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Suzuki GSX-S1000F First Ride Review

10 November 2016, 12:56 PM Pratheek Kunder

What is it?

The excitement to ride an inline-four never ceases. There’s a massive rush of adrenaline each time the throttle is opened and every time the bike comes to a standstill from high speed. Experience like these are the best ones and the Suzuki GSX-S1000F is all about those. 

The GSX-S1000F has a semi-fairing, upright handlebar and big windscreen, but Suzuki says it’s not a sports tourer. It’s a sports bike. It shares the same platform and cycle parts with its naked sibling – the GSX-S1000 for cost effectiveness. Suzuki has effectively got two models for the R&D price of one. While the S1000F does all the things that the S1000 does, but there are a few things which the S1000F does better. 

How does it ride?

The GSX-S1000F is one ferocious motorcycle, thanks to the Suzuki’s K5 engine that was seen on the 2005 GSX-R1000. This 999cc inline-four motor is all about insane power and one can feel it as soon as you twist the throttle. But before that, you need to work around the over-sensitive throttle response at low revs, which is made worse by the engine’s gobs of low- and mid-range torque. This is bothersome initially, but the best way to overcome it is by staying in a higher gear when you have the option. Riding this motorcycle in 45kmph in sixth gear is easy. 

It is quite controversial to say that the GSX-S1000F belongs to the empty road, but taming this machine on an empty stretch will give you enough adrenaline to keep you wide awake the entire day. It takes just a blink of an eye to reach triple digit speeds. Till 5000rpm, the GSX-S1000F is still sane enough to let you enjoy the surroundings; cross 8000rpm and your vision will start to blur. This motorcycle redlines at 11,500rpm and at that speed, the sound from this Suzuki is to die for. The six-speed gearbox is smooth and very accurate. The non-adjustable clutch is a little too heavy for long commuting duties. 

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

Suzuki GSX-S1000F

  • Displacement999 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)144 bhp
  • Kerb Weight214 kg
  • ;

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 12,98,233

The GSX-S1000F is extremely stable at high speed- credit the new fairing that slices through the wind really well. In fact, the Japanese company redesigned the rear view mirrors to match the fairing’s aerodynamic ability. The non-adjustable windscreen helps too, and there is hardly any wind buffeting. The fairing has added another 7kg to the bike’s overall weight, and the front-end feel has also improved thanks to it. This means more confidence, and the ability to go faster. The GSX-S1000F is not lightning quick to change direction like supersport bikes are, but manages it really well. The Bridgestone Battlax tyres have tremendous grip and that adds a lot of confidence as well. In the city too, this bike isn’t hard to ride, but like we mentioned before, the over sensitive throttle response in the lower revs is unsettling.  

The GSX-S1000F’s ride is stiff, but it’s not a back breaker. Even on bad roads and through potholes, this Japanese doesn’t unsettle the rider. Riding it for long hours is easy – credit the comfortable seat and the great ergonomics. Suzuki is known to spend a lot effort into getting the ergonomics right and the results are clear on the GSX-S1000F. The handlebar is easy to reach without needing a crouch. The footpegs are slightly rear-set but not uncomfortably so. The brakes are top-drawer components and the feel and feedback is good. Our test bike lacked a little initial bite, but we’ll offer it the benefit of the doubt: vehicles from media fleets are rarely used with care. 

Anything else I should know?

Electronic aids! The Suzuki GSX-S1000F has some really important ones. ABS and three-level traction control (four if the off mode is counted). The anti-lock braking system (ABS) works flawlessly. The traction control too does its job really well. Mode three is where the system is in full attention mode and is best suited for wet roads. Mode two is good enough for many different conditions and the one with the smallest number is where there is the minimum amount of interference. Selecting the traction control modes are really easy via the selector on the left switchgear. 

The instrument cluster on the GSX-S1000F is the same as on the naked sibling; compact, detailed and not flashy. It does the job of showing ride data well. The fonts used are big which makes it readable even at high speeds. The Suzuki GSX-S1000F misses out on a couple of things though. The pillion rider doesn’t get a grab rail, not even an integrated one. Like we mentioned before, Suzuki is marketing this bike as a sports bike and not a sports tourer, due to which you won’t see any placements for panniers. 

Should I buy one?

If touring is your requirement, then the GSX-S1000F isn’t the right option. There is no provision for panniers and no grab rail for the pillion. What remains is the city ride and a highway blast, which the GSX-S1000F does really well. Then again, we have the naked sibling – the GSX-S1000 - which also manages to give the same thrill. But the presence of fairing and a practical windscreen on the S1000F makes it a better bike for high speeds. While the styling of the fairing polarises opinion even in the BikeWale team, the Indian market still loves faired motorcycles, and we appreciate the option that Suzuki is offering. With so much power on tap, the fairing is worth more than the extra asking money, so we recommend it.

Where does it fit in?

The Suzuki GSX-S1000F costs nearly Rs 53,000 more than the GSX-S1000 at Rs 15.08 lakh (on-road, Mumbai). This makes it quite an expensive affair, considering that the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 costs Rs 14.25 lakh (on-road, Mumbai). Unfortunately, there aren’t many bikes in this segment. But the other bike that comes close to the GSX-S1000F in terms of pricing is the Triumph Daytona 675R at Rs 14.07 lakh (on-road Mumbai), but it is a super sport bike, more suited to a racetrack than touring or commuting. 


Gear Check

1: HJC Rpha 10: The Rpha 10 might be an old model now, but it offers good comfort and fit. The air vents perform flawlessly. Price – Rs 37,000

2: Sena 3S Helmet Bluetooth system: This has made my life very easy. Can’t think of riding without one. It’s affordable, durable and practical. Price – Rs 7499

3: Royal Enfield Kaza Classic Adventure Touring Jacket: The snug fit and adjustment straps personalises the entire experience. Ventilated zippers, lot of pockets makes it versatile. It's a good product for Rs 14,000. 

4: Ixon RS Circuit HP Gloves: Good fit, usability and practicality makes this gloves my first choice. Overall quality is good for the price.  Price – Rs 8000

5: Royal Enfield Kaza Classic Adventure Touring Trouser: Fit and comfort is good. Offers lot of pockets for storage. Price – Rs 10,000

6: SIDI B2 boots: A nice all-round boots for track and road riding. Offers ample protection but lack ventilation. Price - Rs 17,000

Photography by Kapil Angane