Suzuki GSX-S1000GX (2024) - Technical Review

Technical Review - Ben Purvis - 7 Nov 23

Riding Review - Simon Hargreaves - 30 Nov 23

+ model announced - Michael Mann - 5 Jan 24


Price: £14,499 | Power: 150bhp | Weight: 232kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 3/5


Suzuki’s GSX-S1000 GX is a spots touring version of the firm's GSX-S1000 GT - the 150bhp inline four motor, frame, swingarm, brakes, fuel tank and wheels - but is perched on long-travel Showa semi-active suspension and loaded with electronics. It’s Suzuki’s first tall-rounder (ish, see below), and their first bike with the binary boing of semi-active springs.

Tall-rounders have been with us for decades – machines that, as per adventure bikes, sit on long suspension (good for ride comfort on bumpy roads and a domineering view of things, at the expense of tall seat height) and have 17in (or 19in front) cast wheels for conventional road tyres and handling (instead of wire spoked 19in or 21in off-road biased tyres and compromised road handling).

Yamaha arguably got the tall-rounder ball rolling by accident in 1991 with the TDM850, a bike that was meant to be an overgrown supermoto for the French market using a bored and stroked Super Ténéré parallel twin, but ended up as a convenient, capable all-round road bike. Only taller.

Since then just about every manufacturer has had a go, from Triumph’s Tiger 1050 Sport to BMW’s S1000 XR to Kawasaki’s Versys to both Aprilia’s CapoNords (they liked it so much they did it twice). Only Honda and Suzuki have remained stubbornly glued to their adventure bike guns – although you’d be perfectly within your rights to say this year’s Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050 – the 19in front model, not the 21in front DE – is, in fact, a tall rounder. But let’s pretend we’re not having that argument and instead proclaim the GSX-S1000 GX as Suzuki’s first-ever tall rounder – although Suzuki don’t acknowledge the term and prefer ‘crossover sports’, whatever that means. No idea who coined the tall-rounder portmanteau but it’s convenient, pithy, and sounds marginally less like Alan Partridge than ‘crossover sports, a-ha.’

It's fair to say the GX has generated a lot of online enthusiasm – Bennetts BikeSocial introduction video has proved a popular watch, and the GX was one of the standout stars at the recent EICMA bike show in Milan and Motorcycle Live here in the UK.

The reasons are many but probably mostly down to the GX’s spec – it makes more power than all its rivals bar BMW’s S1000 XR – and its price – it’s cheaper than all its large capacity rivals, especially BMW’s S1000 XR.

So BikeSocial are off to Portugal to ride the GX at the worldwide launch, to find out if it’s been worth waiting for Suzuki to join the semi-active tall-rounder party, and if late really is better than never.

UPDATE (5th Jan 2024): Just two months after the model's unveiling, Suzuki announced a '+' model joins the line-up which includes two colour-coded, 36-litre panniers as standard representing a saving over buying them seperately and having them fitted subsequently. See below for pricing details.


Pros & Cons

  • 150bhp from Suzuki’s familiar inline four, lifted directly from the GSX-S1000 GT
  • Sophisticated electronics with a wealth of chassis and performance options
  • Competitively priced and significantly less than its tall-rounder rivals
  • Not the same level of trim as some of its rivals
  • Reservations about the intrusiveness of some engine software
  • Standard seat could be better
2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX | Technical Review
Bikesocial's Simon Hargreaves is granted special access to take a look at Suzuki's new Adventure-Tourer - the 2024 GSX-S1000GX
2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GX | Riding Review

BikeSocial’s Simon Hargreaves heads to the global press launch in Portugal to spend two days on the Suzuki's new Adventure-Tourer.


Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GX Price

At £14,499 the GX is the most expensive of the GSX-S range, £1800 more than the £12,699 GSX-S1000 GT – with semi-active suspension, a stack of electronics and significant fairing and aero development, you’d think it would be more. But it’s also cheaper than its rivals, when at near equivalent spec – namely BMW’s S1000 XR (162bhp, over three grand more), Kawasaki’s Versys 1000 (118bhp, over a grand more) and Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT+ (117bhp, over £400 more).

