2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 – Blue Terrier

Could this be the most versatile, best-value hypernaked available today?


Rip out a few wheelies. Drop a rolling burnout or two. Set some lap times. Commute to work.

It won’t do everything, but the new Suzuki GSX-S1000 will get your heart pumping, will function as exceptionally fun transportation and will do it all for a much lower price – just $17,290 ride away – than most hypernakeds today. And it’s also got a three-year warranty.
Indeed, you could buy one, get top-level suspension fitted, get some engine work done and have a bike which could embarrass many a ‘premium’ bike without coming close to their cost.

The big update

Born in 2015, the GSX-S1000 was a good all-round machine with some unusual design choices – the styling for one, the handlebars for another.
ARR said in our test of the older machine we didn’t like the reach or bend of the ’bars and guess what, both criticisms have been addressed.
The new styling is radical to say the least, the ’bars are positioned better… essentially Suzuki has fixed a lot of things we didn’t like and left much of the rest alone.


The design

Suzuki describes the machine as having “The Beauty of Naked Aggression”.
I just think it looks great… a little different, a little strange, but certainly not bad. I thought the last model – especially the faired version – looked front-heavy, but this one, with its three tiny LED headlights, MotoGP inspired winglets and radiator shrouds with almost vertical text to be a bit jarring to my taste (which grew up with flowing lines and integrated bodywork).
The blue model has silver panels which highlight the unusual design, whereas both the grey and black versions have dark grey panels which don’t contrast as boldly, so they look a little more conventional in the design, despite simply being different colours.
Both the grey and black models have a metallic sparkle in the paint I could only see in direct sunlight.
After riding the bike, photographing it and having all three colour schemes around for the launch I found the styling grew on me a lot.

Similar performance, better delivery


While the engine is still based on the ‘long stroke’ K5 GSX-R1000, for 2022 it’s been refined and improved.
There’s a host of changes – engine covers, cams, cam chain tensioner, shift shaft, new clutch and more.
A new exhaust system was required to comply with Euro5 regulations. Like the old one, the catalytic converter and collector box is tucked away under the bike with a short muffler poking out the right hand side. Breathing is improved thanks to a new airbox.
Suzuki has added a Ride-By-Wire throttle and three distinct riding modes: A (Active), B (Basic) and C (Comfort). Most manufacturers would call them Sport, Road and Rain, for in effect it’s similar, although interesting they all eventually make the same maximum power, but where map A is aggressive in its power delivery and tapers off sharply toward peak power, the other maps offer a smoother progression to the peak.
Typically for these systems I found the most aggressive too sensitive for my liking, preferring the smoother mode B. If Suzuki had told me mode C produced less power I’d have believed them, because the bike certainly accelerates slower, it really does feel like a rain mode.
In addition to Ride by Wire, Suzuki has changed the airbox, throttle bodies, clutch, camshafts, cam chain tensioner, valve springs, engine covers and other parts in the motor. It’s not a from-the-bottom rebuild, but there are some significant changes, all in the name of Euro5 emission laws, although another benefit has been to flatten the torque curve for smoother power delivery across the rev range.
Power is up by nearly three horses to 150, not that I could tell. Peak torque is actually down by 2Nm to 106, but it peaks 250rpm earlier and the published torque curve is much flatter, so more torque is available at most engine speeds, making roll-on performance in higher gears easier and smoother. These improvements were subtle but noticeable.
Suzuki claim the bike is capable of doing a 10.15s 400 metre (¼ mile) drag strip run, but you’d need to be an expert to do it!

New clutch and quick shifter


Another criticism ARR had of last year’s model was the heavy clutch, something fixed now with the Suzuki Clutch Assist System, which lightens the pull required and provides a slipper mechanism, which is good to have even if you’re not backing into turns Supermoto style.
So the clutch is nicer to use, but it comes at a time when you’ll use it less anyway… because the new GSX-S has a bi-directional quick shifter as standard equipment.
In use both the new clutch and quick shifter are great… not the best I’ve ever used, but they are fine, and to have them on a machine costing less than $20,000 is pretty amazing.
Smooth, direct and with only a little sponginess at the lever I was impressed by the action of the quickshifter.

Electronic aids

In addition to the Ride by Wire, Quick Shifter and riding modes, the GSX-S features Suzuki’s Easy Start System (just touch the starter button and it will crank until the engine fires), Low RPM Assist (automatically lifting revs to prevent stalling) and an updated Suzuki Traction Control System.
Now with five levels and off, the GSX-S1000’s traction control can be set to what you prefer more easily.
Suzuki claimed the least intrusive – Level 1 – would allow a small wheelie, but I struggled to get the wheel to loft, noticing the ‘TC’ light flashing instead. Turning the traction control off allowed me to smoke up the rear tyre, launch the bike and loft the front wheel with ease… of course this was all away from public roads, we’d headed up to Heathcote Drag Strip for a few runs…
Unfortunately roadwork on the strip meant we couldn’t do full length or timed runs, but it sure is fun to let 150 horsepower rip… the performance of the bike is pretty impressive. It’s not in the league of the top-level hypernakeds – it doesn’t have the outright performance or super light-weight construction – but on a bang-for-buck equation it’s right up there.
The GSX-S1000 doesn’t have an IMU (Inertial Measuring Unit) so it therefore doesn’t have cornering ABS or traction control. Cost is likely to be a factor here.

