2003 Suzuki GSX-R1000 from United Kingdom


Brutally quick and surprisingly useable


Finish not the best - needs regular cleaning to avoid furred fasteners. Really pronounced after a Honda.

General Comments:

Fabulous bike (K3 model). Savage power, sharp looks, very sharp handling, good brakes and good reliability.

Engine is grin inducing. There's useable power all through the rev range, but with that famous Gixer wallop up top. The result is brutal acceleration, and a delivery that is relentless and addictive. I always back off before the engine has had enough. Like most litre sportsbikes, it has substantially more power than you can use on the road unless you are prepared to lose your licence (or worse), but this does give effortless "any gear" grunt that is really worth having.

Handling is super sharp, but can occasionally feel a little nervous, particularly over less than perfectly surfaced roads (i.e. almost all of them here in the UK) when "on it". With a power to weight ratio of as close to a bhp per kilo as makes no difference however, I suppose it's always going to get a bit lively when provoked.

Surprisingly comfy for a race rep. Quite roomy, and not too much weight on the wrists. Crap mirrors and pillion accommodation, but this is par for the superbike course. Brakes work well, but will need some attention soon as they're definitely not as sharp as they were. Best gearbox of any bike I've ever owned or ridden. Ultra short throw, super slick, and no false neutrals! Just lift your toe in your boot and the next gear clicks sweetly home.

Downsides? Finish is a bit cheap here and there, the fairing decals mark easily, and if you lose a race to anybody, you can't blame the bike. And people always seem to want to race you.

Fuel consumption good - 38-44 mpg so far. Insurance horrendous, reliability very good.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2005

14th Oct 2007, 12:14

I run a motorcycle tour business and I bought a GSX-R1000 three years ago for the tours where I ride through France (Alps, Pyrenees, Ardeche).

The comments about comfort are very relevant. Sure it's a hard ride, but it's a sports bike. It handles better than my Blackbird and goes faster, but then it is NOT the ideal bike for carrying a pillion.

The top end seems to rattle at 18,000 and again at 28,000 - this will be either cam chain, tensioner or the valves need shimming.

Standard of finish is poor compared to a Honda - not enough paint on the panels, which are coloured by use of decals rather than paint. Makes the bike look a bit cheap after 12 months use.

Front end has a built-in steering damper, which helps to cure what would be a flighty front end. I absolutely love it. So much that I have just bought another K4. Where else can you get Ferrari performance for £4,000???

Alastair McFarlane


11th Jul 2009, 09:34

Please don't comment on UK roads, though...

Try Greece and then re-think it!

But bikes seem more powerful in Greece!! Traction is low, that's why!!

Top review mate.

11th Jul 2009, 09:36

Just one question, guys. (it's not easy to get a test ride...)

Will I fit on the GSXR 1000??

I'm 1.92m in height and weigh 110 kilos.