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Mean gene Suzuki GSX-R1000, king of the superbikes has got meaner
Barrelling down the main straight, brak ing hard for the top right-hander then flicking it lef t on to the pit st raight. I ’m at circuit A lmeria in Spain, a racetrack I know well and love, on the mad and bad Suzuki GSX-R1000 that ’s just got even madder and badder.Things simply don’t get any better in life. [Image: gsxr1000_k9_Action_9_657x490.jpg]
In fact, it ’s a good job the king of the superbikes has got meaner.The latest K7 model launched for 2007 (and k nown as the K8 for 2008), had lost some of that intoxicating mix of gr unt and light weight that made the 2005 K5 the sensation it was. Strict Euro 3 emissions regulations had forced the Suzuki to take on weight and strangle performance. Suddenly, it required muscle to put in a fast lap at a racetrack, with the insane low-down grunt fading away into a bureaucratic black hole somewhere in Brussels. This left the K7 feeling relat ively flat until 7,000rpm. I say relatively because hey, let ’s keep things in perspective here – the K7 is a ferocious beast of a superbike that would still out-gr unt most th ings at the traffic lights. Apart from the K5…[Image: gsxr1000_k9_Action_4_657x490.jpg]

Suddenly, Suzuki ’s flagship wasn’t good enough to keep its crown in the face of Honda’s new Fireblade, and Kawasaki’s insanely powerful ZX10R. And now it’s even got Yamaha’s 2009 crossplane-crank YZF-R1 to contend with!
[Image: gsxr1000_k9_Action_7_657x490.jpg]
Clearly Suzuki is aware of all this and took criticism from the press on board, as it’s just broken the four-year established cycle in the superbike category. An all new superbike will get breathed on two years after its fi rst launch or major overhaul (so for instance a tweak to the fairing and the odd improvement here and there, but nothing drastic).[Image: gsxr1000_k9_strip_657x490.jpg] Another two years later it will get a complete overhaul, practically turning it into a brand new bike. This is what the GSX-R1000 got this year: There’s not a major component of the engine or chassis that hasn’t been transformed. But hang on a minute; it was turned into a whole new bike two years ago so it was only due a tweak for 2009, with a major overhaul not due until 2011! Case rested for the prosecution. Suzuki knew it had a major challenge on its hands, and its fl agship needed a major overhaul to confront it.
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