Suzuki GSX-S1000GT (2021) - Review


2022 is shaping up to be the year of the sports tourer. Kawasaki’s long-established, best-selling Ninja 1000SX is already facing renewed competition from Yamaha’s excellent, nimble and well-spec’d Tracer 9 GT, and next year Honda will join the sports touring party with the Africa Twin-powered NT1100.

But before that, Suzuki is making a pitch for the sport touring spotlight with their new GSX-S1000 GT – and Bennetts BikeSocial is riding it on the slightly moist launch in Scotlandshire.


New Suzuki GSX-S1000GT (2022) Review | 2 days in Scotland

We spend two days in Scotland with BikeSocial’s King of the Sports Tourers, Simon Hargreaves, as he explores the good, bad and ugly of the brand new for 2022 Suzuki GSXS1000GT sports tourer motorcycle. 

Suzuki GSX-S1000GT 2021 Review Details Price Spec_04


Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT price and availability

The GT will be on sale a few weeks after you read this, at the start of November 2021. It comes in three colours: Metallic Triton Blue (mid-blue), Metallic Reflective Blue (navy blue) or Glass Sparkle Black (er, black). It costs £11,750 on the road.

That’s £600 more expensive than the 2022 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX base model (£11,150, equipped to roughly the same spec level as the Suzuki) – or £452 cheaper than Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT (£12,202, but which comes with much higher spec as standard: semi-active suspension, heated grips and panniers).

Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT PCP details*

*assuming a deposit of £3000, such as trade-in on existing bike

Cash price


36 monthly

Total payable

Final payment


Max mileage









Suzuki GSX-S1000GT 2021 Review Details Price Spec_05a


Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT power and torque (all figures claimed) v rivals & predecessor

Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

Suzuki GSX-S1000F (2017)

150bhp @ 11,000rpm

140bhp @ 10,000rpm

117bhp @ 10,000rpm

148bhp @ 10,000rpm

78 lb/ft @ 7000rpm

82 lb/ft @ 8000rpm

69 lb/ft @ 7000rpm

80 lb/ft @ 9500rpm


Taken at face value, Suzuki’s dyno graph for the GT (in red) against the previous model GSX-S1000F (black) agrees with their quoted figures and is identical to the motor in the current GSX-S1000 naked bike. The graph shows the new GT makes marginally more peak horsepower at higher revs than the GSX-S1000F – 150bhp at 11,000rpm v 148bhp at 10,000rpm – and slightly less peak torque at lower rpm, down from 80 lb.ft to 78 lb.ft. 

Against its rivals, new GT is 10bhp up on Kawasaki’s 140bhp peak figure for the Ninja SX (but at higher revs), and 28% fitter than the lower capacity Yamaha Tracer 9 GT.

The GT (and current GSX-S) motor is modified over the previous GSX-S engine to meet Euro 5 regs – which, as per the 2021 Hayabusa, includes narrowed throttle bodies, reshaped airbox, less valve overlap, combustion chamber reprofiling, and adding a cat in the exhaust.

This makes Suzuki’s claimed increase in peak power slightly odd because reducing valve overlap for Euro 5 usually lowers an engine’s ability to make torque at high revs, and therefore lowers top end power. But, as with Suzuki’s 2021 Hayabusa, the overall effect of Euro 5 mods has been to improve the engine’s midrange performance – you can see the way the dips in the old engine’s torque curves are filled in. So if you were offered an engine with one of these two power and torque curves, you’d take the new GSX-S1000 GT, thank you.



Engine feel and performance

Given the GT’s inline four is the same 999cc unit as the 2021 GSX-S1000, even down to gearing, it’s no surprise it feels exactly the same to use. And that’s a very good thing. Suzuki have put in a lot of development work on fuelling, throttle control and general civility since the old GSX-R1000 K5 motor was debuted in the GSX-S in 2016 – that first iteration was harsh, lean-running, snatchy beast. But now the GT engine is blissfully, creamily, drip-melted-butter-on-my-nipples smooth; it feels refined, sophisticated, and utterly buzz-free. It’s a doddle to access its performance and finesse its fulsome power delivery, even in torrential launch conditions; the throttle in your hand trims the butterfly valves exactly the way you want them to, and the GT’s engine responds with an instinctive, human nuance.

