Powerful naked bikes are roaring up the sales charts and Suzuki has been left behind … although that could change if Suzuki goes ahead with a GSR1000.
The internet is buzzing with spy shots of the GSR1000 naked version of their GSX-R1000 while German magazine, Motorrad, has featured an artist’s impression of a possible production bike on its front cover looking very much like a GSR750.
Suzuki Australia marketing manager (motorcycles) Lewis Croft says the shots are “fictitious”. “The Australian public would love the Suzuki factory to make a motorcycle such as a GSR1000, but at this stage there is nothing,” he says.
Still, the rumours persist that the bike will be powered by the GSX-R1000 999cc, inline-four engine, but instead of 136kW of power it is expected to be “detuned” to about 110kW, but probably with more usable power and torque through the midrange like most naked adaptations of sportsbikes.
As sales of sports bikes have trended downward in the past few years as more and more police patrols clamp down on speeding, sales of powerful naked motorcycles have increased and manufacturers have adapted their sportsbikes to suit. The BMW S 1000 R is a classic example of a well-executed stripping of a sportsbike into a beautiful naked bike. There is now talk of a half-faired version called the S 1000 F to take on the Ducati Multistrada.
Naked bikes have a more comfortable riding position and rideabaility, especially for around town duties and new lane-filtering laws in NSW. However, they still have plenty of handling and performance capabilities for fun weekend blasts up your favourite mountain pass.
If Suzuki sheds its fairings for a GSR1000, it will have plenty of competition from other Japanese manufacturers, particularly Honda CBR1000R, Kawasaki’s Z 1000 and Yamaha’s FZ1N and MT-09, as well as Aprilia’s Tuono V4R, BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Monster 1200, KTM 1290 Super Duke and MV Agusta 1090. It’s a crowded market sector and it could be about to get a little more crowded.