TAKING ON THE NORTHUMBERLAND 250 WITH A V-STROM 1050XT

The UK boasts some fantastic riding roads, including the beautiful Northumberland 250 which is described as ‘A 250-mile adventure across the land of dark skies, rolling hills and remarkable coastline’ and what better accompaniment than the V-Strom 1050XT. 

The route features a great mix of A, B, and C roads and is topped off with the Kielder Forest Drive trail, which is the ideal test of an adventure tourer's credentials. While the roads are familiar to Gordon Stuart, this was his first time following the actual route and he began his journey in the coastal town of Craster. 

“From Craster, I followed the coast north past the 14th century ruin of Dunstanburgh Castle and onto Bambrugh Castle, built some 300 years earlier,” Gordon recalled. “Riding along past these ancient castles and the distinctive coastline, one can see why this area of the Northumberland coast was designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty in 1958.”

Heading up towards Berwick and the Scottish border you need to cross to the stunning Holy Island as it is well worth a look. Although you need to be careful when you head across the causeway at Lindisfarne as it is tidal, meaning that you should check crossing times ahead of your visit. There can be periods of between five and six hours where you are not able to cross. Although, it is absolutely worth it to be able to visit. 

“The next stretch of road along the B6401 crosses into Scotland before heading back into England at Carter Bar. This slice of road is a dream to ride with lots of twisty and sharp bends with very little traffic, and views of the Cheviot Hills to the south. Due to some heavy rainfall the night before, the roads were greasy in stretches so I used the V-Strom’s adjustable traction-control and the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) to adjust the bike for the conditions. Limiting the power output and tightening up control of the back wheel was confidence-inspiring and allowed me to enjoy the roads a bit more.”

Once back in England I turned off the tarmac and got to my favourite part of the route, the Kielder Forest Drive. A spectacular 12-mile drive on unsealed forest road, from Blakehopeburnhaugh near the A68 in the east, where I started, to Kielder Castle in the west. The forest drive is one of England's highest roads, peaking at over 1500 feet with some breathtaking views over Northumberland and a perfect route to test the off-road capabilities of the 1050XT.”

After some off-road fun it was time to head back on to the road. This meant riding  through the pine forest of Kielder with stunning views of the 10 kilometer long reservoir, which boasted empty long straights and sweeping bends, perfect for trying the V-Strom’s cruise control. A feature which came into its own particularly with the various speed restrictions in the area. 

“The route south through Northumberland via Bellingham and Once Brewed are well trodden biking roads that don’t disappoint. The hidden Lamberly viaduct, a 250m long former railway bridge from the 1800s, is a delight to see although it requires parking up the bike at a nearby car park.”

The route bottoms out in the south of Northumberland within the hills at Weardale, hosting another spectacular set of biking roads and views of the sprawling countryside. These roads are busier as you wind back North up to Otterburn, via Corbridge along the A68 with its hairpin turns, undulating roads, and plenty of overtaking spots, there is much to enjoy on this part of the Northumberland 250.

“A full day’s riding was nothing short of wonderful on the 1050XT. Comfortable, powerful, and adjustable for the varying road conditions make this the perfect bike to tackle this spectacular route and others like it across the UK and Europe.”

GSX-R1000R PHANTOM AND GSX-S1000 ADDSPRING SWEETENER TO SUZUKI OFFER

Suzuki has added a spring sweetener to its current Buying Power campaign, with the special edition GSX-R1000R Phantom and the GSX-S1000 both now available on the 2.9% low-rate finance offer, which is available over three years with no deposit required and on both PCP or Hire Purchase agreements.

The GSX-R and GSX-S offer runs until the end of May 2022, and is in addition to the existing campaign running until the end of June, which includes the third generation Hayabusa, the SV650 and SV650X café racer, the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT, plus the V-Strom 1050XT and V-Strom 1050XT Tour, which adds three-piece aluminium luggage to the V-Strom 1050XT’s already comprehensive standard specification.

The GSX-R1000R Phantom boasts a 202PS motor packing the same variable valve timing technology as the GSX-RR MotoGP machine and a comprehensive suite of electronics that includes lean-angle sensitive traction control and ABS, a bi-directional quickshifter, and launch control.

Launched last year, GSX-S1000 gets a sharper new look, stronger and broader spread of power and torque, plus quickshifter and auto-blipper, selectable engine maps, and traction control.


Terms and Conditions:

PCP and HP Finance offer applies to purchases of a new 2022 (M2) Hayabusa, V-Strom 1050XT Tour, V-Strom 1050XT, V-Strom 650XT, V-Strom 650, SV650 and SV650X only from a participating Suzuki Dealership. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/04/2022 and 30/06/2022 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. No minimum deposit required. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

BUYING POWER: HAYABUSA LEADS SUZUKI'S SUMMER SALES CAMPAIGN

Suzuki’s Hayabusa leads a summer sales campaign that sees seven of the brand’s key models available on a 2.9%, low-rate finance offer, available over three years with no deposit required. Customers can choose from a PCP or Hire Purchase agreement.

