Sporty – 2012 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 test: in small steps – Circuit test: the GSX-R 1000 in action!

Suzuki GSX-R 1000 2012 test: in small steps

Sporty - 2012 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 test: in small steps - Circuit test: the GSX-R 1000 in action!

Reigning world champion in Endurance, the GSX-R 1000 does not have to be ashamed of its hyper sporting potential. However, the changes made by Suzuki to its Gex 1000 L2 will allow it to remain at the top in 2012 ? Circuit test.

Circuit test: the GSX-R 1000 in action !

In order to help us better feel these (small) improvements, Suzuki France has taken care to provide us with the 2012 GSX-R 1000 (L2) and its predecessor. Two models warm up quietly on the pit-lane of the short and tortuous circuit of the Mechanical Pole of Alès (30): the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 2011 and the new 2012 vintage..

In view of the weather conditions which are certainly sunny but cold, MNC decides to start this contact with caution: a few laps of the Alès turnstile with the old GSX-R 1000 will serve as a warm-up, and to establish points of comparison with the new opus.

Unsurprisingly, we find an extremely stable and well balanced bike but a bit heavy to register in turns, especially on the brakes. Despite a relatively contained weight (205 kg all full), the "old" requires a minimum of commitment to go from pif to paf, while its front end lacks precision and tends to widen when the pace increases..

Once at the controls of the 2012 model, the sensations change: thanks to the abandonment of one of the titanium silencers (but also to the adoption of hollow brake screws, discs, calipers and lighter tires), the GSX-R "L2" firstly accuses 2 kg less on the scale (203 kg all full).

On paper, this little weight loss diet may seem insignificant, but handlebars in hand, it significantly improves the handling of the bike. Aided by the sharper profile of its new Bridgestone S20 tires (BT-016 previously) and its optimized suspensions, the GSX-R 1000 "L2" dives tight with less restraint.

If it does not yet have the lightning quickness of a CBR1000RR or RSV4, the 2012 GSX-R 1000 has made good progress in this area. More manoeuvrable and more "communicative", its front axle is placed with more ease and tolerates much better impromptu course corrections.

Always as stable from the entry point in curve to its rope, the front remains glued to its trajectory like an insect on a sticky fly-catcher tape. Then the rear gradually compresses under the surge of power, while the 190 mm wide Bridge is put under the torture of 185 hp…

At this precise moment, the Suzuki still requires significantly more effort than some of its rivals to stay the course. Not to mention that in the absence of any form of traction control, it is up to the pilot to manage the loss of grip … Fortunately, the connection between the accelerator and the rear wheel is excellent, which turns out to be a valuable asset for this kind of exercise !

Announced more torque, the engine of the GSX-R 2012 does however really have a radically different behavior: able to resume in sixth at idle, it is indeed a little better filled in the first third of the tachometer, but seems a suspicion more linear then. A sensation undoubtedly exacerbated by its less exhilarating soundtrack in the towers…

On the "GSX-R K9" in fact, the arrival of power between 10,000 and 14,000 rpm is marked by a particularly enjoyable sound reinforcement: the mechanical rumble then becomes a growl accompanied by the suction noise of the air box. However, this phenomenon is less marked in the 2012 vintage, whose mechanical vocalizations are more discreet as soon as the engine is started..

Cramped on the Cevennes circuit, the "Gex" block, on the other hand, has retained all its striking force: well helped by an impeccable gearbox, the 999 cc engine is present at all speeds and extirpates the crew of curves without any downtime. Exhilarating !

Less demonstrative than that of an S1000RR in the last graduations of the tachometer, the "4-legged" nonetheless requires a lot of attention when restarting the mechanics at the exit of curves: beyond 7000 rev / mn, the GSX-R 1000 pushes hard, very hard! Too strong even for a small track 2.5 km long, the biggest straight line of which is only 335 meters !

Barely enough time to "climb" the three on the fly it is already time to jump on the brakes to tackle the first long curve to the right which leads to a small tight left. This technical sequence highlights all the benefits brought to the GSX-R 2012, which is both easier to place and less sensitive to mass transfers during braking phases..

In terms of braking precisely, the Suzuki has progressed badly: like its little sisters (read our), the Hamamatsu Hypersportive is now based on superb Brembo monobloc radial calipers, which is also actuated by a master cylinder. radial.

Top gear, whose sensitivity and slowing power are clearly superior to the previous Tokico device. In addition, the information returned to the right lever (adjustable in 6 positions) is more precise, which allows you to measure your effort with more "fingering" on heavy braking as on simple deceleration..

Too bad that braided hoses do not complete this pretty endowment: their presence would guarantee optimum braking consistency during the bloodiest arsouilles on the circuit..

Verdict: Japan has a round back …

Crisis obliges, Suzuki was satisfied to go straight to the essentials on this new vintage of GSX-R 1000. And if the lines of the 2012 model have not changed, it is above all to concentrate the little available budget. internal changes…

Like its Japanese compatriots, Hamamatsu’s coat of arms seems today to be subject to the diktat of Europeans within the hypersports category: a real revolution !

However, while the still benefits from a slight facelift and new suspensions and that the gets anti-slip, the GSX-R 1000 2012 must be satisfied with new calipers and small technical improvements..

The Suzuki remains a formidable weapon, however – especially as its handling and braking are effectively more efficient – and retains this "sport-road" compromise that befits so many "sport" bikers..

On the other hand, the pure trackers or the more technophiles will probably prefer to turn to more sharp blades. On condition that you have the means, however, because at € 13,999, the 2012 GSX-R 1000 is much more affordable than the most alluring Europeans: excluding specials, it is quite simply the cheapest Superbike on the market. !

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