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Discussion Starter #1
I was in the market for a new bike. Kawasaki’s offerings, although good, don’t entice me. MT10 is a bit too OTT for me in all areas including price. I’d whittled it down to the above four then test rode them. Here are my blunt, opinionated and unrefined thoughts...

The MT09 has a stonking engine, smooth torque, linear delivery, and an addictive quickshifter. However the bike felt very small and short in length; with me at 6ft I was a bit cramped. Felt like I wanted to sit on the pillion seat. Might be able to be cured with different bars but riding position was like a motocross bike but with higher pegs. Handling on smooth roads around Basingstoke’s ring road system of roundabouts was truly sublime. However, onto back roads and it was awful – the shock was just so hard I was in pain and even yelped a few times over harsher bumps. Over bumps the shock wave would travel through my bum spine and concentrate in my gut where it felt like I was being punched. It was so hard it felt a bit unstable round corners as a result too. Couldn’t wait to get off it. Rear shock settings were standard on this one, apparently. The SP model might be a bit better in this area with Ohlins but it would have to be a revolutionary change for me to even consider getting one. Might be great as a sunny Saturday morning weapon to spank before breakfast, a city bike, or track day tool, but for me that’s about it. For me I wanted something more stable, larger, and tolerable on longer runs.

GSX-S1000F was marvellous. Heavier, more stable, softer, and certainly faster than the MT09 but not by much until the high revs where it was mad. Felt like a much better road bike. Screen was a bit useless though. Unnecessarily large mode switch on the left which would never get used by me. The fairing at the front seemed overly large and bulbous for no real reason. There's not a lot in the large void inside. Why add that space? Other faired bikes typically engineer use of the space inside. Also fairly crude in terms of tech (fine with me - I don't want it) and seemed like not a lot of effort put into design – ‘merely’ a parts bin of gixxer bits and not a lot else. Although a darn fine selection of parts in that bin…

GSX-S1000 felt lovely. All as above, minus comment about fairing, and the airflow on my body and head was a lot cleaner/laminar, with no turbulence or buffeting. Wind noise lower too. It had a smallish screen fitted, not sure which one, but it was a flattish upside down 'W' shaped profile when looking down at it on the bike. My experience of bikes with screens is that unless it’s of the Honda Goldwing variety then best to cut it off short and have a laminar flow of air on your helmet. That’s what I’ve done on my TDM – cut off the top third of it which makes it so much quieter with only a bit more wind pressure on shoulders. I figure that any wind you direct away from your chest is just concentrated in a more turbulent stream of air higher up, which is typically in the head area, which means you have to cope with the noise. It’s the noise, ear ringing and buffeting that fatigues me and makes me want to get off a bike on longer rides. Handling was great; nice and stable, planted, felt like low CofG, suspension not too hard not too soft, went round corners fast on roads with the odd bump no worries at all. Didn't want to get off it! OEM tyres crap though – hard, and hard to get warm, and didn’t feel like they dig into the road like on some tyres e.g. Pilot Road 5. Luggage options not great with these gixxers though so back to Yamaha to tee up a test ride on the…

TRACER GT
Very impressed – hugely competent bike with controls for cruise control, heated grips, etc. all integrated together as a technical solution through a colour TFT screen. Seems like a lot of effort put into designing this bike and making everything work. Screen was bad – I’d cut off short. Panniers designed into the bike and look good not daft. Could use this bike for anything and it’d probably do it well.

Best bike out of that lot? In my opinion the Tracer GT. Do I actually want one and could I spend over £10k on one though? No way, especially not now I’ve just put a deposit on a 2019 GSX-S1000 which is what I thought I wanted all along anyway 😊. I'm very excited indeed. It's in blue, the fastest colour...
 

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<SNIPPED STUFF> My experience of bikes with screens is that unless it’s of the Honda Goldwing variety then best to cut it off short and have a laminar flow of air on your helmet. That’s what I’ve done on my TDM – cut off the top third of it which makes it so much quieter with only a bit more wind pressure on shoulders. I figure that any wind you direct away from your chest is just concentrated in a more turbulent stream of air higher up, which is typically in the head area, which means you have to cope with the noise. It’s the noise, ear ringing and buffeting that fatigues me and makes me want to get off a bike on longer rides.<SNIPPED STUFF> I’ve just put a deposit on a 2019 GSX-S1000 which is what I thought I wanted all along anyway 😊. I'm very excited indeed. It's in blue, the fastest colour...
PREACH IT BROTHER! I've been saying this for years and felt like most people either had not a clue what I was trying to tell them or they just couldn't 'believe' it. A lower screen is BETTER as far as buffeting and wind noise are concerned. Get it so the wind blast on the highway hits at your shoulders, or just below, and you are golden. Any higher and you will be buffeted, hear the wind-blast, and not like to ride much. I've chopped the screen on my FJR, my DL-650 and DL-1000, and my Super Tenere (no...I don't own all those bikes anymore.) I would imagine a lot of "F" bike owners would be happier if they trimmed down their screens a bit. Some painters tape to protect from scratches and then get busy with the jig-saw. Test it, cut some more, test it and when it is finally right, sand the rough edge and go about life much happier than before :)



On to the important part - CONGRATS on the 'naked' Gixxus purchase! Take the slack out of the throttle cables, budget to replace the rear shock, and life will be awesome.
 