The third generation Hayabusa headlines the offer, with its inline four-cylinder motor packing an abundance of power and creamy midrange thrust, plus the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) suite of electronics which includes traction control, launch control, cruise control, wheelie control, lean angle-sensitive ABS, selectable power modes, and a bi-directional quickshifter.

Joining the Hayabusa are six of Suzuki’s punchy V-twin models: the V-Strom 1050XT flagship adventure bike, which also comes with SIRS and includes cruise control, traction control, power modes, and linked brakes with lean angle-sensitive ABS, hill hold, load and slope-dependent control, and the V-Strom 1050XT Tour, which adds three-piece aluminium luggage to the 1050XT’s comprehensive standard specification.

The middleweight V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT adventure bikes, SV650 naked and café racer-inspired SV650X are also included.

The offer runs from 1 April to 30 June 2022.

PCP and HP Finance offer applies to purchases of a new 2022 (M2) Hayabusa, V-Strom 1050XT Tour, V-Strom 1050XT, V-Strom 650XT, V-Strom 650, SV650 and SV650X only from a participating Suzuki Dealership. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/04/2022 and 30/06/2022 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. No minimum deposit required. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

RIDE THE GSX-S1000GTLAUNCH ROUTE

Back in October last year the UK press launch of the new GSX-S1000GT took place in Scotland, with each member of the media spending two days in the saddle, ensuring they got the fullest impression of the bike possible. Now, with spring around the corner and people making their riding plans for the year, here’s some riding inspiration if you’re planning a trip to the land of whisky, haggis, and shortbread.

Scotland is one of the best places on the planet to ride a motorcycle. Fact. We all love a European tour (or further afield, in some cases), but the fact remains that some of the best roads and scenery in the world are on the British isles.

For the launch of the GSX-S1000GT we plotted a route taking some of the best roads – some well known, some less so – and biggest scenery, from the mountains in the west, over the Cairngorms.

Our route begins in Nairn, and is steady away, picking up the A96 to Inverness and then the A9 out the top of the city, including a short stretch of dual carriageway work (flick on the cruise control for a spell and steal glances of the Beauly Firth on your left and the open water of Moray Firth on your right).

At a roundabout join the A835, signposted Ullapool, and this is where the fun starts. After a few more miles of standard A-road stuff, it transforms into a rollercoaster, twisting and turning its way through stunning scenery; in our case trees with orange, gold, and red leaves set against mountainous terrain as we pass through in the autumn. It descends to the shore level of Loch Garve, and through the town itself, giving you a chance to back off and enjoy the views, which are just a snapshot of the things to come.

As you exit the town a junction comes up pretty quickly, at which you want to divert off and onto the A832. The twistier nature of the A835 now makes way for swooping, sweeping turns through trees, initially, before opening up as you join the shore of Loch a' Chuilinn.

And it’s stunning. This whole section, from here all the way to Achnasheen (where you take a left at the roundabout onto the A890) is all about soaking up the views: wide, desolate landscapes, with lochs and bodies of water strewn out in front of high, imposing hills and mountains, the tops of which aren’t always visible through the cloud.

Before, you’re dancing through the gears, up and down the box using slick quickshifter, jumping on and off the brakes, going corner to corner, point to point. But now, now you chuck the bike in top gear, and waft along, simply marvelling at what looks like something from Lord of the Rings.

Cruise onwards, but eventually the land rises up, and you’re plunged back into tree-lined twisties. They start shallow, but be aware, because soon the road tightens, and it’s back to flicking side to side, and for us that means using the GT’s wide ‘bars to lever them into corners.

It’s thirsty work, and, in the rain especially, mentally taxing. Luckily, there’s a café on the road into Lochcarron: the Albatross café of the Lochcarron golf club. But no one is on the course when we arrive.

Once you’ve had your fill of coffee and cake, head back the way you came, and then turn right, following signs for Kyle of Lochalsh, Skye, and the A87. This is the naggeriest section of the route, and for many of the next few miles, as the road tracks the opposite shore of Loch Carron compared to the one you just had coffee on, it descends to single track, with narrow tunnels through the rocks. However, it’s offset with views of the water.

Eventually the usual two-lane carriageway is restored, and it’s back to carving through sweeping bends. The road climbs through the trees, only to descend shortly after, gifting you views of the Isle of Skye in the distance.

On this occasion we’re skipping the picturesque island, and at the bottom of the hill turn left on the A87, following signs for Fort William.

You’re on here for the next 30 miles now, and it’s arguably the most impressive part of the route with the most dramatic scenery; the road follows the water’s edge in places, and in others snakes through valleys.

But, as good as the views are, the riding is better. The surface is incredible, with grip in abundance, even in the wet. Which is good, as the corners come thick and fast. Straights are not a thing here.

Out of the corner of your eye you catch a waterfall, a mountain you didn’t spot before, or a castle. But there’s no time to gaze for long, because a chevron board is fast approaching, warning you of the next set of corners. It’s relentless, but in a good way.

