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2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Review

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2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Review: What's New, Gixxercat?
2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000

The 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Photo © Andrea Wilson
The last time I tested a Suzuki GSX-R1000 was on public roads and local highways; not exactly optimum conditions for a bike that can do over 100 mph in first gear. The 2009 model was surprisingly comfortable, easy to turn, and unbelievably fast... but from a 2012 perspective, the superbike landscape surrounding the GSX-R1000 has shifted considerably.

Nowadays, the competition includes tech-heavy players like the nearly 200-horspower, electronics-intensive BMW S1000RR, the ever refined Honda CBR1000RR with available ABS, the traction control-equipped Yamaha R1, and the traction control-equipped and ABS-optional Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R; I could go on about even more options in this field , but suffice to say the Gixxer's got some pretty serious competition.

Rather than fully redesign the GSX-R1000, Suzuki has tweaked a slew of smaller issues-- 14, to be exact-- in the interest of building a smoother, quicker, nimbler, and better braking bike. Without dwelling on every little alteration, here are a few key bullet points:

  • 4.4 fewer pounds to haul around, thanks in part to a new exhaust system that features one, not two, mufflers
  • Revised engine components, a slightly higher compression ratio, updated cam profiles, and various mods intended to smoothen the torque curve and expand upper-end power without losing low-end torque
  • New Brembo Monobloc calipers and thinner discs for better feel and reduced unsprung weight
  • Softer Big Piston Fork settings to compensate for the bike's lighter weight
  • New Bridgestone S20 tires; 200 grams lighter at the front
  • Grippier seat material
  • Subtly revised styling

Priced at $13,799, the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 is available in blue and white or black. Let's ride.

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