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2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000

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To the team of Suzuki engineers responsible for the GSX-R1000, Own The Racetrack is not just a slogan, it is a way of life. A life dedicated to making the most successful open-class motorcycle in the history of production-based racing even better. By applying the latest technology and the most recent hard-fought racing experience. And keeping the GSX-R1000 well ahead of the would-be competition.

 

Introduction

Suzuki made sure that its GSX-R1000 would be a winner so it implemented all the features needed to achieve that. The Key is the motorcycle’s ability to do precisely what the rider wants, when the rider wants, how the rider wants. Accelerate. Brake. Corner. Repeat. Make it easier for the rider, and the results will show. With better lap times on the racetrack and more fun on the road, it is called Total Performance. It is what makes the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000 the Top Performer. And it is why Suzuki riders Own The Racetrack.

History

Suzuki GSX-R1000

In 2001, Suzuki replaced its largest and most powerful racing replica, the GSX-R1100, with a smaller, new model named GSX-R1000. As the model name reveals, the engine’s cylinder capacity was 100 cc smaller than the model it replaced but it was the most appropriate for Suzuki to line up with the rest of the Japanese manufacturers. It did it big time as the new model produced 160 bhp @ 11,000 rpm, and the bike was capable of making a quarter mile in less than 10 seconds.

By being light, powerful and more balanced than any other street legal race replica, the GSX-R1000 became a quick success and it set the standards in its class without many efforts. The proof is the fact that it was voted as the best International Bike of the Year in 2001, an award won by the GSX-R750 in 1997.

Although the GSX-R1000 shares many features with its little brother, it is not just an enlarged version of the GSX-R750. The frame is 0.5 mm thicker, increasing the rigidity with10%. Another bike that provided the much necessary features is the Suzuki RGV500 so you can be confident on its racing abilities.

The GSX-R1000 engine is basically a redesigned GSX-R750 engine. The bigger machine features 1mm bigger bore and 13 mm longer stroke, new design implementing pistons with lower crown and gear-driven counter balancer. With its dimensions and engine weight of 59 kg (130 lbs), this machine properly fills the gap between the 750cc Suzuki machine and the mighty 1300cc Hayabusa.

Presenting new elements right from the beginning, the new Suzuki used a titanium exhaust pipe and the inside of the silencer the R1000’s exhaust system become 1.8 kg (4 lbs) lighter compared with the 750. Suzuki also used titanium in the front fork, the inner tubes being coated with the resistant material.

Suzuki also mounted their new exhaust tuning valve system on the new creation and they claim the system matches the exhaust back pressure to engine speed, throttle position and gear selection for increased torque, decreased emissions and better exhaust noise.

It was available in 2 different color schemes, Blue/White, Black/Silver.

Suzuki GSX-R1000


Being such a great product featuring systems ahead of their time, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 continued to be produced without significant improvements for 2002 model year. It did feature new graphics and an uncoated exhaust pipe but that was pretty much it for the racer available in Blue/White, Red/Black.

2003 saw a big revision of the GSX, as engineers now focused on reducing weight, and increasing power and handling. They, indeed, succeeded and the bike was thinner and had even more power and torque while handling excellent.

Suzuki also considered that the six-piston calipers were now out of fashion and they found a better solution with the new radial-mounted four-piston calipers weighing less and being more effective.

A visual upgrade was also needed so the headlights of the 2003 year’s GSX-R1000 are vertically-mounted in order to enable the ram-air intakes in the front to be placed 20 mm nearer the bike’s center line. The design approaches the one encountered on the Hayabusa and that brings a plus to the bike’s visual attraction.

Its engine saw the adding of four ventilation holes between the cylinders to equalize crankcase pressure beneath the pistons, moving the air intake nearer to the centerline and upgrading the engine management system to a 32-bit CPU that monitors and controls the engine functions, input from the rider and the exhaust tuning valve.

The ingenious exhaust system was now made entirely out of titanium to reduce weight and the rear was competed by a LED type to provide a more modern look, suitable for such a high-tech motorcycle.

Featuring now 2 more horses, a 10% increase of torque and a weight reduction of 2 kg (4.4 lbs), the GSX-R was available featuring 3 color schemes: Blue/White, Silver, or Black/Orange.

As the majority of Suzuki motorcycles produced in 2004, the GSX-R1000 received the classic Suzuki “S” logo on the fuel tank but no technical improvements. Graphics were new and a Mat Mladin Championship Replica Edition Commemorating for AMA Superbike championship was also available that very same model year.

Suzuki GSX-R1000

In 2005, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 featured a redesigned engine and chassis. The bike was now 2 kg (4.4 lbs) lighter and its engine presented an11 cc larger piston displacement leading to 170 hp. It had a totally new frame reducing the total length of the bike by 4 cm (1.6 in) but this lead to a reduced wheelbase. The brakes were also new, radial mounted calipers and 310mm discs at the front, to be more precise. A symbol of 2005 model year, the catalytic titanium eye-catching titanium silencer is produced to reduce turbulence and complement the bike’s aggressive lines.

