Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Texas Hill Country (1hr NW of San Antonio)
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36th bike? Wow. That's some bike ownership history there. Someday I should probably calculate how many I've owned. It will be less than 36, I'm sure. But you do learn something from every bike you own. You also learn things about bikes depending on where you live. For example, after 3 years living in Biloxi, Mississippi, I wanted all the airflow I could get. It was hot and humid there. And tires heated up fast, so I could get nice track tires to work there that didn't work for people living where it was cold/colder. Then there was Colorado where I lived at 7,000 feet and could ride above 14,000 feet during the summer (Pikes Peak and Mt Evans.) There I learned that a bike that had 'good' power elsewhere did not have enough power at altitude. I also learned that wind protection was crucial because it got brutally cold at times when the sun got behind the mountains. Brrr! Also, I would get better gas mileage there then I would at lower altitude. Then there was western Washington, where it was WET all the dang time. Doing a fender-ectomy was a bad idea in that location. You'd be drenched from the water coming off that rear tire. And you wanted tires with lots of silica in them for the wet weather traction.
Bikes and locations all matter. But you hit the key thing I've "learned" over the years - LIGHT IS RIGHT. Light is fun. Light is enjoyable. The fatter and heavier a bike, the less I 'loved' it. The lighter a bike, the more fun it seemed to be. That's why dirt bikes are such a kick in the pants - they weigh 240lbs (give or take) so they can be tossed around, picked up when they fall over, and feel 'quick' even if they aren't going that fast. In the street bike world, the closest we get to 'light' are sportbikes. The CBR929RR weighed 438 pounds, full of fuel, yet put out 128 rwhp, giving it a great power to weight ratio. The GSX-S1000 is the same, weighing 460 pounds but with 140 rwhp, so nearly the same power to weight ratio.
You are coming off some FAT bikes (VFR1200, FJR1300, ST1300, ZX14R, 1250 Bandit) so the GSX-S1000 is going to feel very light and nimble in comparison. But it will be frustrating at first because the rear shock really holds it back and throws off the handling. Replace THAT, and you are now riding a bike that can handle the corners and bumps while having the power to take off like a scalded cat when you want. (You'll be happy when the OEM Dunlop D204 tires wear out, as they are not that grippy. The bike really likes a new pair of 'shoes' to show it's stuff. But the 204s will be okay for break-in miles and getting a feel for the bike; thankfully, they wear out quickly, which in this case is a positive as you can put GOOD rubber on there sooner.)
Maybe you'll do a bunch of mods to the bike and decide in a year or two it isn't for you. It happens. But I think it will provide you a lot of miles of smiles in the interim. It's a really good bike for the money. Biggest weaknesses are rear shock and stock tires. Easily fixed.