It’s A Technological Showcase On Two Wheels

Suzuki improved its GSX-R1000 ahead of MY2020 in a bid to “reclaim the King of Sportbikes crown” as the factory so succinctly puts it. This rebuild comes close on the heels of the last revamp that landed just a couple short years ago, but it adds some significant features, most of which can be found “under the hood” or in the electronics suite. A couple of tweaks to the frame tune handling characteristics while the cornering ABS feature and variable valve-timing engine carries over from the previous generation. All in all, Suzuki turns in a very streetworthy racebike that’s nothing short of a technological showcase on two wheels.

  • 2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    999 cc
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    15599

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Design

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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The windtunnel-tested attributes of the GSX-R1000 are apparent at a glance.

The windtunnel-tested attributes of the GSX-R1000 are apparent at a glance. In front, the fender uprights multitask as supports for the close-fit fender, but they also protect the swept areas of the fork tubes. The uprights act as shunts to guide the incoming air away from the tube and into the slipstream as it passes over the engine cowlings in a bid to lower drag and improve penetration.

Up top, a smoked bubblescreen forms the rider’s pocket with standoff mirrors mounted on the mullions, and I have to gig the factory for missing an opportunity to integrate the blinkers with the mirrors; a fairly major oversight on a bike that could potentially see a track at some point in its life.

A compact LED headlight rides recessed between two ram-air induction ports in the tip of the nose, a detail that delivers a roughly 2.5-percent increase in power once you get it up to speed. Clip-on bars pull you forward to encourage a prone riding position and that tendency is reinforced by the jockey-mount footpegs and the flat, forward-sloped top of the 4.2-gallon fuel tank.

Saddle height is typically high at 32.48 inches off the deck and this will undoubtedly tax riders with short inseams, but it’s to be expected on a bike that’s built for the bends. Nothin’ for it. An abbreviated p-pad and fold-up footpegs completes the passenger’s package for a brave friend. On the flip-side, strike the footpegs from the bike ahead of racedays and cover the p-pad for a solo/racer look.

Aerodynamic considerations dictate the shape of the tail and position of the LED taillight at its terminus, and out back is the usual mudguard/plateholder/turn-signal assembly that concentrates the gear in the rear and makes it easy to remove as a unit if you actually want to race on a track. Overall, the outside of the Gixxer looks pretty much like last year with the exception of the addition of a two-tone paint scheme, but the real magic is hidden beneath the skin.

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Chassis

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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Tight steering head numbers give the new Gixxer an 11.5-foot turning radius and an eager, drag-an-elbow nature in the corners.

Suzuki tweaked the aluminum twin-spar frame on the GSX-R1000 a bit to improve aerodynamics and handling. First, the engine was rotated back by six degrees. This allowed for the perimeter frame to be narrowed by 20 mm and the length of the aluminum swingarm extended by 40 mm with a 10-percent reduction in frame mass. The steering head establishes some pretty tight numbers with its 23.2-inch rake and 3.7-inch trail to give the new Gixxer 1000 an 11.5-foot turning radius and an eager nature in the corners. I’m talkin’ about drag-an-elbow eager over here, if you have the guts for it.

The factory capitalized on its newly-narrowed frame to mount equally narrow bodywork to maximize penetration. As for suspension, a set of Showa BPF forks lead the way with the full trinity-plus-one of adjustments that include both low-speed and high-speed compression damper adjustments. Suspension stroke measures at 4.7 inches up front and 5.31 inches out back where the Showa Remote Reservoir Shock Absorber takes care of business with the same four adjustments.

Cast, six-spoke wheels strike a balance between low unsprung weight and high strength and it seems that even the hoops contribute to the former. The Bridgestone Racing Street RS11 tires have a low-mass construction, all in a bid to make suspension response as supple as possible and protect the integrity of the contact patches.

Suzuki’s Motion Track Anti-Lock Brake System calculates the available traction based on data from the inertial-measurement unit and modulates the level of intervention based on same for the first of many electronic safety systems. Dual, four-piston calipers bite 320 mm front discs, while out back, a single-pot anchor grabs a 240 mm disc to manage the great energy this Gixxer can develop.

Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Dual Brembo 4-piston, Disc, ABS-equipped
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, Disc, ABS-equipped
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 190/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Drivetrain

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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<quote|title=Variable intake cam timing uses a centrifugal device that changes the drive gear and cam rotation relative to one another in a move that deepens the powerband without sacrificing top-end power.

We have a lot to go over with the copious gadgetry the beating heart on the GSX-R1000 brings to the table, but first, the hardware. The liquid-cooled, four-banger mill runs an over-square layout with a 76 mm bore and 55.1 mm stroke for a total displacement of 999.8 cc and a fairly-hot compression ratio of 13.2-to-1. Suzuki keeps to its “even firing order” standard, so the engine does its thing without excessive vibration.

Lightweight titanium valves and finger-follower actuation reduce the reciprocating mass up top, and that pays off in a 14,500 rpm redline. Variable intake cam timing uses a centrifugal device that changes the drive gear and cam rotation relative to one another in a move that deepens the powerband without sacrificing top-end power.

Ride-by-wire throttle control and electronic throttle bodies provide the basis of the engine control, but there are more moving parts than that, lots more. An automatic Idle Speed Control feature helps with cold starts and servo motors actuate the throttle plates for lightning-fast corrections. Top-Feed Injectors deliver the juice directly into the intake funnels for improved combustion efficiency and control, and the funnels are paired in two different lengths, a feature that is largely responsible for the widened powerband. A valve in the crossover tube controls pressure-sharing for different requirements between low-rpm and high-rpm operation to widen the band even further.

