The Beauty Of A Gixxer Engine In A Naked Chassis

Engine upgrades joined other improvements in the 2018 model year as Suzuki pushes to keep its sport-standard-sector momentum going with the GSX-S1000. The family tree branched yet again with the new-in-2018, blackout GSX-S1000Z and Suzuki dropped the “F” in favor of the “FZ” for last year. The family now has even more of what it takes to dominate the street with a Gixxer engine in a naked bike chassis.

  • 2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
  • Year:
    2018- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    999 cc
  • Top Speed:
    164 mph
  • Price:
    11099
  • Price:

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Design

2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 834091
2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 834093
The family covers a couple of different bases to cast a broad net over the market with the naked GSX-S1000 and the dark-and-sinister “Z” variant.

Suzuki’s race-tastic GSX-R family was a game changer when it hit the market 30-plus years ago, and its streetwise GSX-S range expanded that success. The factory updated that footprint in 2016 by bumping the 750 cc mill up to an (almost) even liter and nowadays, the family covers a couple of different bases to cast a broad net over the market. First, we have the naked GSX-S1000, standard with ABS from 2019, and the “Z” variant that brings a dark-and-sinister finish to the family. The “F” model that skipped us for MY19 has more of a supersport-type panache.

The “F” leads off with a sharper entry than the R, but it includes a vented windshield designed to reduce head buffeting while giving you a break from the wind on your trunk. That’s especially important on this family since unlike the Gixxer, the GSX-S has a more relaxed (read: upright) riding position by virtue of the handlebar rise that exposes more of the rider to the slipstream.

Of course, the naked base model and “Z” variant cut all that away with only the headlight housing and vestigial flyscreen to punch a hole in the wind for a look that’s typical of the genre. The “F” also has beefier mirror standoffs, but from there back the flylines of the three rides are identical as they play across the tapered tank that forms a narrow waist ahead of the deep-scoop pilot seat.

The postage stamp-sized pillion area is about what one would expect on a sportbike, so you can disabuse yourself of the thought that you’ll be using it as a sport-tourer to share the joys of riding with a friend. A hangy-downy mudguard/taillights/plateholder assembly finishes off the rear for my least-favorite part of the bike, so this family is definitely a candidate for a tail-tidy.

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Chassis

2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 834106
2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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The liberal use of aluminum reduces weight in the chassis, increasing the power-to-weight ratio and improving flickability.

Curb weight falls between 456 and 472 pounds depending on which model GSX-S1000 you get. The factory achieved this with liberal use of aluminum throughout the rolling chassis, beginning with the twin-spar frame and swingarm with aluminum rims to finish it off. The ride floats on a set of KYB stems that the factory thoughtfully gifted with adjustments for preload as well as compression and rebound damping with preload and rebound-damping tweaks on the rear monoshock for pretty thorough control over the quality of the ride.

The usd forks add a bit of beefiness to the front ends across the board, and while the base and “F” models sport a gold-ish finish on the 43 mm stanchions, the “Z” favors the blackout finish. A pair of 310 mm front discs work with the four-pot, opposed-piston Brembo anchors with a single-bore binder and 240 mm disc in back. The base model was available with or without ABSin 2018, but it comes standard across the board from 2019. While ABS is a fairly ubiquitous technology nowadays, it’s important to realize that this isn’t a fancy cornering ABS a la BMW, but a simple, non-switchable kind, so be careful how much you rely on it.

The factory added stiffer brake lines as part of the upgrade in 2018. The new lines result in less pressure loss due to hose expansion for more brake power and better feedback. Blackout, 17-inch aluminum rims with a six-spoke layout mount the Dunlop hoops on the base and “F” while the “Z” sports some red accents to match the red graphics on the fairings; subtle, but still cool.

Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Brembo 4-piston, Disc, twin, ABS
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, Disc single, ABS
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 190/50ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Drivetrain

2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
- image 834099
2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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Suzuki took its proven, four-banger Gixxer mill and tuned it for more street-friendly power delivery for the GSX-S1000.