The 2005 model carried over to 2006 without any significant improvements.

At the Paris motor show on September 22, Suzuki revealed a significantly improved machine gaining 14 pounds over the 2006 model which is most likely due to its new exhaust system and emission regulations. To counter this significant weight increase, Suzuki provided better aerodynamics. Although not entirely revised, the engine and chassis have both been upgraded. The 2007 model also features three different engine mapping configurations, selectable via a three-position handlebar switch; standard, sport, and wet (which would likely soften power significantly, and would also be helpful on cold tires).

2007 model year is available in Blue/White, Black/Orange, or Yellow/Silver.

Strongly developed and updated through the years, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 has become an icon in motorcycle racing, and one of the most popular motorcycles both on the track and on the streets.

Competition

Suzuki GSX-R1000

There’s nothing like a liter bike when it comes to awesome performance. But for 2008, Honda’s taking that level of performance, and handling to a whole new level. New engine, new chassis, and MotoGP-style exhaust. The all-new CBR1000RR is a motorcycle that handles like a 600, but is built to dominate the Superbike class.

The epitome of performance is achieved by Yamaha with light, powerful and packed with trickle-down MotoGP technology and refined fuel injection all gathered under the YZF-R1 model, which is one of the most advanced Open-class production motorcycle ever built.

For the 2008 Ninja ZX-10R, Kawasaki engineers aimed for an ideal superbike with engine and chassis performance capable of satisfying professional racers, combined with top-notch streetbike qualities for mainstream riders. It’s a delicate balance, but these aren’t your average engineers. They’ve been directly involved in the development of every 600 and 1000cc supersport machine since the 2003 Ninja ZX-6R, plus Kawasaki’s factory Superbike racing efforts, so they have the know-how to deliver goods.

Suzuki GSX-R1000

Exterior

Suzuki GSX-R1000

Suzuki decided to keep the smooth and yet aggressive lines of the GSX-R1000 for 2008 and it did. As a result of that, this machine features the design that made it famous and retains the much needed aerodynamic character in order to keep its success going on and on forever. We should remember that it only started its high-life in 2001 so it will probably follow the evolutionary steps of its little brothers which are brand new for 2008.

Its fairing covers all the technology implemented and introduces us to the new nicely-finished fuel tank and aggressive rear end. A note of high-tech is given by the LED taillight but what really makes it stand out is the sharp-looking aerodynamic exhaust.

If 2008 didn’t bring significant visual upgrades, the least it could do was to introduce some new colors. White/Silver is what it took from its little brother but also new for 2008 is the Black/Gold paintscheme. The Blue/White is already a Suzuki representative and it had to be present on the 2008 GSX-R1000.


Test Drive

Suzuki GSX-R1000

I was very enthusiastic about riding the 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and, although the bike hasn’t been upgraded from this year’s level, it still goes like no other and offers the best riding experience with confidence and safety in mind.

The first thing that asks you is to decide on which mode you will utilize it as it features three different characters known as A,B,C modes. Given to its great amount of power, it was fitted with S-MDS (Suzuki Mode Drive Selectors), which lets the rider select one of the three power levels: full power throughout the rev range, full power at top end, but reduced power at low and medium revs, and reduced power throughout the rev range. These settings and the S-MDS system are also referred to as a form of traction control which helps the rider deal with wet weather and different road conditions encountered.

To be honest with you, I preferred to utilize mode A in order to put in value the engine that propulsions the light and compact chassis which, although gained a few pounds, in collaboration with the stronger swingarm and the fork, it becomes extraordinarily easy to handle in virtually any road conditions.

What I most appreciate at this motorcycle is the amazing throttle response. You simply twist the throttle and the burned gasses are already exiting the exhaust and that rear wheel goes like there’s no tomorrow.

The engine’s wide rpm range invites you to roll on the clutch but warns you not to blink because you will surely reach redline and the next gear will need changing.

What I noticed is that the clutch operates smoothly and the close-ratio six-speed is as precise as it could get. You quickly feel as an integrated part of the machine and your role will be completed natural. This involves changing gears like a MotoGP pilot and the bike doesn’t reach a lower level. It is also MotoGP inspired and provides its rider with the needed dose of adrenaline in any gear and through all the rpm range.

Another great thing on the bike is the strong communion that it establishes with its rider. The roles are simple: the Gixxer takes care to deliver the needed feedback to its rider, who is now to interpret the data and to act conform it. It actually seems very complicated but things are very simple once you’ve got used to the bike.

A great example of what I just explained would be the tires which really stick to the track pavement and have the task of gathering useful information and provide it to its rider. I could easily process that I need to stop rolling the throttle early when exiting a corner and instead to lean more and let the machine show me the way. That happened on my first lap and the rest of the story was an absolute joy.

Brakes are very efficient and in communion with those same efficient tires, take care of the rider and keep it in the bike’s seat. That, of course is a positive aspect which decides whether the bike is going to properly brake before a tight corner or if its rider will abandon it next to its expectations. Not the case with the Suzuki!