The jury’s out on whether the Tracer actually qualifies to be in the same class as the GX – but anyway, Yamaha’s ‘standard’ Tracer 9 GT, minus radar, posh dash and a few other upgrades, is £13,110 – and still comes with panniers, centre stand and heated grips; all extras for the GX.

The GX comes in three colours: Metallic Triton Blue, Glass Sparkle Black or Pearl Matt Shadow Green. The first wave of bikes will arrive in the UK in December, the second wave in January.

UPDATE (5th Jan 2024): the Suzuki GSX-S1000GX+ model was announced with panniers being fitted as standard. The OTR price of the '+' model is £15,599 which represents a £175 saving over buying the standard GX and the panniers and fitting costs seperately.



2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Engine & Performance

We’ll skip quickly through the GX engine spec because it’s identical to the GSX-S1000 GT – 999cc dohc inline four making 150bhp at 11,000rpm and 78 lb.ft at 9250rpm; an old-school power delivery with a linear, exponential spread of performance weighted to give more juice at the top end as engine revs build. It’s not like a modern parallel twin or triple, with what feels like a bulging arc in the midrange – you have to rev it if you want the GX to get its arse in gear. You might also call engine character a bit soulless, but that’s because it’s an inline four. You don’t come to the GX looking for throbbing character – it’s smooth and vibe-free. It’s not a Suzuki thing – the inline four Versys and S1000 XR are the same. So’s the GSX-S1000 GT for that matter. If you want big-bore throbbery with a Suzuki logo, try the V-Strom 1050.

But climbing aboard the GX and pinning the throttle definitely gets you where you want to go – and it gets you there with indecent velocity, flinging the horizon backwards like a discarded sweet wrapper. But accessing that performance is like a winding up a massive, uncoiling clock spring – you have to wait as the motor gathers momentum before it unspools in a howling whirlwind of revs. Bat the taps open at 5000rpm and the GX doesn’t jump off the leash so much as begin to wind it out. Overtaking – of which there is much during the test ride, because Suzuki have arranged most of the route on urban and semi-urban roads littered with rush hour traffic – is easy and flowing, but takes a fraction more gearbox than we’ve become used to in these days of fast flat twins, triples and V4s.

GX gearing also is the same as the GT – the GX is on the same wheels, no need to alter it – but the up/down quickshifter is modified to allow use during cruise control without disengaging it. It’s still not as machine-gun quickfire as Yamaha’s Tracer gearchange, but it’s sweeter and slicker than Kawasaki’s and BMW’s slightly squidgy shifts.

We have to spend a bit more time describing the Suzuki’s electronics though – it’s a significant new feature. Bear with me.

In terms of engine performance, we have two main areas of electronic management. First, there are three throttle response ‘modes’, as usual with Suzuki – Mode A, with aggressive throttle response and full engine delivery curve, Mode B with a more moderate curve and gentler throttle response, and C with the softest delivery curve. So far, so normal.

The GX bundles up three further electronic functions under one heading: TLR, which is adjustable in seven steps (or off): T refers to traction control, L to anti-wheelie, and R to something called Roll Torque Control. They are all linked under the TLR heading, and can’t be individually adjusted – but can be adjusted as a group.

Traction control is what we’ve come to understand – if the bike’s sensors detect wheelspin, the IMU deploys ignition and fuelling strategies to reduce engine output – and anti-wheelie is... anti-wheelie.

Roll Torque Control needs explaining. It’s not a first in motorcycling, but it’s the first time Suzuki have described it. Essentially, the GX limits torque output (ie engine performance) according to lean angle. So if the bike is leaned over and you ask for more torque than the bike’s software engineers think is appropriate, you won’t get it. This is presumably dependent on a number of variables – actual lean angle, rpm, throttle position, gear position etc.

