2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition – Review

Reviews -


2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition – Review

What’s Good:
Once in the canyons, the Suzuki’s handling prowess comes to the forefront. I found myself being able to easily stick to my chosen lines. Both super agile and super stable, its predictable movements on the road translated into go faster confidence.

The slim tank is easy to grip with your outside knee and thigh, improving agility through direction changes.

The stock Bridgestone S20s provided plenty of grip and feedback, aiding stability under heavy braking and early throttle application.

I couldn’t stop raving to everyone I met in the canyons over the weekend about how Suzuki got the fueling so spot on. It’s such a relief to ride a stock bike in “A” mode and not have your confidence destroyed by incredibly abrupt, jerky fueling from off-to on-throttle. The GSX-R1000’s predictable, smooth power curve makes for confidence-inspiring throttle applications both in the city and through the canyons. You won’t be blown away by its outright power, but it is still competitive with its Japanese rivals.

What’s Bad:
I hate to bash the GSX-R’s ergonomics because I’m not fully fit yet, but my legs cramped immediately on the GSX-R1000. This made gearshifts cumbersome. It seemed like I had to move my left foot far too much to achieve a shift, really stomping on the lever to guarantee it selected the next gear down. Where I’d typically enter a corner hot, under heavy engine braking, this had me backing off and relying on the Brembos instead.

And while those calipers are Monoblocks, as fitted to most other superbikes these days, the master cylinder isn’t a Brembo item, leading to a vague, mushy lever feel. The power of the calipers isn’t felt until the second half of lever travel. The GSX-R is crying out for both a better master cylinder and braided lines, making that change will improve both feel and outright stopping power.

The short, narrow clip-ons can make for vague steering inputs. Wider units would increase leverage and speed steering.

Both the dash and three-spoke rims feel dated compared to the superbike competition. Update please.

The Price:
The 1 Million edition carries just a $200 price increase over the $13,799 regular bike. Worth it, for the much-improved paint, white wheels and the sense of exclusivity.

That price is exactly on par with the Honda CBR1000RR, $500 cheaper than the Yamaha R1 and Kawasaki ZX-10R. The problem is, that Honda comes with a much nicer, twin-tube rear shock, being quite noticeable handling superiority. The R1 and ZX-10R also have traction control, while the Ninja is also available with ABS. Power is roughly equivalent across those models, remember that the ZX-10R is 20bhp down in the North American market.

More problems arise for the Suzuki when you compare it to the European competition. The Aprilia RSV4 R now starts at just $13,999 and includes Aprilia’s amazing APRC suite of rider-aiding electronics. It’s also sharper, wears high-spec components and is totally ready to rock straight out of the box as a result. The all-conquering BMW S1000RR is more expensive at $15,050, but makes considerably more power and includes both TC and ABS as standard. At 18 grand, the Ducati 1199 Panigale is way more money, but captures hearts and headlines in a way the Suzuki can only dream about.

Having said that, Suzuki’s current 0% APR for five years across every single one of its models makes buying its bikes incredibly easy.

What Others Say:
We’re the first publication to ride the 1 Million edition, but since it’s mechanically identical to the regular GSX-R1000, we’ll pull quotes from those reviews.

“It certainly isn’t the fastest thing on the road nor the lightest in stock form. However it does continue to offer racers and track enthusiasts a competent platform to go race.” — Motorcycle-USA

“While this latest GSX-R1000 continues Suzuki’s evolution of refinement, unfortunately this wasn’t reflected in the gearbox – shifting was notchy and harsh at times.” — Motorcycle.com

“There’s no traction control safety net on the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000, and while it would be better for it in most riders’ hands, it’s not sorely missed either.” — Kevin Ash

The Verdict:
It’s easy to get lost in the hair-splitting between superbikes. All of them, including this Suzuki, are incredibly fast, capable machines that far exceed the skill of pretty much every rider.

Having said that, the GSX-R1000 is now the oldest basic design and is equipped with the lowest spec in the class. It’d take a $1,500 Ohlins TTX shock and $275 Brembo Master Cylinder to put it on par with the CBR1000RR and add an $800 Bazzaz TC unit if you want to start running with anything else. If you really want a GSX-R, you can probably find a 2009 or later bike with some of those upgrades for substantially less cash in the used market.

Or, forget all that and just enjoy what’s still one of the fastest vehicles ever made.

RideApart Rating: 6/10

Helmet: Shoei RF-1100 ($470)
Gloves: Alpinestars GP-Pro ($240)
Leathers: Alpinestars Race Replica ($2,900)
Boots: Puma 1000 V3 ($435)

  • http://twitter.com/Smoke4ndMears stephen mears

    The last line says it all. Great review!

  • infresig

    “Other than that, the bike is identical to the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 we reviewed last year, itself, a mild update to the one that’s been around since 2009.”

    What’s the point of re-reviewing a bike that is identical to one reviewed last year except for the colors? Do we need a different review for each color that a bike is offered in? That being said, having someone else’s perspective on the same bike is of interest.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      I think you just answered your own question.

      • infresig

        Touche, but how do the new Honda tribal colors on the CBR600RR compare to the ones from last year?

        • http://www.twitter.com/seanmacdonald sean macdonald

          WAAAAY faster

      • nightscout13

        The Red Ducati is faster than the Black Ducati, eh?

    • SAM

      well, if they will make 1 000 000 units and make a commemorative editon , i guess they will be reviewed too.

