If the writers over at Cycle World are correct, we are about to see Suzuki launch a new sport tourer, the GSX-S1000T.
The news comes after Ben Purvis dug up documents filed with regulators, seeking approval for a new model by that name. The paperwork also indicates the new Suzook would be based on the GSX-S1000, which saw an overhaul back in April.
In April, Suzuki announced the GSX-S1000 naked bike would carry forward into 2022 with several updates that cleaned up the tailpipe emissions. There’s a new EFI system, new cams for exhaust and intake, a new exhaust system with updated catalytic converter, a new slipper clutch and even a new up/down quickshifter. It’s still the same basic inline four that Suzuki debuted back in 2005, in the K5-series GSX-R1000, but although the basic outline is the same, the engine has been updated with modern features and efficiency.
The GSX-S1000T paperwork shows a motorcycle with the same basic chassis and engine as that 2022 GSX-S1000. However, the bodywork appears to be different, with an apparently taller fairing and heavier wet weight. Chances are, this means a fully-faired bike, most likely a sport tourer.
If this is indeed what Suzuki is working on, it would follow the same basic pattern as the V-Strom series: Take an engine designed ages ago, and do what it takes to keep it more-or-less relevant. Indeed, while the Strom series are not the most powerful or highest-tech adventure bikes on the market, they’re reliable and affordable. It seems Suzuki sees an opening for a sensible sport tourer, just like it saw an opening for a sensible ADVer, and the new T model will be the result.
The Japanese don’t currently have much in the way of lower-priced sport touring models, probably because there isn’t as much demand as there used to be—for many riders, ADV bikes have taken over this role. Honda’s CBR650R could be pressed into this role, and Kawasaki’s Versys/Ninja 1000 models might qualify, but even those machines are creeping up in price. It will be most interesting to see where Suzuki takes this idea. Hopefully, we’ll see hard luggage as a factory option, if not standard equipment, as well as heated grips and other features that make long miles easier.