references to a Ducati Super Sport as competition or as a similar category to this bike, in my mind they aren’t in competition for my money. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay more money for a Ducati with 46 fewer horsepower and 11 lb-ft of torque. Unless you spend all your time in a coffee shop while wearing cuffed jeans and flannel shirts, you shouldn’t obsess with how your bike looks, but rather how it performs. Put your coffee down and ride the damn thing, you can’t see the beak when you’re sitting on it.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      Have you ever read a Peter Egan column? He enjoys function, but also likes a motorcycle he can admire in the garage. I think most of us are that way to some degree. Personally, I think this Suzuki looks okay. Not great. Not ugly. But, as a “practical sportbike,” it seems odd to dismiss the passenger. Would you agree that the tail-high, origami, matte paint thing has been overdone? Kind of like vests in the Harley crowd, it’s overdone to the point of predictable and boring.

  8. VLJ says:

    Dirck, how would you compare the performance and comfort of this thing (or its naked sibling, for a more apples to apples comparison) to an FZ-10?

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Not easy to make this comparison without having both bikes at the same time. Talking about the bike which is the subject of this test (the 1000F) it is more comfortable and easier to ride than the Yamaha. Not sure which bike is faster…both are almost ridiculously quick on the street. The Yamaha has that unique, cool sound and feel from the crossplane crank. They both have great brakes. Yamaha suspension is stiffer, and might have better damping for the track, but the Suzuki seems more plush/comfortable for street use. Suzuki fuel injection mapping might be superior for 2018, i.e., has smoother throttle response.

    • dale says:

      I was test riding both bikes at Long Beach show last year and noticeably the naked Suzuki is less twitchy and much smoother at the throttle response than the Yamaha. Somehow the seat on Yamaha also feels much higher. I like Suzuki much better after testing both. Of course the test ride was short and around crowded LB streets so can’t put a definite conclusion. BTW, the Suzuki also sounds great at the exhaust.

  9. Ilikefood says:

    I really wonder what the thinking is behind making an otherwise great bike look boring and cheap like this. Is there actually a target market out there that LIKES the way this thing looks? Are ugly bikes cheaper to produce? Does Suzuki have trouble hiring good designers? Is the idea to be the lowest-common denominator of motorcycle design that nobody will really like, but many people will find inoffensive? What’s going on there?

    • Dave says:

      Re: “Is there actually a target market out there that LIKES the way this thing looks?”

      Yes, they’re just are not in North America. It’s hard for our fragile egos to take, but we’re not the dominant market that the Moto makes caters to (‘cept HD..).

  10. Doc says:

    I try to be open minded. Really do. I like different. Sometimes even quirky. Don’t follow trends or a fad just because every one else is. And I’ve owned some of the fastest bikes on the planet at the time of their release. I go with what I like. Period. There is an old saying, “If it looks right, it is right”. This thing could be the greatest thing since sliced bread but cosmetically its all wrong. For me anyway. There was a mention of the Super Duke and Tuono in an earlier post. While they are not quite my cup of tea, they look better, again, to me. I told my wife when the CB1100F was a concept, if it comes to this country, I’m buying it. It did and I did. Never get tired of looking, dare I say, staring at it or riding it. You call it retro, I call it classic. Some things never go out of style. My bike won’t. This bike will. If you like this bike, then I say buy it. Ride it. Enjoy it. Its your money, not mine. For all the people that love this bike, I hope they used the same thought process when they chose their wife.

  11. Frank says:

    This is not the first bike to have fallen short in the styling department. But in all other ways this bike delivers the goods, big time, and at a great price point.

  12. kawzies says:

    At this price this bike is almost above any criticism. 11K brand new with 147hp to the rear wheel? Did anyone read this review or do they see the styling and stop there. This bike is a superbike made for real world riding and comfort…again..what a great deal!!! Want it bad!!! Soooo sick of the critics of “transformer” styling. They all love the retro but when the bikes come out no one buys them lol.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I agree. It’s not the prettiest bike out there, but the design isn’t bad in my opinion. And I find it beginning to grow on me. Considering what is has to offer, I’d probably come to find it beautiful over time. Maybe.

    • todd says:

      Since when is 147 hp for the real world?