But the upshot is this: when you open the throttle out of corner, you might not get the response you were expecting. No specific issue with this – it’s like traction control before you lose traction, and on lower settings you can feel it actively holding the bike back exiting corners. The problem – to my way of riding and feeling the bike – is it makes the throttle response and engine performance feel slightly inconsistent on corner exits – because the engine changes its output according to lean angle. Or maybe I just feel as if the bike is constantly second-guessing me – it’s hard to be sure in the launch environment because it's a subtle feeling. I have to check my riding a few times to work out where the sensation comes from, and it’s only noticeable attacking corners with a bit of gusto (of which there aren’t too many opportunities). And there’s no way it’s dangerous or distracting – and turning TLR off gets rid of it – but that also turns off traction control and anti-wheelie; something you may not want. But the overall experience is that, in the same way Suzuki make it clear they don’t want any riding misbehaviour (often confused with having fun), there’s a feeling they don’t want the engine to allow it either.



2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

Like the engine, the GX chassis shares much with the GT: same ally twin spar frame, ally swingarm, detachable subframe, 17in wheels, Brembo four-pot radial calipers and 310mm discs, and same 19-litre fuel tank.

Suspension is the big difference: the GX has Showa long-travel semi-active springs – so, again electronics play a part (please stay awake at the back). The bare specs are 43mm Showa usd SFF-CA semi-active forks and Showa BFRC-lite semi-active shock at the back, with 150mm wheel travel front and rear – up 30/20mm on the GT and identical to Kawasaki’s Versys and BMW’s S1000 XR. There isn’t a non-semi-active version of the GX (which, thinking about it, is a bit of shame if it also knocked £1500 off the asking). Neither is there a low-suspension version.

Broadly speaking, the competing demands on suspension damping are to provide ride quality and chassis control. These demands are in opposition, so suspension settings are a compromise – the settings to control bike chassis under extreme braking and acceleration loads aren’t the ones you’d choose for a floaty ride quality over bumpy roads, and vice vera.

In the old days you’d need screwdrivers to adjust suspension between these demands, preferably while the bike wasn’t moving. Then BMW invented ESA, which was essentially an electronic screwdriver activated from the dash – and, suddenly, riders weren’t getting run over setting the fork compression from +3 to -4.

Then semi-active suspension appeared simultaneously on Ducati’s 1200 Multistrada, BMW’s HP4 and Aprilia’s CapoNord – all in 2012. Funny, that. The principle was, and is, to use a 6-axis suspension IMU to infer the bike’s position in space relative to the road surface (via various suspension sensors), and use real-time millisecond servo-motor adjustments to change damping in response and to try and maintain the sprung weight of the bike in a stable position – giving you ride quality AND chassis control.

In a perfect world, you’d think that would therefore give you one setting to suit all conditions. But we depend on a degree of chassis instability for ‘feel’ and hoverbikes wouldn’t give any feedback to the rider. They’d feel awful and we’d crash them a lot.

So no, with semi active what you actually get is damping that self-adjusts across a narrow band of performance – instead of having 5 turns of rebound and 8 clicks of compression at the front, you now usually have three ‘bands’ of damping, ranging from soft, or comfort, through a middle or medium setting, then hard or sporty at the other end – which you can select on the go. On the GX, Suzuki take it a step further and add another three steps above and below each main setting, giving a total of 21 levels of suspension performance – which sounds a bit like we’re back to suspension option paralysis.

Call me a cynic, but I can’t help wondering if all this is actually worth it, and whether it actually yields suspension performance significantly ‘better’ than conventional suspension. I recently rode a GSX-S1000 GT for a 16-hour stint and don’t remember feeling seriously compromised by not having electronic springs. But then maybe if it had drum brakes and cross ply tyres I wouldn’t have complained either (but I bet I would!).

Anyway, semi-active is what the GX has, divided into SAD (Soft Active Damping), MAD (Medium Active Damping) and BAD (Michael Jackson Damping). Sorry, I meant HAD (Hard Active Damping).

