Suzuki recently announced the release of its updated GSX-R1000 for 2012, with minor modifications to the engine and chassis headlining the list of changes. Brembo monobloc calipers and a new single-muffler exhaust have also been fitted and look to keep the Suzuki on par with the competition.
The GSX-R’s 999cc liquid-cooled engine has been revised to provide improved low-end and midrange power, plus an improved throttle response and increased fuel efficiency. Biggest news is the revised pistons, which have been developed using MotoGP technology and are a claimed 11-percent lighter. Key to the slugs’ weight loss is their newly shaped skirts, narrower pin bosses and altered valve recesses. Combustion efficiency has been improved and the compression ratio jumps slightly from 12.8:1 to 12.9:1.
A new exhaust-cam profile provides reduced valve overlap and reshaped pentagonal crankcase ventilation holes offer reduced mechanical pumping loss. The changes contribute to the bike’s eight-percent increase in fuel efficiency and doubly affect the bike’s midrange (Suzuki engineers claim an especially strong improvement between 6000 and 7000 rpm). Other internal changes include new 2.5-gram-lighter valve tappets, which are constructed from a thinner material and were necessitated by the new cam profile.
Big news for 2012 is the GSX-R1000’s...
Big news for 2012 is the GSX-R1000’s new Brembo monobloc brake calipers. Other changes for 2012 include a 39-gram-lighter front axle design and pinstriped wheels.
The new single-muffler exhaust...
The new single-muffler exhaust not only saves weight, its revised length is claimed to enhance low-end and midrange performance.
Suzuki engineers were able...
Suzuki engineers were able to make the big GSX-R’s pistons 11-percent lighter by reshaping their skirts, pin bosses and valve recesses. The compression ratio jumps slightly from 12.8:1 to 12.9:1
The 2012 model’s Showa BPF...
The 2012 model’s Showa BPF front fork is 7mm shorter in overall length and has altered (softer) settings.
The new single-muffler exhaust matched to the reworked GSX-R engine better centralizes the bike’s mass and its revised (shorter!) length enhances low-end and midrange performance for improved acceleration. The under-engine chamber of last year’s dual-muffler exhaust has been abandoned and weight has consequently been dropped. Interestingly enough however, the 2012 model’s header pipe is constructed from stainless steel rather than titanium. Conversely, the muffler is still of the titanium variety. Revisions to the GSX-R’s ECU programming, and more specifically to its Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) throttle bodies, better complement the changes to the engine and exhaust and are said to provide better throttle response.
The changes to the Suzuki’s chassis are equally as advantageous, although it’s the new Brembo monobloc calipers that steal much of the attention. The gold-coated Brembo units are more rigid for better braking performance and bite on new 310mm Sunstar Engineering brake discs, which are .5mm thinner for reduced weight. Other changes to the stoppers include new caliper pistons, which measure 32-32mm rather than 32-30mm.
The bike’s twin-spar frame welded together using five cast aluminum-alloy sections is unchanged as is the bike’s geometry, but the 43mm Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) has been revised to work with the shift in the GSX-R’s center of gravity. In addition to the softer suspension settings that have been dialed in, the fork is 7mm shorter in overall length and its stroke is reduced 5mm. The rear shock has conversely gone untouched. All told, the 2012 model is a claimed 4.4 pounds lighter than its predecessor.
The instrument cluster is...
The instrument cluster is moderately changed, offering a programmable shift-lamp indicator similar to that of the 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750.
Unlike the 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750, three riding modes have been retained for 2012: an unchanged A, B and C mode, all of which are still accessed via a switch on the left clip-on. A new instrument cluster with programmable shift-lamp indicator has been added though, and the seat is wrapped in new high-grip leather. The reasonable 31.9-inch seat height is retained and the electronically controlled steering damper has also been carried over, as have the back-torque-limiting clutch and three-way adjustable footrests.
Bridgestone S20 tires front and rear look to keep the new Suzuki stuck to the ground. The tires’ new tread design is said to provide additional grip, plus the front tire itself is 200 grams lighter.
The GSX-R is slightly revamped in its styling too, with new graphics and pinstriping on the wheels that enhance overall looks. The bike will be available in Blue/White and Black and retail is set at $13,799. Models are slated to be available in early February. Be sure to check the coming issues for a full first ride review and visit sportrider.com for more information on the new Suzuki model.