The GT’s 150bhp peak power is around the same as a GSX-R1000 K5 back in the day, so the sports tourer is anything but slow – and the motor feels quicker and more responsive, more eager to rev, than Kawasaki’s Z1000SX. But it’s not quite enough to overwhelm or astound – which, given the bike’s sport touring role (and the way it drinks petrol; see later) that’s probably a good thing.

And there’s not much more to say about the GT’s motor, really – not because it’s dull or characterless, but because it really is simple to describe. There are no rough edges to trip you up, no vibes or charismatic thumping or rumbling, and not even much exhaust or induction noise. And so there’s nothing to get a sexy adjective or clever metaphor going (nipples aside). Power is always abundant when you want it for overtakes (as well as just going really fast for the hell of it), there’s ample friction-free grunt to shimmer you silently along through 30s and 40s in top gear like an apparition on two wheels, and it’s flexible enough to not have to change down when the road opens up. Just open the taps and it runs you a bath. Cruising at 85mph-ish sees revs at around 5750rpm and there isn’t even the faintest hint of a tingle through the bars even then – wide mirrors on fat stems remain crystal clear. The GT’s motor is really, really good at being a civilized, fuss-free, big bike, bike engine.

Back in 2005 I watched an experienced engine tuner strip down a GSX-R1000 K5 lump and then stand back to admire it. “This engine…” he said, stroking his chin, “…this is the best engine Suzuki will ever build.” So far he’s not wrong. And now it’s in a sports tourer. I’ll take that.



Gearbox and exhaust

The GSX-S GT comes with an up and down quickshifter as standard. It’s not as directly accurate as Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT – I’ve had cramp in my left shin buzzing that thing up and down the box for fun – and, twice, the Suzuki’s quickshifter couldn’t work out what I was trying to do when I was crawling up to traffic lights and left downward pressure on the lever – it cut in an out like traction control. But it only happened on two occasions and was probably just me being lazy; the rest of the time the box was neat and tidy with no missed gears – and a world more decisive than Kawasaki’s squidgy SX quickshifter.

The Suzuki’s exhaust makes almost no noise. Not that you can hear while you’re riding with earplugs in. The loudest sound is a faint transmission whine.


Fuel economy

The GT’s tank is 19 litres wide and Suzuki claim an average mpg of 46.3mpg, giving a theoretical range of 194 naughtycal miles. On the launch ride (mostly sopping wet, but pushing on a bit) I got an average of 35.4mpg on day one and 44.4mpg on day two – giving a much shorter range of 148 miles, to empty, at worst; you’d be refilling at 130-ish. That’s not great. It’s backed up by a real-world refill, from a full tank, after around 120 miles of riding with some 30 miles left on the predicted tank range. So tank range isn’t special and if Suzuki hope to attract a few customers who’ve had enough of managing the bulk of a big adventure bike, they might need to think again about how willing those riders are prepared to compromise on refuelling stops (even if half the reason for the bulk is a massive fuel tank – a kind of adventure bike Catch 22).


Suzuki GSX-S1000GT 2021 Review Details Price Spec_09


Handling: frame, suspension and weight

Like the GT’s motor, its chassis is familiar to anyone with a passing acquaintance with the GSX-S1000 – same ally twin spar, same ally swingarm, same fully adjustable KYB forks and preload and rebound shock. Suzuki say the suspension has different ‘settings’, but Japan haven’t yet told GB if that means different internal settings (like different valving or springs) or simply the adjusters are in a different position.

But either way, Suzuki spec their base suspension setting very, very well – the GT has great ride quality, delivering an un-jarring ride even over some gnarly Scots potholes – and, equally, the springs also control the dynamic attitude of the bike nicely, with a bit of initial nose dive but otherwise keeping it civil in the corners. No wobbles, no weaves, no silliness. The wheels were in line the whole time, m’lud. Admittedly it’s hard, after a predominantly wet ride, to be definitive – but the fact we could tramp on so significantly in such miserable conditions speaks volumes (of water) about the GT’s poise and control. This thing rocks. We can, however confidently state the rear preload has no remote adjuster, marking the unwelcome return of the C-spanner and bruised knuckles.

All-in, Suzuki says the GT weighs 226kg, which is 9kg less than Kawasaki claim for the Ninja SX, and it feels about right – the GT isn’t a small, light thing, but it’s not unmanageable and certainly not at the lardy dad-bod end of the scale. Pushing it around in gravel is easy enough, and the bike feels balanced at low speed.


