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2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

The new and improved 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 arrives with superior handling, a more responsive engine at medium revs, as well as greater fuel economy and fewer emissions.

Gixxer on a diet
The dual tailpipes give way to a new stainless steel 4-2-1 exhaust system mounted on the right side. It shaves off 2 kilograms partially due to a much smaller and lighter catalytic converter. Meanwhile, the revised electronic fuel injection system improves cold starts, combustion, and emission control.

Still rated at 185 horsepower, the engine now boasts a slightly higher compression ratio (12.9:1 vs. 12.8:1), 11% lighter pistons, and a modified camshaft profile for increased mid-range power. The radical new dynamics, combined with the reduced internal friction, required the ECU to be reprogrammed, ultimately leading to superior performance between 5,500 and 9,500 rpm.

The previous one-litre Gixxer stood out mainly because of its four-cylinder, and fans will no doubt be even more impressed with the 2012 model. Like Honda, however, Suzuki decided not to include traction control, instead focusing on improving the dynamic attributes of the chassis. Curiously, the GSX-R1000 is the only remaining superbike that doesn't feature any of those advanced systems.

2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 right side view
Photo: Suzuki

Livelier and sharper
The upgraded chassis does make corner entries and exits easier, though. The new machine uses sharper Brembo monobloc callipers, while the 43mm Showa Big Piston Front forks (BPF) have been refined to match the GSX-R1000's improved mass centralization. Also, the lighter wheel axles and thinner brake discs help reduce the unsprung weight.

Once again, three fuel injection and ignition system maps are accessible through the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS). The switch is mounted on the left handlebar and can be easily operated on the fly based on grip conditions and track configuration.

Bottom line
As far as we're concerned, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 is a legend when it comes to performance and track-day fun. The excellent 2009 overhaul gets even better three years later with one of the two most electrifying powerplants in brand history (along with the Hayabusa's). The new 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 will most certainly find many ways to shine and again surprise the heck out of us.