View Thread: 2003 GSX-R 1000 first ride impressions

Finally got my new bike. Suzuki GSX-R 1000, blue/white motif.

Well, I just put 190km on my new bike tonight and I have to say a few things about it. Disclaimer: these are my opinions only.

- this should be no surprise, but in town it is a bull in a china shop... it'll take a bit of sorting out as far as throttle and shift schemes so as not to bog it (especially at this point in its life) but also not rocket. I have a pretty sensitive throttle hand and it's still a bit of a challenge coordinating it for a comfortable town ride. If all you are doing is city/town street riding, this is likely not your bike, but you probably knew that.

- out on the open road with some wind on you, this is one hell of a nice bike. I find the seating position more (yes, more) comfortable than my SV650S was and while the pegs are quite high I felt entirely comfortable... until I put down my legs and got a foot cramp. In all seriousness I rode in all conditions today and on all sorts of roads (even north of Battersea for a few minutes) and this thing is plush and yet firm at the same time. The suspension is simply light years better than any bike I've ridden.

- cornering is like magic... sticking a knee out and railing through 70km/h corners at 110km/h (yes I varied throttle and revs all day, no fears) was cake, second nature. the feedback from the suspension in a corner is so much better than anything I've been on before. your milage may vary

- watch that speedometer, it's too easy to speed even trying to keep the revs down on purpose

- the engine sound is partly thrilling, partly mundane... sounds a little truckish from the saddle but when accelerating easily it sounds awesome, but most importantly HOW DID THEY GET THIS THING PAST DB TESTS? No two ways about it, if you are buying a pipe for volume, you are wasting your money or you need a hearing checkup. As for the induction sound, at the dealership, a 600cc GSX-R owner stopped in to look and was dumbfounded at the intake roar.

- tires are simply incredible for street tires in my opinion, and the name is... well... battlax? fire the marketing rep... hrm... well, they work wonderfully on this bike in my opinion.

- the suspension can't be overstated, this thing is firm and gives you loads of feedback and yet at the same time it didn't feel harsh until I hit the moguls of Battersea at hour 3.5 in the saddle... after six months of this hellish winter and spring.

- the brakes are great... I heard they were touchy but again I have a light touch on controls, and some people may find them that way simply because they're so powerful. I'm also about 230 pounds so if you're 150, who knows? I could feel the bike's attitude under braking clearly... these radial brakes aren't just for tricks

- twitchiness... I was told to watch for this but this bike isn't twitchy. If anything, it seems less twitchy than my SVS did. I put it down to the greater rotating mass and gyroscopic effect of the motor. It just feels like something underneath me was talking to me subtly with "sure you can do that, and I'll make sure you do it smooth". this means turn-in feels a little bit slower too... hopefuly a lot of racers and quick-ish riders are now nodding their heads and I'm not imagining any of this.

- steering damper... what steering damper... it's there but I'll be damned if I ever noticed it slowing my low-speed maneuvers, which is the best compliment I can pay it. disclaimer: I work out with heavy weights on a regular basis, and my opinion may be coloured by that

- insurance sucks, next opinion

- it's easy to make this bike rotate with a little application of rear brake, and I can feel it clearly... I avoided the rear brake of my SVS like the plague because it would just as soon lock up as give me a helping hand or tell me what it was doing. I made a U-turn downtown Kingston and was almost able to do it in one lane.

- the stacked headlights. besides looking a bit controversial, they work pretty well. my SVS lights gave off a wider light and I can't say I won't miss them a bit, but on high beam the lights have to be quasi-legal, they're so bright. the pass light I'm out on... not sure they will be seen, but then I can't judge from the saddle well. I'll use them anyway just to look trick

Do I feel that (some) people who gave me advice that I would feel more comfortable on the SV650S I just sold, or that I would be a danger to myself on a SS bike were right? Absolutely not, to be fair my 12 years in the dirt and motoX competition can't be overstated... though opinions differ about that too, I've found.