Suzuki took its proven, four-banger Gixxer mill and tuned it for a slightly more street-friendly power delivery for the GSX-S range. Vent holes were added between the SCEM-plated bores as part of the upgrade last year to reduce energy losses due to the pumping action. Not only will this allow the mill to develop more power, but spools up that power more rapidly than before though the factory is typically tight-lipped on exactly what kind of gains it achieved. Suzuki’s cast-aluminum, 59 mm FEM pistons ride in 73.4 mm bores for a total displacement of 999 cc and a sizzlin’ compression ratio of 12.2-to-1. Top speed is governed by the onboard computer at 164 mph; more than enough for street-legal use.

Electronic fuel injection works with the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve system within the throttle body that helps the engine strike a balance between the demands of the rider and the capabilities of the engine for smooth transitions regardless of right-hand technique. The system also comes with a traction-control feature that sports three rider modes to meet a variety of conditions and skillsets (four if you include “Off”) so you can dial in power delivery along with ride quality for a highly personalized riding experience.

A six-speed transmixxer crunches the ratios with vertically-staggered shafts for a compact overall package with a new SCAS slipper clutch that eases the effort at the left-hand lever. It provides an anti-hop function for another layer of contact-patch protection on top of ABS and traction control. All good stuff for safety and comfort on your commute.

Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder, DOHC
Displacement: 999 cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 mm x 59.0 mm (2.890 in. x 2.323 in.)
Compression Ratio: 12.2 : 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection with SDTV
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, RK525GSH, 116 links

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Pricing

2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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MSRP was $11.1k for 2019, and while 2020 prices are TBA at the time of this writing, look for them to come in about the same.

The base 2020 GSX-S1000 comes in Metallic Triton Blue or a two-tone Metallic Oort Gray No.3 / Metallic Matte Black No. 2. The “F” model that once again appears for 2020 comes in Glass Sparkle Black. Prices are TBA at the time of this writing, but look for them to come in at or close to last year’s price of $11,099.

Warranty: 12-month, unlimited mileage, limited warranty
2018 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Sparkle Black, Glass Sparkle Black/Candy Darling Red
└ GSX-S1000F: Pearl Glacier White
└ GSX-S1000Z: Metallic Mat Black No. 2
2019 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Pearl Glacier White
└ GSX-S1000Z: Metallic Mat Black No. 2
2020 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Metallic Triton Blue, Metallic Oort Gray No.3 / Metallic Matte Black No. 2
└ GSX-S1000F: Glass Sparkle Black
2018 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: $10,799 (non-ABS: $9,999)
└ GSX-S1000F: $11,299
└ GSX-S1000Z: $10,999
2019 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: $11,099
└ GSX-S1000Z: $11,099
2020 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: TBA
└ GSX-S1000F: TBA

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Competitors

2018 - 2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000
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2017 - 2020 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
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Both use a blend of curves and angles to create the look, but in my humble opinion, the “SS” headlight arrangement is the coolest thing since French-cut bikinis hit the scene.

For my head-to-head, I wanted to use the top-tier Suzuki within this range but I didn’t want to go to one of the other Big Four for a rather samey-same ride. Instead, I looked to Europe’s Boot and Ducati’s streetwise SuperSport.

In the looks department, I gotta say that it’s hard to beat the Italians for sexy curves, but Suzuki did fairly well with the GSX-S1000 F. Both use a blend of curves and angles to create the look, but in my humble opinion, the “SS” headlight arrangement is the coolest thing since French-cut bikinis hit the scene.

Duc plops an adjustable windshield on top for some wind protection for the rider, but like the “F” model, it’s most effective when the rider tucks in. Similar flylines play over the large fuel tanks and saddles, but the “SS” seems to be a bit more two-up friendly with a wider p-pad perched on the tail. Unfortunately, both rides could benefit from a tail-tidy to clean up the hideous assembly hangin’ off the ass end. To each his/her own, but I’ll go for the Duc every day.