  • Bruce Steever

    Do you feel this equals the previous high-water mark for the GSX-R, the 2005 1000?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Personally, I prefer the 2005 model. Felt a bit lighter on its feet.

      • Bruce Steever

        K5 was a bunch lighter and felt it, but i like the L2 more. It’s more stable, which suits a big hack like myself, and i fit on it, which i couldn’t quite manage on the K5.

        K5 was a better looker tho…

      • http://www.facebook.com/adeyemi.bennett Adeyemi Bennett

        05′ model felt lighter and offered more comfort.

        • Bruce Steever

          IMO, the bars on the K5 had a bit better angle, but the footpegs were stuffed under your armpits. The L2 almost has the opposite problem.

      • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Maciel

        The 2005 GSXR was the first liter bike I ever rode, after only learning to ride about 4 months prior. At the time it was a thoroughly terrifying experience.

    • http://twitter.com/TheVeeTwin Damo Von Maciel

      I mean the K5 is arguably one of the best Japanese sport bikes ever made though…

      That aside, I was at the dealer last week getting some parts for my dr650 and they had a GSXR Million there. I was surprised by how much I instantly wanted to take it home, but between the CBR250, DR650 an the RC51 I need to stop buying crap.

    • http://profiles.google.com/mugget mugget man

      It’s good to know that the K5/K6 is still such a great bike. Probably one of the main reasons that I haven’t felt the need for a newer bike in years, just add a few choice mods like Bazzaz TC, a good dyno tune (a world of difference, amazingly smooth throttle response) and a loud exhaust for giggles (M4 GP) and I can’t see myself getting sick of it any time soon.

  • nick2ny

    Should be called the GSX-R1000000.

  • MeatyBeard

    It’s just so damned ugly. Looks like something the hero from some cheesy Japanese sci-fi show would ride.

  • http://twitter.com/BradyTurner_AD Brady Turner

    Many a squid has seen the light on the gixxer 1000

    • tacoslave

      Sometimes it doesnt matter how much skill you have or how long you’ve been riding. All it takes is one unlucky day and thats it. Just off the top of my head tire blowout on a semi would either knock you off your bike or kill you outright.

  • KevinB

    I wonder how many of that million have been wadded up

    • chris

      Yeah got number 455. Nice but a little disappointed. could steer better. wants to push compared to my 750 k5. Grab it by the neck and hates slow off camber corners. the headlight us rubbish. poor reflector and poly carbonate lens. holes in the pattern esoecially on low beam. the adjustment was way off, my 3 rd Gixxer and just a little disappointed. maybe a Honda next time.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mugget mugget man

    Manufacturers probably doing their thing to support the aftermarket…?

  • http://profiles.google.com/mugget mugget man

    The thing that surprised me most in this article – the fact that an RSV4 costs only a couple hundred dollars more than a Gixxer?? DAMN! I have been out of the new bike market for so long, but that is awesome. Makes me think there is really a chance for a Euro bike in my future. (Not sure if that pricing translates to Australia though.)

    • SAM

      RSV4 sucks …

      its not a prefered bike in europe and has poor image.

      kawa honda bmw suzuki and all others have better reception than rsv4.

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        What planet do you live on? The R1 has such low quality components and bad fueling that it’s virtually unrideable in stock form. The Suzuki is nice, but it feels a little outdated and is a bit heavy. The ZX-10R is fast, but again doesn’t really have the suspension quality or cohesiveness of the Euro bikes.

        The only liter bikes seriously ready to rock out of the box right now are the Ducati, KTM, BMW, Aprilia and Honda. With those, just pick the one that comes in the color you like, they’re all pretty much on par with each other.

        I prefer the Aprilia because I like everyone that works at the company, its ergonomics work for me, it’s a great brand and, well, just look at it and listen to it.

        • nightscout13

          O_o to each his own, but I don’t appreciate your arrogant tone towards Japanese 4 bangers.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            Reality sucks.

            • nightscout13

              Keep up that arrogant attitude, and you will be losing readers. Not the proper way to attract new blood to your site.

              • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                Again, HFL is about honest journalism. Right now, the European manufacturers are building far superior sportsbikes to the big four. And doing so at competitive prices, as you see here. It’s not arrogant to state that the Aprilia performs in a superior manner to the Suzuki, at the same price.

                • nightscout13

                  Are you referring to the street machines or the race machines? I do have to give credit to Aprilia for the innovation they have shown last few years. Suzuki is lacking right now in the electronics department, but they have had quite a run the last 25 years. Side note, the RSV4 Factory is not in the same class as the GSXR1K. I have to disagree with you that Euro bikes are “far superior” to the Japanese machines. The Japanese machines offer an excellant mechanical package. Look at the maintenance requirements for the big four, then compare that to the euro bikes. Huge difference.

        • cochetl

          Low quality components etc . LoL …

          well, was just reading article and comments.

          Made one account to comment.

          You gotta be living in other part of the world to miss how Aprilia in Europe is mostly perceived , in fact you do.

          So, this will help you


          Reality sucks ;)

        • loganexplosion

          haha!!! the European bikes are garbage. i laugh every time i see dudes plop down huge chunks of cash for a new one and can’t come close to keeping up with my K5 1000. It’s eight years old!!!! R1 unrideable?! whoooo! that’s a good one

  • nightscout13

    No traction control is a deal breaker for me. It would really come in handy on the street. That and ABS. This is 2013 for facks sakes…….

  • loganexplosion

    so now we NEED traction control to “run with anything else”. ha!
    Just wait until next year when they add in the hotdog toaster (from skymall!)