Suzuki unveils new GSX-R1000 superbike and Gladius 650 naked in Paris
By Loz Blain
September 25, 2008
September 26, 2008 Suzuki has given us our first glimpse at a completely redesigned GSX-R1000 for 2009. With very similar looks to last year's model, it's a completely new bike with a new, more powerful shorter-stroke 1000cc engine that's nearly 6cm more compact than last year's from front to back. Thanks to the new engine, the bike's overall wheelbase has been reduced by 1cm and the swingarm has been lengthened for better suspension performance. The Japanese motorcycle giant also unveiled a brand new nakedbike featuring a revised SV650 v-twin engine. Suzuki hasn't announced whether the Gladius will replace the SV650 or whether the 2 v-twin middleweight nakeds will sell side by side.
It's certainly silly season for new bikes - in the last couple of weeks we've seen Honda's new Combined ABS CBR600RR and CBR1000RR, a brand new ZX-6R from Kawasaki, Aprilia's RSV4 superbike launch, a brand new Yamaha R1, the new Ducati Monster 1100 and 1100S - and now Suzuki have played their hand for 2009 with the announcement of a full major update to the GSX-R1000 superbike and a brand new naked 650cc roadster.
A power figure of 192 horses is being bandied about for the new Gixxer - but not yet by Suzuki themselves, so don't take that as gospel. Either way, it'll be more than enough for the road - what will be most interesting will be seeing how the GSX-R stands up against the new power delivery models of the uneven-firing-order 2009 R1 and the V4 Aprilia RSV4.
The Gladius, meanwhile, is a utilitarian-looking naked featuring a tuned-up engine from the long-time favourite SV650. The funky looks of the GSR600 seem to have been adapted for this narrower twin, and it's good to see the middleweight naked streetbike category, a huge seller through Europe, expanding - even if the Gladius might spell the end for the venerable SV.