New pistons feature new skirt design and narrower pin bosses for 11% less weight.
No more heavy twin mufflers (thankfully). The 2012 GSX-R1000 goes back to a single muffler titanium design with stainless steel header pipes.
The big Gixxer's new Sunstar front brake discs are thinner, Brembo monobloc calipers feature larger pistons, and front axle is lighter.
2012 looks to be a promising year for the literbike category, as Suzuki announced today the release of its updated 2012 GSX-R1000. The bike isn’t what many would consider all-new, but a number of chassis and engine updates look to keep the Suzuki on par with the competition.
The Suzuki’s 999cc liquid-cooled engine goes unchanged for the most part, although revised pistons, pentagonal crankcase vents and a new exhaust cam have been incorporated. The pistons are perhaps the most changed, and feature newly shaped skirts plus narrower pin bosses. The slugs are a claimed 11% lighter than the previous model’s examples, plus “the valve recesses are smoother for better combustion efficiency,” claims Suzuki. As a result, the bike’s compression ratio climbs slightly from 12.8:1 to 12.9:1. Similar to the 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750, the 2012 GSX-R1000 runs pentagonal shaped crankcase ventilation holes. Compared to conventional ventilation holes, the new design provides less mechanical pumping loss. Bigger news is that the big-bore Suzuki runs a revised exhaust cam, which offers reduced valve overlap and increased midrange power. Internally, the only other change is to the valve tappets, which now feature thinner skirts and weigh 2.5 grams less per tappet, resulting in less reciprocating weight at high rpm.
The previous generation GSX-R1000’s twin mufflers have (thankfully) been replaced with a single muffler design. The muffler itself is constructed from titanium (similar to the previous model’s), but the header pipes are now constructed from stainless steel. The exhaust’s heavy under-engine chamber has been eliminated and pipe-length has been shortened for increased performance and weight reduction.
The Suzuki’s ECU has been revised as well, and is said to work more efficiently with the changes made to the engine and exhaust system. The Suzuki Drive Mode Selector remains, and three modes are still available: an A, B and C mode. While the list of changes seems rather brief, Suzuki staff claims that there is a noticeable increase in horsepower and torque in the midrange – especially between 6000 and 7000 rpm. They also claim that acceleration, throttle response and fuel efficiency have been improved.
Revisions were also made to the bike’s chassis. Weight has been dropped by a claimed 4.4 pounds and the Showa BPF front fork has been reworked. The 43mm unit is now 7mm shorter in overall length, has a 5mm shorter stroke and runs softer settings. The rear shock has conversely gone untouched.
Similar to the 2011 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750, the 2012 GSX-R1000 will come standard with a pair of radial-mount Brembo monobloc calipers. Also new are the Sunstar Engineering front brake discs, which are now thinner (5.0mm versus 5.5mm). Even more, the caliper pistons are a larger diameter and the front axle is 38.9 grams lighter. Out back, a Nissin caliper is utilized.
Bridgestone S20 tires are mounted front and rear. Suzuki claims that the front tire alone saves nearly 200 grams, plus that the altered tread design provides increased grip (Bridgestone will reportedly be releasing more information on the tire in early November). The GSX-R’s styling is status quo and there are relatively no aesthetical changes aside from the “bold new graphics.” Pin striping on the wheels adds some flare however, and matches the Brembo calipers well.
Retail is set at $13,799 and the bike is slated to be available in early February.