2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Comparison Track

Posted on 5:20 AM by My_revival


Suzuki GSX-R1000
MSRP: $12,899
Curb Weight: 460 lbs.
Horsepower: 155.16 @ 11,700 rpm
Torque: 74.74 lb-ft @ 10,100 rpm
Quarter Mile: 10.01 @ 141.9 mph
Outright Top Speed: 186 mph (limited)
Racetrack Top Speed: 158.04 mph
Superpole Best Time: 1:56.20
Overall Ranking: 2nd Place

“All-new” is a term thrown around pretty loosely in the motorcycle PR world. Some new blinkers, a lighter exhaust and 'Bold New Graphics' is typically enough for the PR spin doctors to call a motorcycle “all-new.” This is exactly why when we first learned the Suzuki GSX-R1000 was going to be totally updated last winter we were a bit skeptical – just as we always are. But when we first rode the 2009 GSX-R1000 K9 a few weeks back (it was a late release like Suzukis always are) we realized a funny thing – it really is all-new. In fact, it’s the first time the bike has been totally redesigned since its inception in 2001. (Funny, I swear I’ve ridden several ‘all-new’ or ‘totally-redesigned’ GSX-R1000s in the last eight years. Guess I must not have read the fine print on the press kit or something?)

For a complete breakdown of everything that’s changed be sure to check out the 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 First Ride. But to sum things up, the '09 upgrades include redesigned bodywork, a totally updated, more powerful engine, twin titanium exhausts, updated chassis geometry and Showa’s new Big Piston Fork. And that’s just touching on the big stuff…

As for what one first notices when riding the new Suzuki … well, unless you are scared to explore the limits of the right grip, it’s without question the power. Keeping the front wheel on the pavement in any of the lower gears is a serious exercise in restraint, sometimes borderline impossible. The sheer rush of acceleration through your body is exhilarating as the low-end pull hammers you back in the seat right up through the rev-range, grabbing a shift at redline and continuing with just as much vigor in the next cog up. No lies, the GSX-R wouldn’t have a shade of trouble pulling redline in top gear if the speed wasn’t limited to 186 mph. We wouldn’t be surprised if it tapped out well into the mid to high 190s. Stock.

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Smackdown Track Test
2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000.
2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Smackdown Track Test
All-new from the ground up.

And while all this power is a good thing, without control the rider isn’t able to do anything with it. This is where the beauty of the Suzuki really lies, as when it comes to putting large amounts of bhp to the pavement there isn’t a single bike in this group nearly as effective. Instant throttle response and direct rider connection with the rear wheel allow riders to dial the throttle on sooner and faster than you would expect considering its place atop the horsepower and torque rankings.

“The new Suzuki should get top honors for outright most power, at least when it comes to seat-of-the pants feeling,” Sorensen remarks. “When this thing hits its stride it goes into warp drive like no other bike out here. While the power is smooth and tractable, it is the top end rush that feels so fast and really puts you back in the seat like you wouldn’t expect.”

Exclaims Earnest: “The Suzuki has a great motor, revs high and has really good over-rev. No doubt a class-leader when it comes to that engine. Man, I really like that Suzuki!”

Though the power itself received praise from across the board, a couple of our riders noted some vibration.

“I would have ranked the GSX-R motor higher but it seems to vibrate more compared to the other bikes so it had to be noted at some point,” adds Hutchison. “Taken into account just the

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Smackdown Track Test
Everyone commented on how planted and stable the Suzuki was when leaned over.

overall rip-snorting power of this beast, though, it’s hard to beat. It makes great power.”

A quick glance at the dyno chart and it’s easy to see why. Though it got nipped for the outright most bhp by the Kawasaki, it’s still right there, laying down a healthy 155.16 hp, only a hair behind. But a closer look also reveals that the mid-range is slightly better than that of the Kawasaki, as is the low-end. It isn’t until well into the high rpms that the green machine catches back up. As for torque, the Suzuki is also much better than the Kawasaki all throughout the rev-range, peaking at 74.74 ft-lbs; the only Inline-Four that makes more torque is the Honda.

What does all this translate into at the racetrack? The highest Max Acceleration of the bunch coming out of both Turn 6 and 14 as well as a lightning-fast top speed of 158.04 mph at the end of the front straight, nearly 1.5-mph more than the second-place Kawasaki. This goes to show that peak power isn’t everything. It’s the low-end and mid-range advantage of the Suzuki which gets it off the corner harder, allowing the speed to build earlier, translating the entire way down the straight. Goes to show how important corner-exit drive really is. And a lot of this corner-exit drive is the result of a good transmission mated to an easy-to-use and positive clutch.

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