Zonko’s attack on the Suzuki GSX-S 1000

Zonko’s attack on the Suzuki GSX-S 1000

Fire dragons

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When Suzuki’s naked cattle roars angrily over 7000 rpm, the world is on fire. Did Michio Suzuki already hear the typical screeching of the four-in-a-row of the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 when he built his first loom??

I didn’t have time to think. According to the PS test bench, the almost 160 PS four-cylinder Suzuki GSX-S 1000 roared the symphony of the blink of an eye and zipped me through the world of the pre-Alps so briskly that I was completely focused on driving. With fully activated, seventh sense for the route, the asphalt condition and the traffic situation. The inner radar scanned the world. 7000, 8000, 9000, 10,000 revolutions per minute, simply killer! What a brute force, what a sound! Actually wrong, wonderfully wrong.

Zonko’s attack on the Suzuki GSX-S 1000

Fire dragons

I picked rows of cups with the K2

During a smoke break I thought of the divine K2. Back then, Suzuki simply put ten more horsepower into the boiler than the competition and was a real force in amateur racing. As long as there was no complete egg-bear in the saddle, the chances were good that the Gixxer would be the first to see the checkered flag. It had 160 hp as standard.

For me, 2002 was the best racing season ever. In the corners I didn’t have to take a high risk with the K2 because I could just pick one after the other on the straights. That was real luxury, that was comfort, that was wonderful. Trophies came by themselves.

"Against the K2, the GSX-S 1000 is a masterpiece of design"

And on the road, too, the harsh, screeching, brute Suzuki was a feared predator, because the four-in-line not only had a great performance, but also had a lot of torque and was able to distribute powerfully in the middle range . Glorious time. But the K2 wasn’t really beautiful in my eyes.

"In contrast, the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 is now a masterpiece of design," I thought as I pulled on the burning herb from the Irish oak. The squat, naked animal in bright Suzuki blue with the race-oriented Superbike swingarm and the same black aluminum bridge frame, with the 310 mm discs including radially mounted brembos and the sharp, forward-oriented overall line is already driving my soul. Sharp leaves!

And just in the mainstream so that it doesn’t offend – but doesn’t stand out too much either. I thought of the 1100 katana. What kind of extraordinary, distinctive and original iron was that back then, what a sensational throw !? The fact that the triplespeed headquarters tuners borrowed the look of the Katana for their GSX-S project (see PS 01 and 02/2016) is very good for me.

As part of my attack, I drove the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 completely in series. Of course, the machine has a few peculiarities and a few shortcomings and the precisely tuned "Tsurugi" is sure to be terribly burned.

Falling as standard is cheaper and less complicated

But first, most Suzuki GSX-S 1000s will stay pretty much stock, and second, stock drops are just a lot cheaper and far less complicated. Of course, it’s not the case that I spread out at least once on every trip, but tuned machines with complex paint jobs somehow make me uneven.

If you rub the production GSX-S into the asphalt, the importer may scold you as a "murderer who still can’t drive" or say something nice like: "I didn’t expect anything else", but the sinking of a unique piece is never a good idea. I clearly remember the GSR 750 project, which was finalized at the start of the season at the Pannoniaring (with great pressure from the owner on the painter: "The machine has to be finished! I’ve already invited the press") and then the first three Introductory laps did not survive. The over-riding GSR caught itself so unluckily on a significant sward while sliding that it climbed up and rolled over twice.

"Certainly not! Now it’s burning!"

She was in tatters. As a sculpture by a mad sculptor, the tank would have caused a sensation in the international art scene. Certainly. I was there when the owner confronted the painter, who was already walking on his gums because of the work-intensive nights, with the truth: “There are no pictures. She got along in the third round. ”It was amazing! The master of the brush moved his mouth silently like a goldfish for a few seconds, until he finally gathered himself and let his indignation run free. Most of what he said to the owner was too crude to put into writing (faint-hearted readers could be harmed), but I may quote the poetic climax of the outbreak: “You are the worst and stupidest driver who ever lived on this planet Has! "

No, no, standard scrapping is more tolerable. I actually heard the mentioned sentence “I didn’t expect anything else” many years ago at the presentation of the GSX-R 750 in Misano. As a newcomer to journalists, I just couldn’t accept that a German colleague overtook me and pinned me to his rear with a clear thought: “Of course not! Now it’s burning! "


Tea adjustable fork of the GSX-S 1000 does its job absolutely properly with the appropriate setup correction.

I was able to stay at it for two turns, in the third I tore up some distance and in the fourth I was fiddled with the gravel like a nimble rolling pin. Great, really great! And when I then crouched a little lost in the gravel, the meaning of "technical superiority" dawned on me.

The importer, who was already waiting for me in the pits, reacted nicely, as mentioned, but I had delivered the sentence of the day myself when the Suzuki test driver took me out of the gravel bed with his GSX-R 750 and let me sit in the back. I said: "Please, ride carefully!"

That’s right – the throttle response is not perfect

A small drawback of the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 is the hard throttle response and the corresponding load changes. In itself, the in-line quad, measured on the PS test bench with a peak output of 156 PS, is an extremely worthy killer engine for a naked (the fact that the 1290 Super Duke R, the S 1000 R and the Tuono 1100 V4 are ten to 15 PS more powerful opens up the road no difference), but unfortunately the four-cylinder does not depend brilliantly on the gas.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that Suzuki still used real gas ropes and no ride-by-wire. The system with the double throttle valves (operated via cable and servo motor) has already done a great job, but in the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 it cannot defuse the somewhat too hard throttle response. You notice this especially when you don’t really fire.

