If you've read the 'bad news' thread, you'll know how frustrated a couple of us are knowing that our F's are ready for delivery, but unable to get our hands on them due to the recall.
Well, my patience had worn thin enough for me to jump ship this weekend, in the direction of a BMW S1000R. Yes, I know it's naked, but having another naked bike for the next few years isn't a big deal to me. (I sold my CB1000R for the GSX-S1000FA). It's also a bit more expensive, but that would be compensated for with the higher resale value in a few years.
So I took one out on Saturday afternoon....
Firstly, the riding position (for me) isn't ideal. I found a lot of pressure on my wrists, very similar to the CB1000R, and my natural arm position was almost straight. This meant that I had to keep remembering to move my body forward to have my arms bent when tipping it into the corners. I also started feeling the pressure on my wrists after only 30 mins riding.
The engine is great, and the sound isn't bad either. It doesn't have that lovely induction sound of the GSX-S1000 but it does pop and crackle nicely on the over-run
. To me, it didn't feel any faster than the GSX-S, despite its 10% extra horses. It's pretty smooth throughout the rev range, although I did find 9000 rpm in third was really quite vibey through the seat and bars. On the plus side, the throttle response was pretty **** perfect. Filtering through traffic in town, or opening it up on an overtake, the response was smooth and controlled.
I was expecting great things of the adaptive suspension, but to me it just felt like a well planted sports bike. Maybe it was the settings I used, or maybe my balls aren't big enough to use it to its full potential. Either way, for me at least, I didn't see what it really brought to the party.
We stopped half way to have a chat (my cousin came with me an took out a R1200R) and I found my self analysing the good and bad points of the bike so far. Then I remembered back to my test ride of the GSX-S1000 and the same half way chat. I can't remember what I really thought about the GSX-S1000, all I can remember is having a huge smile on my face and wanting to get back on it.
That last bit is very telling. Yes according to the specs and reviews the beemer 'should' be a better bike, but better for who? Some ex racer journo at a press launch or an average Joe on a weekend blat? On my test ride the GSX-S1000 was fast, confidence inspiring, comfortable and fun.... all the things I want my bike to be.
So come on Suzuki, you've made a great bike, now please pull out all the stops to get them into the hands of your disgruntled owners before we run out of riding weather in the northern hemisphere!