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First Times Ride: 2014 Suzuki GSX-R1000

March 27, 2014|By Charles Fleming
  • A street-legal race bike, Suzuki's GSX-R1000 is a road-ready rocket ship.
A street-legal race bike, Suzuki's GSX-R1000 is a road-ready rocket… (Suzuki )

It’s a mathematical fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And the fastest way to get there on two wheels might be the GSX-R1000 -- a straight-line rocket that’ll get you there far faster than you need to go.

The 2014 GSX-R1000 continues the legacy Suzuki began almost 30 years ago, when the Japanese company introduced its first Gixxer. Despite much success and many upgrades, it still rolls off the showroom floor as originally conceived -- a race bike, with headlights and turn signals.

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The current version is a fuel-injected, in-line, four-cylinder, six-speed liter bike outfitted with adjustable suspension, a massive 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system and twin Brembo brakes up front.

Beyond that, it’s basic. No ABS. No traction control. No hand warmers. Just 448 pounds of performance. As a Gixxer enthusiast said to me, “It’s nothing but bike.”

And it’s hot off the line -- so hot that at first I thought the speedometer was broken.  It can’t be going that fast -- not that fast!

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To help moderate the speed, this Gixxer offers three riding modes, differentiated as A, B and C.

C is like riding a 600. B is like riding a 750. A is like riding a rocket with 160 horsepower. The three modes might as well be called kinda crazy, extra crazy and completely insane.

And they'll sell one to anybody that walks in off the street with enough to cover the MSRP of $13,799

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Who needs this much speed? Nobody. I put quite a few miles on this motorcycle -- on the street, not on the track -- and never came close to testing the limits of this high-performance engine.

But who wants this much speed? A lot of people. Though the GSX-R1000 is a relatively new model in the series, Suzuki has sold more than 1 million Gixxers over the years.

Unless they do something weird to this long-running series, they'll probably sell a whole lot more.


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