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Suzuki GSX-R day at Snetterton

Wed, 21 Jul 2010

I have to hold my hands up and make a confession. I have completely changed my mind about Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 K9.

Back in the depths of winter I rode our long termer and found myself (without trying) doing jail-sentence speeds by doing nothing other than short shifting through the gear on half throttle. I washed my hands of it and personally delivered it back to its rightful owners.

In the back of a van.

I then scribbled a furious, 'angry from East Midlands'-style piece about being bummed in prison and generally chastised the mind-set that deemed this kind of road performance necessary.

Then, only yesterday, I discovered the GSX-R’s real stomping ground. Free from police, uninsured Transit tipper drivers and any road side furniture. It was a place in deepest Norfolk. It was Snetterton.

For starters, the GSX-R K9 is stupidly light. Like a 600.

But it’s the sheer speed and power that knocked me for six. Coming onto the massive back straight in second gear, you just catch sixth (stock gearing) before the tricky braking zone at the end. That’s an indicated 170mph plus.

But it’s the ferocious way it accelerates through the gears that impressed me the most. Relentless. And not in the sugary caffeine sense, either.

100-170 is demolished in quickly counted seconds.

And bugger me does it handle well. On stock suspension, stock Bridgestone rubber and stock rubber brake hoses it’s amazingly good. It hits apexes with almost telepathic ease. It holds a line (especially through the tooth-clenchingly fast Corams) with uncanny accuracy. It’s bloody amazing. Apart from the rubber brake hoses. Two laps in and my lever was beginning to come back to the bars and as I’m rubbish at four fingered braking this hampered my lap a bit. Check out the clip on the video where a Suzuki racing monkey (Tommy Hill?) stuffs it up my inside going into Corams for proof of my wimpy braking points.

So that’s that. Just don’t let me near one on the road. I don’t have the will power to ride it slowly.

Y’see? The problems me, not the GSX-R.

Confession over.

By mark forsyth

See also: MotoGP racer. 200mph. Sulby Straight, Suzuki GSX-R1000 Assembly [video], Don't you wish your lips were this soft?!.