The electronics are even more impressive. A 32-bit ECM reads data from the IMU to deliver Motion Track Traction Control protection similar to the ABS that senses forces acting on the bike and automatically modulates its levels of intervention accordingly. Suzuki’s Drive Mode Selector lets you dial in the power delivery to match conditions. An Easy-Start feature allows for starts with only a momentary push of the button; the starter automatically runs for a second and a half or until it fires up. The Low-RPM Assist feature keeps the fire lit in situations that could otherwise create a stall, such as when coming out of the hole or escaping traffic situations. The shift lever can be set up for GP shifting, and it comes with a bi-directional power shifter that lets you work both up and down the six-gear range without touching the clutch.

Power figures kept close to the vest. Last year, the ponies topped out at 185.1 horsepower, static, but under way the ram-air effect pushed it up to an even 190 horsepower at 12,000 rpm. Torque topped out with 86.3 pound-feet at 10 grand and top speed clocked in at 186 mph, and I expect that these numbers carried over with little to no improvement.

Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder, DOHC
Displacement: 999.8 cc
Bore x Stroke: 76.0 mm x 55.1 mm (2.992 x 2.169 in.)
Compression Ratio: 13.2: 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection with Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies
Starter: Electric
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, DID 525HV3, 120 links

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Pricing

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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MSRP on the 2020 GSX-R1000 is $15,599 sticker – a slight jump from last year’s GSX-R1000X – and it comes with a choice between a black-on-black or white-on-black paint package.

Model ID: GSX-R1000A
Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty
Color: Glass Sparkle Black/Metallic Matte Black No. 2, Pearl Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black
Price: $15,599

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Competitors

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- image 812602
2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000
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I have plenty of options in the European and British markets for my head-to-head with the GSX-R1000. For a true apple-to-apple comparison, I felt compelled to draw from one of the Big Four so I grabbed the Ninja ZX-10R from Kawasaki.

Both of these bikes are race-worthy machines, and on the streets, they’re apex predators at the top of the food chain ready to eat the general public for breakfast. Here at the top, it’s a game of fractions as each jockey for dominance. Credit where it’s due, Kawi integrated the front blinkers in the mirrors, and not only does this make it easy to remove them, it locates them higher and wider for better visibility to the surrounding traffic. The rest of the Ninja’s look is typical of the genre and consistent with the Gixxer, which is to be expected as well, and let’s face it, if aesthetics are that important to you, then you probably should be looking for an Italian ride. Just sayin’.

Kawi slips just a bit in the suspension with the same quartet of tweaks out back, just like the Gixxer, but drops the high/low-speed compression damping in favor of a single-dimension compression-damping adjuster. The Ninja’s brakes are likewise top-notch and use Kawasaki’s Intelligent Brake System to provide the anti-lock protection, plus the Ninja runs 330 mm front discs for a potential edge in brake power.

Kawi pulls ahead a bit again in the electronics. It covers all the same bases and adds a Launch Control Mode to help you nail the holeshots that the Gixxer does not match. The bad news keeps coming for Suzuki as the Ninja claims up to 213 horsepower with its own ram-air induction in effect for a definite, if slight, advantage. If you’re waiting for the trade off, here it is. Kawasaki slapped a $16,099 sticker on its 2020 Ninja ZX-10R ABS, so it rolls out around five Benjamins more proud than the Gixxer.

He Said

“Looking back, I really appreciate the electronics and safety gear in the modern Gixxer. Having passed the 140 mph mark on a GSX-R750 without the benefit of such equipment back in the day, I have to wonder if younger riders have any idea how good they have it. This new GSX-R1000 is a great example of how far we’ve come as a bike-building species, even if it is a bit overpowered as a street bike.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “At a glance, the GSX-R1000 looks the same, but closer inspection shows differences, both subtle and major, that make this a next gen and not just a brush-up of the existing model. Suzuki borrowed the VVT system from its GSX-RR MotoGP bike and put it on the GSX-R1000. Unlike its competitors, which include BMW and Honda, the Suzuki system is purely mechanical in keeping with MotoGP regulations.”

2020 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-cylinder, DOHC
Displacement: 999.8 cc
Bore x Stroke: 76.0 mm x 55.1 mm (2.992 x 2.169 in.)
Compression Ratio: 13.2: 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection with Ride-by-Wire throttle bodies
Starter: Electric
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, DID 525HV3, 120 links
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Dual Brembo 4-piston, Disc, ABS-equipped
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, Disc, ABS-equipped
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 190/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 81.7 in. (2,075 mm)
Overall Width: 27.8 in. (705 mm)
Overall Height: 45.1 in. (1,145 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Seat Height: 32.5 in. (825 mm)
Curb Weight: 443 lbs. (201 kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.2 gals. (16.0 L)
Top Speed: 186 mph (est)
Electrical:
Headlight: LED
Tail Light: LED
Details:
Model ID: GSX-R1000A
Warranty: 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty
Color: Glass Sparkle Black/Metallic Matte Black No. 2, Pearl Glacier White/Glass Sparkle Black
Price: $15,599

Further Reading

Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R

2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
- image 812585

See our review of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Suzuki GSX-R1000X

2019 Suzuki GSX-R1000X
- image 838106

See our review of the Suzuki GSX-R1000X.

Suzuki

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Suzuki.

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, kawasaki.com

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