Small and entertaining

This is Suzuki's newest model, the GSR. A cross between the icon and somewhat outdatet GSF Bandit and the race winning GSX-R. The result is at times very good.

Text and photo: Frode Johansen

    In this class there is several very entertaining motorcycles that serve best used solo. The GSR is a fun bike to ride around on, and it has a fresh design that make it easy to recognize. And the number of add on's for this bike is almost endless, and could easily be customized by the owner.


Fresh design

    This bike has some nice design solution that made me look twice on it at the motorcycle show in Sweden. The design goes through the bike from front to back, and gives the bike a fresh design. It comes in different colors, but I think this one is the best looking one. The mix between aluminium, aluminuim colored plastic and leather and flat black enhances the design and the result is very good. And good looking is also the rear, with the round lights in the middle and the double exhaust outlet's on the outside of the light, very balanced and tight design.


Needs to be reved

    The 36,3 cubic inches four cylinder inline-four pumping out about a hundred ponnies needs to be reved up before it will perform well. The red line goes at 14.000 rpm and it needs about 8.000 before it pulls strong. Overtaking can be done swift and entertaining if you drop a couple of gears down and go at full power. Doing twisty roads on 2. and 3. gear, keeping it above 8.000 rpm, is good fun and the bike gives me feeback telling me that it enjoys it. The gear box is nice to work with, but the clutch handel is not adjustable, and for me I have to reach a little ekstra to get my fingers around it. Riding it around town I notice that when going on and off the accelerator the bike jerks, and after a little while it starts to annoy me. But adjusting the fuel injection could make most of it go away.


On the road

    From 3.000 rpm the engine hums along nicely, but if you have strapped down some luggage going on a trip, the gear box needs to be used quite much. But riding solo overtaking in sixth gear is not a problem, but if you carry the extra weight fourth or third would be a better choice.

    The mirrors gives the rider a arm free look at what goes on behind him, but some vibration makes the mirrored picture a bit blury. Flipping the bike from side to side as the turns comes at me close and fast is easy, but the wide fuel tank prevents me from using my legs to a maximum.

    Many times I have wanted the gear indicator on bikes I have tested due to my forgetfulness, and this one has it, when in doubt just a quick look down and you have the information you need. As I ride along at highway speed I feel the wind pressing on my upper body, but if I keep the speed around 60 mph it does not bother me. And there is no turbulence noise inside my helmet either so I am enjoying the ride.

    Sitting position is quite good, the kne angel is not to narrow and the reach for the handel bars suits me well. The factory settings on the suspension is tuned to the comfort side of sport, and if you take it along on track days, you might want to stiffen it up a little.



    This is the bike for mostly short trips. If you take it out for the longer rides I would recommend a wind screen, and packing light so your clutch hand and gear foot doesn't get over worked. I think this bike is two bikes in one, because you can cruise along at low rpm and enjoying the surroundings, or you can rev it hard and enjoy some nice stretch's of road or a track day. And for some the super long accessory list will be perfect to give it the custom look of your choice.



The facts:

Engine: 36,3 cubic inches / 599 ccm

Engine type: Water cooled inline-four

Horsepower: 98 hk at 12.000 rpm

Torque: 65 nm at 9.600 rpm

Front tyre: 120/70-ZR17

Rear tyre: 180/55-ZR17

Fuel tank: 4,3 gallons

Dry weight: 183 kilos

MSRP: Not offered in the USA