Suzuki GSX-S1000GT 2021 Review Details Price Spec_10


Wheels, tyres and brakes

The GT comes on Dunlop Roadsmart 2s, and wet or dry they felt predictable, stable and confident – but with a nagging feeling there’s better rubber out there at dealing with either condition.

But why oh why do manufacturers put their bikes on 190/50 tyres, when a 190/55 often suits them much better? Suzuki’s own Hayabusa comes on a 190/50; with a 190/55 it steers like someone took a steering damper off – with no downsides I can detect. The GT similarly feels like it’d be much, much easier to steer with a taller rear tyre on. It’s not as bad as the leaden front end of Kawasaki’s Ninja SX, but there’s definitely a sliver of resistance to steering the GT, especially at low speed, as if there’s not enough air in the front. It’s easy to overlook the sensation and become inured to it after 100 miles, but in the wet on long, drawn-out sweeping corners where you’re constantly focussing on holding a line balanced with grip conditions, lean angle and velocity, the last thing you need is weighty feedback from the front resisting your handlebar pressure. It’s not cripplingly bad and I wouldn’t punch the bike on its considerably long nose for doing it, but I would try and fix it if it was mine. After it’s worn out, obviously.

The GT’s brakes are the same monoblock Brembos as fitted to the GSX-S, and they pull the GSX up sharply and with good feeling at the lever if you squeeze hard – the rate of bite isn’t sportbike instant, which is probably a good thing for most riders.



Equipment, styling, ergonomics and comfort

These are areas the GT finally differs sharply, literally, from the 2021 GSX-S – they’re the things that make it a sports tourer, not a naked bike. Like, a fairing – the GT’s long, pointy nose isn’t beautiful and bears no family resemblance to anything in Suzuki’s line-up or history – but neither did the RF series in the 1990s and look how successful… oh. The GT’s not a bad-looking creature, and it’s certainly distinctive. Its new, tubular rear subframe looks good too – extended and reinforced for extra pillion and luggage requirements.

On the spec features front, the GT gets about halfway there. The screen is unadjustable, and short – it’s actually the right height to not cause any buffeting I could detect, and it’s the right height to let wind balance the rider’s body for high-speed comfort. But it would be nice to have the option to flip it higher, either to suit the preferences of different riders, or simply to offer a bit more protection from wind noise or rain. Suzuki make and aftermarket touring screen option, but that’s not quite as convenient.

Not having a centrestand is also inconvenient, and not having the option to fit one is worse. Kawasaki’s Ninja SX is the same – maybe Suzuki saw Kawasaki’s exhaust design and decided because the SX didn’t have one, it was okay for the GT not to have one either. Maybe customer research shows Suzuki owners never lube their chains. Only they know why.

The GT hasn’t got heated grips as standard either, only as an accessory. This is less surprising, but Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT has them and they come in very handy.

The GT has got a very natural, spacious riding position – with what feels like lower pegs than the naked GSX-S1000, slightly higher bars and an accessible 810mm seat height, the GT is immediately comfortable – a ‘just right’ riding position that simple doesn’t occur to you to think about until, presumably at some point, it gets uncomfortable. But that didn’t happen to me over a couple of hundred miles in two days.

On the electronics front, the GT hasn’t got a 6-axis IMU (in fact Suzuki say it hasn’t got an IMU with any number of axes). So there’s no cornering ABS, no sophisticated TC and anti-slide, no smart wheelie or launch control – and hammering about in the sopping wet, none of the above were missed. The GT does have multiple TC levels, three throttle response mappings and cruise control – and a truly magnificent 6.5in TFT dash that manages to look sharp, crisp and attractive, and present all the relevant information without being cluttered, at the same time. It’s a fab bit of design – almost, to be honest, unexpectedly good. It can even hook up with your phone (charged via the USB port) and show sat nav maps, as well as manage phone calls if you’re into that sort of thing.



