Yoshimura Suzuki’s MotoAmerica Superbike riders Toni Elias and Roger Hayden tested the 2017-model Suzuki GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R September 28 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, in Buttonwillow, California, and although the outing was merely a photo and video shoot for promotional material Hayden said he came away surprised and impressed with the new bike.
“Straight away, I noticed how much skinnier it was,” Hayden told Roadracingworld.com. “That was cool. I knew that was one of the things that it needed.”
With that slimmer feeling also came a new agility from the chassis, said Hayden.
“They have this esses section at Buttonwillow,” said Hayden. “One of the areas where I struggle with the current bike is changing directions, and man, I could just rip through there [on the new GSX-R] like I was on a 600. So I was pretty encouraged by that. Also, it was pretty cool because it has the quick shifter, and I couldn’t believe how good it shifted.”
The test was attended by some members of the Suzuki engineering team that designed and developed the new GSX-R1000, and they were very interested in Hayden trying out the 10-setting traction control system built into the new streetbike.
“I guess I just went in there thinking I’ve got full factory electronics and a computer guy. What am I gonna feel with these switches?” said Hayden. “I honestly could feel the changes whenever I would go up or down, and that’s probably what blew me away the most. We spend so much time trying to get the traction control tuned on my Superbike, and now on the standard bike you can do it with a switch on the handlebar.
“I was also surprised how it felt really fast for a streetbike, and it was a good fast, like controllable fast because of the traction control settings. Overall, I was quite surprised. Suzuki definitely did their homework, and they came out with something good. Now I can’t wait to make it into a Superbike.”