Friday, November 20, 2015

Ride: GSX-S1000FA

Yes - today I took the faired model of the 2016 GSX-S1000(F) for a test ride.

I have been thinking about a different bike to the Hayabusa for a couple of years.  That was prompted by the building of a future home in Hawkes Bay and then a weekly commute to Wellington for work.  No, not on the Hayabusa, it stayed in the bay and annual kms dropped dramatically.  Different rides indicated a different type of motorcycle to fit my emerging new pattern of use.

Hawkes Bay offers excellent choices for short and longer day rides.  Whereas in Wellington I had 30kms of boring highway to get to sport/touring riding territory I have that just a few Kms from the new home.   Age is also a factor and I am finding the Hayabusa a little heavy and while a beautiful long distance machine a lighter more nimble machine will be easier for me to manhandle.  I don't want to lose the Hayabusa but there is only room for one bike in the garage!

Research has been ongoing and I considered going back to another Speed Triple or a Street Triple, to stay in the Triumph club - still have lots of Triumph tee shirts.  Other bikes considered; sport - Ducati 800 naked,  MV Agusta,  BMW RNineT, Kawaka,   and; adventure - especially Triumph Tiger 800.   So my head has been all over the place.   Then Suzuki came into the scene with an upright riding sports bike that could tour.   Now considering I toured a bit on the Speed Triple - the touring label doesn't influence me that much.  Most bikes can be used to tour on in New Zealand.

So I reevaluated what type of bike I should have, given that I could only own one bike - at a time. In Hawkes Bay my rides will be almost always day rides in good weather, on nicely sealed roads and with plenty of corners. Near to me are the playgrounds of Middle Road, Kahuranaki Road, Puketapu, Taihape Road and a day excursion could include Wairoa, Gisborne, Taupo, Taihape and the fringes of southern Hawkes Bay.  An upright sports or sports tourer is the best fit for my assessed need-to-ride.  I had thought my next bike could be a more exotic brand than Suzuki and lets face it, other than the Hayabusa and GSXR the zook is a bit ordinary.

I think the GSX S1000 is a winner for Suzuki and apparently all on shipment have been sold or pre-ordered. Yesterday I stopped to view the bikes in the Hastings Suzuki dealership and they had a demo GSX-S1000FA.  Today I took it for a short ride up Taihape and a few kms of Ohiti Road.  The professional reviews rate this bike and I have little to add other than my agreement on the issue of the throttle sensitivity.  I was surprised with the gear ratios, which I liked and very different to the Hayabusa;  the GSX-S is a joy to work up and down the gears (like my old Speed Triple) whereas having that gear changing fun on the Hayabusa requires warp speeds.  The GSX-S ticks so many boxes and I will learn how to manage the throttle.

BTW:  just read Geoff James blog - he replaced his Street Triple with the naked model.  And, in Hastings a 2013 Speed Triple was traded on a GSX-S1000; is that not an endorsement of how good the GSX-S1000 is?

I will probably choose the faired model rather than the naked.   The demo model felt a bit like a naked with a small screen but maybe that is because I ride the ultimate wind tunnel bike in the Hayabusa?

Next year?