Suzuki GSX-S 1000F ABS review
What is it-
Suzuki calls it a sports roadster – a sweet spot between a sports bike and a sports tourer. Yes, there exists a group of people who want the dynamism, performance and agility of a litre-class superbike with the comfort and convenience of a touring machine.
As a segment, yes. It does share its mechanicals and cycle-parts with the Suzuki S1000. It essentially is a S1000 with a full fairing, the design of which can’t be termed as the most appealing but it improves down force by almost 20kg over the naked version, so yes, it’s functional.
For touring long-distances, there has to be a decent modicum of comfort dialed in the bike and the S 1000F does not disappoint on that count. The fat Renthal bars look snazzy while delivering a good reach and leverage. The foot pegs are set moderately high for comfort yet do not come in the way of clearance and with the extra long hero blobs, should not come in the way of an enthusiastic ride up the mountainside. It works, hitting the right spot between comfortable touring and sporty riding though I reckon you will be stopping more often on trips than the average tourer.
Fun to ride?
The frame is all-new while the swingarm is from the current GSX-R1000. The ergonomic riding position makes the bike feel light at slow speeds and despite the 214kg kerb weight, is easily manageable. Same goes for the motor which is quite tractable and gels well with the three-stage traction control unit. The Dunlop Sportmax tyres, once warmed up provide superior grip but on cold tyres, things do get interesting. The S 1000F is as easy to ride as your 600 and can be as much fun too. It grips well in corners and though it lacks the pinpoint accuracy of the GSX-R 1000, it’s stability and poise inspires you to push the bike harder. The fully adjustable KYB forks provide excellent feedback and though mid-corner bumps tent to unsettle the bike a bit, it never gets hairy. The front brakes are Brembo monobloc units with Nissin calipers rounding up the rear. Though ABS can’t be turned off completely, it is quite non-intrusive and even during hard-braking, refused to elicit a chatter from the rear wheel.
The 999cc in-line four motor is derived from the acclaimed K5 motor of the previous GSX-R 1000. This motor might feel a bit unrefined to the new generation of motors but as far as Indian-riding conditions go, the long stroke mill make a lot of sense. It may lack outright power at the top end but more than makes up for it in the way it delivers low-end response and mid-range punch. It may not feel the most powerful but it does feel the most usable. Oh and it emits one of the sweetest in-line four exhaust notes on full-throttle runs. The traction control provides three modes with three being the most intrusive and you have the option of switching it off completely.
The Suzuki GSX-S 1000F retails at Rs 12.7 lakh (ex-Delhi) which is good value if you factor in the prices of litre-class Sports tourers and superbikes currently sold in India. It does miss out of tech and top spec cycle parts but those come into play only when you are ripping the track. Come to think of it, most of the time, instead of roads trips and track riding, you will be spending more time negotiating the urban crawl or riding down to the nearest twisty section and here is where the GSX-S 1000F excels – in the real world, while keeping you comfortable behind the saddle. It doesn’t even toast the rider in traffic.
Evo rating– 4/5