Niall Mackenzie fires back his initial thoughts from Almeria on Suzuki's latest flagship sportsbike
I'M NOT sure if it was deliberate but Suzuki has somehow managed to build a completely new motorcycle but kept the changes so subtle you could easily mistake it for the K7/K8 model.
I’ve attended launches when manufacturers have claimed ‘forty five changes’ when forty of these changes might be different engine studs. Not this time as the new 1000cc Gixer has everything. The tank, seat, fairing, wheels, engine, exhausts, suspension, electronics and dash are all brand new making it quite the revelation of 2009 for me so far.
With 1000cc sports bikes now making more power than most riders can use, manufacturers are less interested in top speed and are concentrating much more on making their bikes user friendly and safe to ride. Yamaha claim to have achieved this with their Moto GP inspired cross plane crank where as Suzuki have gone done a more conventional route chopping 5kg of the previous model’s overall weight plus making major improvements to handling and grip.
The weight loss comes mainly from a lighter engine, chassis, suspension and wheels which combined with a 10mm shorter wheelbase definitely gives a more agile feel. The improved grip comes from a much more compact engine that allows a longer swinging arm to be fitted improving rear traction and giving better rider feel. Up front the new Showa 43mm Big Piston Forks do a good job keeping things stable at high speed, coping well over bumps and planted in tighter corners.
Overall it is a much lighter handling machine with a brand new refined engine.
It has some serious competition with the new R1 and current Fireblade so it will tough fight on the road a track this year.
Read Niall's full report in next month's TWO.
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk