Colemans Powersports in Woodbridge, VA kicked off their bike season with an annual open house Spring Block Party with music, food, and of course entertainment. This year was special however. Colemans brought out Suzuki for an opportunity to demo their fleet of 2012 motorcycles including the legendary Suzuki Hayabusa, the lighting quick GSXR 1000, and the highly sought after Boulevard M109. Yes, not your typical Open House. “It’s not often you get a chance to demo a bike before buying one, so we wanted to provide the community with something unique,” says James Wells, Coleman’s General Manager. “This is just the first of several special opportunities we plan to offer our family of riders this year,” he continued.
Although the weather forecast called for rain with below average temperatures reaching no higher than 55 degrees, the demo ride opportunity was still a go. So I donned my full leather suit and set course for Colemans to take advantage of this prime opportunity to demo the 2012 GSXR 1000. The current GSXR 1000 has a few very noteworthy enhancements from the previous model. One immediately noticeable change is the drop of the second exhaust canister. This obviously reduces the weight as well as cleans up the bulky look. The second mod I noticed was the addition of the grippy gold Brembo monobloc calipers with unreal stopping power. Other noteworthy improvements aesthetically speaking, included black tube forks, red pinstripe wheels, a new instrumentation and new color options.
The riding position on the bike was extremely comfortable. The suspension setup was just right for my size, however it could be adjusted as needed to accommodate various sizes and preferences. Within minutes, I was leaning left and right throughout the corners with ease. On the straight-aways, the throttle response was immediately powerful. When you whack the throttle in first gear you will either spin the rear wheel or stand the front wheel up, so do so cautiously. When cracking the throttle coming out of the curves, the GSXR 1000’s improved acceleration was abundantly noted, but I was able to quickly adjust thanks to its new compact twin-spar frame.
Introduced back in 2007, the GSXR 1000’s Drive Mode Selector is still a phenomenal feature found on the current model. This system allows the rider to select from three modes with varying power settings accessible via a switch on the left handlebar and displayed as A, B, and C on the instrument panel. The “A” setting gives the rider a very sharp throttle response. The “B” setting offers the rider an above average throttle response. The “C” setting gives the rider a soft throttle response mainly recommended for rainy conditions.
Yes, I know this is a huge testament, but I can assuredly say the 2012 GSXR 1000 is the best overall sportbike I have ever ridden to date. With the combination of power, comfort, braking and speed, it’s easy to see why it ranks as one of the top sportbikes produced. My ride consisted of city, highway and back-roads, each of which the GSXR handled with comfort and ease. I was actually happy the conditions were less than ideal as it gave me the opportunity to truly test the Drive Mode settings.
With such an incredible basis to start with at a relatively modest MSRP of $13,799, I can only imagine the performance and possibilities once a few after-market modifications are made. For more information visit suzuki.com