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Had an FZ-09 for 3 years. Nice motor but the GXS is way better in all areas. Tranny shifts lots smoother. Engine is smoother and the suspension in the MT-09 is barely adequate. I opted for a ZX10 shock which was a mother to put in. Even though the Yamaha is lighter is doesn't handle as well as the GXS. Spend the extra couple of grand for a major step up. Both bikes are a bit snatchy but for less than $200 you can make the gxs silky smooth. I guarantee you will never get the MT-09 to be as smooth and shift as flawlessly as the GXS. Not even a close call in my estimation and I've put many miles on both of them.
 

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My local dealer has some good prices on leftover MT-10's from 2017 I believe. They are the battleship gray with the yellow rims, the worst color combo I have ever seen. The MT-10 is already an ugly bike, the gray color scheme makes it hideous in my opinion. The MT-10 seems to have a very disjointed design in that nothing really flows together cohesively.
 

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Yea I'm not crazy about the transformer look either, but make no mistake about it that's a great bike to ride. I might have bought one but it felt cramped to me.I loved my FZ1
 

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The naked model still looks to have some wind protection in the lower torso area compared to a completely naked bike. Do you notice it? What about the downforce they claim the F version generates? Is that worth considering for better handling?
 

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GSX-S wind protection

The naked model still looks to have some wind protection in the lower torso area compared to a completely naked bike. Do you notice it? What about the downforce they claim the F version generates? Is that worth considering for better handling?
The naked bike has essentially no wind protection. I fitted the OEM "lens meter" screen hoping for a little more 'hole' in the wind, but no, still nothing. I pretty much top out at 125mph on my GSX-S1000 and then the windblast is just too much to keep fighting. I've got a PUIG 'new generation screen coming (thanks Rapido1!) and I'm hoping that gives me what I want as far as wind management on my naked bike.


Downforce on the "F" model? Hadn't heard about that. The "F" bikes weigh more but you start off with good wind protection right off the bat. Just trim the screen down until you get the windblast and turbulence off your helmet and you're good.
 

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The naked bike has essentially no wind protection. I fitted the OEM "lens meter" screen hoping for a little more 'hole' in the wind, but no, still nothing. I pretty much top out at 125mph on my GSX-S1000 and then the windblast is just too much to keep fighting. I've got a PUIG 'new generation screen coming (thanks Rapido1!) and I'm hoping that gives me what I want as far as wind management on my naked bike.


Downforce on the "F" model? Hadn't heard about that. The "F" bikes weigh more but you start off with good wind protection right off the bat. Just trim the screen down until you get the windblast and turbulence off your helmet and you're good.
One of the F's alleged benefits:
The extra weight of the faired bike means there's more oil in the forks of the bike, and a stiffer rear compression setting in the rear to firm it up. Plus, engineers say the fairing gives the bike 20kg more down force at the front at 200kmh than the naked GSX-S. It means the bike is more stable in a corner and feels way more planted.
Source: https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/reviews/bikes/suzuki/suzuki-gsx-s1000f-first-full-test
I actually had read this when I was contemplating buying an F, but before I bought mine, and I came from a naked (Yamaha FZ-07, which I had a fly-screen on). I wanted something a little more stable at freeway speeds (especially in wind and around trucks). I can't compare it to a naked GSX-S1000, because I haven't ridden one, but I can say it is rock solid stable compared to my old FZ-07, and I think the fairing contributes to that.
 

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The naked model still looks to have some wind protection in the lower torso area compared to a completely naked bike. Do you notice it? What about the downforce they claim the F version generates? Is that worth considering for better handling?
Apparently more downforce at higher speeds. I've had it up to 220km/hr and its really stable.

Ask yourself though. . How often are you riding at that speed? For the street i don't think it matters either way. The fairing also helps keep water and bug guts off of the rider. I bought the F but could have just as easily taken the naked and been happy.
 

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Apparently more downforce at higher speeds. I've had it up to 220km/hr and its really stable.

