2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT UK Road Test and Review | With pillion

GSX-S1000GT-Visordown-Review

To find out if the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT was as good in the dry as it is in the wet, we took delivery of one for a two-week springtime loan

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Sports Tourers
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THE UK press launch of the new 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT was a proper UK tour, with beautiful Scottish Highland roads, stunning scenery, and lots and lots of rain.

While that did give us a chance to get to grips with the bike’s wet weather performance, it’s fair to say the big GT is very good in the wet. You can check out my full review and rain-test here, but to sum it up, the Suzuki is nothing short of extraordinary in those conditions. It’s got excellent poise and grip, and even when ridden quickly on sodden roads it never really felt like it was out of its comfort zone.

All this wet weather and greasy roads did leave one question in my mind though; just how good is this bike going to be on a warm spring day? To answer that, we picked up a GT from Suzuki for a two-week. The plan was to do a spot of touring, some two-up riding, and the obligatory brain out blasts through the scenery.

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT ridden in dry weather on warm roads – bliss!

One of the good things about picking up a bike from Suzuki is that it unlocks some of the best roads within a 50-mile radius of my hometown, Coventry. There’s an especially nice loop located just down the road from Silverstone that is becoming one of my favourite little test routes. It links together a load of the surrounding villages and even has a couple of places to stop off for a cuppa. It’s the ideal hunting ground for the big GT.

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Peeling off the A5 we hit the first part of the loop, a fast and undulating section of about 8-miles that sees the Suzuki’s front wheel constantly wanting to point skywards. Even with some traction control dialed in, the Suzuki’s GSX-R1000-derived engine still has the minerals to overcome what is a fairly basic electronics package, pawing the sky in the first three gears if provoked. I suppose this introduces the argument for adding an IMU system and some proper wheelie control. While that would put it more in line with the competition (the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX has one), I don’t think its omission really hurts the bike too much.

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With a chassis and engine that is related to the GSX naked and bespoke settings for the KYB fully adjustable suspension, it’s very hard for the GT to put a foot wrong. I’m still of the opinion that the initial turn-in is a little bit slow, but Suzuki has gone for a fairly conservative tyre that prioritises stability and longevity over handling performance. Slot on some sportier hoops and I’m pretty sure the bike would be transformed. Show the GT some fast, sweeping corners though, and the chassis comes alive. It’s unflappable in a corner. You get no nervous shimmy, no wobbles, nothing. It just ploughs a path with laser-guided accuracy.

GSX-S1000GT riding on a coastal road

What is the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT like on the motorway?

Away from the brain out blasts through the countryside and into the big smoke for a day in the office. I packed up and headed to Farringdon, for a proper commuter’s eye view of the GT. First things first, no heated grips are fitted as standard, and that is a bit of a bummer. April mornings are chilly, and it takes till I loop off the M1 and onto the A1 that the feeling starts to creep back into my fingers. Suzuki made a lot of noise on the launch about how the mirrors double as deflectors to protect your hands, although I’m not totally buying it. Yes, the mirrors are placed and shaped in such a way that it looks as though they will help in some way although, in my experience, they aren’t that effective. If you ride all year round, the optional heated grips are a must – and they come as standard on some of the competition… Just sayin.

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Like the mirrors/wind deflectors, the screen is not quite up to par. My head is sat right in the turbulent swirl of the screen, and my shoulders take a buffeting at motorway speeds which will become tiresome. It’s something you could no doubt alleviate with the optional touring screen or maybe some aftermarket deflectors, although it would be nice for a manufacturer to get this stuff right from the start!

The rest of the motorway ride is actually very good. Like its closest rival the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX, the GSX-S1000GT seems to envelop you, with the fairing lowers shrouding your legs from the weather well, and the riding position keeping you in a sporty yet comfortable position.

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT fuel economy and tank range

I’m using the trip into London as my gauge on fuel economy on the bike, and after a brim-to-brim MPG test, it’s not great news for the GT. On this trip, I managed an average figure of 43 MPG, and that was a mix of motorway riding and navigating central London traffic. That provides you with between 120 and 130-miles of usable fuel, with around 20 or so emergency miles within the 19-litre tank.

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For those riders looking at the GT as a decent compromise of sporty handling and comfort – those retiring from the world of 1,000cc sports bikes for instance – it might not seem that bad. For those riders moving from the adventure sector and into the world of sports touring though, it paints a very different picture. To be fair to Suzuki, packaging a sports bike (which is basically what the GT feels like) is much harder to do than it is on an ADV machine. They could have gone nuts and re-engineered the thing to the hilt, loaded it with a funky under-seat fuel tank to squeeze in a few extra litres. But Suzuki likes to play at the more budget end of the spectrum, and such exotic design solutions would only hurt the bike’s RRP.

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What is the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT like for pillions?

Sam Creedon-Gray - Visordown

“It’s like holding onto a rocket” is what Toad said to me before our journey. Can you imagine holding onto someone who is holding onto a rocket? The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT had me squealing in my lid, giggling like a loon, and grateful that there was no communication system.

Flying down country lanes had me reminiscent of rollercoasters. The acceleration whipped me backward and pulled my stomach into my spine. The GSX-S1000GT even made the long, straight, and boring journey up the M4 a tad more exciting.

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However, it isn’t the most comfortable pillion experience. Having the grips at the back meant holding on was not just uncomfortable, but difficult. My arms were strained in an unnatural position, and I ended up sitting on my thumbs. The pillion seat certainly wasn’t designed by Sir Mix-A-Lot because it isn’t suitable for big butts.

It took me half the journey to find a position where I was comfortable enough and stable enough to really enjoy the ride, but once I did I fell in love. I can see why Suzuki holds a place in so many riders’ hearts.

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2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT verdict

I’m still of the opinion that the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT is one of the best handling bikes you can buy if you want a sports bike with two-up potential and a good level of comfort. Simply put, the only other bike in the 1,000cc class that comes close is the equally impressive Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX. They both have a touch of the old-school sports tourer about them, but especially the Suzuki, with its GSX-R DNA buried deep within, and a distinctly analogue vibe to the whole bike. It’s also supremely good in the wet, with grip and poise in abundance, and a seemingly unflappable nature, regardless of how hard you press on. I genuinely get the sensation that when you get the GT up to speed, it feels like you’ve jumped onto the back of a low-flying Exocet missile that’s skimming across the earth’s surface.

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It isn’t perfect though. The tank range isn’t great, and its overall spec level is lower than some other bikes in the class – having to add heated grips to any bike classed as a ‘GT’ is a bit pants in my opinion.

That said, for those Suzuki fans, and there are a lot of them, who have been having to adapt their GSX-S1000Fs for a life of touring, the new GT offers a sharper suited, better handling, and more complete motorcycle for high-speed mile-munching.

For more information on the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT, head to: bikes.suzuki.co.uk