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Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F

Motor #11
Bike #11: 2018 Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F

  • 17950 km - June 11, 2021
    Coming soon! If all goes well, coming next Wednesday. The Fireblade will be traded in and the Bandit is up for sale.
    Why this particular bike? Well, I was looking for an optimal mix of all the things I liked most about all of my bikes so far. Every bike is a compromise, so you're always looking for a sort of "best of"; and that list changes over the years, so never a dull moment... My list of wishes and requirements at this point in time:
    • An insane engine that revs like the Fireblade - although I still think I liked the ZX-12 engine the best because of the midrange torque it had over the Fireblade. So a 150+ bhp, K5 GSX-R1000 derived engine, tuned for more midrange torque, sounds like a great idea.
    • Full fairing, but a bit more relaxed (and larger) than the Fireblade.
    • Not too heavy. The Bandit was too heavy really, and so was the ZX-12. The GSX-S should be somewhere between the Fireblade and ZX-12.
    • Designed for fast road riding. The ZZR's, Blackbirds, ZX-12 and Bandit were not meant for tight corners. And the 999 and Fireblade were extremely accurate, but at the expense of comfort. And I'd like a bit of both :-)
    The only other candidate I seriously considered was the Kawasaki Z1000SX. Meets all the criteria listed above (although it is a bit heavier), and looks great, but from what I gathered it is a bit more of a touring bike that goes very fast - while the GSX-S is more of a very fast bike that can be used for touring. Small difference, but I liked the Fireblade so much that I suspect I'll prefer the latter philosophy :-)
  • 17950 km - June 16, 2021
    Got it! It looks great (the red paint is just as nice as I had hoped), and it fits - at least when standing still :-) Haven't ridden it yet, but the insurance has been arranged, so I'll take it for a spin this afternoon. Even though it is 29 degrees Celsius outside...
  • 18250 km - June 20, 2021
    Took it out for a couple of rides over the last few days. I like it! And I must say it look great as well, better in person than on pictures - that's a bonus :-)
    Some first impressions:
    • Great: The exhaust is civilized, even without a db-killer, but not too quiet. So a big improvement over the Fireblade.
    • Great: Wind protection is perfect for me. No weird turbulence but you can still feel the air rushing by, which I prefer over a "car-like" experience that a real touring screen would provide.
    • Great: Brakes as just fine - also the rear brake, which feels (and works) a lot better than the Fireblade and Bandit.
    • Great: Very little vibration in handlebars or footpegs. A lot less than both Fireblade and Bandit.
    • Great: Gearbox and clutch, both work perfectly.
    • Good: The Pirelli Angels STs are fine; a bit more movement on ridges and road repairs that I'd like, but no problem. I should have checked the tire pressure beforehand though - front was 2.5 bar but rear was 3.1... Setting that to 2.5 front and rear did improve things.
    • So-so: At high speeds the bike is a bit sensitive to crosswinds. At one time this caused a slight speed wobble - nothing dramatic but I didn't expect it either. Maybe better rear suspension would help.
    • So-so: Very direct throttle response. A known issue on this bike, and it is manageable, but smoothing this out would be nice. Also the on-off effect is a bit annoying, as expected. But both are about a bad as on the Fireblade (maybe a bit worse), so I can live with that for now.
    • Bad: Rear suspension. The front is fine but the rear is a pogo stick really... Both the Fireblade and the Bandit were a lot better at handling the speedbumps around here - the GSX really hurts your back if you go at even half the speed I managed on the Fireblade. So that has to be fixed. I checked all the suspension settings, and they were all set to factory settings.
  • 18xxx km - July 9, 2021
    For the rear suspension, the factory setting is: preload 4, rebound 1 turn cc.
    After playing around with it, I settled on this setup: preload 6, rebound 1/2 turn cc.
    That's the best I can manage with the standard shock I think. It's surely not perfect; quite stiff and a bit uncomfortable on bad surfaces, but at least the pogo effect is almost gone and fast corners are stable and precise.
    Still some speed wobble issues though. Maybe adjusting the front fork will do some good, so I guess I'll try that someday, probably...
  • 20081 km - March 25, 2022
    Only the second outing this year (I took it for its first run of the year two weeks ago) - the weather has not been great.
    The bike runs absolutely fine - all very confidence inspiring, except for the small issues mentioned before. And the rear shock is really getting on my nerves (and it hurts too... ), so I will add that to the to-do list.
  • 20780 km - June 10, 2022