2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT - Verdict


For a bike so simple to explain – a recycled 2021 GSX-S1000 with a fairing, a roomier riding position, a beefed-up subframe and a sweet dash – the GT is frustratingly hard to describe without sounding like it’s being damned with faint praise. It’s a hugely competent, civilised, powerful, easy-to-use sports tourer, with no significant vices and much to commend it. It’ll fit most people most of the time, deliver them to their intended destination with minimal fuss and optimal convenience – and even considerable excitement, should they wish – and at a reasonable price. As a base to add your own accessories and convert into your personal perfect spec, I’d say it’s ideal. Suzuki’s 36 litre panniers are huge (they stick out a bit too) and cost around the same as Kawasaki’s boxes for the Ninja SX (about a grand for boxes, subframe mounts and key coding). You can also spec heated grips, a taller screen – Suzuki’s list of extras goes on (apart from a top box, for some reason), and of course others from third parties will be available in due course. I can see GTs racking up massive mileages in years to come.

And it even looks nice. The GT will be hit, and deservedly so. You’re waiting for a “…but…”, but there isn’t one. Apart from that one.


Suzuki GSX-S1000GT 2021 Review Details Price Spec_18
For and against
  • engine – smooth, refined, powerful; possibly the nicest inline four out there
  • dash – one of the best; easy to read, concise, unfussy, attractive – and with maps, too
  • riding position – you’d have to ride a long way to have a complaint
  • absurd speed – who doesn’t love the potential for misbehaviour?
  • tank range – could be an issue; with a giddy right wrist it could be empty in 140 miles
  • lack of centrestand – is it too much to ask not have to use a paddock stand?
  • remote preload adjuster – is it too much to ask not to have to use a spanner?
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT second opinion (43)

Handlebars are halfway between a sports and adventure bike, footrests are set high enough for scratching and the fairing is surprisingly effective for a sporty design.


Suzuki GSX-S1000GT take two… | Steve Rose - BikeSocial Publisher

Adding anything of value to a road test written by the legendary Mr Hargreaves is like following the Foo Fighters on stage at a festival. Me and Mr H are very different riders although as experienced testers we often (oddly) come up with very similar conclusions.

So, although I didn’t really need to add anything to the comprehensive test above, I was curious to ride the GSX-S1000GT because I like sporty road bikes, own an ancient Yamaha Fazer 1000 (and an even more ancient Honda CBR600F) and have spent most of this year aboard Honda’s NT1100.

The difference between the launch report above and a typical UK road test is that launches are on carefully chosen routes, usually don’t cover that many miles (because there are photo and video requirements which soak up far more time than you’d imagine) and they rarely include mundane things like commuting, motorways or relevant fuel consumption figures.

So, having spent three weeks living with one, I’ll try and fill in the gaps.


2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT second opinion (14)

Much-evolved GSX-R engine can potter through town at 25mph in top gear, cruise on motorways at 50mpg or make your ears meet around the back of your head under face-melting acceleration.


The Suzuki costs £400 less than a (non DCT transmission) NT1100. It has 50 per cent more horsepower and suspension with much better damping (and more adjustment) than the Honda. The NT1100 has panniers, heated grips and a centre stand as standard. It has provision for a top box and can take a pillion in comfort, where the Suzuki struggles to do either. Adding panniers and heated grips to your GSX-S1000GT takes the £11,999 price up to around £14k and you still won’t have a centre stand. Yamaha’s Tracer GT is much closer to the Suzuki’s power and torque figures, has all the spec and more of the Honda (including cornering ABS and semi-active suspension) and costs £12,700. Choosing a sports tourer hasn’t been this interesting for a long time.

The GSX-S1000GT is very much at the sporty end of sports touring where the NT is more like a roadgoing adventure bike. The Honda has more than enough power and torque for pretty much any road in any part of the world. The Suzuki adds a 50bhp cherry on top for those moments when you crack open the taps in second gear and spend eight seconds enjoying theme park levels of G-force and thrills that shouldn’t really be part of coming home from work.

If that sounds juvenile and not a grown-up reason to choose a motorcycle, then ask yourself ‘what have I been doing for the last 30 years?’ Motorcycling has never been rational. If we bought bikes based on what we need and how we mostly (if we’re honest) ride, then we’d all be parking our NT1100s in line next to the Honda NC750s and Yamaha Tracer 700s.

And while we are talking grown-up thinking, heated grips should be standard fitment on every motorcycle. Even in summer. Early starts when it’s 10 deg C in June, wearing thin summer gloves are a lot more enjoyable with lightly warmed fingers.


2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT second opinion (26)

Multi-piece fairing and medium-sized screen do a good job of managing airflow, mirrors are mounted with a détente making it easy to fold them in for extra wiggle room when filtering and snap back exactly in place. 