Ask yourself though. . How often are you riding at that speed? For the street i don't think it matters either way. The fairing also helps keep water and bug guts off of the rider. I bought the F but could have just as easily taken the naked and been happy.
I agree! They are both the same underlying MC. The engine, frame, drive train are identical. The engine is a freaking bulletproof gem. I prefer the F, but if I was going by looks alone, ... maybe not.
I still just love my F! :D
 

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Apparently more downforce at higher speeds. I've had it up to 220km/hr and its really stable.

Ask yourself though. . How often are you riding at that speed? For the street i don't think it matters either way. The fairing also helps keep water and bug guts off of the rider. I bought the F but could have just as easily taken the naked and been happy.
I agree! They are both the same underlying MC. The engine, frame, drive train are identical. The engine is a freaking bulletproof gem. I prefer the F, but if I was going by looks alone, ... maybe not.
I still just love my F! /forum/images/DiscoverySport_net/smilies/tango_face_grin.png
To be honest I'm not a fan of the look from directly in front. Every other angle looks sweet, to me at least. A tail tidy and flush indicators work wonders too. What a great bike and a joy to own.
 

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I think a small screen is really helpful if you are riding at higher speeds as it'll give you something to tuck in behind, but if I wanted to ride tucked all day I'd have just bought a gixxer. I love my naked GSX-S on the back roads just having fun, and no screen needed for that and the air flow is nice.

I've chopped the screen on my FJR
Haven't come across many who chop the screen on the FJR. I saw one at a meet and it got my wheels turning. Another rider gave me a screen he'd accidentally knocked off and sent across the driveway that was all scratched up. Pic below after I'd sanded the scratches out but not polished it up clear again yet. Still need to do that. I'm torn on it though and while I have a barn door for winter riding I really think I prefer the stock screen as it does seem to give more of a laminar flow. I'll probably give the shorty screen another try this summer.



OP, nice comparison on a bunch of bikes. Based on your review I'm surprised you didn't end up with the Tracer GT, I know a few folks with them and they are very happy, but then again, they didn't test ride the beast of a GSX-S before buying either. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the replies people

I think the downforce theory is made up... think about wings on cars and planes - you need a wing/winglet with air flow tuned on each side to generate a vacuum zone underneath in order to pull down and above in order to pull up. The mere presence of an angled piece of plastic such as a front fairing doesn't mean you get the vacuum zone pulling down. What you do get with that fairing is a bit of extra weight over the front and slightly further forward centre of gravity (prob a few mm, maybe a cm at the very most?) which may make a difference to handling, but whether that is noticeable or not I don't know. Riding position would likely have a greater effect on all this would it not? Prob better air flow on the F at high speed to make it more stable, but I'd say it's unlikely to be downforce.

So far so good with mine, but only been up to 70mph. Running in is a very dull affair!
 

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I think the downforce theory is made up... think about wings on cars and planes - you need a wing/winglet with air flow tuned on each side to generate a vacuum zone underneath in order to pull down and above in order to pull up. The mere presence of an angled piece of plastic such as a front fairing doesn't mean you get the vacuum zone pulling down. What you do get with that fairing is a bit of extra weight over the front and slightly further forward centre of gravity (prob a few mm, maybe a cm at the very most?) which may make a difference to handling, but whether that is noticeable or not I don't know. Riding position would likely have a greater effect on all this would it not? Prob better air flow on the F at high speed to make it more stable, but I'd say it's unlikely to be downforce.

So far so good with mine, but only been up to 70mph. Running in is a very dull affair!

I have to disagree that the downforce theory is "made up". You don't need a wing/winglet to generate a vacuum zone. That just happens to be the "most efficient" way to create one. The air behind the fairing and the protruding parts of the bike are all "vacuum zones". How well do they work? Well, the Suzuki engineers say... "20kg more down force at the front at 200kmh". I don't have any reason to believe they are lying, and that doesn't disparage the naked version. It just means at high speed, the F is more stable. and until your doing more than 70... don't worry about it. ;)
 

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There are a few posts in some other thread with people claiming the fairing doesn't do anything. I find that hard to believe, it does in fact make it nicer to ride on the freeway correct? Especially with a Calsci or something bigger than stock?
 

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There are a few posts in some other thread with people claiming the fairing doesn't do anything. I find that hard to believe, it does in fact make it nicer to ride on the freeway correct? Especially with a Calsci or something bigger than stock?
Besides being heavier and uglier.... The F is almost as cool.>:D>:D
 

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I chose the F because I believe it blocks more wind blast.

But I will admit that like a lot of women it looks better from behind. I tend to park it in the garage with the nose facing the wall.

It may not be the prettiest but it ain’t bad and gives a **** of a ride!
 
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