On our ride no one wants to stop, but after 20 or so miles we elect to drop into a fuel station; there’s some gas left in the tank, but they’re scarce in this part of the world, so we opt for a splash and dash.

10 miles further on and the A87 diverts south, towards Fort William, but continue on straight and join the A887. The lunch stop is on the shore of Loch Ness, and at Invermoriston head south on the A82 to Fort Augustus. Just as you’re passing out the other side, on your left, is the Highland Club, luxury apartments set in an 18th century abbey with stunning gardens. Follow the road round the Boathouse restaurant, set on the shore at the very bottom of the famous body of water.

Once suitably fed and watered rejoin the A82 south, and strap in for the final leg of the day’s ride. From here the route’s simple: the A82 to Fort William, but the riding is anything but, and you are again confronted with non-stop turns, the road snaking up and down, winding its way south. It’s also more of the same on the scenery front, as you pass through trees one minute, and run down the side of lochs the next. It’s incredible.

32 miles later you arrive at Fort William, with plenty of choices and a wide selection of hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and bars (though we recommend the Black Isle Bar).

The second day’s ride only take in 100 or so miles, but it also includes a brief stop at Dalwhinnie distillery, for research purposes, obviously, before tackling some of the Cairngorms as the route returns north to Nairn.

To start the day, rejoin the A82 and head north, but only as far as Spean Bridge. Here the road becomes the A86 and heads east. If day one was about amazing scenery with great roads thrown in, today is more about the road. Though the views aren’t too shabby either.

There’s no easing yourself into this section, the one corner links into the next, meaning you need to be scanning ahead to ensure your exit from one doesn’t compromise your entry into the next. And watch out, there are a few that tighten just as you expect them to open up.

But the rewards are worth the effort, and there’s a tangible sense of accomplishment as the road finally straightens out, and as it does so just as you arrive at yet another loch. As we cut through on our ride the sun hasn’t long been up, and is glinting beautifully off the still surface.

After passing Loch Laggan the corners return, and it’s back to attack mode, but make sure to catch the right hand turning towards Dalwhinnie, using the A889. Even if whisky isn’t your thing, the tour is fascinating.

Tour complete, taster kit stuffed into the GT’s panniers (along with anything else that took your fancy) retrace your steps back to the A86, and turn right towards Inverness and Newtonmore.

Ignore the A9, though, this route takes you under the main road north, and onto the lesser known B970.

It loosely runs parallel to the A9, but instead of heading straight, or straight-ish, it gives you something to do, and after passing a couple of small towns, it’s back to the good stuff.

On our ride we stopped for coffee and another slice of cake on the shore of Loch Insh – aptly but confusingly named the Boathouse – which is a slight diversion when you get to Kincraig, then continue on the main route to Aviemore.

After the ski resort join the A95, and follow it toward Speybridge, but pull off and follow signs to Grantown-on-Spey, picking up the Old Military Road: the A939.

From here, it’s riding nirvana all the way back to Nairn. The road is superbly surfaced with twists and turns, climbs and descents through trees and over heathland. It’s not as out-and-out dramatic as the views further west, but it is equally impressive in its own way and riding is arguably better.

Watch out at a fork in the road, where the A939 bears left, but other than just keep going, and savour every mile.

Eventually, for us, the ride comes to an end, with media guests having to transfer for flights and trains. But with more time you can add miles by heading south from Fort William in the morning and tackling Glencoe – a route press guests traversed on a 2013 Burgman launch – before heading west to Pitlochry and picking the Old Military Road further south.

But there are many great roads in the region, and now is the best time to plan this year’s getaway.

SUZUKI AND BENNETTSANNOUNCE BUSA BONANZA

Suzuki GB and Bennetts insurance have teamed up to host an action-packed Busa Bonanza, which will take place on 26 April at Elvington Airfield and give owners the chance to ride their own Hayabusa flat-out in a run-what-you-brung-style event, as well as the opportunity to test ride the new, third generation machine.

Open to all Hayabusa owners – road legal or otherwise – attendees will be able to enjoy an unlimited number of runs and will be provided with printouts recording their speed at ½ mile and one-mile intervals. A complementary photography service will also provide free images of the day.

Those attendees will also be able to test ride the new Hayabusa, launched last year, with Suzuki bringing along a fleet of six demo machines. Available on a first come, first served basis, loanees will be required to provide their licence details and a DVLA check code, or National Insurance number.

A number of modified Hayabusa drag racers will be on display and stun crowds with top-speed demo runs, while British Superbike racers Christian Iddon and Danny Kent will swap their GSX-R1000s for Hayabusas for the day. Suzuki will also display its wider product range, including the newly-launched GSX-S1000GT.

Gates open at 10:30am with standard entry £5. Runway use is free for Bennetts Bike Social members, or £10 for an unlimited number of runs for non-members.

Elvington Airfield can be found near Elvington, York, YO41 4XS.

