Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008): Review & Buying Guide

2002 Suzuki GSX1400 Review Used Price Spec_01


Price: £4000-£7500 | Power: 105bhp | Weight: 228kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4/5


When it comes to a proper old-school retro, they don’t come much more muscular than the Suzuki GSX1400. Big in both stature and the amount of torque its monster air-cooled inline four produces, the GSX is a wonderful reminder of a time when men were men and showed off the fact through big moustaches and hairy chests... A machine that initially wasn’t even destined for Europe, when pictures of the GSX1400 started to appear in magazines in 2001 following its Japan-only launch there was a public outcry and as a result Suzuki decided to bring it to Europe for 2002. And we are very glad they did. A bike that instantly attracted a cult following, the GSX isn’t that technologically advanced but this raw nature is exactly what makes it appeal so much to its owners. It’s pleasingly basic and does exactly what it says on the tin – what’s not to like about that?


Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) Price

The GSX1400 originally cost just over £6000, which seems remarkably cheap but there again, it is quite a basic bike with an air-cooled motor and steel chassis. Despite the perceived demand, in its day the Suzuki wasn’t hugely popular but dealers did gamble on them selling and that means quite a lot were sold at discounted rates to clear stock. Nowadays the GSX has an established and passionate fanbase as there is nothing quite like it on the road, meaning prices have stabilised and they tend to hold onto their value pretty well. You can get a tatty one for around the £4000 mark but in general you need to look at spending about £5500 to get a good, low-ish mileage example that hasn’t been messed around with too much. As this is a bike that is quite a lot about show, it is worth spending the extra on a good one. Condition tends to determine price more than age and owners don’t care if it has the early twin or later single pipe look but the FE (Final Edition) model does command a small premium as it is the FE and has a cool Yoshi pipe and unique paint. As there were no major updates in its life aside from the exhaust system, buy on condition and service history over age. Unless you really love twin pipes...



  • Amazing street presence thanks to its monster engine
  • Extremely comfortable two-up cruiser
  • More torque than you could ever need!
  • The suspension isn’t great
  • It’s a heavy old beast
  • Prices are fairly high considering its age
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Engine and Performance

The GSX is a bike that is dominated by its engine, so we have to start with that. Air-cooled and with a hefty 1402cc capacity, the inline four is simply wonderful to ride and has bags and bags of stomp. More than happy to pull top gear from as little as 25mph, it is the star of the show and sounds amazing with a really pleasing low burble rather than the slightly aggravating inline four scream you get so used to on Japanese bikes. Unlike so many bikes of its age, the fuel-injection system is spot on, making low speed control simple, and it even has a six-speed gearbox! But, and this is one of the major issues with the GSX, the motor is one heck of a lot of metal and that makes the bike feel quite heavy, a fact we will explore more of in the handling and suspension section below.

When buying used the lump is very robust and with minor services every 4000 miles and the valve-clearances checked at 15,000 miles (or generally 16,000 to fit with the sequence) it doesn’t require much looking after. A very few bikes suffer from fuel-injection issues (generally just a sensor failing) and higher-mileage bikes can have coils pack up but this is to be expected on older machinery. In general the GSX’s motor is very sound, although you are advised to take it on a test ride to check the gearbox has no issues (generally it won’t) and that the clutch works nicely. There are a few threads on the internet about the hydraulic clutch system starting to feel a bit grabby and unresponsive, an issue that is often traced back to dirty or contaminated clutch fluid. Changing the fluid is a simple DIY job and is worth doing if it looks a bit dirty and while you are there, it is best to swap the hydraulic line for a braided item. If this doesn’t cure the problem, look at the clutch pushrod, which can get clogged up with muck, and check the slave cylinder for corrosion before finally swapping out the clutch plates. Some forums suggest upgrades to the slave cylinder to reduce the issue of it sticking, get online and put up a post if you are having problems.

Early bikes came with twin exhaust pipes but in 2005 Suzuki opted for a single pipe look, which saves weight but doesn’t look quite as cool. The FE model has a road-legal Yoshi can as standard, which is pretty eye-catching.



Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) Handling & Suspension

There is no way of escaping the fact the GSX is a big old girl and the majority of its weight is housed within that huge motor. At slow speed the Suzuki can feel quite a handful, especially if you are short in the leg, and when the pace ups its softly-sprung standard suspension is quite quick to protest. A lot of owners swap the OE shocks for aftermarket items, which is a good modification, and forks rebuilds are equally common. If the bike still has its standard suspension, be a little cautious. Early bikes had silver springs on their shocks while later models’ springs were red and a lot of older bikes suffer from seized preload adjusters. Always check the adjuster dial turns as if it has seized up, you can’t alter the preload to compensate for a pillion and/or huge fry-up! After a test ride, wipe some kitchen roll (or tissue) over the fork seals to see if any oil is escaping past the seal and if so, assume a £200 fork rebuild is required. Technically the suspension was upgraded in the 2005 update, not that you can notice it... That’s the suspension covered, now onto the frame.

