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?
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:
- 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.
- The exhaust valve is retuned to bring some minor advantages to low- and mid-RPM torque.
- Pistons are 11 percent lighter thanks to a thorough finite element analysis that more finely webs their undersides.
- Cylinder ventilation holes are now larger and pentagonal in shape, minimizing pumping loses inside the engine.
- Compression grows from 12.8:1 to 12.9:1, again bringing claimed increases in low- and mid-range torque.
- Camshafts alter in profile slightly. Again chasing that torque.
- Valve tappet skirts shed 2.5 grams a piece thanks to thinner construction.
- A revised ECM is claimed to bring 8 percent better fuel economy and make throttle response more linear.
- Brembo Monobloc calipers and lightweight Sunstar Engineering discs improve stopping power, shed unsprung weight and add a little bling.
- Settings in the front forks (Showa BPFs) are altered in some undefined way.
- 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.
- The material used to coat the rider seat is grippier.
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.
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