  13. arrowrod says:

    Git’ your Krylon spray can gloss black paint. Cover the ugly. From 100 feet away, beautious…
    Flat black barbecue paint for the muffler.

  14. Tank says:

    If you buy a bike based only on looks, you’re going to miss out on some great bikes. This bike sounds like a blast to ride. The white one looks nice to me.

    • Brian says:

      That’s for sure. It’d be a shame to never ride a 1290 Super Duke, Tuono 1100, whatever, just because you didn’t like their styling. Anyway, in my experience the rest of the world is paying scant attention to your bike unless you’re doing something stupid.

      • Ilikefood says:

        The SuperDuke and Tuono are weird looking and polarizing – some people love their looks and some hate them. This thing just looks boring and cheap, and that’s MUCH worse.

    • Dino says:

      I was thinking the same thing… on paper, this is my next bike! Styling is so-so in my eyes… And I wish the 90’s could have their digital dashboard back! Drop in a nice analog tach to help clear up all those gey hashes all over…

      I keep thinking this is my Vstrom1000 with 50% more power, and twice the brakes and everything else… Wow!

    • Sentinel says:

      Actually, a bike needs to look good “and” be well usable for something more than getting tickets, and getting yourself and someone else killed before I’ll be interested.

  15. Max says:

    So the question on my mind is “can this fuel mapping be applied to the older ones?” I have a dealer down the road practically giving one away.

  16. Norm G. says:

    prolly a set of matching hard bags would do wonders to balance out the “cab forward” styling. with the snub rear it’s front heavy.

  17. SausageCreature says:

    No, it’s not a two-up sport tourer. And the pity is that with a redesigned tail section, it could have been a really good one. The lack of proper passenger accommodations (and the associated crimes against style that have eliminated them) have become a major frustration for me as I pick my next bike. My wife loves to ride with me, but she needs more space than pretty much any sport(y) bike at this price point will offer. My only real options are adventure bikes (no thanks), cruisers (been there, done that, don’t care to go back), and uber sport tourers like the FJR and BMW RT’s (overkill and can’t really justify the extra cost). The Ninja 1000 and Interceptor come closest to what I’m looking for, but even they are a bit cramped in the back.

    As I’ve said before, I refuse to believe that manufacturers would lose more sales to people that just have to have that short-tailed stink bug aesthetic than they would gain from suitable passenger accommodations. I understand that two-up riders are the minority, and manufacturers want to keep costs down. But a few more inches of sub frame, seat and plastic won’t cost much more in material, and wouldn’t cost any more at all in terms of labor to assemble, so I’m not going to buy that excuse. I would be willing to pay a premium of a few hundred bucks above the current price for this bike if it had a good passenger perch.

  18. Peter says:

    If I was going to buy a Japanese sportbike, it would be a close competition between this and the updated FJ09. I like the Angry Birds front end. I like it better than Yamaha’s styling on most of their bikes. Wish it had a real tail section for aesthetics and mounting hard luggage. The engine platform has always received high praise, though I’ve never ridden one.

    In reality though, the new Street triple is tough to beat in terms of performance, style, and tech. I suspect the Suzuki is a better distance ST bike though.

    So many good options out there these days!

  19. Bubba Blue says:

    Nice exhaust. I wouldn’t swap that one out.

  20. RyYYZ says:

    Maybe it’s not meant to be a sport-tourer, but with just a few tweaks which wouldn’t really detract from its sporting intentions, it could be. No, I don’t find the tail section attractive at all, and nevermind carrying a passenger, it’s also poor for mounting luggage of any sort. Still, leaving aside the looks of the tail section and some practical concerns, it’s a very attractive bike in terms of performance, wind coverage, and handling.

  21. Neil says:

    Yeah the naked version looks better. Solid colors do as well. If so many of us don’t like the bird beak thing, then I am sure someone, at Suzuki, did not as well. Unfortunately the head of design liked it. It does a great job of keeping the bike planted in corners however – see 44teeth review on youtube as well – I test rode the naked bike and liked it and since I ride highways a lot, this front end would be fine for me.

