The GSX-S1000GT is coming to North America soon! A few weeks after government documents gave us a very limited sneak peek at the new machine, Suzuki’s now published much more information on its new sport tourer, and says it’s coming in early 2022.
What’s old is new
Suzuki says this bike is “all new,” but if you’re paying attention, you’ll see some familiar components. It’s powered by the DOHC 999 cc four-cylinder engine that Suzuki introduced back in the mid-2000s in the K5-series GSX-R1000.
It’s changed and updated a lot since then; Suzuki used this engine in the GSX-S naked bike series, and it appears the GT version sees some refinements from that version, as well. In the GSX-S1000GT press release, Suzuki says “Enhancements to the engine include revised intake and exhaust camshafts, cam chain tensioners and valve springs, as well as a redesigned clutch and gearshift components.” Suzuki wanted the engine to evolve from a peaky superbike powerplant to a practical touring setup, with wider powerband and smooth torque curve, for real-world usability and excitement in the mid-to-high rpm range. As well, the new engine is Euro5-compliant.
The K5 engine makes around 150 horsepower in its current configuration, so expect the GT to have output in that ballpark, with about 80 pound-feet of torque.
Along with mechanical updates, the engine gets the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) electro-wizardry, which includes a ride-by-wire throttle. Thanks to computer trickery, the engine’s electronic management system governs an electronic cruise control system, five-way adjustable traction control, an up/down quickshifter, and Suzuki’s Low RPM assist and Easy Start systems, to make starting the bike easier and reduce the chance of stalling when taking off from a stop. There’s also a clutch-assist system, for smoother operation.
The GT has a twin-spar aluminum frame, with braced swingarm and trellis-style subframe. The subframe is designed to provide a comfortable ride for a pillion, and also has attachment points for Suzuki’s OEM luggage setup. There’s a set of 36-litre plastic side cases available as an upgrade to the GT model; Suzuki will also sell a GSX-S1000GT+ model, with luggage and other upgrades included as standard.
Suzuki says these sidebags “may” be big enough to hold most full-face helmets. They can be ordered with locks configured to the same key as the bike itself, and a set of side panels painted the same colour as the bike. Again, the GT+ model comes with those as standard features.
Built for the long haul
The handlebars are wider and taller than the old GSX-S1000F naked bike, which should make the machine more comfortable and easy to muscle through the corners. Suzuki rubber-mounted the handlebars, to reduce the effects of vibration over long miles in the saddle, and also put rubber mounts in the rider and pillion pegs, for added comfort.
Speaking of pillions: Suzuki says it’s easy to transform the GT from a one-up ride to a well-sorted two-up machine, with easily-adjustable rear shock and a fully-adjustable KYB fork up front. That’s an important feature, as everybody is happiest when it’s easy to set the bike up for a passenger. Suzuki also says the brake systems are beefy enough to provide excellent performance even when loaded with a passenger and gear. The GT gets dual 310 mm floating discs up front, with radially-mounted four-piston Brembo monobloc calipers and of course, ABS. Note that Suzuki’s press release does not mention a leaning-sensitive ABS system, nor does it mention an inertial measurement unit (IMU), the gadget that’s needed to make a leaning-sensitive ABS system work. This is no doubt a cost-cutting measure.
Although there’s no IMU, Suzuki did put a 6.5-inch TFT screen on the new GT, the first of its kind on a Suzuki bike (the V-Strom 1050 still uses an LCD). It has an anti-reflective coating and anti-scratch surface, and has readouts for speedometre, tach, gear indicator, fuel gauge, coolant temperature, status of cruise control, traction control and quickshift functions, and many other details. It also offers smartphone connectivity through Suzuki’s mySPIN app.
Suzuki says the app was developed for use on motorcycles, not adapted from the world of cars. Riders can connect their smartphones via USB or through a wireless connection; the TFT’s USB port can also charge phones. The mySPIN app is free on the iOS App Store or through Google Play, and has Contacts, Phone, Maps, Music and Calendar functions, enabling the rider to stay in touch and answer/reject calls while behind the handlebars, or navigate, or listen to music.
Along with the sidecases, Suzuki says it has dozens of other add-on accessories available for the GT. One option that many customers will want is an extended touring windscreen, which is injection-molded for optical clarity. Suzuki also offers heated grips and other touring-friendly parts.
The Suzuki GSX-S1000GT comes with a 12-month, unlimited mileage warranty, and riders can opt for an extended warranty if they wish.
The GT comes with a five-gallon fuel tank. Seat height is 31.9 inches. Claimed curb weight is 498 pounds. LED headlights are standard, but there’s no mention of cornering-sensitive options (again, there’s no IMU to power such a system).
Where does it fit in?
First, we get the GT from Suzuki. Soon, we expect the NT1100 from Honda. Surprisingly, it looks like sport touring is making a comeback!
The GT definitely doesn’t have the same premier options as the latest-generation tourers from KTM or BMW. However, it’s got plenty of power on tap, and IMU-powered functions aside, has the features available that most riders want. It might not become a darling of the Iron Butt Rally set, but it might prove popular among budget-minded travelers otherwise, who aren’t ready or willing to admit their age and move over to a Gold Wing.
Pricing is still a question mark, though, but we expect to know more in coming weeks.