2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition – Review

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2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition – Review

Since the original 750 was introduced in 1985, Suzuki’s sold over a million GSX-R sportsbikes. As the name suggests, this new 2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition celebrates that milestone. But, 28 years later, the motorcycle world is a very different place. Is the GSX-R now what the GSX-R was then?

Photos: Sheraisrad

What’s New:
Only 1,985 units of the 1 Million will be sold worldwide, each denoted by a special plaque on the top clamp. As you can see, ours is number 950.

In addition to that plaque, the 1 Million adds: unique (and much classier) graphics in traditional GSX-R white and blue; red anodized fork caps; gold colored forks; a red spring on the shock; black calipers with a red “Brembo” logo; “1 Million” wheel stripes; a unique key fob with a red “R”; a single seat cowl as standard.

Most noticeable is the newly red nose. We lovingly christened the bike “Rudolph,” but that that feature is actually a nod to Suzuki’s Bol d’Or racers of the 1980s, which had red number plates, and we all unanimously agreed it’s a sharp looking add-on.

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. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; this is still an exceptionally fast bike, making 182bhp, 87lb/ft of torque and weighing just 447lbs (wet).

Small improvements have been made to smooth out fueling in the mid-range.

Over that 2009 model, this current model receives 12 updates:

  1. Total weight is down 4.4lbs. Largely due to the switch to a single exhaust can that uses a much smaller collector and catalyzer, but unsprung weight at the front is also slightly reduced.
  2. The exhaust valve is retuned to bring some minor advantages to low- and mid-RPM torque.
  3. Pistons are 11 percent lighter thanks to a thorough finite element analysis that more finely webs their undersides.
  4. Cylinder ventilation holes are now larger and pentagonal in shape, minimizing pumping loses inside the engine.
  5. Compression grows from 12.8:1 to 12.9:1, again bringing claimed increases in low- and mid-range torque.
  6. Camshafts alter in profile slightly. Again chasing that torque.
  7. Valve tappet skirts shed 2.5 grams a piece thanks to thinner construction.
  8. A revised ECM is claimed to bring 8 percent better fuel economy and make throttle response more linear.
  9. Brembo Monobloc calipers and lightweight Sunstar Engineering discs improve stopping power, shed unsprung weight and add a little bling.
  10. Settings in the front forks (Showa BPFs) are altered in some undefined way.
  11. Brand new Bridgestone S20 OEM tires drop a little unsprung weight and expand the GSX-R’s performance envelope to be more appropriate for street use.
  12. The material used to coat the rider seat is grippier.

The Ride:
Wes threw me the keys to the GSX-R for a few days and I used it around Los Angeles as sensible transportation, then hit the Malibu canyons on it two days in a row, where these photos and this video were shot.


I’m not fully bike-fit yet, after breaking my leg last fall. My right knee is still only about 70 percent of what it was, meaning I lack the full range of movement and I can’t modulate the weight I apply to the right rearset; my leg’s just dead weight. That wears me out fast and makes my foot go numb after just a quick stint of aggressive riding. This temporary handicap makes me extra sensitive to bike set up and ergonomics. Right now, I’m not able to make up for flaws in a bike’s handling using my typically-more-athletic riding.

Continue Reading: 2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition >>

  • 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!)