Suspension and brakes are fairly similar across the board with large dual discs and four-pot anchors up front and ABS all around. Duc gains an edge here with the Bosch 9 MP ABS feature that comes with variable levels of intervention rather than the one-size-fits-all system favored by Suzuki for another layer of customization.

I could beat the Hell out of the engine details here, but at the end of the day we have no power figures to compare (yet), and since that’s the real bottom line here, you’ll forgive me if I spare the minutiae and wait for the figures. Pricing is relatively close with Suzuki sliding in a win at the checkout with a $11,299 sticker, just a bit under the $12,995 Ducati.

He Said

“Nice looking bunch of bikes though I still like the SuperSport looks better. Just sayin’. I imagine there is enough support to prop up these liter bikes for a while, but it will be interesting to see how the market shift affects this range. As interest in the full street-racers (GSX-R) wane a bit and more casual — but still sport-tastic — sport-standards gain in popularity, demand should continue to rise on the GSX-S type bikes. The only question is where the balance point will wind up being.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "In its basic parts. the GSX-S1000 is a Gixxer engine in a naked bike chassis. It’s a relatively long-stroke engine so there’s plenty of giddy-up. For taller riders, the foot placement might feel a bit cramped, but overall, I feel like it is a good riding position. Throttle response is better than it has been in the past, so if you rode a GSX-S even just a couple years ago and didn’t like it, try it again with a fresh perspective."

Suzuki GSX-S1000 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder, DOHC
Displacement: 999 cc
Bore x Stroke: 73.4 mm x 59.0 mm (2.890 in. x 2.323 in.)
Compression Ratio: 12.2 : 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection with SDTV
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, RK525GSH, 116 links
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Brembo 4-piston, Disc, twin, ABS
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, Disc single, ABS
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 190/50ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Electrical:
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Spark Plugs: NGK CR9EIA-9 or DENSO IU27D
Headlight: 12 V 60/55 W (H4)
Tail Light: LED
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 83.3 in (2,115 mm)
Overall Width: 31.3 in (795 mm)
Wheelbase: 57.5 in (1,460 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.5 in (140 mm)
Seat Height: 31.9 in (810 mm)
Curb Weight:
└ GSX-S1000: 461 lb (209 kg) / CA Model: 463 lb (210 kg)
└ GSX-S1000F: 472 lb (214 kg) / CA Model: 474 lb (215 kg)
└ GSX-S1000Z: 461 lbs.(209 kg) / CA Model: 463 lbs.(210 kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.5 gallons(17.0 L)
Details:
Warranty: 12-month, unlimited mileage, limited warranty
2018 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Sparkle Black, Glass Sparkle Black/Candy Darling Red
└ GSX-S1000F: Pearl Glacier White
└ GSX-S1000Z: Metallic Mat Black No. 2
2019 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Pearl Glacier White
└ GSX-S1000Z: Metallic Mat Black No. 2
2020 Color:
└ GSX-S1000: Metallic Triton Blue, Metallic Oort Gray No.3 / Metallic Matte Black No. 2
└ GSX-S1000F: Glass Sparkle Black
2018 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: $10,799 (non-ABS: $9,999)
└ GSX-S1000F: $11,299
└ GSX-S1000Z: $10,999
2019 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: $11,099
└ GSX-S1000Z: $11,099
2020 Price:
└ GSX-S1000: TBA
└ GSX-S1000F: TBA

Further Reading

Ducati SuperSport

2017 - 2020 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S
- image 777371

See our full review of the Ducati SuperSport

Suzuki GSX-R1000

2018 Suzuki GSX-R1000
- image 777413

See our review of the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ

2019 Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ
- image 833223

See our review of the Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ.

Suzuki

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 788898

Read more Suzuki news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: suzukicycles.com, ducati.com

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