And it makes a difference – hard is too hard, making the front choppy and pattering over bumps; ironically, it’s exactly what you don’t want tipping into a corner at speed – so while it keeps front and rear movement more controlled under braking and accelerating, it’s less desirable than the middle setting, which is MAD, literally and metaphorically, because you bought a bike with semi-active and then stuck it on the middle setting and left it. Soft is ok, but allows a bit too much underdamped chassis movement even when the bike is just cruising.

I’ve ridden on similar Showa semi-active systems before; Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sport uses it, and so does Kawasaki’s Versys, among others. The Honda, with its 21in front, has a completely different ride dynamic to the Suzuki, so it’s hard to compare. The Versys, on the other hand, is very similar in style to the GX, but with a lot less power and a lot more weight – so again, it’s hard to compare without a back-to-back comparison. I’ve ridden the semi-active Kawasaki pretty hard on slippery roads in Italy and it felt less choppy on its Sport setting than the Suzuki, but was less agile.   

Suzuki haven’t just stopped with plain old semi-active suspension – they’ve added even more functionality to the GX springs with an auto rear preload function which, as other manufacturers do, automatically detects payload and adjusts the rear preload to match (rear only; fork preload needs manual adjustment). Or you can adjust it yourself from the switchgear, choosing solo, solo with luggage or with passenger mode. I choose passenger preload all the time because it sweetens the steering slightly, reducing the bike’s tendency to understeer in corners (rear brake required to pull it back on line). This is probably as much down to the 190/50 rear – a 190/55 would be a better-steering solution.
Speaking of tyres, the Dunlop Roadsport 2 fitted to the GX are generally regarded as pretty decent rubber – I’ve used them on a number of bikes with no issues – but on the GX on Portuguese roads around Lisbon they feel lifeless and don’t inspire confidence to attack. To be fair, there are very few occasions when the road conditions allow anything approaching aggressive riding, so it’s possible they never get much heat into them. The roads are pretty dusty and polished too, so maybe it’s a bit of both.

The final words on Suzuki’s suspension strategies are reserved for a few details designed to improve the bike’s stability (which is impeccable at the speeds and conditions on the launch ride).

Firstly, Suzuki have set the semi-active suspension to default to a single ‘middle’ mode when speeds go above 120mph. Presumably this is to ensure the bike remains stable at high speed – a 150bhp motor on long suspension is a recipe for instability, especially with luggage. Which is also why Suzuki don’t have a topbox for the GX in the accessory range – which in turn is probably why they’re so keen to promote the bike as a ‘sports crossover’, because calling it anything with ‘touring’ in the name immediately draws attention to the topbox deficit. It’s all done for a reason.

Secondly, Suzuki have limited the GX to 155mph. Which you might think is academic – not so long ago we’d have been up in arms at any kind of mandatory limit; I remember when we got angry about the manufacturers’ self-imposed 186mph limit in 2001. But the fact Suzuki have that limit, and with the knowledge other bikes of a similar nature have a similar restriction (Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT to 134mph, Honda’s NT1100 to something similar, etc), it suggests ultra high-speed stability on bikes with loaded topboxes and panniers is a concern.

Thirdly, Suzuki have introduced a programme that rolls off the GX’s throttle if the bike detects instability above 80mph. I ask the engineers how much of a wobble: arm motions suggested it would be dramatic, but less than a tank-slapper. Be interesting to see if a standard ride across the Fen roads where I live will set it off – the bumps routinely trigger traction control warning lights on some bikes, and sometimes cut engine power too, while the bike is bolt upright (just bouncing around a lot).

And finally, Suzuki have added a feature to the semi-active damping that automatically softens damping and reduces throttle response over extreme bumps, such as cobbles or a cattle grid, along with a warning icon flashing on the dash. Over some cobbles helpfully provided by the route Suzuki laid out for us, we managed to get the suspension softening off – but it was so bumpy over the stones it was hard to tell if it made a difference.