For further information or queries, email enquiries@bikesocial.co.uk.

SUZUKI EXTENDS MK DONS SPONSORSHIP

Suzuki has extended its sponsorship of the MK Dons football club, in a deal that will run until the end of the 2023/24 season. The new deal will take the partnership between the two to the 10-year mark, demonstrating Suzuki's long-term commitment to the club and the Milton Keynes community.

The Suzuki logo will remain on front and centre on all MK Dons first-team and replica shirts through the next two seasons, while the partnership continues to extend way beyond the football pitch, with Suzuki dedicated in their support of the Milton Keynes Sport and Education Trust.

A huge supporter of all the Sport and Education Trust’s community initiatives, with a particular focus on disability football, Suzuki will actively encourage their employees to involve themselves in the partnership, both in terms of attending matches at Stadium MK as well as volunteering at events, such as the upcoming Ability Counts Day.

Stadium MK will also provide Suzuki with the ideal facility to engage with their dealer network across the two-wheel, four-wheel, ATV and marine divisions.

MK Dons chairman, Pete Winkelman, said, “We continue to be so proud of our association with Suzuki, who have been with us through thick and thin. Their backing and support through the most difficult of times in these last couple years, is something I will, personally, never forget.

“The partnership not only focuses on the football and helping us provide a team that our supporters can proud of, but also the vital work of our Sport and Education Trust and their various programmes, not least disability football.

“I think it also demonstrates the strength of Milton Keynes too, with two of the biggest names in the area working together to deliver for the people and the community. I can only see our partnership going from strength to strength as we continue forward.”

Nobuo Suyama, managing director of Suzuki GB PLC, said, “Our long-established sponsorship of MK Dons has again proved a successful and mutually beneficial partnership. Collaborating for the next two seasons will take us to our 10th year as title sponsor, which we know provides a solid foundation on which to further our strong relationship with the club. We are also proud to help maintain the support of the renowned and invaluable work that MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) do in the surrounding community.

“We are delighted to announce our further sponsorship with MK Dons; as well as reaching out to people outside our business, we also see it as a great way of building pride and engagement with our head office staff, many of whom live in and around the city. Suzuki has been based in Milton Keynes for over 17 years and we are proud to be part of the area’s successful commercial sector.”

Commercial manager at MK Dons, Andy Wooldridge, added, “To have a global brand like Suzuki willing to commit their support to MK Dons into a tenth year is massive for the football club and for Milton Keynes. Our relationship with Suzuki remains so multi-faceted. Whether it is sponsoring the SET’s disability football programme or helping to support club events, they are with us every step of the way. At MK Dons, we take a lot of pride in working closely with our partners to feel valued and appreciated and to ensure they reap the benefits of associating with the club. Our long-term partnership with Suzuki is hopefully evidence of what an attractive proposition we are.”

SUZUKI CONFIRMS RETURN TO ADVENTURE BIKE RIDER FESTIVAL

Suzuki has confirmed it will return to the Adventure Bike Rider festival, with the 2022 event taking place on 24-26 June 2022 at Ragley Hall in Alcester.

The Japanese firm will again be bringing a comprehensive fleet of test ride machines, including its adventure flagship: the V-Strom 1050XT. With a suite of electronics including lean angle-sensitive ABS and traction control, selectable engine maps, cruise control, hill hold, and linked brakes that provide clever slope and load-dependent control systems, it will be available to demo alongside the base model V-Strom 1050, and the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT middleweight adventure machines.

Those bikes will also form part of an expansive static display, while for the three days members of the Suzuki team will be on hand to answer any questions and provide information and details on its range of models and any current offers and promotions.

AKRAPOVIC SILENCERS FORM PERFORMANCE ACCESSORY PACK FOR HAYABUSA

Suzuki has launched a new Performance accessory pack for its Hayabusa hypersport machine, which comes with an RRP of £2,599, representing a saving of £1,112 over the cost of the individual items.

The standout accessory in the kit is a pair of titanium Akrapovic silencers, which save a total of 4kg and boost power by 2kW, as well as enhancing the soundtrack. Capped with a carbon fibre tip and featuring a carbon fibre heat shield, the silencers are finished with a classy, laser-etched Akrapovic and Hayabusa logos.

Billet aluminium brake and clutch levers replace the original items, with extra style coming from a colour-coded pillion seat cowl, an accessory seat with Hayabusa logo and red stitching, plus a tank pad also adorned with a Hayabusa logo in a choice of gold or red, to suit the bike’s colour.

The Performance accessory pack can be fitted at the time of purchase, meaning it can also be incorporated into any finance deal, spreading the cost monthly, and benefits from the same three-year-warranty.

With an RRP of £16,499, the third generation Hayabusa uses a heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges, making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet with more cumulative torque than its predecessor.

It gets Suzuki’s most advanced suite of electronics ever, with 10 lean angle-sensitive traction control modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS, three power modes, a bi-directional quickshifter, cruise control and a speed limiter, and three stages of launch control, all controlled via easy-to-use switchgear and managed through a neat colour TFT display, nestled between two analogue dials reminiscent of the original Hayabusa’s clocks.

