Roland Brown describes how it was, riding a Suzuki GSX-R1100 for the first time, in 1986. And how the bike feels to ride now, in 2012...
For the December 2012 issue of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure, eminent bike journalist Roland Brown reminisces about one of our favourite sportsbikes of all time – the Suzuki GSX-R1100. He remembers how it felt when he rode a GSX-R1100 for the first time, in 1986, and compares that to how the old Gixxer feels to ride now, 26 years later. Here are some excerpts from what Brown has to say about the old warrior:
On riding the Suzuki GSX-R1100 back in 1986
“I don’t recall the first time I rode a GSX-R1000 in 2001, but I’ll never forget my first blast on its famous forebear back in 1986, because the GSX-R1100 wasn’t just the world’s fastest and best sportsbike, it was quite simply in a different class to everything else on the road. I’d barely ridden two miles from Suzuki’s base in Sussex when the opportunity came to confirm that this bike was something special. The GSX-R1100 accelerated so hard on a long, uphill straight that it almost left my stomach behind on the road. And when I tipped it into a curve at well over 100mph, the Suzuki was so rock steady, it felt as though it could have gone much faster still, with no problem at all.”
“Along with just about everyone else fortunate enough to ride the GSX-R1100 in the spring of 1986, I spent my first few days recalibrating my brain to understand just how fast a roadgoing motorcycle could be. The powerful [125bhp at 8500rpm], light and streamlined Suzuki was searingly fast in a straight line. And its combination of agility, high-speed stability and braking power surpassed that of the lookalike GSX-R750 that had stunned the superbike world on its launch a year ealier.”