  22. RD350 says:

    This bike hasn’t caught up to the current styling trend winds, which thankfully, are turning away from space-bug, origami styling. But the ‘concept’ here is sound. I’m all in favor of comfortable sport bikes. That is, “real” sport-bikes that are also comfortable. I gave up on low clip-ons and high rear-sets on the street a long time ago. But I haven’t given up on fast sport riding. The new Kawasaki Z900RS really nails this segment in a much more attractive and useful package. Transplant some Katana or Wes Cooley-GS bodywork onto this Suzuki and it too would be a winner with their target audience; ie, more mature riders that still desire sportbike performance.

  23. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    Geez, you guys are tough. It doesn’t seem any worse then the norm styling to me. Though I can’t quite figure out how the fairing works from the pictures??? but I kind of like the batmobile on tea kettle effect. And it’s a monoposto, or monoanahalfo, that seems pretty normal for a sportbike. At least the seat is reasonable for the rider, you have to admit that right? Not the ball crushers we’ve been getting lately.
    I’m sure this shows just how bad my sense of style is but I kind of like it. Of course I like my Street Triple too.

  24. allworld says:

    While Suzuki says this is not a “sport tourer” It will be for me. I have ordered one, in white, and will take delivery when it arrives. SW Motech makes a set soft side bags that fit this bike perfectly, a taller wind screen and “bingo” Sport Tourer. Removed the bags, commuter, this is a bargain, IMO.

  25. GreenMan says:

    Oh please…

    Most people here are… Well, grump old men who are either too old or just too bitter (Probably the latter as I’m an old fart myself) to understand the basic aesthetics of this bike.

    The reviewer hit the nail with his initial remark:
    I quote: “The new 2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000F is NOT a sport tourer. It is not intended to be a sport tourer” End quote.

    I wonder how many people actually read the review?

    To sum-up the excellent review; IT IS NOT A SPORTS TOURER. It’s basically a solo riding machine. Think of it as a tamed down, comfortable, and very VERY torquey GSX-R1000 (Or is it a baby Hayabusa with less weight and more agility?) and you come pretty close to the ‘nature’ or ‘core’ of this beast! And suddenly, the lack of a good pillion accommodation makes PERFECT sense!

    If you want a sports tourer, there are many options like The well-mannered Ninja 1000 or perhaps BMW’s excellent R1200RS with an immersive catalog of aftermarket tidbits (Costs $$$ though!).

    This bike is just too awful wild to be a two-up sports tourer, lads. Come-on!

    Oh well,

    G’Day!

    • Dale says:

      +1. I’ve been riding for more than ten years now and found myself riding without pillion in the last few years. So this bike is perfect and Suzuki is brave enough to create a new segment for it. Those who wants to ride with pillion, plenty of other sport touring out there to choose from.

      • superlight says:

        Suzuki isn’t alone in this segment. Take a look at the Ducati Supersport.

      • wsg says:

        10 whole years? wow

      • GreenMan says:

        Thanks dale!
        This bike churns-out over 140+ HP at the crank, will probably make about 125+ HP at the wheel with an aftermarket full exhaust system.
        And…
        Come to think of it, 140+HP at the crank used to be in the superbike territory just about 8 or so years ago!
        In fact, The previous generation Yamaha R1 made about 160HP at the crank!
        This is a WILD ride. More suitable to be a stunt bike than a bloody 2-up commuter!

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Yep, I haven’t ridden with a pillion since I was in my 20s and don’t enjoy riding with someone on the back anyway, especially on a bike like this. It has a perch if necessary.

        • mickey says:

          Awww you sound lonely. I’m sure if you keep trying you can find a nice girl that would enjoy riding with you. Mine has been riding with me for 45 years, all over the US, Canada, Europe. Her company has meant a lot to me and she enjoys going on adventures as much as I do. Having her as a pillion has been a blessing not an inconvenience.

          Keep looking Jeremy!

          • Tim C says:

            Any woman I’d be interested in riding with would have to ride her own.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Hahaha. My lovely wife is a nervous wreck on the back of a motorcycle. We are both better off with her at the house.

          • mickey says:

            My wife is totally comfortable on the back, and loves riding as much as I do. She is a nervous wreck when I’m out riding alone.

