It seems we're seeing an explosion in the sports touring market at the moment, with countless manufacturers throwing down the gauntlet to try and get riders to saddle up and hit the road on their machines.
The latest to get in on the new trend is Suzuki with a brand new model, the GSX-S1000GT, which replaces the GSX-S1000F in the companies lineup. We normally think of Suzuki as quite a conservative brand, but the GSX-S1000GT is a truly forward-thinking and modern offering.
The styling alone is a huge step forward with an aggressive angular fairing easily compared to other Japanese offerings in the space (think bikes like the stalwart of the class, Kawasaki's Ninja 1000SX) with a boost in technology behind it all to step the bike up to the plate.
Now the old GSX-S1000F was by no means a poor choice when it came to a modern sports bike that can comfortably handle big days on the road. Suzuki even designed it to take on the role of a sporty road bike well before other manufacturers accepted that Superbikes and Supersports were dying a slow death in terms of road sales due to their increasingly complicated build and cramped ergonomics.
However, Suzuki has turned everything up to 11 for the new GT with the new bike's mission statement being to blend superbike performance and a compact, lightweight chassis with the comfort, functionality, luxurious styling and equipment features that distinguish it as a true GT (Grand Tourer). Think of it as a GSX-1000F but with a heck more modern tech and a very aggressive styling package.
While it would be easy to say that the GT is a simple evolution of the GSX-S1000F's mission statement, Suzuki says that the GT is set to cater to the performance touring rider's every wish. At least that's the idea.
Once again at the heart of the bike is Suzuki's 999cc inline 4-cylinder engine which has been updated in a multitude of ways to improve it for the GT's expected clientele as well as the latest in emissions regulations. Updates include new electronic throttle bodies, new airbox, updated camshafts and Suzuki's Clutch Assist System.
The result is an engine that produces 152PS (112kW) at 11,000rpm and 106Nm of torque at 9250rpm with Suzuki heavily focussing on creating smooth power delivery in the mid-range as well as higher RPMs. That peak power figure is 2kw more than the 1000F and achieved 1000rpm later in the rev range, while the GT produces slightly less peak torque.
In the real world, Suzuki claims that GSX-S1000GT is able to run a quarter-mile (400m) in 10.15 seconds compared to the GSX-S1000F's 10.25 second time.
As with its predecessor in the lineup, the GT has the rider sitting in an upright body position protected by a thoroughly well-designed aerodynamics package. The wind-deflecting bodywork is matched to a windscreen capable of diverting the airflow without hampering vision when being ridden sportily. Suzuki has tweaked the ergonomics so that the rider on the GT is actually sitting up straighter than the 1000F, which had riders slightly leaned forward by comparison.
Completing the ergonomic package is a plush rider’s seat complemented by a comfortable pillion pad with easily-reached grab rails and ample legroom.
The luggage seen in the press photos is an optional extra, however, with enough space to fit rider and pillion's full-face helmets it would be high on the list of must-have accessories for the bike if more than blasting around backroads was on the menu.
Another step up from the 1000F is the electronics package, which brings a host of useful tech to the rider's fingertips. Interestingly, it appears Suzuki hasn't gone down the 6-Axis Inertial Management Unit route as so many other manufacturers have, which should mean that the price is kept very competitive.
Electronics include three engine maps, five traction control settings (plus it can also be switched off entirely), cruise control, bi-directional quickshifter and Suzuki's easy start system.
Helping the rider navigate the electronics package is a 6.5 inch TFT dashboard with smartphone integration via the Suzuki mySPIN app.
Suzuki says that the Suzuki mySPIN app works seamlessly on the TFT screen to enrich the functionality of smartphone connectivity. The result is a smart cockpit environment that blends riding and vehicle status updates, such as the speedometer and tachometer readouts, with pertinent information, communication and entertainment from the rider’s smartphone.
By installing the free mySPIN app on their phone, the rider can access an array of useful functions, including maps for navigation, imported contact lists and hands-free communication, music connectivity, and calendar updates.
While local pricing is yet to be announced, pricing in the UK has the bike priced around $22,500 which is not too shabby. We'll know more closer to the bike's official New Zealand release in early 2022.