Suzuki’s GSX-S1000GT+ delivers thrills without the frills – Robb Report
The casual observer could be forgiven for assuming that Suzuki was almost done after the Covid-19 pandemic. Sure, there was the Hayabusa benchmark sport bike update last year, but no new street bikes debuted in 2020 or 2021. That, however, is finally changing. . Already this year, Suzuki has released three new motorcycles; well, the same one dressed in three different ways.
A few weeks ago we tested the Suzuki GSX-S1000 naked bike, a model that offers solid performance, but has a few shortcomings. Now we’ve just finished riding the sport touring version of the GSX-S1000GT+, a $13,149 bike that pleasantly surprised even this jaded rider. The little “+” sign at the end of the name indicates that this is the premium of the two GT variants available, but in truth the only difference is a set of side cases of around 43 gallons and an additional $650 added at the price.
Beneath the skin of the expansive but well-wrapped body is the same 149hp, 999cc inline-four engine (with 78lb-ft of torque), twin-spar aluminum chassis and fully adjustable KYB suspension as on the GSX-S1000 naked bike. The GT+, however, aims to comfortably cover distances its sibling could only dream of, thanks to taller handlebars, a wide screen – deflecting a massive amount of wind at speed – and cruise control, which is sorely lacking. to the GSX-S1000.
Another differentiator of the GSX-S1000GT+ is Suzuki’s first-ever integration of a thin-film transistor (TFT) display. Yes, Suzuki finally arrived at the TFT party, albeit years after everyone else, but he did a good job with it. That dash is mission control for the ride, and while the bike doesn’t have an inertial measurement unit (IMU) or lean angle sensitive traction control or cornering ABS to adjust, the 6.5-inch display is at least easy to understand and easily pairs with your smartphone via the left switch pad. That’s a mile ahead of the Gameboy-like unit found on the GSX-S1000.
Once you’re ready to roll, you’ll be greeted with that lion-like induction roar that this engine is famous for. The power plant is a descendant of that found on the GSX-R1000 K5, one of our picks for the 25 Greatest Motorcycles of the 21st Century (so far). It’s got so much mid-range torque that it makes for a totally engrossing driving experience, and it’s paired with a splendid quick shifter that’s one of the best on the market today.
Getting back in the saddle of a somewhat analog motorcycle is rather refreshing in the age of electronic suspension and cornering ABS. The KYB suspenders on this bike are divinely old school—springs, shims, and oil, not pneumatics or electronics guiding their way. As such, the rider gets a nice mechanical feel to the handlebars, not one hampered by outboard servos.
The GT+ likes to tackle a winding road as much as a highway, probably more. Selecting Mode B (rather than A or the low-output Mode C) for the throttle, I find the Suzuki’s power delivery to be silky smooth – Mode A is too harsh for my liking – and the roads of canyon are the perfect place to let the GT+ do its thing.
Clicking the gears yields an impressive soundtrack punctuated by a barking exhaust note as the bike delivers more than enough power to entertain even the most seasoned riders. And all wrapped up in a rather ladylike costume. Overall, Suzuki’s GSX-S1000GT+ is a big improvement over the GSX-S1000 naked bike, delivering all the thrills without unnecessary frills.