Fully fuelled, the Suzuki weighs in at 232kg, 25kg less than Kawasaki’s Versys and seven kilos heavier than BMW claim for the S1000 XR. The GX feels more agile than the Kawasaki, but both have a similar tendency to understeer and need pulling on line to hold the exit.

The Suzuki’s four-pot Brembo radials are served by cornering ABS – the brake pressure is plenty but there is a slightly numb feeling at the lever – you don’t feel as if you’re nipping the discs between your fingers, but as if you’ve got them on the end of a pair of long-nose pliers. I thought I detected a lag in brake performance a few times, just after pulling away from standstill for a corner – but it only happened twice so I can’t confirm if it was just me or something else. Need more time on the bike, riding harder and more consistently.



2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GX Comfort & Economy

As a tall-rounder, the GX riding position sits somewhere between an upright adventure bike and a canted-forward sports tourer. Seat height is 845mm, up from 815mm on the GT – an 830mm seat height is an optional extra. Suzuki also make an optional premium seat, made from two different densities of foam and with added embroidery and coloured stitching.

The standard seat is also 15mm higher relative to the pegs than the GT, giving the GX a slightly more open knee angle. Suzuki have done this by making the GX seat 15mm deeper than the GT – which makes it too soft and squidgy to be comfortable over long distance; it’s like sitting on a partially inflated balloon. The premium seat is much better, supporting yer bum with a harder base.

The GX bars are 43mm closer to the rider and 38mm higher, giving the rider a more relaxed, upright stance – but it’s sportier than most adventure bikes. The bars aren’t as wide as an adventure bike – which sometimes are too wide, like paddling a canoe. But they do come with hand guards as standard.

Don’t have a chance to take a passenger during the launch, but the pillion pad looks pretty slender to me – and the absence of a topbox is never a comforting sign for passengers on a 150bhp motorcycle.

Suzuki say the GX fairing is the product of wind tunnel testing, with slots and vents introduced on the top, sides and bottom of the cowling – I suspect these are probably helpful in creating downforce at speed (or reducing lift), and improve stability as much as any other benefit. The screen is three-way adjustable (using an Allen key) over a height difference of 43mm, and is wider than the screen on the GT.

I try the screen on both low and high settings – the difference isn’t huge but in the tall setting definitely move a slight amount of turbulence higher up to around my head height (I’m 6ft) – the low setting keeps it on my chest but the wind roar is louder. Personally, I’d like to try a screen tall enough to have the lip just sitting a few cm under my eyeline, because that’s where it feels best when I dip my head. But everyone fits their own screens these days anyway.

Overall, ride comfort is good in terms of rider position – it’s a more open, relaxed position than a sports tourer, but not as parachute-wide as some adventure bikes can feel. The only downside is the standard seat – I’d definitely spec the premium seat when I’d buy a GX.

The GX shares the same 19-litre tank as the GT, with slightly lower fuel consumption but effectively the same range of, depending how you ride, 180 miles down to around 150 at mid-40s mpg. When I rode a GT across the UK recently, at legal motorway speeds it would’ve comfortably managed 150 miles between fill-ups if I weren’t so paranoid about running out.



2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GX Equipment

The GX, contrary to most of the pics in this feature, doesn’t come with panniers as standard – they’re a £1200 accessory. I wish, in hindsight, I’d had the presence of mind to take them off at the hotel before leaving for the test ride and photos because although it’s common to have a demo bike available with some accessories on a launch, it’s unusual for every bike to be fitted with something so obviously not standard and so expensive.

The GX does come with cruise control, hand guards and up and down quickshifter. A centre stand is an accessory, as are heated grips (Suzuki are offering free heated grips with a range of bikes, including the GX, until 31st December 2023).

The standard, rather lovely Suzuki 6.5in TFT dash from the GT and V-Stroms is present on the GX, now with added information to match the bike’s increased functionality. Also present is a USB port in the dash.