And here’s the thing. Putting a fairing on a 150bhp supernaked doesn’t make it a sports tourer. Even when the riding position, screen and suspension are as comfortable and competent at both tasks as they are on the GSX-S1000GT. The Suzuki feels like the faired MT-10 that we’ve been waiting six years for Yamaha to build. Or a less track-focused GSX-R1000R from Suzuki. I want to think of it as a latter-day version of my Fazer 1000 but it’s so much better than that if you want more sports in your sports tourer mix.

The Suzuki’s suspension soaks up bumps and keeps things very controlled as you squeeze and release the brakes into a corner or wind on the power on the way out. The switchgear is easy to understand and the riding position is almost comfy for a couple of hours before ancient knees and withered backside start to ache. And you pay the price for the Suzuki’s extra horsepower every time you fill up. Ridden normally without thinking about it, the GSX-GT does around 45mpg and 180 miles to a tank. Motorway cruising at an indicated 75mph, trying really hard to complete a 200-mile journey without stopping at Clacket Lane services (the M25’s equivalent of accidentally finding yourself in a UKIP reunion in a broken sewage works) I got 53mpg. But…  It doesn’t take much enthusiasm to drop that to 40mpg or less which means 150 miles to empty and looking for fuel by 130 miles. The fuel gauge drops quickly too meaning paranoia sets in early in the countryside and at £2 a litre those 150 miles will cost almost £40.

The NT1100 does an easy 55mpg, not too much less than that even in full brain-out ‘I’m a road tester baby’ mode and can easily top 60mpg on the motorway. That means up to 100 miles more than the Suzuki from a tank just 1.5 litres bigger. 

I suspect the decision on whether you’d buy the Suzuki or the Honda (or the Yamaha for that matter and we haven’t even mentioned Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000SX) comes down to how much of your riding is solo and whether you take a passenger. Pillion provision on the GSX is a bit of an afterthought. The seat is small, footpegs are high and the stubby screen that works so well for the rider isn’t quite as welcoming for the passenger. Plus, adjusting the preload on the shock absorber to allow for a passenger requires a C-spanner, extension bar and the skills of a junior gynaecologist, where the Honda and has a simple remote adjuster. Thankfully the side-mounted grab handles have extensions at the back that at least make it easier to brace under acceleration and braking.


Exhaust design is much neater than the GSX-R1000 but the position of the catalytic convertor means no room for a centre stand. Best of luck adjusting the rear preload, we’ll see you in A&E


The really interesting moment of this test came for me when I rode the GSX-S1000GT back to Suzuki GB and swapped it for my long term NT1100 that I’d left there. Taking the twisty way through Bedfordshire’s B-road the GSX felt like a well set up, comfy lightweight sports bike. Getting back on the NT it felt much more substantial, solid, bigger, heavier and definitely much more of a tourer.

That sounds like a criticism, but you’d only feel it if you rode the two bikes back-to-back.

The Honda’s extra height and bulk makes a difference in things like U-turns (but not as much difference as the DCT’s ultra-low-speed snatchiness with this engine), but the extra height brings better visibility in traffic and the NT is comfortable for longer at a stretch.

I really enjoyed the GSX and 15 years ago, when I first walked away from sports bikes, it would have been my perfect bike. But I was glad to give it back and, right now, the NT1100 suits my all-round requirements better.

If you want a comfy sports bike, buy the GSX. If you want an adventure bike in road trim, check out the NT and don’t forget to try Yamaha’s Tracer GT and Kawasaki’s Ninja 1000SX as well.


2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT second opinion (1)
Superb brakes and high-quality adjustable suspension are good at this price. ABS and TC are fitted but are less state-of-the-art than its Yamaha Tracer GT rival


2021 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT - Spec



Bore x Stroke

73.4mm x 59.0mm

Engine layout

inline four

Engine details

16v dohc, l/c


150bhp at 11,000rpm


78 lb.ft at 9250rpm

Top speed

150mph (est, ish)

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

19 litres

Max range to empty

166 miles

Rider aids

throttle modes, traction control, ABS, up/down quickshifter, cruise control


aluminium twin spar

Front suspension

43mm KYB usd forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension

KYB monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

preload and rebound

Front brake

2 x 310mm disc, four-pot Brembo calipers

Rear brake

disc, two-pot Brembo caliper

Front tyre


Rear tyre






Seat height


Kerb weight



unlimited miles/2 years



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