Head Cheese Duke may have gotten a chance to ride the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Phillip Island – which is probably tied at the top of every moto-journo’s bucket list of tracks to ride alongside the Mugello track in Italy – but as far as consolation prizes go, getting to ride at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, is pretty darn good. My steed? Ironically enough, the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000. While my bike may be down one R to the one Kevin rode, to underestimate the single-R Gixxer would be a huge mistake. Let’s take a closer look to why.
When comparing the double-R versus the single-R, the list of things the latter doesn’t have is rather small. From a hardware perspective, the major difference is a downgrade in suspension. Instead of the Showa Balance Free fork and shock, the single-R gets the Showa Big Piston fork and a standard Showa shock. Good bits, sure, but not top shelf stuff. The rest is down to software. What you won’t see on the single-R Gixxer Thou is a quickshifter, launch control, or cornering-ABS. For ABS-equipped models, the six-axis IMU still calculates pitch under braking, however, and will modulate the brakes if a certain threshold of rear lift is determined.
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