I felt completely at home on the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000 as the bike is very responsive, aggressive, when needed, and user-friendly as well. I won’t recommend it to beginners even if it implements those safety modes because experience is needed even when traction control enters the scene. Remember that those are there for rough weather and slippery conditions or for a calm temperament.

Price

No need to worry that such a package would be expensive because this one makes an exception. For a retail price of $11, 499, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 can be your next step in motorcycling after you’ve exceeded on the 600 and 750cc Gixxers. You will also benefit of a 12 months unlimited mileage limited warranty so you will be riding worries excluded.

Conclusion

With an extraordinarily powerful engine and a smooth gearbox, this machine delivers the highest levels of performance and utilizes its compact chassis and suspension in order to handle sharp and gain those crucial tens of second that make it a winner. But a winner should also look adequate and the Gixxer does it. With sharp-looking bodywork and dimensions of a 600cc it actually stands for performance and first place on the podium.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 999cc
Type: 4-stroke, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, TSCC
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 x 59.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Lubrication: Wet Sump
Ignition: Digital/transistorized
Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh
Final Drive: #530 chain

Chassis and Dimensions

Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, full adjustable spring preload, high & low speed compression and rebound damping.
Suspension Rear: Link-type, gas/oil-damped, fully adjustable spring preload, high & low speed compression and rebound damping.
Brakes Front: Dual hydraulic discs
Brakes Rear: Single hydraulic disc
Tires Front: 120/70-ZR-17
Tires Rear: 190/50-ZR-17
Overall Length: 2045mm (80.5 in.)
Overall Width: 720mm (28.3 in.)
Overall Height: 1130mm (44.5 in.)
Seat Height: 810mm (31.9 in.)
Ground Clearance: 130mm (5.1 in.)
Wheelbase: 1415mm (55.7 in.)
Dry Weight: 172 kg (379 lbs.); CAL 173 kg (381 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.5 liter (4.6 gal.)

Other

Color: Blue/White, Black/Gold, White/Silver

Features

 

Engine Features

- 999cc 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine for increased power, torque and acceleration with forged aluminum alloy pistons, chrome-moly shotpeened connecting rods, hallow camshafts, and a secondary balancer shaft for reduced vibration.


- Compact fuel injection system features the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve System (SDTV) – with twelve smaller holes for maximum fuel delivery and steeper angle for secondary injectors.


- Idle Speed Control (ISC) system for improved cold starting, consistent idle quality and reduced emissions.


- High volume Suzuki Advanced Exhaust System (SAES) with equal length head pipes feeding a unique under engine chamber leading to two compact aluminum/titanium mufflers on each side.


- The mid-pipe includes a Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) system for maximum torque throughout the rpm range and an oxygen sensor used by the engine management system and combines with the under-engine catalyzer for reduced emissions.


- 48mm ventilation holes between cylinders reduce pumping loses.


- Self adjusting hydraulic clutch uses and minimizes changes in clutch feel over a long race.


- Back-torque limiting clutch allows smooth downshifts; plus a rack and pinion operating system provides a positive clutch feel.


- S-DMS (Suzuki-Drive Mode Selector) system allows the rider to choose from three engine settings to match track conditions with a handlebar mounted switch.


- Radiator utilizes a trapezoidal shape seen on works race bikes. The oil pump is larger for increased capacity and performance.

Chassis Features

- Aluminum alloy twin-spar frame is built using five castings for lightweight, unmatched handling and performance, increased production precision, and reduced weight.


- Die-cast aluminum-alloy swingarm is more rigid and features an innovative new link system which pivots on the swingarm itself for increased traction and reduced side loads.


- DLC coated 43mm forks and rear shock feature high and low speed compression damping along with adjustable rebound and preload settings.


- Forks feature larger 56mm outer tubes below the triple clamps for increased rigidity.


- Electronically controlled steering damper uses a solenoid valve to move a tapered needle reducing or increasing oil flow to adjust damping force.


- Adjustable rider footpegs can be moved into three different positions to suit rider preferences.


- 310mm front brake discs are attached to the carrier with 10 floating mounts instead of 8 for improved heat transfer away from the disc.


- Rear disc works with a single piston caliper and is mounted above the swingarm for reducing braking effect on the rear suspension.


- Wind tunnel developed bodywork feature and aggressive style, reduced frontal area and a tall windscreen for optimum aerodynamic performance.


- Vertically stacked headlight features a compact projector bulb and when combined with the sleek bodywork and tail section offer maximum rider mobility and unmatched styling.


- An easy-to-read instrument cluster includes a step motor controlled analog tachometer, digital LCD speedometer, dual tripmeters, clock, convenient gear position sensor, rpm indicator light and a new LCD S-DMS mode indicator displaying which performance setting has been selected by the rider.


- Close-ratio six-speed transmission with an adjustable back torque limiter for smoother downshifts.


- Bridgestone radial tires mounted on cast aluminum wheels featuring thin spoke design with optimized wall thickness to reduce unsprung weight.


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