A great bike, and will buy again
This is my first true sports bike. I've had many bikes over the past couple of decades, including Harley's, old Hondas, and even a Royal Enfield. The closest I've had to a sports bike was the Suzuki GSX1100G.
Having said that, I've taken my time to become comfortable with this bike over the last couple of weeks, in which I put over 2000 miles on it.
So how is it? As expected, performance is rock solid. If you haven't ridden a liter class sport bike before, there is no way to explain the feeling of acceleration. Downshifting completely optional, roll ons are strong throughout the RPM range, but of course increase sharply above 8000 RPM. The performance is what I expected and more.
Handling is great with this bike. It weighs only 374 pounds, which is on par with many 600cc bikes of the time! The look is great, and I prefer the look of these K1's as opposed to the newer ones, which seem like the design team is trying too hard to look too sleek. But that's a matter of preference.
The biggest issue with this bike is the operating costs. For one, insurance is high, despite my being well into my 30s and having no accidents or tickets, and a policy in good standing for years. But aside from that, the scheduled maintenance will cost you an arm and a leg, and almost none of it can be done by anyone but a mechanic. Even the oil filter requires a special tool from Suzuki to remove. I did purchase a service plan from the dealer and thankfully so; my next scheduled maintenance would have cost around $2,000 dollars (yes, two thousand) just for a 6,000 mile interval, most of which is labor.
If you count the initial cost of the bike, insurance, maintenance, and normal operating costs, it's going to run you about $1 per mile considering the life expectancy of the bike (well actually with my math I get $1.10). Yep, that's right. A dollar per mile! And that's not counting if you have any unexpected repairs to make.
The comfort level is... bad for both rider and passenger. One can see how this bike has a reputation for being called a, "torture rack", and for good reasons. But after a couple of thousand miles on it, you get used to it. It is, after all, a sport bike.
It's not fair for me to comment on reliability as I've only put a couple thousand miles on it. But, I've had zero problems in that time, so that's a plus.
All in all, this is my favorite bike, and I currently own four and have owned many others. Unfortunately, I'm feeling spoiled for any bike that doesn't have muscle. Even a 62hp cruiser (my 85 Shadow) feels so slow now I would almost swear there's something wrong with it.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th July, 2010