SUZUKI GSX-R1000 L3 ( 2013 )

SUZUKI GSX-R1000 L3 ( 2013 )

2012/13/14 Suzuki GSX-R1000 L2/l3/l4

Things didn’t start well for the updated 2012 GSX-R1000. Launched with a decided lack of fanfare, it was almost an apologetic response by Suzuki to the onslaught from Europe and Kawasaki’s on the money Ninja ZX-10R. The initial images made it clear the GSX-R had at long last dumped the twin exhaust pipes and added some cool Brembo calipers, but that was all that leapt out. Was Suzuki keeping something back? Yes and no…

Again, bad timing hampered Suzuki. With BMW, Aprilia, Ducati and Kawasaki all demonstrating that the future of sportsbikes now involved traction control and race ABS, the GSX-R1000 arrived with none of these. It didn’t even have ride-by-wire. This was a good old fashioned superbike made with engineering rather than computer assists at its heart and sadly for Suzuki, the market was now obsessed with 1s and 0s.

Digging deeper, fans of the GSX-R brand were delighted to hear the new bike’s engine had been overhauled with 11% lighter pistons, a new top end, revised cams and altered ventilation holes between the cylinders. Smiles widened even further when they heard of the tweaked chassis, upgraded forks, new brakes and fresh styling. But those wanting the best sportsbike money could buy looked elsewhere. The sportsbike world is a fashion and performance led market and the L2 couldn’t claim to be the top dog on any of these fronts. If only riders had looked a little closer…

Ironically, in its final year of production, riders eventually warmed towards this incarnation of GSX-R. A rock bottom price tag certainly helped catch their attention, but the fact this is an absolutely stunning road bike and incredibly easy to live with was its main selling point. With no annoying electronics to get in the way of the fun (although ABS arrived in 2014), the final ‘old school’ GSX-R1000 reminded us all why a 182bhp bike is so much fun to ride. And how good a sorted GSX-R1000 actually is.

What set it aside from its rivals: The L2 model is the last of the ‘old-school’ GSX-R models and a great road bike with a long-stroke motor that is packed full of grunt and limited electronic interference. It will be missed, but if the new 2017 model returns the GSX-R to the top of the sportsbike tree this blow will be softened…