2021 Suzuki GSX-R1000 review - "Hamamatsu's Pocket Rocket"

By sep, 07 February 2022

We all had a thing for Gixxers once, and here's what we think after riding the 2021 model!

August 2021 was the month where Suzuki Malaysia officially unveiled its first and latest 'big bike' line-up which includes this particular bike we tested a while back, the 2021 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Having one less 'R' than the brand's range-topping GSX-R1000R, the base Gixxer 1000 is roughly around RM11,000 cheaper at RM99,289 (excluding insurance, road tax & registration).

Both of these said models are more or less the same as one is tuned for more track supremacy (GSX-R1000R, obviously) and one for a more street-friendly setup BUT still with a lot of potentials to slay endless corners in the right hands. On paper, the differences between the two are basically the suspension package (Showa's BFF for GSX-R1000R, Showa's BPF for GSX-R1000) and some electronic riding features like the Suzuki Motion Track Brake System and Launch Control.

To most riders, the differences are not that staggering unless they visit the track occasionally. For us mere mortals who roam the streets on the regular with a few rare visits to the track, the GSX-R1000 should be more than enough to deliver some high-quality fun. It's also good to know that both of these models carry the same 999cc inline-four engine that produces 199hp and 117Nm of torque.

Looking at the specs, the GSX-R1000 is obviously not the most powerful in its class, but Suzuki has basically maintained that signature Gixxer ride quality and power delivery over the years (and that's actually a very good thing). Despite having some dated equipment like its LCD instrument cluster, we're still in love with how the bike looks especially from the side (and that Metallic Matte Black counts as a wicked bonus).

Having ridden a few Suzuki bikes in recent times, there's one particular aspect that has remained constant - you need a fair amount of skills to ride a Suzuki to its fullest potential. It might take some time, practice, and a slightly steeper learning curve, but once you're there, the GSX-R1000 will reward you greatly both on and off the track. Some patience is obviously required, but if there's a bike that can help to become a far better rider, it would be this.

Power delivery is smooth, constant, and not as aggressive as most of you may think. Even the engine braking felt appropriate in most riding scenarios. The three things that require some time to properly control and understand are the throttle response, brakes, and suspension. The throttle felt snappy which can easily upset the balance between the three, and only a steady and smooth hand can help negate this feeling.

2021 suzuki gsx-r1000 brakes
2021 suzuki gsx-r1000 fork

In other words, you simply can't hammer it down without understanding how these three aspects of the bike correlate with each other. There's nothing wrong with slowing things down, having a cup of coffee or two, understanding every action and reaction, and learning to be smooth first rather than fast. Sounds like being in a relationship, eh? Exactly.

As stated above, the GSX-R1000 will indeed make you a better rider as it'll force you to be buttery smooth on the throttle and brakes. You might feel like you're going slower at first, but as the saying goes, "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast". These are the perfect seven words to sum up my experience with the Suzuki GSX-R1000. Once you take these words to heart, the Gixxer will take that rough, uncut stone and turn it into a shiny gem that will carry on to other bikes you may ride in your lifetime.