Design cues from the original also extend to the bodywork, which is sharper and more angular but nonetheless immediately recognisable as Hayabusa.

SUZUKI TO ATTEND MANCHESTER BIKE SHOW AS EVENT RETURNS AFTER TWO-YEAR HIATUS

From the 2022 product range Suzuki will have its new GSX-S1000GT, offering the latest technology and all-day comfort. This sports-tourer will be showcased in its striking metallic triton blue and reflective blue colourways.

Also on display from the GSX-S stable will be the GSX-S1000, which combines aggressive looks, relentless torque, agile handling, and enhanced electronics.

Now in its third generation, the iconic Hayabusa – famed for its abundant power and imposing presence – will be displayed in it’s brilliant white colourway, following its UK debut in December.

From Suzuki’s twins range the V-Strom 1050 and V-Strom 650XT will feature alongside the SV650, with the 650s available on 2.9% APR Representative finance, with £0 deposit required and an additional £500 test ride bonus also available.

Other models on show include the refreshed Burgman 400 – the perfect commuter scooter – as well as the special edition GSX-R1000R Phantom.

Away from the road bikes, Suzuki will also display Kenny Roberts Jr’s world championship-winning RGV500 from the 2000 season, alongside the Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R superbike, fresh from winning the 2021 EWC title.

The Manchester Bike Show takes place 29-30 January at Event City, Manchester, M41 7TB.

Suzuki can be found on stand 105. For ticket information, click here

TAKE A TOUR OF SUZUKI'S MOTORCYCLE LIVE STAND

Take a tour of the Suzuki stand at this year's Motorcycle Live show, and find out just what the Japanese marque has on display.

With Motorcycle Live back for 2021, after a year away as the result of the global pandemic, Suzuki, too, has returned to the show with another display of its latest on and off-road product ranges and a collection of classic and vintage models. Stealing headlines at this year's event is the gathering of all seven of Suzuki's world championship-winning Grand Prix machines, from Barry Sheene's 1976 and 1977 XR14 RG500s, to Joan Mir's 2020 title-winning GSX-RR. Join Ian, Steve, Tim Jak and Geoff for a closer look at the bikes on display.

SUZUKI RELEASES NEW COLOURS FOR V-STROM 650 RANGE

Suzuki has released new colour options for its ever-popular V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT middleweight adventure machines.

The base model V-Strom 650 will continue to be available in the pearl brilliant white with its blue graphic on the beak, and for 2022 will be joined by a reversed option, which sees pearl vigour blue bodywork offset by white decals. A glass sparkle black scheme, with its black cast aluminium wheels, provides an understate all-black option, topped with a striking yellow beak graphic.

Suzuki's trademark yellow – synonymous with its off-road racing heritage – will remain available on the V-Strom 650XT, with RM-Z-inspired blue and grey graphics on the beak and tank. The look is completed with gold spoked rims.

The same gold rims feature on a white variant of the XT, while a classy, new-for-2022 blue paint scheme and an all-black with blue and grey graphics get treated to blue rims.

Both versions of the V-Strom 650 use the proven 645cc V-twin engine, packed with character and a broad spread of power and get traction control, Suzuki's easy start system and low RPM assist.The XT swaps cast aluminium wheels for lightweight spoked alternatives, and adds hand guards and a lower cowling as standard.

SUZUKI REVIVES THE PHANTOM WITH SPECIAL EDITION GSX-R1000R

Suzuki has revived the Phantom name with a new special edition GSX-R1000R, available with an RRP of £17,499.

Like the iconic GSX-R1000 K6 Phantom from 2006, the new GSX-R1000R Phantom is completed with a Yoshimura exhaust – this time an R11 silencer and heatshield finished in black metal magic with a carbon cap – and a smattering of genuine Suzuki accessories, including track-focussed brake and clutch lever guards, a tank pad and fuel cap trim, and a smoked double bubble screen.

A single seat cowl matches the matt black livery, which is complemented by gloss black decals. Standing out against the stealthy black colour scheme are gold wheels and gold Showa Balance Free front forks.

The GSX-R1000R produces 202PS from its inline-four cylinder engine, which uses the same variable valve timing system as the MotoGP world championship-winning GSX-RR. A full suite of electronics features a bi-directional quickshifter, lean angle-sensitive, 10-mode traction control and ABS, launch control, and three power modes.

SUZUKI REVEALS NEW GSX-S1000GT

Suzuki has revealed its new GSX-S1000GT, a new sports-tourer designed to take riders further, faster, without sacrificing comfort and practicality; it's ready to power your journey in style. Following a mantra of performance, distance, connection, the new GT provides all-day riding ability in a package designed to cover distances effortlessly, thanks to its characterful-yet-smooth 152PS engine, agile chassis and wind-cheating bodywork, and comprehensive suite of electronic rider aids and smartphone connectivity.