            When she had her own bikes (she’s had 3 including a Yamaha DT 100, a Honda CB350F and a Yamaha 400 Majesty), “I” was the one that was the nervous wreck and spent more time watching her in the rear view mirror than I did looking were I was going. Technically she has been riding since 1973, and has taken the MSF class and passed, but bless her soul her skills are not what I’d call razor sharp no matter how much she rides.I feel a lot more comfortable about her safety when she is on the back seat behind me.

            Some people are not meant to ride a motorcycle on their own, and most men ride harder, longer and more aggressively than women

    • Snake says:

      You – and Suzuki – are missing the point!

      The POINT is that WE, the BUYERS, should decide how we want to use our bikes. The manufacturers that come under the heading of “moronic” are the ones who limit their designs to one genre, one type of riding, with one type of rider. They then complain when their bikes fail to sell as well as they expected it to.

      It wasn’t originally designed as a sport-tourer. But there is *no* reason why it shouldn’t be able to be adapted to that…if it weren’t for Suzuki’s extreme stubbornness in failing to understand that some prospective owners, a goodly number actually, wanted to do that, and simply make a few modest accommodations to these wishes.

      Why a faired bike with almost completely unreasonable passenger accommodations? A *bit* more leeway in the design in this regard would only gain a larger market share – you’ll gain more couples riders than lose in solo riders that are turned off.

      Why *no* luggage? Have some for those who want, or simply a mounting system adapter that allows fitment of something if and when the *owner* decides he/she wants to. Instead, Suzuki plans nothing…so “nothing” is what they get in sales from people who would have bought and willing to work with the options available.

      See? Many bikers want a “Jack of many trades”, for example a daily sport rider that can handle a comfy weekend getaway with just enough storage space for, say, 2 days out. This bike **could** have been that…but missed it.

      Too bad.

  26. PatrickD says:

    The biggest failure is that rear seat, from an aesthetic and practical point of view.
    Someone who has designed this probably feels quite pleased with themselves, until someone reminds that that that it’s a requirement to have a license plate and therefore the appendage out back that kills whatever they were trying to achieve. This happens over and over again!
    Design should start with the practical requirements and then incorporate/mitigate using design skills. Not ignore it until the last moment.
    Really, really poor.

    • Randy in Ridgecrest says:

      It’s not like Suzuki suddenly came up with this scheme. To meet DOT or whoever regs you’ll get some version of this or you’d have to have a sheet metal fender monstrosity to cover that 190, and that would be worse. But you whip a tail tidy on it and nobody but you cares anyway, it’s just a sport bike.

      This kind of begs the questions(s) why does the DOT care about the exact placement of the lights and plate? Can’t this evolve since it doesn’t make much difference – and LEO doesn’t give a rip if you have a tail tidy? If it doesn’t have a hugger it needs one, no big deal for the spray.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        It’s funny, when a bike performs like this it becomes beautiful in my mind. Regardless of what it looks like.

        • austin zzr 1200 says:

          Cop-out. Its why you hire designers. There is so much you can do with injection molded plastic…why make it ugly? its just this designer has a bird fetish (nothing wrong with that..)

          • Fred says:

            And the Suzi RF900 designer that was besotted with a stingray he saw in a harbour, so the front is shaped on that inspiration.

        • Onto says:

          Agree with Dirck. I too see beauty in function. This bike excites me because of its capabilities. I am not young but I’m still a very capable rider, and am not willing to settle for something sedate and boring, like the CB1100.

          • austin zzr 1200 says:

            Or you can go for a Ducati Supersport and have the be best of all worlds: beauty, performance, comfort…at around the same price.

    • Bob K says:

      I get what you’re saying. MotoGP changed to the stubby tail sections because at 200 mph, any tail section on a bike is useless at getting the laminar flow to come back together smoothly and prevent turbulence, which upsets rear stability and created drag. So they just went ahead and made them as small as possible with the justification that it’s less weight overall and less weight further rearward. The bikes on the street just mimic this. However, it got lost that at street and highway speeds, the larger and longer tail sections actually had some aerodynamic use.
      .
      The larger tailsections also added some storage space for a toolkit, a Slime pump and your wallet, phone and house keys. Something more street bikes need. Also, it would add some aesthetic balance, as most bikes appear “front heavy” in the looks department. Doing so, could also make those license plate appendages less unsightly. As an engineer that spends my days designing things, I can see the potential for something more attractive and just as functional.

