The heyday of supersport bikes are long gone, and there is a reason why it happened. People eventually realized sports bikes and their aggressive ergonomics aren’t the optimal choice for everyday riding. People actually started to buy motorcycles based on their lifestyle. That’s why you see adventure bikes, cruisers, or sport-touring bikes more than supersports in the last few years.
The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT is one of the sport-touring bikes available with an important feature. It is an everyday sports tourer with a supersport bike character and looks, and it does not require a visit to a chiropractor after a long ride. So it definitely has less compromise and is much easier to live with as a daily rider.
Suzuki did a great job with the design of the new GSX-S1000GT. If you have already seen the previous generation GSX-S1000F, which was the same bike with a different name, there is a big change in a positive way. Now it has all LED lighting everywhere, and the front headlights give the bike an aggressive look, but most importantly, the GSX-S1000GT looks very up-to-date unlike some models in the past that looked outdated from day one. It just looks beautiful from all angles.
When you swing a leg over the new GSX-S1000GT, you will realize why it’s called a sport-touring bike. You don’t get clip-on handlebars like GSX-R models, they are surprisingly wide, located higher, and closer to the rider for more upright position. Foot pegs are located right where they should be in a sports tourer, ideal for long trips. It offers a good balance of sporty and comfortable ergonomics and is much more livable compared to Supersport bikes.
However, the riding position is not as upright as an adventure bike and it has much lower seat height, which is great for short adults. At 6’1″, I don’t feel cramped at all despite the low seat height, but I would personally choose the taller seat option for longer trips. The passenger seat is also relatively large and comfortable to get from A to B, though it might not be as good as an adventure bike like the V-Strom. You can add side bags with minimal effort, as it already comes with mounting points.
It’s great to see Suzuki responds to users’ and journalists’ criticisms and improve their products based on the feedback. The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT comes with a completely new 6.5-inch TFT dashboard that looks much better than the old LCD screen used in other models. The screen is not very customizable, but super easy to read and comes with smartphone integration, and the Suzuki mySPIN app allows you to fully utilize it.
Although I really like the screen, I think there is room for improvement when it comes to the button layout. It just does not have the tactile feel that we used to see in this price range. They do not feel cheap, but if you wear winter gloves, you will have absolutely no feeling when you try to go through the menu. It was probably the only bike that I spent a good amount of time figuring out how to reset Trip A and B. Also, you have to use both hands to fully utilize the cruise control, right hand to activate, left hand to adjust, it’s not very intuitive. However, I really like the fact that you can just disable the traction control on the fly, that’s something we rarely see nowadays.
The windscreen is hit or miss depending on your height because it does not offer any sort of adjustment options. At 6’1″ I don’t find it bad, but if it’s a windy day, you start feeling the turbulence and excessive noise on top of your helmet, and lack of adjustment means you are stuck with it. Thankfully, you will be able to find different aftermarket options, and apparently, there are four small screws holding it in place, so it should be pretty straightforward to install an aftermarket unit.
Let’s talk about what makes the GSX-S1000GT a proper sports tourer aside from the relaxed ergonomics and sporty looks, it’s the engine. The 999cc inline-4 DOHC engine produces 150 horsepower and 79.66 lb-ft of torque. If you look at the spec sheet, it might not look like the fastest bike, but the engine itself traces back to the legendary K5 engine from 2005, used in a GSX-R1000. Of course, there are big changes to keep the engine up-to-date, and it does not make the same amount of power, but it makes plenty of everyday power.
The powerband and overall feeling are what makes this engine special. Compared to the other rivals in this segment, it genuinely feels like a sportbike engine. The flywheel is very light, and as a result, it just revs as quickly as a proper liter sport bike. The GSX-S1000GT is one of the sportiest entries in the sport touring segment, it has more horsepower, revs more, and the bike weighs less than its biggest rival, the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX.
Having more horsepower and torque means you must have better brakes in order to be able to stop. The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT comes with dual 4-piston Brembo calipers matched with 310mm discs in the front, and they offer a decent amount of stopping power. The bike stops really well when you pull the lever hard with purpose, but when you modulate the lever slowly like the way you should, the initial bite is weak which does not give you a lot of confidence. I am sure an aftermarket brake pad with a harder compound would help a lot.
I think Suzuki did a great job when it comes to suspension tuning. It offers the right amount of firmness without being too harsh, which can also be fine-tuned based on your riding style. It comes with 43mm KYB fully adjustable upside-down forks in the front, and KYB shock with preload and rebound adjustment in the back. You don’t get an adjustment knob for the rear shock, which means it’s harder to adjust if you ride with a passenger. However, I really think they hit the nail with the overall feeling, it just feels compliant.
The only thing I will bring up as a negative is the tire choice. It’s a common practice that manufacturers try to cut corners when it comes to tire choice, and it’s no exception here. Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 tires have a pretty hard compound, it takes forever to warm up and they can be unpredictable at the limit. If the tire is cold or if it’s wet, the grip levels aren’t very high. When the tires are warmed up, that’s a totally different story. It works quite nicely on twisties, the chassis is very balanced, and the bike is extremely stable and confidence-inspiring in general.
If you are reading this article to learn more about the GSX-S1000GT, chances are you are already comparing it with the Ninja 1000SX. You need to decide if you want the extra refinement and better touring manners, or if you want more fun. GSX-S1000GT is definitely faster, handles better, stops better, and ultimately more fun. The exhaust note is much louder and sportier. The engine is full of drama and it pushes you to go faster, but it falls behind when it comes to the touring features.
With the price tag of $15,399 CAD, the 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT makes you question if you really need a taller sport-touring bike unless you need the extra ride height. It’s just as easy riding long distances, easier to zip around the town, or even better as a daily rider because of less weight, lower center of gravity, and lower seat height.
In my opinion, the BMW S1000XR was always the answer when you wanted a tall sport-touring bike that can handle the twisties and track days, and it was an eye-opening experience for me to see what the GSX-S1000GT can do pretty much everything for a lot less money. It is clearly not a conventional sports tourer, as it offers a supersport bike experience in a sport touring layout that we don’t find often in this segment.
|Engine||999cc, liquid-cooled DOHC inline 4-cylinder|
|Max power||150 hp @ 11000 rpm|
|Max torque||78 lb-ft @ 9250 rpm|
|Brakes (Front – Rear)||Dual 310mm – 240mm|
|0-100 km/h||3.1 sec|
|Dry Weight||498 lbs – 226 kg|
|Seat Height||31.9 inches – 810 mm|
|Top Speed||158 mph (est) – 255 km/h|
|Fuel Economy (Combined)||35.5 MPG – 6.7 L/100 km|
|Price (MSRP)||$15,399 (CAD)|