  • A comfortable, upright riding position means the GSX-S1000GT can cover long distances with ease, while a plush pillion seat and optional hard luggage makes two-up touring a breeze. A tall screen and wind-cheating bodywork reduce rider fatigue.
  • A comprehensive electronics suite comprises a plethora of rider aids, performance enhancing systems, and creature comforts to boost the GT’s touring ability, including a TFT dash with smartphone connectivity, cruise control, a bi-directional quickshifter, traction control, and selectable power modes.
  • A striking new face with horizontal LED headlights and position lights creates a radical new look for the GT, along with LED rear combination lights and indicators. The new style is complemented by a new seat design, slim tail section and short, compact muffler, embodying a sport touring machine built for both speed and comfort.
  • The whole package is powered by the inline-four cylinder engine found in the new GSX-S1000, which produces 152PS and 106Nm of torque, spread evenly across the rev range resulting in a smooth power delivery that builds into a strong top-end rush.

A true sports tourer

The GSX-S1000GT fits into Suzuki’s lineup as a true sports tourer, combining the perfect blend of performance, agility, stability, control, comfort, connectivity, and style to deliver a premium experience befitting the GT monika. The GT is equally at home crossing countries at speed on motorways and fast A-roads or carving through twisty mountain passes and winding B-roads.

Designed to be able to cover distances quickly and comfortably, the GT’s upright riding position is cocooned by wind-deflecting bodywork and a screen capable of diverting the air flow without hampering vision when being ridden sportily. A plush rider’s seat is complemented by a comfortable pillion pad with easily-reached grab rails and ample legroom, while optional hard luggage can accommodate full face helmets, ensuring the GT makes light work of two-up touring.

A performance-orientated chassis, engineered to be lightweight and agile, is also designed to offer a comfortable ride and soak up road imperfections, reducing rider fatigue on longer journeys. A comprehensive electronics package lets the rider exploit the superbike-derived engine’s performance, aids rider comfort and enhances the GT’s ability to cover distances effectively and efficiently.

Electronics package

The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) found on the new GSX-S1000GT helps it fill its role as a versatile sports tourer.

A ride-by-wire throttle not only delivers smooth, linear engine response that mirrors twist grip input, it also allows the rider to choose from one of three selectable engine maps, based on the road conditions or riding styles. Mode A provides the most direct throttle response and reaches the top of its power curve at a lower rpm. Torque delivery provides exciting acceleration and, true to its superbike heritage, fully leverages the power of its 999cc engine.

Mode B reaches the same level of maximum output, but features a more linear curve with softer initial throttle response, with C providing the softest throttle response and gentler torque characteristics, ideal in wet or trickier riding conditions.

A five-mode traction control system further supports the rider in a variety of riding conditions, from touring in adverse weather or enjoying a sporty ride, or whether riding alone or with a pillion or carrying luggage.

The higher the mode, the faster the control takes effect and the more proactive the system is in limiting wheel spin. The system is programmed to continuously monitor front and rear wheel speed, engine RPM, throttle position, and gear position. It is designed to immediately limit power and help prevent slipping when an imminent loss of traction is detected by controlling the throttle opening, ignition timing, and fuel injection rate.

Performance gains as well as reduced rider fatigue come from a bi-directional quickshifter, which enables the rider to shift up or down without operating the clutch lever, ensuring smoother, almost uninterrupted acceleration and slicker downshifts, working in conjunction with the Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS).

Long motorway stints are made all the less arduous thanks to the GT’s cruise control system, which allows riders to set their speed and close the throttle. Suzuki Low RPM Assist and Easy Start System make starting and pulling away or riding in slow-moving traffic easy, with just one push of the starter button enough to fire the engine, and an automatic raising of the rpm at low engine speeds helps avoid stalling.

All information from the electronic systems are displayed via a 6.5” colour TFT dash, meaning riders can constantly monitor their chosen settings, and adjust on the move. As well as showing other readouts – such as speed, rpm, trip, range, gear indicator, and fuel level – the 6.5-inch TFT display is designed to support the smartphone connectivity features of the new Suzuki mySPIN app.

In contrast to similar products that employ systems developed for use in cars, the GT adopts hardware and software designed specifically for motorcycle use. As such, Suzuki mySPIN works seamlessly on the TFT screen to enrich the functionality of smartphone connectivity. The result is a smart cockpit environment that blends riding and vehicle status updates, such as the speedometer and tachometer readouts, with pertinent information, communication and entertainment from the rider’s smartphone.

By installing the free mySPIN app on their phone, the rider can access an array of useful functions, including maps for navigation, imported contact lists and hands-free communication, music connectivity, and calendar updates.

This functionality helps the GSX-S1000GT achieve its design goal of a true sports tourer, further enhancing the riding experience.

GT styling

A true sports tourer not only combines performance, comfort, and practicality, but it does so in style, and the same is true of the new GSX-S1000GT. 

