Used Bike

Used Test: 2002 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K2

Living with the first breed of GSX-R1000 is a lot easier than you think

Click to read: Suzuki GSX-R1000 K2 owners reviewsSuzuki GSX-R1000 K2 specs and to see the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K2 image gallery.

Suzuki's GSX-R1000 made a huge impression on the biking world when it came out in 2001, as it totally outstripped the performance of all other superbikes of the day. If you wanted to be king, you had to own one.

Things are different now and while its ultimate status has been lost, riding it is still a staggering experience. In real terms, the GSX-R is miles better than most who own it.

It's stood the test of time really well and as long as you're careful, there's no reason you can't snap up a good 'un and look forward to some long and trouble-free service from it.

Many were bought by nutters who gave them a good caning from day one: avoid these! However, because of its cult status of being the 'best you could buy', a lot were owned by posers who never used even half of what the Suzuki had to offer. Those guys simply wanted to feel good about having the current king of superbikes in their garage. These are the bikes you want to buy.

What reasons made it so good? The main one is the massive engine power the GSX-R has - most record 150bhp or even more at the rear tyre on the dyno. Then, when you realise the four-cylinder motor only has to push a bike with an anorexic dry weight of just 170kg, it's not hard for the numeric combination to make you shiver at the prospect of riding it.

This incredible power to weight ratio suggests the 1000 could be a complete monster to get on with. And, in the wrong hands it can be. But in reality, as long as you use your loaf and meter the throttle to suit the conditions, not only is the bike quite manageable, it can actually be quite friendly. This broadness of character makes it much more of an all-rounder than you'd expect and riding it fast on either road or track, bimbling through town, scooting off to the South of France or just using it as everyday transport are all easily possible with the 1000.

The heart of any GSX-R is the inline four-cylinder engine. It has huge power and, more importantly, power virtually everywhere within its rev range, regardless of what gear you're in. Add to this the fact the delivery is very linear and the fuelling from the injection system is nigh-on perfect, and gaining speed couldn't be easier or more civilised.

This is why it's very important to be careful with your right hand. Get too keen with the twistgrip too quickly and the readings on the digital speedo can come as a big shock - it can quite often read something like 30mph more than you're expecting. Cruising along at even a heady velocity like 130mph is easily possible without realising it. And, in this world of Gatsos and other licence-threatening pace-measuring devices, surprises of this type can be literally life altering.

Continue for the Suzuki GSX-R1000 used verdict

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