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Ted Struik - Oracle Development
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'95 Kawasaki ZZR 600
'94 Kawasaki ZZR 1100
'91 Honda CBR 600 F2
'95 Kawasaki ZZR 1100
'99 Honda CBR 1100 XX
'00 Honda CBR 1100 XX
'02 Kawasaki ZX-12R (NL)
'05 Ducati 999 (NL)
'08 Honda Fireblade
'07 Suzuki Bandit 1250A
'18 Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F
16 inch Bandsaw
Trunions and table
Alignment and more
Box Joint Jig
Strip Sander XL
Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F
Bike #11: 2018 Suzuki GSX-S 1000 F
- 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 :-)
- 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...
- 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 tyre 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.
- 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, 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...
Maintenance and parts
licenseplate holder, led indicators
12000 service, new brake fluid
good as new
Options & Extras
Pirelli Angel ST, good as new
Yoshimura slip-on R11 (no db-killer)
Barracuda licenseplate holder
Barracuda led indicators (front and rear)
Battery charge lead for the Optimate III charger
EVO Trial tank bags
front wheel chock
rear wheel paddock stand Xtreme
, both black
Heated grips: Use the ones from the Bandit, those are fine.
Suspension: Front is fine, but the rear certainly isn't. I'll play around with the rebound and damping settings, but I don't have a lot of confidence in that really. So a rear shock upgrade like a
is an option.
Tyres? The Angel ST's are more of a sport-touring tyre than my favourite 2CT's, so we'll see. They might be perfect for testing the traction control however :-)
Fuelling: I can live with it, but an improvement would be nice - so maybe ECU remapping, Power Commander V, Throttle Tamer, TPS adjustment, etc. The ZX-12 and the Fireblade both had similar issues, but the GSX seems a bit worse in that respect.
So some options are:
Woolich ECU remap, e.g. at
Change the throttle tube to that of the 2019-2020 model GSX-S 1000 (which is the same as for the Katana 2020). So replace
. Some more info
2016 Owner's Manual (html and pdf).
2018 Owner's Manual (pdf).