The striking face combines the pair of horizontally arranged LED headlights, new mirror design, and side mounted turn signals to create a look of advanced GT styling that proposes a new face for future Suzuki motorcycles. These elements combine with the new seat design, slim tail section and short, compact muffler design to create a sleek and luxurious image that emphasises the new GT’s prowess as a sports touring machine built for comfort and speed.

It is designed to be aerodynamically efficient, and to be easier to control and more comfortable, whether touring for long distances with a full load and a pillion or heading out for a sporty solo ride.

Luxury extends to the three available colour options: Metallic Triton Blue, representing Suzuki’s brand identity, as used on Suzuki’s MotoGP machines, Metallic Reflective Blue, a dark blue with a luxurious gloss finish, and Glass Sparkle Black, a combination of glossy and flat black.

Performance

Based on the new GSX-S1000 platform, the GT uses the same exciting 152PS inline-four cylinder engine that delivers smooth, consistent power throughout the rev range. It features a broad, smooth torque curve and a power delivery that reduces fatigue when touring at motorway speeds, but one that also shows its superbike roots when ridden enthusiastically, where the strong midrange thrust builds into an exciting top-end rush.

A compact 4-2-1 exhaust system positions the Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) system behind the collector, along with catalytic converters and stylish exhaust that not only meets Euro 5 emissions standards, but also delivers an exciting exhaust note. Aural pleasure also comes from the airbox, which is designed to reduce intake resistance while delivering an impressive resonance.

Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) gives a light clutch lever operation, reducing rider fatigue especially when negotiating busy traffic. It also mitigates aggressive downshifts from sportier riding styles, too.

All this comes wrapped in the GSX-S1000’s sporty, lightweight frame with the same superbike-derived swingarm, ensuring high levels of performance in a variety of riding and usage conditions.

Fully adjustable 43mm KYB inverted front forks deliver a smooth ride, whether touring with a passenger or out enjoying a sporty ride. Rebound damping and spring preload adjustable link-type rear suspension contributes to agility and stability.

Attractive six-spoke cast aluminium wheels contribute to nimble handling and stability, shod with Dunlop SPORTMAX Roadsport2 tyres that are custom engineered. Two four-piston Brembo monobloc front brake calipers bite 310mm floating discs to deliver strong, reliable braking performance and plenty of feel. Wide-set, rubber-mounted floating handlebars make for a comfortable riding position but with high levels of control and feel for sportier riding.

Pricing and availability

The new GSX-S1000GT will be available in Suzuki dealerships in November 2021, with an RRP of £11,599.

OLYMPIC MEDALIST DECLAN BROOKS VISITS SUZUKI GB

Tokyo Olympic medalist Declan Brooks visited Suzuki GB last week to meet the team, show off his medal, and collect his new SV650.

Brooks claimed bronze in the freestyle BMX at the 2020 Olympics, the first time the sport has been included in the Games, but when not performing backflips and bar spins in mid-air the 25-year-old can often be found swapping pedal power for horsepower.

After passing his test in 2019 but being confined to an A2 licence, Brooks was finally able to graduate to a full A licence earlier this summer, and last week arrived at Suzuki’s UK headquarters to swap his restricted SV650X for a full power SV650.

While on site, the Team GB athlete was warmly welcomed by Suzuki’s motorcycle division, and spent the morning recounting tales from the Olympic Games while posing for photos with the team.

He said afterwards, “It was great to get up to see everyone at Suzuki and to pick up the new bike. They laid on a bit of breakfast, which was nice, and it was good to chat about BMXing, the Olympics, and just talk bikes. I don’t think it matters if it has an engine or not, if you’re into two wheels then you can get into any type of bike sport, and they spent a lot of time asking about BMX, the sport, and how we do what we do.

“It was good to swap to the full power SV as well. I’ve had to spend a couple of years on the restricted one but obviously rode the unrestricted version for my test, and we went out for a bit of a ride after I’d picked it up as well. I definitely think I’m going to like having a bit more power and I'm looking forward to getting some miles in before the end of the summer.”

Suzuki GB head of motorcycle marketing, Ian Bland, added, “It’s not every day you get to hold an Olympic medal, so we’re very grateful for Declan for coming in and meeting the team and sharing his experiences. It’s an incredible achievement and one he should be proud of. It’s also great to see he enjoys bikes with an engine in the middle as well as pedals, and has now passed his test and is embarking on his own motorcycle journey.”

SCOTLAND'S FOUR CORNERS CHALLENGE FOR CHARITY

Gordon Stuart is no stranger to motorcycle endurance rides, having completed various challenges previously, from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in 2016, to crossing the Arctic Circle in 2018, all in aid of UK brain injury charity Cerebra and special care babies’ charity Tiny Lives. Originally, Gordon intended his next challenge to be much further afield, until the Covid-19 pandemic had other ideas. Forced to look closer to home, he settled on riding his V-Strom 650XT between the four corners of mainland Scotland: 800 miles – with less than 50 miles of motorway – in under 24 hours.