  27. Tony says:

    The designer should be shot. This bike is a crime against style.
    I don’t care about its performance at all when it has such an ugly face.
    Sometimes the designer should be told no.

  28. john says:

    this bike is in a completely different class than the others mentioned above.

    Ninja 1000? – much much heavier- much less power- higher msrp

    Z900/Z900RS? same’ish weight or heavier, less power

    CB1100? Are you kidding? 540 pounds 90hp!!

    be serious guys

  29. Fred says:

    Front on it’s a dog (or a strange bird), but side on it’s beautiful, including the rear tail of a GSXR.

    • Ilikefood says:

      You must be the first person to ever use the words “beautiful” and “GSXR” together in the same sentence.

  30. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Another sale lost to passenger styling trends…don’t they understand who has the final say in these purchases? We’re not squids anymore…

  31. VLJ says:

    This usually never happens with me, as I generally get used to practically anything over time, but this bike is actually growing uglier to me every time I come back and look at it again. While we all seem to agree that the tail section is among the worst ever, I also can’t find a single form, contour or line anywhere else on this bike that isn’t hopelessly awkward. Even the headlight suffers from the dreaded One Eye Only Syndrome.

    Jeez, I gotta find something nice to say about her looks…

    Okay, the wheels are decent enough, the ‘GSX-S1000’ logo on the side of the fairing looks cool, and the exhaust system is less obnoxious than many other recent systems.

    There, now I feel better.

    • P Harris says:

      Look at the engine, look at the suspension, look at the brakes, and look at the price tag. The wear the ugly like a badge of honor.

      • Selecter says:

        This would be my solution. Let the prima donnas stand around and stare at their round-headlight-hipster-bikes on sunny days, I’d be out flogging this little pig like it owes me money on the days that are sunny and those that are not.

        You get a LOT of performance here, nevermind the wholly reasonable price. If the FI is sorted out (finally), it’s going to be awfully hard for me to stay away.

        • Ilikefood says:

          Yeah, sure, but wouldn’t you rather have the same performance and so on in a good looking bike? It shouldn’t be that hard, it’s not like ugly bikes are cheaper to produce…

          • Selecter says:

            Honestly, I don’t care all that much. I can buy a brand new MV F3 for less than the GSX-S. I’d still pick the GSX-S. It has the things I would really desire in a “street sportbike”, and nothing else honstly comes close. The Ducati is more expensive with less cubes/power. Yamaha would be closer with an FZ10 derivative with fairings, but that’d be even more expensive still!

            Full disclosure, I ride a Super Tenere. It’s NOT pretty. And I don’t care one bit; it’s the best bike I’ve owned by a longshot. I also have a TT600, which some people thought was ugly; I actually think it’s quite good-looking. For a cheap beater, it’s great!

            I also had a V11 LeMans; it was and still is one of the best-looking bikes I’ve seen. And it was a complete disappointment to ride. So take those experiences for what they’re worth. 🙂

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Haha. It isn’t the prettiest bike by a long shot, but I am not too put off by it. The tail is a bit too high, and the trim on the tail only serves to amplify the effect, almost as if it is bent skyward. It makes a heavy looking front quarter of the bike look even heavier. The black back end again amplifies this design characteristic. Probably why I like the white better as it feels a little more balanced.

      If I were looking for a bike like this, the looks wouldn’t deter me given the specs, ergos, and price. I also think it looks better in person than in pictures.

      • VLJ says:

        The specs, ergos, and price of this bike didn’t dictate its aesthetics. This bike easily could have been just as capable and affordable while looking halfway decent. That tail section isn’t any cheaper to produce or functionally sportier than, say, a Street Triple’s or ZX-10R’s, both of which are far more attractive than the bizarrely shaped piece Suzuki unfortunately chose to drop on their GSX-S and GSX-F models.

        Nope, someone at Hammamatsu simply thought this was a good design, and someone else there inexplicably gave it the green light.

  32. mickey says:

    Pretty nice bike both in spec and in looks… from the drivers seat forward. The back half and the muffler not so much. Assume that won’t matter much to those that buy it. THere was a KTM a couple years ago that had a worse looking rear end, but I don’t remember the model.