    Spent the day with Ruud tinkering with the bike. We changed the oil and oil filter, but more importantly we changed the throttle tube and installed the heated grips.
    All in all that took all day, but 80 % of the time was spent on the heated grips (and messing around with the left side panel to get to the oil filter, what a nightmare to get that off and on again).
    But it sure was worth it, especially the throttle tube. Throttle response has improved A LOT, so that mod comes highly recommended. The snatchy pickup in slow corners is gone, and small bumps no longer cause you to change speed (which was very annoying and felt quite amateurish as well...).
    I don't think any ECU remapping, Power Commander V, Throttle Tamer, TPS adjustment, etc. is needed after this, I am quite happy with it as is. See the "Options & Extras fitted" section below for details on part numbers.
    Ruud will order a Hyperpro SU10-1AJ rear shock. Once that has arrived we will fit that and change the tires as well, along with some new front brake pads.
  • 21297 km - September 3, 2022
    I wonder why I never scrape the ground with the "hero blobs" (also known as peg scrapers or lean feelers) on this bike.
    Probably my riding style somehow, but looking at the rear tire wear I don't think I'm taking corners any slower than with previous bikes. I'm just a few millimeters from the edge, so I would expect the blobs to warn me I'm starting to "run out of rubber" :-)
    The Fireblade doesn't count really - it had no hero blobs :-) - but with all the other ones I scraped them on a regular basis.
    Hero blob Rear tire wear
  • 22115 km - March 20, 2023
    The first ride of the year - again the weather has not been great, and we were quite busy moving house the last couple of weeks.
    Again the bike runs absolutely fine, no problems whatsoever. The tires really need to be changed though, and some better fuelling would be nice. I will give Ruud a call soon, and also ask about the status of the Hyperpro - waiting 10 months for a rear shock is a bit much...
  • 22895 km - June 2, 2023
    Another day spent with Ruud. We changed both tires to the Pilot Power 2CTs, changed the front brake pads + oil, installed the db-killer, and mounted the Hyperpro rear shock (I chose a black spring over the purple one).
    The Michelins are (as expected) a big improvement over the Angel STs - which were fine, but the difference really is significant. Steering is lighter but also more precise, cornering is just "point and go". I went for the 190/50 - 55 has a reputation for being better for this bike, but I cannot imagine it would be. This is perfect for me.
    The rear shock is also noticably better. Just about as stiff (factory settings) as my settings for the stock one, but it handles bumps and surface changes much better somehow. So just a better shock really :-) As expected the front seems fine, and in balance with the rear now, so I don't expect I will be changing the settings a lot from the factory setup.
    Rear shock de-installed Rear shock installed
  • 23738 km - September 15, 2023
    The battery charger seemed a bit unhappy with the battery condition, so I put in a new one (same Yuasa YT12A as before).
    Nothing much to report apart from that, the bike runs just fine and I'm gettng more and more comfortable with it. So comfortable in fact that I did 2 spontaneous wheelies last time out, coming out of slow corners.
    And I used the traction control for the first time. I wasn't 100% sure if I had ever used it before, because I had no idea if the indicator would stay on long enough for me to notice. Turns out it flashes for about 5 seconds, so it's hard to miss. That was fun :-)
    Only thing that may need some attention is the clutch. For some reason I don't really get along with it - I find it a bit snatchy (is that a word?) and unpredictable. Maybe it's just me, but it would be worth taking a look next time with Ruud.
  • 23950 km - March 3, 2024
    First ride of the year! It's been a long time, the weather has been [fill in explicit term of your choice].
    The bike is absolutely fine, just needed to put some air in the tires (both were 2.25 bar) and press Start.

Maintenance and parts
km tires oil oil filter brakepads airfilter sparkplugs battery chain other
Previous owner
9195 new license plate holder, led indicators
17473 new new new new 12000 service, new brake fluid
17950 good as new
20750 new new new throttle tube, heated grips
22895 new new front + oil new rear shock, new db-killer
23738 new

Options & Extras fitted

To do (in this order)

  • Check the clutch with Ruud.

To do (maybe)

  • Fuelling: Probably not needed after the throttle tube change, but maybe ECU remapping, Power Commander V, Throttle Tamer, TPS adjustment, etc.
    I would probably go for a Woolich ECU remap, e.g. at Druijff Racing.
  • License plate holder: It tended to work itself loose while driving, so it tilted upwards - tightening everything up has cured that. But the cables for the rear indicators could be tidier.


Motor #11