Used Test: Suzuki GSX-R1000

Upon its launch in 2001, the Suzuki swept all before it. Six years later it is still arguably the best of the litre sports bike brood, but how does it handle in the fiercely fought second-hand sector?

Posted: 5 August 2008
by Bertie Simmonds

It's funny how bulbous the original 2001 GSX-R1000 now looks next to the lithe and silky-smooth 2006 GSX-R, R1 and Blade. But half a decade or more ago this was the latest 'big thing', a machine which made the likes of the FireBlade and R1 also-rans. Its 988cc motor produced more power than the opposition, the chassis handled like a pukka 750 superbike and the looks were very GSX-R. Little wonder it was a massive sales success.

Subsequent models have built on this solid bedrock. Newer 2003 and 2005 versions have trimmed the fat and beefed up the power. And now the 2007 K7 gets switchable power settings of 105, 130 and 187bhp.

Engine: Well, what can you say about this monster? In some bikes the motor would over-power the chassis, not so with any GSX-R1000. Characterful and raspy, there's always an exciting engine note. Looking at a contemporary power curve, in general the GSX-R1000 K1/K2 has the longest and strongest power delivery compared to the opposition. From a dip at 4000rpm, the motor takes off and by 7500rpm it's making between 5-10bhp more than its rivals. Things stay that way until the 10,500rpm peak of around 140bhp. 'Impressive' doesn't come close. Servicing takes place generally every 4000 miles.

Noise: Some owners report a tappet-like noise on K3/K4s between 3-7000rpm. Don't worry, it's all part of the GSX-R's raspiness and character. These motors are rocket-proof.

Clutch and gearbox: Gearboxes are solid - as you'd expect from Suzuki. However, some K3/K4 models suffer a little from clutch slip when hot. Owners report that grooves in the clutch basked can foul the plates, which may require a new clutch and basket (some have had this done under warranty, so ask). Later K5/6 models apparently benefit from lavish amounts of grease on the clutch lifter mechanism that slips into the clutch hub.

Power: Like early FireBlades, some later GSX-R1000s vary wildly when it comes to outright power output. Some dyno operators say that K5s especially vary from anything between 150 and 170bhp. GSX-Rs - like most fuel-injected machines - benefit massively from decent dyno time and set-up with a Power Commander. Improvements are around 5-10bhp.

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Discuss this story

love my k6

'anygear any where anytime '

Posted: 07/08/2008 at 20:19

Did it run on Martini too?

Posted: 07/08/2008 at 20:23

dpat5kt wrote (see)

love my k6

'anygear any where anytime '

falcorob wrote (see)
Did it run on Martini too?

Posted: 07/08/2008 at 20:51

I love my k2

chain, lock, wet gear,bag ,PC all fit under the seat

you will be dragging a bag everywhere on a later model

Posted: 16/09/2008 at 23:20

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