  33. Oilhead says:

    We’re all honest critics here, and that compels me to chime in. Might I suggest that Suzuki “design” engineers take a little vacation to, say, the shores of Lake Como. Enjoy the food, the wine, and all of the God given scenery, created or natural. Then put their pens to paper and see what aesthetics come to mind. Or better yet, stay home and continue crafting their fine mechanicals, only to outsource the final design.

    • P Harris says:

      It’s a curious phenomenon, and almost endearing in its relentless anti aesthetic. It’s as though a group of Russian tractor designers were hired after glasnost, and they’re still holed up in a smoke filled room somewhere in Japan.

      You vant gas tank, here is gas tank.

      On the plus side, if you drop it, no tears will be shed. All the gain – none of the pain.

      • Stuki Moi says:

        I don’t get it. I think the bike looks great. It’s much smaller in real life than it tends to look in pictures. So what may look like big, shapeless slabs to the camera, looks like nice, smooth curves on the floor and street.

        The seemingly elongated front snout, in reality reaches no further forward than a sportbike fairing. It’s just that the bars are much further back, leaving the fairing hanging out there a bit to itself. Suzuki leaving enough space for the wide, and in Suzuki tradition no-sweep-back bars to have a decent turning radius may have something to do with it as well. But without the forward fairing, you’d end up with the chopper style look of the naked version, with very little visual weight up front. Which would make sense on a naked. But not on a sportbike. And sportbike is what Suzuki designed this to be. Not naked bike with a fairing, whatever that is.

      • Provologna says:

        “…It’s a curious phenomenon, and almost endearing in its relentless anti aesthetic…” Nominated for quote of the year at M.O. 2nd, anyone?

  34. Chris says:

    All that’s really holding me up is the super short gearing. I don’t reckon they changed that for 2018?

    • YellowDuck says:

      Seriously? How much does a smaller rear sprocket cost? $100?

      • Stuki Moi says:

        First is already good for 80+….. Despite the slightly truncated top end. It got the close ratio gear box from the Gixxer, along with the engine.

        Suzuki isn’t kidding with the “comfortable sportbike” moniker. The whole bike is a literbike with upright ergos. Not a streetfighter, hooligan bike, BigBike, sport tourer, commuter, or even sporty bike. It really is a liter class sportbike, a K5 Gixxer to be more precise; just with the very top end truncated a bit. And rejigged with ergos to better suit an aging rider demographic.

      • Chris says:

        Yep, seriously. Gears are way too close for my liking and it’s running way too high revs at highway cruising speeds. It has plenty of power to spread it out. We all have our ‘druthers. Those are a couple of mine. A simple sprocket change won’t get me where I want to go. Having said that, I may end up w/one anyway. It’s the closest to what I’m looking for, at a reasonable price. All good and onward.

  35. red says:

    It’s a bike in the spirit of old vfr’s. Execution not as attractive but better specs. I like it in principal. The white one looks decent. A little on the spendy side but probably worth it considering.

    I’d have a hard time picking it over the z900rs though.

  36. Grover says:

    Next logical step up from my Bandit 1200S.

  37. Brian says:

    I’d have a hard time choosing this over the Ninja 1000 (unless insurance rates are as ridiculous as I’ve heard due to the “Ninja” name). Better looking, with much better touring capabilities and not much of a power defecit.

    If touring wasn’t an issue, the much less Angry Birds unfaired version might be tempting.

    • Selecter says:

      FWIW, I’ve measured insurance on both. They were nearly identical from Markel American for me (38, single, homeowner, etc.). The non-faired version was less expensive, but not substantially – I believe any of them were in the $700-$750/year range.

      Personally, I see it as an easy choice. For touring – you’re going to like the Ninja more, along with its side cases. For the speed freak that isn’t quite as limber as they used to be, the GSX-S is going to be hard to beat!

  38. Sean says:

    The whole bike has weird aesthetics. Tail way up in the air. Front end that reminds me of a humpback whale. The whole thing reminds me of some alien sea creature.

    • Doc says:

      Are you sure that’s not a swayback horse? All jokes aside, if you’re looking for this type of bike, the new Z900/RS is a much better choice. Not quite in hp maybe, but in looks, most definitely.

