The GSX-S1000 is Suzuki’s stalwart upright sportbike, providing road-focused thrills via a proven powerplant and chassis at a best-in-class value of $11,299. Hamamatsu’s big naked bike has lived on those core tenets since it first hit the scene in 2015, and that’s quite a while for any motorcycle to go without any significant updates. That all changes for the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000, which boasts several engine tweaks, an updated suite of rider aids, a friendly riding position, and fresh looks. We spent some time getting reacquainted with Suzuki’s naked sport machine, and now we will hit you with the Fast Facts.
The legendary GSX-R1000 K5 999cc inline-four engine is still a charmer. Powering the updated GSX-S is one of Suzuki’s bright stars—the K5 motor that debuted in 2005. With its relatively long-stroke architecture delivering loads of tractable low-end grunt and giggle-inducing mid-range power, it is perfectly suited for all-around street riding. It purrs like a kitten in the city and gives you that classic inline-four top-end roar when ascending high into the revs. As entertaining as that is, what makes this mill unique is that broad, punchy powerband that lets you leap from apex to apex with ease.
Suzuki engineers teach this old dog some new tricks. Keeping up with the times is no small feat, especially when considering this powerplant will be old enough to vote in another year. This round of updates accentuated the K5’s midrange might, while also helping it meet Euro 5 compliance. There are plenty of changes listed in the fine print, but for our purposes, the new camshafts, valve springs, airbox, and 4mm-narrower 40mm throttle bodies all work in harmony to flatten this lump’s torque curve, ensuring that it’s silky-smooth from the bottom up.
The K5 motor gained nearly two ponies but lost a touch of torque. The claimed 150 horsepower peak comes at 11,000 rpm, 1000 rpm later than before. Conversely, the 78 ft-lbs of torque arrives 250 rpm sooner, at 9250 rpm. We’re not talking 200+ horsepower hyper-nakeds from Europe, but that kind of performance is equalized on the street.
Among the niceties facilitated by the new ride-by-wire throttle are Active, Basic, and Comfort power modes. Active embodies the adjective’s meaning wholeheartedly and is intense—a bit too aggressive for my tastes, though spirited pilots might find it appealing. Basic is the Goldilocks mode, perfect for wailing in the tight, technical roads weaving through the Santa Monica Mountains or cruising through town. Comfort pulls the reigns in quite a bit and is your defacto rain and urban mode.
The gearbox is updated with an assist-and-slipper clutch and an up/down quickshifter. A proven gearbox with well-spaced ratios is never a bad starting point, and Suzuki has improved the GSX-S1000 with a new slipper clutch, which keeps the cable-clutch pull on the lighter side and keeps wheel-hop at bay. That’s all dandy, but my gold-star stickers are reserved for the stellar up/down quickshifter that works wonderfully at any pace.
An updated exhaust that kicks out your favorite inline-four jams. Of all the exhaust notes out there, the inline-four screamers are some of the most thrilling of the bunch. An additional catalytic converter in the mid-chamber is new to the party, which has relocated the exhaust valve. Get on the gas, and that familiar howl is heard in all its glory.
Updated rider aids come into the fold. We’ve already talked about the power modes and quickshifter, which leaves the five-level traction control, non-switchable ABS, low-rpm assist, and one-push start. The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 uses a modest but competent rider aid package that doesn’t rely on an IMU—that means no cornering ABS or lean-angle-detecting TC. Sadly, we don’t see cruise control, either. The Honda CB1000R is the only other bike in the naked literbike class without those features. When the rubber meets the road, the TC and ABS do their part just fine. TC is conservative, though suitable for a nice rip in the lower settings. With how tractable the K5 lump is, you might even want to disable it for some cheeky wheelies. ABS never raises any alarm bells on the street.
Handling is a high point for Suzuki’s naked steed. Returning to the party is the same twin-spar aluminum frame and swingarm that have helped make the GSX-S a stout and stable partner. A sporting 57.5-inch wheelbase and fairly steep 25-degree rake add some zest into its handling abilities. It’s a neutral machine, dipping into corners predictably and with the right amount of enthusiasm.
The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 gets some new Dunlop Sportmax RoadSport 2 rubber. Best described as sensibly sporty, the Dunlop 120/70 front and 190/50 are said to be designed specifically for the motorcycle. They’re a good value while providing decent grip once warmed up and great mileage.
KYB suspension is up to the task. The fork is fully adjustable, while the linkage-assisted shock allows adjustment for spring preload and rebound damping. Both ends hold their own, just as they’ve always done. The fork provides solid feedback and hides most of the rough stuff. Meanwhile, the shock is similarly skilled and helps keep the GSX-S1000 on the right course. The shock only flinches when faced with massive compression bumps, which makes sense considering the heftier 472-pound curb weight. Outside of that, the front-end feel is good when on the brakes, and it tracks well while hammering the throttle.
Brembo and Nissin handle the braking once again. Nothing has changed on that front. Four-piston Brembo calipers clamp onto 310mm rotors with an axial master-cylinder mounted on the handlebar. Power is never an issue with this setup, as you’ll drop anchor with the best of them, although I’d appreciate a little more feel. In the rear, a Nissin single-piston caliper and 240mm rotor work effectively to correct lines and aid in low-speed maneuvers.
All-day upright ergonomics just got a little more comfortable. A minor yet noticeable change for the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 is its riding position, which carries the road-focused narrative more than ever. In a class of hyper-naked bikes pushing farther into racetrack realms, it’s refreshing to see a machine that focuses on real-world comfort by widening the handlebar and raising it nearly an inch—moving it closer to the rider and taking weight off your wrists. The comfy 31.9-inch saddle is slightly lower, allowing my 32-inch inseam to get my boots on the deck easily, and there’s plenty of legroom. Importantly, if you want to stick out your elbows and get to it in the canyons, you can sow your wild oats without issue.
Fuel capacity grows to five gallons. New styling paved the way for a reshaped fuel tank with an excellent anchoring point when hustling around the curves. Of course, a half-gallon more fuel is welcome on an all-around machine like this, but so is the claimed 35 mpg. Do some quick math, and that’s a potential range of 170+ miles, depending on how greedy you are with the throttle.
Fresh looks and a new dash bring the GSX-S1000 closer to the modern era. Quite a few tidbits elevate the new GSX-S over its predecessor, including the sharp-edged unique appearance. I appreciate the borderline futuristic styling and like the brighter LED lighting more. What does fall short of my expectations is the LCD instrument panel, which is quite challenging to read in the best of circumstances. Only rpm and mph are visible; anything more nuanced is lost in the glare. A TFT display would help elevate the bike and pair better with its high-quality paint finish—not to mention that we see them on lesser machines these days.
The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000 has a lot to offer at an affordable price. The bones of the GSX-S1000 are still solid, seeing as it goes like the dickens, handles well, stops nicely, and is as comfortable as can be. Those are desirable qualities in any liter-sized street-biased motorcycle, but things look even more appealing when you factor in the low MSRP. No, it doesn’t have an IMU, TFT display, cruise control, or other luxuries seen on its well-heeled competitors. However, focusing on those issues misses Suzuki’s point—the 2022 GSX-S1000 is a no-nonsense street bike built around a stonking inline-four engine with an affordable price tag.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!