This is very much usage-determined but you do need to be careful when it comes to the GSX’s steel frame. Although it is painted black, stone chips can expose the metal beneath and that leads to rust forming – which is especially prevalent in hard to see areas such as the subframe and also the front frame rail and engine cradle, which is right in the firing line of stones flicked up by the front wheel. Although seldom structurally worrying, the rust will need to be treated before it spreads, so give the bike’s frame a good inspecting using a torch to see into the hidden away areas. If you discover rust, use an anti-corrosion paint treatment and repaint it black. Now onto the brakes...

A major issue with the GSX1400 is its brakes, which despite being six-piston units are notoriously poor in both their quality and performance. Sticking pistons are common and they can lead to warped discs, which are expensive to replace. On a test ride, feel for any pulsing from the front brake lever and always inspect both the calipers and discs well. Rebuild kits cost about £60 but some companies completely refurbish the whole caliper, including a re-paint, which is a better route and costs about £180. While the caliper is apart, get new stainless steel pistons put in to help ward off seizure in the future, and also fit braided lines to add a bit of extra bite. Some owners swap the whole calipers for other units (four-piston ones from GSX-Rs are common) but with a bit of care and attention, the OE items can be made to work very well. And finally...

Always treat any modified bike with caution – and there are a few modified GSX1400s out there. New bars will look better but may compromise either the throttle or brake’s action and if the calipers are upgraded, are they really a good match for the bike? If possible, always buy stock aside from sensible chassis upgrades such as the shocks or braided lines.


2002 Suzuki GSX1400 Review Used Price Spec_05a


Comfort & Economy

Good and bad news on this front. Oddly for such a low-revving motor, the GSX isn’t that fuel-efficient, recording economy figures in the 43mpg range. Thankfully this is offset by a huge 22-litre tank, meaning you aren’t left continually looking for a fuel stop! Not that you will need to stop that often to stretch...

The GSX has an absolutely enormous and deeply padded seat, which is great news for both the rider and pillion. Extremely comfortable, it is a bike you can happily sit on all day with no squirming or discomfort. Well, as long as you keep the speed below 70mph as it is a very exposed riding position. Some owners fit a small screen to help deflect a bit of the wind flow but there is little point, just keep the speed down and enjoy the ride.


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Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) Equipment

When it comes to equipment, the only piece of electrical gadgetry you get on the GSX is an immobiliser, which arrived with the 2005 update. It’s an old-school bike and that means no TC and no ABS – and it is all the better for it!

A lot of owners fit aftermarket exhausts, which is all very well and good but always check just how loud it is, and screens, top boxes, belly pans and even heated grips are quite common alongside tail tidies. In general, this is where most owners draw a line but a few do get carried away and realistically these bikes are best avoided. If the bike has a non-standard headlight you have to wonder why exactly and also the level of competency the previous owner has with a set of spanners! Always go standard where possible.



Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) Rivals

Owners of the GSX1400 tend to be those who like the fact it has a huge air-cooled motor and that means jeans and jacket types. Not really a machine used for touring, it is a weekend cruiser that will probably have a few performance-targeted modifications and will also be used for riding with a pillion. Its most natural rival is the Yamaha XJR1300, which is also air-cooled, but the liquid-cooled ZRX has a cool retro look (the S model is a bit understated, the R ‘Eddie rep’ is the better option) that makes it appeal to GSX1400 owners.


Honda CB1100RS (2017-2021) | Approx Price: £7000-£9500

Power/Torque: 88bhp/67lb-ft | Weight: 252kg


Kawasaki ZXR1200 (2001-2007) | Approx Price: £4500-£8500

Power/Torque: 123bhp/81lb-ft | Weight: 223kg


Yamaha XJR1300 (1999-2014) | Approx Price: £3000-£6000

Power/Torque: 98bhp/80lb-ft | Weight: 222kg



Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) Verdict

The Suzuki GSX1400 is a really cool bike for anyone who likes old-school engines. Packed full of torque, the motor is ultra-smooth and refined and has bags of spirit and soul. There is no denying the bike is a bit wobbly when the pace ups and a heavy old beast at low speed, but in many ways this adds to its character – it’s a man’s bike and you need to be a bit of a man to own one! Is it better than Yamaha’s XJR1300? It’s bigger, which will make it appeal more to some riders, but it is also heavier and not as agile. Swings and roundabouts...


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Suzuki GSX1400 (2002-2008) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

81mm x 68mm

Engine layout

Inline four

Engine details

Air-cooled, 16v, DOHC


105bhp (78kW) @ 6800rpm


92.9lb-ft (126Nm) @ 5000rpm

Top speed



Six-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

22 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

190 miles

Reserve capacity

38 miles

Rider aids



Tubular steel

Front suspension

46mm telescopic forks

Front suspension adjustment

Compression and rebound

Rear suspension

Twin shocks

Rear suspension adjustment

Fully, adjustable

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs, six-piston calipers.

Rear brake

260mm disc, two-piston caliper.

Front tyre

120/70 – R17

Rear tyre

190/50 – R17


26°/ 105mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2160mm x 810mm x 1140mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

228Kg Dry


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