  39. bmbktmracer says:

    The passenger accommodation is odd. I see a lot of sportbikes with girls on the back, so if a guy was making the more mature choice and buying this instead of a GSXR, I’d think part of the appeal would be a better ride for his lady friend.

    • Dave says:

      Agreed. The tail section just doesn’t m!make sense. It’s like a sort of bad copy of the Aprilia RSV4’s. The customer they’re trying to attract would NEVER shy away for a tail section with better seating & mounting.

      I have never once heard complimentary remarks for cropped tails like this. Anybody?

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Cropped tails? I like the stubby look personally. I don’t care for this one in particular as it just points way too high in the air.

        • Dave says:

          This one is growing on me a little. There’s paint on it, at least. I see what’s going on with the upward point, it’s following the line created by the bottom of the fairing.

          Sounds like an incredibly capable bike, especially for the price.

  40. TimC says:

    Squint and you see Katana genes in there…hrmmm

  41. VLJ says:

    I am absolutely the target market for this bike, yet its hideous looks and utterly ridiculous tailsection simply won’t allow me to give it serious consideration. Such a shame, because now that Suzuki has apparently fixed the fueling glitch of the 2016 model this bike likely has no real functional faults.

  42. Rick says:

    Dirk/Chris, Sorry if a duplicate. Can the “new brake line” fit the 2016 F-model? Also, the bike has a 200-mile range as its mileage is good (I get 47 to 48 mpg in town).

  43. larlok says:

    Perhaps the most exaggerated tail section ever, and that’s saying something. Will this ever end?

  44. Bill says:

    I guess if I wanted a big comfy fast bike this would be a good choice.

  45. Jeremy in TX says:

    Unless I were strictly a track junkie, it would be hard to make the argument to spring for a true liter-class sport bike over something like this. And unless you are striving every weekend to eek out that extra 1/10th of second out of your lap times here and there, this bike would probably make for a less fatiguing, more enjoyable track day to boot.

    Dyno charts I’ve seen of this engine show a torque curve that never dips below 60 lb-ft from around 3500 rpm to 11500 rpm, peaking in the mid- to high-seventies. That makes for some pretty serious horsepower everywhere. Combine that with what looks to be some relatively comfy ergos, and this bike is a tough act to beat in the sportbike world.

  46. Rick says:

    Dirk/Chris, Nice review. Bleeding the front brake has been the only issue I’ve experienced with my 2016 F-model so I wonder if the “new brake line” is retro compatible to my bike? Also, you didn’t mention, but this bike has good range (200 miles) due to really good mileage (cruising at 80+ etc and still exceeds 45 mpg with high of 51)!

  47. Onto says:

    Great concept, Suzuki! There must be a lot of riders like me who, because of an aged body, can’t bend enough to ride a sports bike but can still ride really well. And I have no intention of being burdened by the weight of a pillion anyway. The main purpose of the racer crouch is aerodynamics so if you are not racing you don’t need it.

  48. Pacer says:

    Suzuki, and Ducati for that matter, are ahead of the curve on this one. Though, as Sentinel stated, not very attractive.

    • superlight says:

      Many of us think the Ducati Supersport looks great.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        The Ducati is beautiful, but this Suzuki is the bike if someone is looking for liter class performance with a fairing and decent ergonomics. The Ducati, while I am sure plenty for most, is a little short on performance in comparison.

  49. redbirds says:

    Why not a retro GS along the order of the CB1100 or Z900RS? This Suzuki is a great bike held back by bizarre looks and limited usefulness.

    • Larry Kahn says:

      Agreed especially if they looked at the GS1000S “Wes Cooly” style GS.

    • P Harris says:

      A lot of people aren’t shopping for a fashion accessory. This has superbike performance with good ergos. A serious machine.

  50. Sentinel says:

    Unfortunately it’s pretty ugly, and it’s trying to answer a problem exclaimed by some, but actually followed up on by few. Had they instead made a more attractive bike, and one that is a lightweight sport-tourer, they would have sold a lot more units for sure. At the very least give that bike a real rear end for reasonable passenger accommodation and the ability for hard luggage. I see no reason for Suzuki to pigeonhole this bike the way they have, but I suppose they are trying to protect the sales of their ugly, cyclops, bird-beaked thing. Whatever the case may be, they are still failing.