For me, this is an easy motorcycle to ride anywhere but a city street, and even there it's just fine until you get right down into the 30km/h core where there are precious few bikes that are happy, much less powerful, sports-focused ones. I felt more comfortable on this bike with its level of power and handling than I did on a smaller-engined bike with a lower grade of suspension by far... so I'm completely happy with this purchase.

I've had a gas station attendant, a young fellow with an older 750, a group of kids, three computer geeks, a "gangsta" wannabe in an Integra and a CASC-OR racer drool over this bike in only the few hours I've owned it. It's got something interesting to look at everywhere... titanium bits, radial brakes, DLC coated forks, electronic gadgetry. I'm sorry that I didn't spend much time explaining things to them... but I had riding to do. :)

Rotary Boy
holy shit, steve. that bike fucking rules. I know you know it, but I just thought I would tell you again, and as for the brakes, I remember them well and love them, if I ever had to think of the bike that has the best brakes. in terms of performance and overall feel while doing so it would be the GSX-R1000.

and the power, out on the highway isn't it amazing?! i was stunned the two times I rode one by what i can only call unlimited power, or at least thats what it felt like. it seemed liek no matter how fast I was going or how hard I was accelerating the bike just had so more to offer. I bet wiht your experience you are much better suited to ride it and coax that performance out of it than I was, making it all the cooler for you to enjoy.

have fun, ride safe dude. and post more, we havn't heard from you in forever

Congrats, Shaman! I dont know too much about bikes but i know that this bike fawkin rules! The acceleration on that thing must be amazing and i am definite that if i rode it i would not control it at all. Have fun and post some pics of it.

I'm keeping it down below 6K RPM for the most part for the next while, but it really doesn't matter. The "unlimited power" is totally true, I can fire out of corners in sixth to 100mph with only 6K on the clock, and it accelerates like a mad thing... but isn't even up to where the power is!

I did a couple 9K RPM full throttle loads on it when it was just out of the dealership to get a nice tight ring seal. All I can say is that when I let off the gas and coasted down the motor to let the oil carry away any debris, it was trying to rip my arms off in fourth, and it was still climbing its torque curve, i swear.

I mean it about the bull in the china shop thing though... it's almost like driving my car, instant and hard acceleration on city streets isn't all that conducive to safety!

I'll try to post more. My car is still down for the count but is getting near readiness, then I'll have pictures, videos and stories.

I'm also teaching a Porsche driving class with which is going to be a lot of fun, as well as two Solo Ontario driver's courses, the first one on the weekend of the 10th.

eric rxb
I've been waiting for this post for a while. Glad to hear that you're enojying you're bike.

Hope the rocket is back in working order soon.

Pennzoil GT-R
id love a fast bike. im in awe of the hayabusa turbo right now

how much did it cost new?

$13,400 CDN.

Not bad for a bike with titanium and aluminum parts everywhere.

Just got back from a ride. :pd:

Rotary Boy
Originally posted by Shaman
$13,400 CDN.

Not bad for a bike with titanium and aluminum parts everywhere.

Just got back from a ride. :pd:

and not bad for a bike that you could take out of shamans garage and win a superbike championship with.

may sound sorta expensive for a bike, but it's less than a biposto or lots of other ducati's. and with the Gixxer you are getting more of a bike.

Sia Bani
Hey Shaman...thanks for the extensive review. It was very interesting read. ( We need an AWF Reporting Live smiley)

I wouldn't call it extensive! I just touched on the big points.

BTW, the engine is still loosening up and last night it was feeling much smoother to throttle (or may I'm loosening up?)

Sia Bani
Any post that requires me to "toggle" down twice is extensive in my book!


There you go, some pictures. I'm headed out right now to take a few more - check out that rock chip I got tonight... :(

Had to straighten her up at about 85mph going around a 40mph tighty because I spotted some gravel, and bucked out to the center line right through it. :( :( :(

Great looking bike! :cheers: