I started my motorcycle riding life on everyone's favorite learner bike Kawasaki ninja 300. I bought the ninja 300 for my 26th birthday. I had very limited riding experience on motorcycle before that. Ninja 300 was a very easy bike to learn on and i did quite well, no incidents until i decided to change the rear tire at 18000 kms. Next morning i was riding to work and took the same turn i take everyday, at the same speed but the cold new shiny tires didn't have enough traction and i dropped the bike and it was a total loss (written off).
I was in the market again for a new bike a definite upgrade aroud $15000 mark. Like every young sport bike lover i was looking for a 600cc sport bike which would be a wise choice for upgrade from LAMS. Never really wanted to buy a cruiser because of limited lean angle on most of them. ABS was a must, because i am sure ABS on Ninja saved my bottom a few times. searched online, visited the dealership and i was almost ready to buy the Ninja ZX6R which had ABS and added bonus Traction control and even a steering damper. Good looking , powerful and packed with rider aids. Speaking to few dealers and got a good deal for $15500AUD, i was ready to buy it. I was at the dealership next day ready to put a deposit on the bike ,to be the proud owner of a brand new ZX6r. Got there as soon as they opened for business, sat on the bike and didn't quiet feel right. Super sport riding position was not for me. I didn't want to lean forward so much for everyday commute. I came to realize street fighter seating position was more like my thing. I decided to give KTM Duke 690 a go even though i hated orange colour scheme. Sitting on it was really different and i was tip-toeing with 835mm seat height ( at 5'11''), handle bars were really close to the chest, with more upright seating, which i wasn't too happy with, so had to let that go. Dropped the plan of buying any of the super sport and was out looking for a street fighter within the price range.
I should say i always though of buying a liter bike , but wasn't sure if i was ready for it, from 300 to a 1000 didn't feel safe. I had BMW S1000r, Suzuki GSX S1000, Yamaha MT09 and Kawasaki Z1000/Z800 in my mind, but was too expensive to buy and insure. I always wanted to own the BMW but $21000 was a bit more than i could afford. To my surprise one dealer offered $15500 on the SUZUKI GSX S1000. I then decided to call up NRMA and ask for a quote for insurance and quoted $600 which was comparatively cheap . I was a happy man and decided, i will go for GSX S1000 because through my eyes it was of-course the best looking among the Japanese bikes. Sat on the bike,test rode it on the official test ride day. Honestly i was really scared to do the test ride knowing that engine can make insane amounts of torque that can throw me off if i cant control it. All went well , it wasn't that scary up to 4000rpms, that is 10% of the throttle. I could feel the sleeping giant ready to unleash its raw power at one twist of the throttle. I was fully aware of that fact and was riding very cautious, but always tempted to go full throttle. Rode it for 30 minutes and loved every second on it and ended up buying one on the same day.
One week into owning the legendary K5 engine in a new chassis and having done nearly 700kms, i should say i am really happy that i bought the SUZUKI. She should only get better with time. There are a lot of things i like and a few i don't. I was actually comparing it to my NINJA 300 for the most part. I really love the way the bike looks with minimal fairings in beautiful matte grey. Upside down forks in gold goes well with grey. Slightly forward seating with renthal fatbars, which at shoulder width giving it good light handling in corners. Seats are soft and comfortable. Sounds awesome with stock exhaust, which i will keep. Engine at 145 HP, 106Nm torque giving insane acceleration in any gear sends my heart pounding with excitement every time i rev it. Smooth power delivery which never was too scary coming of a 300cc 38HP machine made me fall in love with the bike instantly. I was now sitting 25mm higher with 35kgs more which i am used to now and i love . Mirrors are much better than the Ninja . She is the beauty and the beast in one.
The bits i didn't like: The cable clutch feels a bit tight and it is hard work in heavy traffic street riding. Throttle response is a tiny bit snatchy and always felt i am a gear lower than i was and looking to shift up all the time. Even though i was in sixth , always thought i could use another one up. Doing a 60 to 70kms/hr was no problem , but at 110kms/hr i would have loved a softer ride . Heat shield on the exhaust was a bit wobbly and the rear cowl is a bit fragile plastic.Pillion seat is soft but a bit small which i wont be risking a pillion on. Suspension could be a bit better. Wind blast at 110kms is tiring after a little while, which will be soon fixed with a wind shield from the accessories store.
I should say i am a satisfied rider on the GSX S1000 and will keep riding it as long as i can. I will be adding Heated grip set, tank pads, rear faring protector and a small smoked wind shield. I would recommend it to anyone looking for street style liter bike. Sure it is a few HP's less than the BMW , but is a good value at $6000 cheaper with enough rider aids. Three mode traction control, ABS and adjustable forks should keep anybody who is looking for rideable, affordable 1000cc motorbike happy for a long time. With good looks, lovely sound, powerful smooth engine and a very competitive price, i am sure Suzuki has delivered a complete package to rise above the competitors.
Safe riding, Cheers!!!