Continuing with tradition, Gordon would complete this ride to raise money for Tiny Lives, a Newcastle-based charity supporting the Neonatal Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. The charity supports over 750 babies and their families annually, and aims to raise £250,000 a year to maintain this support. Gordon and his wife received this support on two occasions, for their daughter Isla born in 2014 and then again with son Hugo born in 2017, with both spending time on the Neonatal Unit following premature births.

“Tiny Lives holds a special place in my heart,” he explained, “and with this ride I wanted to raise money and give back as a way of saying thank you for their care.”

In the run up to completing the four corner challenge, Gordon prepared by riding in the evenings around Northumberland and doing day routes of a few hundred miles, with limited motorway use. The challenge would be Gordon’s first long trip on the V-Strom 650XT, the do-it-all middleweight adventure machine, equipped with Givi Outback Trekker panniers and camping equipment on the pillion seat.

But at midday on Friday 16 July, Gordon set off from the Mull of Galloway, the southernmost point in mainland Scotland.

“The Mull of Galloway was stunning,” Gordon described on reflection. “I was lucky to visit on a lovely morning where from the top of the hill, where a lighthouse sits, I could see the Lake District to the east, Isle of Man to the south and Northern Ireland to the west.

“From there I headed north into Dumfries and through to Galloway and Ayrshire, following the coast between Stranraer and Girvan, before turning northeast towards Glasgow and then onto Stirling, which I reached at around 15:00, and had a brief stop.

“The ride between Stranraer and Girvan along the southwest coast was unexpectedly fun; sweeping bends, large rolling hills, with the terrain of Argyll and the Isle of Arran in the distance across the water. This made me pleased I’d ridden a route that wouldn’t have been on the list.”

After Stirling, it was onto Perth and the motorway section of the ride, which took Gordon past the imposing 220ft National Wallace Monument to the north of Stirling. On this stretch of the ride on the M9, Gordon found his V-Strom was comfortably keeping up with the traffic despite being loaded up, admitting he, “wouldn’t want to do a tour like this on a different bike.”

From Perth, Gordon headed east to Dundee through rush hour before turning north towards Montrose, Aberdeen, and then onto Peterhead where he made his next pit stop at 19:00. While there, he visited the most easterly point in mainland Scotland at Keith Inch, part of the Port of Peterhead, utilising the 650's nimbleness in town when looking for the port. From Peterhead the route headed west towards Inverness where Gordon stopped again, briefly, at 22:00.

Once back on the road, Gordon turned north to follow the NC500 route up the North East Coast to Thurso, then onto Dunnet Head, the northernmost point in mainland Scotland. It was at this point that the temperature dropped but Gordon powered on assisted by his heated vest (and an Alan Partridge audiobook!), arriving there for a scheduled stop at 01:00.

“At Dunnet Head I had a much needed, 90-minute rest in my pop-up tent, which, weirdly, was one of the most normal experiences on the trip: I was no stranger to solo camping, but social-distancing and masks was still very much out of the ordinary.”

Following the closest thing he'd get to a good night's sleep, he headed south from Thurso to Inverness before moving south-westerly along Loch Ness to Fort Augustus, where he stopped briefly again at 07:30am, before continuing onto Fort William.

“Riding south from Thurso towards the NC500 coastal route at sunrise was a delight,” Gordon recounted. “The road rides high over the plains of Caithness with unspoiled views of the northwest Highlands in the distance. And the route following the Great Glen from Inverness down to Fort William is something to behold. Again, I was lucky to ride in nice weather and doing so early in the morning meant, apart from a few deer, I had the road to myself.”

At Fort William, Gordon headed west towards Mallaig before turning south into the Ardnamurchan peninsula. This brought him on to the home straight towards the finish line at the most westerly point of Scotland’s mainland, Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, where he arrived at 11:21am, 23 hours and 21 minutes after setting off.

“The A830 from Fort William to Lochailort via Glenfinnan – and its famous viaduct – was possibly one of the best roads I’ve ever ridden on a bike; sweeping bends, dips and peaks, it was like the best rollercoaster I’ve been on with good views of the road ahead, long lochs, and mountains to the side. Great fun.”

Gordon had done it: 800 miles, all four corners of Scotland in under 24 hours.

“I was absolutely shattered but it was an amazing feeling to have completed the challenge,” Gordon said on reflection. “I was a little bit emotional actually. It was been beautiful the whole time, and it was amazing knowing I had so many people behind me.

“The bike was really comfortable, and it handled the twisty A and B roads of Scotland sublimely and was really confidence-inspiring. You can just throw it into the corners, and you know it will come out the other side where you want it to, it’s just easy to ride. It just seems such a workhorse. You can pile it high with gear and it just doesn’t care.”

Despite this ride not being part of Gordon’s original plan, he was glad he was able to make something positive out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Looking ahead to his next adventure, Gordon hopes to complete a multi-country Arctic ride to Russia (with no-less than 13 border crossings) to complete his years long ambition of riding a motorcycle across the Arctic Circle.

To donate to the Tiny Lives charity, click here.