Suzuki GSX-R1000 | First Look

The Top Gixxer Gets a Tune-Up

By Aaron Frank |Photography by Suzuki

Yoshimura Suzuki rider Blake Young finished 5 points out of first place in the 2011 AMA Superbike Championship, but might find enough of an advantage in the updated 2012 GSX-R1000 to put him on the top step of the podium next season. Like other Japanese OEMs in this sluggish sales market, Suzuki has chosen evolution over revolution when revising its flagship sportbike. Minor upgrades to the powerplant and chassis should produce a slight performance improvement.

Inside the 999cc inline-four are lighter pistons with reshaped crowns and a re- configured exhaust cam that reduces valve overlap—both to boost low- and midrange torque—along with even larger cylinder ventilation holes to reduce pumping losses. On the outside, Suzuki ditched the dual-muffler setup in favor of a single-can arrangement that saves 4.4 lbs. Chassis-wise, the biggest Gixxer gets the same Brembo Monobloc front brake calipers that debuted on the smaller GSX-R600 and 750 last year. New tires are on the menu too, in the form of Bridgestone’s latest high-performance Battlax offering, the S20. Pricing will increase by $200, to $13,799.

Hopefully, the revised Gixxer has what it takes to give Young and his new teammate, Chris Clark, an advantage on-track. After Suzuki’s recent announcement that it would withdraw from MotoGP competition in 2012, and without any official factory presence in World Superbike, the AMA Superbike Series remains one of the few places where Suzuki can still make good on the GSX-R’s “Own The Racetrack” tagline.