2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Rivals


BMW S1000 XR | Equivalent price: £17,670

Power/Torque: 162bhp/84lb-ft | Weight: 227kg

Same inline four tall rounder idea as the GX, but comes with wealth of BMW class, finish and accessory options. How much wealth? Over £3000 if you spec the XR with Dynamic semi-active, up and down quickshifter and cruise control.


Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE | Price: £15,569

Power/Torque: 118bhp/75lb-ft| Weight: 257kg

Bigger, longer, heavier and slower than the GX, the Versys is a more relaxed, substantial bike than the GX – and the SE version with semi-active (plus heated grips and cornering lights, but also minus panniers) is over £1000 more expensive than the Suzuki.


Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ | Price: £14,910

Power/Torque: 117bhp/69lb-ft| Weight: 223kg

Light and agile, not even sure the Tracer 9 GT+ qualifies as a tall-rounder. But anyway, it comes with the lot: radar, cruise, heated grips, the best up and down quickshifter, panniers, adjustable screen, hand guards, centre stand – and it’s a thrilling, engaging, comfy and practical machine.


2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Review Details Price Spec_1022


2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000 GX Verdict

It’s been a long journey to get here, so congrats on making it this far – there’s a lot of tech on the Suzuki to wrap our heads around. But when the noughts and ones have settled, what’s the overall verdict on the Suzuki’s first tall-rounder and first semi-active bike?

It’s a mixed bag. On the face of it the bike is a step up in Suzuki quality – it looks and feels more premium than any other current Suzuki, but its price is better than competitive compared to its obvious rivals. It’s good value, especially considering the level of electronic specification – although one bike in particular has more for roughly the same price (ahem, it’s the Tracer 9 GT+).

To ride, the GX feels composed and competent – it’s stable as heck, comfy to a point and has plenty of meat in the engine. But it stops short of being an excellent bike in a few important areas. The motor is very powerful and super smooth, but doesn’t feel quite as instantly alive or vivacious as we’ve come to expect from other modern configurations – and there’s the nagging feeling Suzuki are over-engineering the noughts and ones that control the interface between rider and engine.

The suspension is good once you set it up to operate in the area you prefer – and, in my case, it happens to be one setting I’d stick with for most riding scenarios. I’d like to try the GX in a sportier context, on better roads and tyres, where it might have the chance to really come alive.

Suzuki have built their own version of the BMW S1000 XR and Kawasaki Versys 1000 – it’s got more power than one of them and is cheaper than either. And that will be enough for plenty of riders.


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2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Review Details Price Spec_44


2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Technical Specification

New price

From £14,499



Bore x Stroke

73.4mm x 59mm

Engine layout

Inline four

Engine details

4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC


150hp (112kW) @ 11,000rpm


78.2lb-ft (106Nm) @ 9.250rpm


6-speed, assist/slipper clutch, bidirectional quickshifter

Average fuel consumption

45.47mpg claimed

Tank size

19 litres

Max range to empty

190 miles

Rider aids

Cornering ABS, Cornering traction control, electronic suspension, multiple riding modes, slope-dependant control, Suzuki Easy Start system, Low-RPM assist


Aluminium twin-spar

Front suspension

Showa SFF-CA forks with EERA electronic control

Front suspension adjustment

Suzuki Advanced Electronic Suspension adjusts compression and rebound damping

Rear suspension

Showa BFRC-lite monoshock with EERA electronic control

Rear suspension adjustment

Suzuki Advanced Electronic Suspension adjusts compression, rebound and preload

Front brake

310mm discs, Brembo monobloc 4-piston calipers

Rear brake

Disc, Nissin 1-pot caliper

Front wheel / tyre

120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2

Rear wheel / tyre

190/50ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2150mm x 925mm x 1350mm



Seat height



232kg (kerb)


3 years, unlimited mileage



MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated



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2024 Suzuki GSX-S1000GX Review Details Price Spec_70


What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.