2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 1 Million Commemorative Edition - Review

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Category: Reviews

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.

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