Three-stage traction control works very well

A slight slack in the middle speed range is also noticeable. This hole in the tuning is a shame, because the Suzuki-Thousand, which is derived from the GSX-R (K5 to K8), delivers powerful torque even without high speed due to the long stroke for superbike engines, and on the other hand it does not tragic, because from 7000 rpm the mail goes off so much, as the saying goes, that one screams euphorically into the helmet.

Wow! Then the somewhat hard throttle response and the slightly delayed response behavior when you switch from load to coasting mode take a back seat. The only thing that is now present is the exciting, hoarse screeching from the airbox, the immense power of the engine, the flawlessly shiftable gearbox and the handling that is sporty but not radical. And since Suzuki has given the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 a very well-functioning, three-stage traction control, you will be able to press hard on the mentioned class emperors and sometimes even burn them down in the mountain classification. With a real price advantage, so to speak.

51.5 percent of the weight is ahead

With the money you saved when you bought the Suzuki, you can always order the biggest schnitzel upstairs at the summit host – and invite your friends. In addition, when asked: “What kind of an incredibly fast machine is this?” You can easily clap a few facts to the head of trembling laypeople who were briefly allowed to experience the sharp ride from the car perspective: “Suzuki GSX-S 1000.

Test bench certified 156 HP, marches in three seconds from zero to 100, from zero to 150 it takes a ridiculous five seconds. The naked Bavarian thousands and the 1290 Super Duke win absolutely nothing. 212 kilos with a full tank, 240 km / h. And yes: 51.5 percent of the weight is ahead. You can drive passably with that, master. "

No racing suspension, but heavily okay

Apart from the acceleration values ​​of up to 100 and 150 km / h, the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 is not an iron that can claim superlatives. It works great on the mountain classification and floods the pilot’s adrenaline, but on the racetrack it cannot do anything against the European rockets as standard.

The limits of the Suzuki are less in the missing ten to 15 hp, but in the chassis and the anchor. The 310 double-disc Brembo system brakes excellently for road use (the Bosch ABS also works great, regulates late, but very effectively), but doesn’t quite have the race-worthy bite of the competition. A further complication for the ring driver is that the ABS of the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 cannot be switched off. That is a defeat for everyone who likes to drive where the race management makes itself known with checkered flags and not with parking tickets.


The hard knocks are educationally valuable.

I got along very well with the standard chassis. With the setup developed by PS (see data), the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 presented a logically sharp steering behavior without radicality, provided feedback at a high level (if not at the highest) and confidently swallowed normal road bumps. Nothing to complain about. Bullies without compromise. Full pipe. Very worthy.

Only on hard edges did the heavily pretensioned shock absorber of the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 not exactly distribute compassionately. Which, in turn, underlined the advantages of an active driving style: The foresighted person briefly lifts the bottom like a jockey and thus helps the machine and himself. The dusky passivist receives a reproachful thud. That is fair. Educational valuable. But if you also want to use the GSX-S 1000 as a racing iron, I would personally invest in the chassis. I haven’t had any experience with other components on the naked Killer-Suzi myself, but Mupo worked great in the PS triplespeed Tsurugi. Doesn’t cost the world, but brings a lot if you want to attack hard.

Who was Michio Suzuki?


In terms of design, it is not exactly worthy of an award, but the information content is worthy of highway stokers: the cockpit.

After the really sharp exit at the Pass of Good Hope, I calmed my excited body with a whistle and let my gaze wander, satisfied and happy, over the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 and my thoughts about Suzuki in general. Suzuki pulled me under its spell with the crazy RV with the balloon tires. I’ve never owned a 50, 90 or 125 cc, but I really liked these unique devices.

The GS four-cylinder with the murderous slogan finally killed me. The sound when the gas was pulled up through the open marving was simply world class. And Wes Cooley, who spectacularly fired a GS 1000 at the AMA Superbikes, was a real hero anyway. Although the insane Kevin Schwantz with his incredible maneuvers in the premier class inspired me even more later. The Kilogixxer K2 made me faster than ever before, and I will always be grateful to Suzuki for creating the Hayabusa.

In 1954 the company was renamed "Suzuki Motor Company"

I find it impressive that this huge motor company has its origins in the invention of a pedal-controlled loom. Michio Suzuki was born in 1887 as the son of a cotton farmer in Hamamatsu, where Suzuki is still based today, and learned the trade of carpenter. He built a loom for his mother that worked so well that demand quickly grew beyond his circle of friends.

In 1909 he founded "Suzuki Loom Works", and in 1920 he went public with it. And in the 1950s, after the demand for manual looms continued to decline, people started building motorcycles and cars. In 1954, under the presidency of Michio Suzuki, the company was renamed "Suzuki Motor Company". From the loom to the fire chair. May the flames of the sharp engine of a thousand burn forever!

Technical data Suzuki GSX-S 1000


Suzuki GSX-S 1000.



Until the others arrive at the summit host, I order schnitzel, light a pipe, climb the flora that is standing around and ponder slightly exposed to me.

“When I think about the Suzuki GSX-S 1000, I think of my K2 Kilogixxer, which in 2002 shot me through the world with its 160 hp. Now Suzuki has packed that killer screen performance into a naked bike. Thanks to the traction control that keeps the front wheel on the ground, you don’t have to fear a rollover when you wind out the GSX-S, despite the upright sitting position, and you can step on the gas – as long as you mentally accelerate from zero to 150 in five seconds gets along. The use of gas, which is a bit too hard, takes getting used to, but it takes a back seat as soon as you exceed 7000 rpm and enter the world of the inferno. A real fire kite!

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