Sporting prowess


While the GSX-S doesn’t have the performance, tech and equipment of the GSX-R1000, on the street I doubt if many riders would be much slower. These days it’s almost impossible to explore the upper reaches of sportsbike performance for any length of time, and sometimes having track-tuned suspension can be a drawback if the road surface is rough.
It’s not only getting out of town where the GSX-S will shine, it’s also when you’re setting a fast pace on a winding road, going hard without going crazy. 150hp is more than enough.
The stiff aluminium chassis and decent suspension make sporty riding fun too, providing good feedback and control.
Fully adjustable 43mm KYB forks ride up front while there’s a linkage type single rear shock with adjustable preload and rebound damping. suspension performance at both ends is reasonable – it’s not the sort of suspension you’d expect on a premium bike, but it’s a lot better than what we got on economic machines a few years back. Most owners won’t even consider upgrading the suspension on their GSX-S, but I reckon those who do might be rewarded with a very sweet handling machine.
Pulling the bike up are radially-mounted four-piston Brembo calipers and 310mm discs up front. Powerful and predictable, they work really well, although there isn’t the initial bite offered by modern supersport brakes, but this makes them easier to use in traffic, and I think it’s something which could be fixed with more aggressive pads anyway.
New wheels and tyres are fitted to the GSX-S. The six-spoke design is said to be lighter than the old wheels (by how much Suzuki isn’t saying) and there are special Dunlop Roadsmart 2 hoops built for the bike fitted.
I’m not a fan of unique tyres, it means you’re stuck with buying a low-production tyre if you want to keep the bike feeling new, which can be expensive (and most riders would never know their tyres were unique, they could replace their tyres and wonder why the bike feels different).
Tyre sizes are 120/70-17 front and 190/50-17 rear, fairly standard sizes for a modern hypersport. Given the bike is an economic option in its class I would have preferred to see a 180 rear, for there are about a squillion options in tyres that size, but there are quite a lot of 190 options available these days too.

Day-to-Day living


So we know the bike is good for letting the hoon in you run free, it’ll run with the sportsbikes until speeds get crazy… but it’s also a good town bike. Surprisingly easy to use in traffic, filtering through was easy.
The upright riding position is comfortable and the new ‘bars are great. Nearly an inch wider than the old ones, more importantly they sit higher and are closer to the rider, making them better.
The bike has a narrow waist, making it easy to get your feet down, and the seat has been updated for improved comfort. Seat height is 810mm: nothing I can think of in the class would be much lower.
Claimed curb weight is 214kg: I can’t think of any litre-class bikes which are significantly lighter without also being lots more expensive.
It’s not really a bike built for two, passengers should not be expected to enjoy anything more than short trips – the pegs are high, the seat small and thinly padded, there’s no grab rail.
If you pack light, weekends away are achievable thanks to the accessory tankbag… and I expect Ventura to build a kit so you can add their versatile bags, and the pillion seat could take a small seatbag from Nelson-Rigg or Kriega.
There might be aftermarket options for hard luggage one day, but really the forthcoming GSX-S1000GT is the bike to buy if you want to go touring and carry a load.
And this highlights another benefit of the GT over the naked model: in 2022 every big bike should have cruise control, standard equipment on the GT.
On the freeway and on the open road, on double-demerit point weekends and just to give your right wrist a break, cruise control is awesome, and it would’ve added next to nothing to the cost of production, so I don’t understand why it’s been omitted.
Cruise control would, of course, match up well with the increased fuel capacity, up 2L to 19 on this model (and another thing Suzuki has ‘fixed’).
I consider 19L about the minimum acceptable for a large capacity naked – much less and you’re always looking for the next servo.


There are dress-up bits, a couple of different tankbags, billet levers, red Brembo calipers, frame and fork sliders among the 29 optional accessories Suzuki is offering alongside the new GSX-S1000.
I’d get the lever and sliders, because I like feel and protection…

GSX-S1000_M2_Brembo GSX-S1000_M2_CarbonCrankShaftCover GSX-S1000_M2_ColourSeat GSX-S1000_M2_TankBagLarge

Who is the GSX-S1000 for?

From commuting to ride days, there’s a lot you could do with a GSX-S1000. Most, I think, will be bought by street riders looking for great value, sporting prowess, aggressive styling and a comfortable ride around town and in the twisties.
Those looking for better touring credentials should wait for the GSX-S1000GT, which has to be one of the most anticipated new machines for 2022.
Suzuki has fixed most, if not all, of the problems I had with the old model. Sure, it could be better, but probably not at the price point, and I think it’s amazing Suzuki can offer so much motorcycle and so much capability for such a good price.

More Info

Price: $17,290 Ride Away (Australia)
Suzuki Australia GSX-S1000 Homepage



In-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC
6-Speed constant mesh with back-torque-limiting clutch
43mm KYB inverted forks with adjustable compression, rebound and spring preload
Link type, KYB shock with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload
Brembo Monobloc Radial-mount 4-piston calipers, dual 310mm floating discs with ABS
Nissin single-piston caliper, 220mm disc with ABS
3 Year Unlimited Kilometre (2 Year Std + 1 Year Bonus)