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2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000MSE Ratings

2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000Well, the last time I rode a Gixxer Thou\' I ended bouncing along on my head, this time I\'m grabbing the tiger by the tail and I\'m not letting go.

AddedDate Added: 8th September 2003
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Editor Contributor's Review

First off, it\'s gloriously license bustingly fast. Secondly, and something I\'ve learnt to appreciate, especially after riding Damon Buckmaster\'s FX bike, is that this latest 1000 can be the proverbial pussycat until you are good and ready to twist the loud handle. Making big power is obviously the point of this big motor, but making that power usable and linear throughout the rev range, emphasizes that point. That loud handle, by the way, is deliciously easy to twist for forward velocity - it doesn\'t matter what gear you\'re in, just twist and go - and very fast too.

The Carburetion on this bike was particularly clean and I had no problem picking up the throttle regardless of angle of lean. Obviously with 140+ BHP on tap that\'s a major issue. A few things contribute to that creamy smooth Carburetion, one being the new dual double-barrel throttle bodies. Those throttle bodies incorporate Suzuki\'s own dual throttle valve (SDTV) system seen on prior Gixxer Thou\'s. Each throttle body throat also carries a single fuel injector precisely positioned at a steep, 60-degree angle relative to the throttle-body centerline. The result is never seen, only felt. This bike also maintains the SET (Suzuki Exhaust Tuning) butterfly valve located in the pipe between the collector and the muffler via a servo motor. That valve nicely matches exhaust system back pressure to engine speed, throttle position and gear selection via some sophisticated electronic wizardry - Welcome to the new millennium my PDA clutching chums.

For fast street work, and I mean fast, the easiest way for forward motion is to lug an extra gear and let the loopy midrange pull you through any set of twisties, PDQ. On a weekend sortie down Angeles Crest Highway a couple of guys got a little fruity with me, in the nicest possible sportbike way, of course. The triple O\' just gets going quick and without any fuss, an easy rhythm is obtained and even though I could hear the chappies behind me chopping and changing gear, I just eased away using mostly one gear and one finger (brake)… too easy.

That nice one fingerability is due to those ever-so-posh radial-mount, four-piston front brake calipers like those used by those MotoGP and World Superboys. A radial-mount caliper attaches to the front forks with bolts positioned radially, or aligned with the caliper centerline, instead of using transverse mounting bolts. These are said to be more rigid, with less flex in the mounts and in the caliper body itself. Basically, like six million dollar Steve, they\'re better stronger and lighter. No complaints here, Guv.

The front end, which had previously been a problematic area for me from the very first year, now feels very confidence inspiring. These 43mm inverted forks tubes featured a Cool Beano Coating (CBC) that Suzuki saw fit to call Diamond Like Carbon (DLC), three way adjusta-bubble, of course. The only adjustment I made was a little more rebound on the front which made it feel a little more composed coming off of the brakes, when setting up for turns. And, whilst tools in hand, a tad less compression to smooth up the initial action. The rear I left alone. The rear tire wear always looked good, especially after a hard ride so I didn\'t feel the need to adjust it. Initial stroke was a tad harsh on the rear and some freeway bumps had me popped out of the seat a couple of times, but I\'ll gladly sacrifice that for the great job it was doing in the hilly bits.

The 03\' offers some "racing use only" adjustability with its adjustable swingarm. No use for this canyon blaster, but nice to point at, whilst bench racing, and telling filthy lies on a Sunday morning anyway. The beefier braced swingarm assembly feature an internal reinforcing rib, dividing the arm into two lengthwise sections and contributing to more torsional rigidity. More cake.

It wasn\'t all plain sailing though, the bike had previously had a tip over and the front triple clamp was a tad off. I don\'t really need encouragement to wheelie and one of the first times I goosed it, I had a particularly nasty tank slap after coming down a tad cock-eyed and under power. The stock steering damper calmed everything down, but only after I\'d calmed down too, released my grip and (I think) shut my eyes. No harm done and it was self induced - better than a cup of coffee methinks for a wake up call. Note to self: Watch your P\'s and Q\'s.

If you like your wheelies and you have the competence to control them, then this bikes for you. If you don\'t like wheelies you\'ll soon acquire the taste, \'cause like poo; it happens. Sometimes when you want it; sometimes when you don\'t. But then we all wanted light and we wanted powerful, didn\'t we? This bike is both. The bike\'s not unstable or anything, but with the right combination of bumps and throttle input, the front gets light in a hurry. Note to you: Watch your P\'s and Q\'s.

Cosmetically, Suzuki has now seen fit to differentiate this model from its smaller kinfolk. The revised nose section gives it a rugged and unique look as does the slimmed out tail section. The tank is more testicle friendly with it\'s slimmed down resize. The paint-job difference is still quite subtle between the 03\' 750/600\'s and looks pretty nice with the blacked out lowers. The frame and swingarm are blacked out too for a nice good-looking overall package.

I was split on the comfort issues. At low speeds and lane splitting it\'s a little wrist-heavy. This comes as a surprise especially as the clip-ons are reasonably high in relation to the top triple clamp. However, at speeds over 65+, the wind takes the edge off of that feeling and you can cruise through a tank of gas pretty easy, especially as you\'ve got some room on that seat to move your butt around to help find that last ounce of comfort. I can\'t decide if that low speed pain is because my bum is tipped up or because it\'s a healthy reach to those bars - the juries still out.

One thing that helped significantly was rotating the levers down to help ease the wrist ache - maybe I\'m just getting old.

When I went through my on-bike-video phase, I noticed that I have a habit of letting out whoops of joy after a challenging set of bends. I\'ve never noticed this whilst riding, only on listening to my onboard footage - sad and true, but hey, I\'m having fun. I\'ve since heard Mike Metzger do the self same thing whilst kicking arse on a supermotard. I can hear him as he goes by, shouting out aloud with fun. This bike does that to you too. It\'s extremely rewarding to ride and it compensates you grandly for the efforts that you put in.

You can\'t really ask for a better bike, or reason to ride one. If this bike is anything to go by, next years models are going to have to be pretty damn good to topple this bike from its position as the open class king Dick.

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