Head to head: Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX vs Suzuki GSX-S1000F

If you’re looking for a sports-tourer from the old-school mould, the big GSX-S and the revised Ninja 1000 SX are two bikes in a small pond to choose from

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YEARS ago, options for those looking to ride a sports tourer that didn’t have long legs and look like an adventure bike were plentiful. From the Hayabusa to Triumph’s Sprint GT, the motorcycle market was peppered with bikes for speedy, comfy, long-distance touring.

Fast forward to 2020 and most of those models seem to have disappeared. Some, like the iconic ‘Busa, fell foul to tightening emissions regulations, others simply didn’t compete with the new wave of lanky, adventure bike-based sports tourers.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options out there if you’d like a little more sportsbike dynamics with your long-distance machine. Two bikes that spring to mind are the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX and Suzuki GSX-S1000F.

Both make around the same power and torque, while they both cost around £11,000. And the similarities don’t end there as each is powered by a silky smooth four-cylinder DOHC engine. It’s from there that the two machines begin to differ. Suzuki doesn’t market the GSX-S as a sports tourer, claiming instead that it is merely a sportsbike that happens to be comfortable.

The Kawasaki, on the other hand, is a from the ground up sports touring bike, with optional flush-fitting luggage an adjustable screen and comfort that will allow two people to cross continents in comfort.

Here’s what a theoretical head to head between the two would go down. Would you choose the range and equipment of the Kawasaki or the sportier dynamics of the Suzuki and its GSX-R1000 derived engine?

Let us know in the comments below.