Worldwide Press Test Ride for The Supreme Sport Crossover, GSX-S1000GX
Just days after the announcement of the GSX-S1000GX at the Milan EICMA show, Suzuki organised a test ride for the world’s motorcycle media. Held in Lisbon, Portugal, the gathering ran from Sunday, 19 November, to Friday, 24 November. The journalists had an opening day of technical briefings followed by two days of test rides designed to simulate the long touring experience and to let the riders really appreciate the allure of the new Supreme Sport Crossover. With test rides of around 350km over the two days, the 48 media representatives from 14 countries, from Europe, North America and Asia, were able to put the GSX-S1000GX through its paces. These test rides allowed them to experience and evaluate the look and feel of the newest GSX model with its various electronic control systems and the first electronic controlled suspension in a Suzuki motorcycle.
The media also received briefings from development staff about the most advanced motorcycle technologies put into the model describing the thinking and effort that went into bringing the GSX-S1000GX to life. After providing detailed information about the appealing points of the model, the engineers took questions directly from the press to answer issues that had not been raised or where they could use further clarification.
Featuring a mix of urban areas often paved with cobblestone, open highways, twisting mountain roads, and portions along the scenic coast, the press had an excellent opportunity to study the new motorcycle in a variety of environments. On cobblestone streets, the media could feel how the floating ride skyhook effect made for comfort on uneven surfaces. Then on longer open sections of road they could experience the new model’s power and control in aggressive sport riding. With favourable weather conditions, the media was able to thoroughly enjoy the event. When not out on the course, the media representatives had further opportunity to meet and talk with development staff to understand in even more detail about the model’s features and performance. The high acclaim for the GSX-S1000GX was immediately seen as the riders posted on YouTube and social media and articles praising the latest edition to the Suzuki line of heralded motorcycles began to appear on websites and in magazines around the world.
After riding a long distance on the test course and encountering various conditions, the media riders were able to fully recognise that the new model had proven its worth as a concept “Sport Crossover” just right for both sport touring and adventure with comfort.
Particularly since the GSX-S1000GX is the first Suzuki motorcycle to adopt the Suzuki Advanced Electronic Suspension (SAES), a lot of attention was focussed on how this suspension affects performance. During the opening day briefing, Suzuki engineers explained how a whole new level of suspension performance has been achieved by adopting Suzuki Road Adaptive Stabilization (SRAS). SRAS is Suzuki's new and original program which is capable of switching between high and low levels of skyhook effect depending on road surface conditions. Because of this technology the GX successfully enables comfortable riding on uneven surfaces as well as aggressive riding on normal surfaces.
In feedback from media participants at the end of their test experience, this feature was rated highly. One participant said, “The electronic suspension was brilliant. The bike performs like a flying carpet on bad ground and was so precise on good roads.” Others noted that the electronic suspension makes the GSX-S1000GX extremely well suited as a bike for long rides. Another mentioned the easy use of the riding mode. It was clear that with this new model, Suzuki has arrived as a crossover bike with sophisticated electronic suspension.
When the media began to report their thoughts on the GSX-S1000GX’s engine performance, it was apparent that from their experience with earlier Suzuki models, they already came to the table with a strong appreciation of Suzuki’s engines. Even with that appreciation, it is notable that one media representative described the model’s engine as “One of the best four-cylinder engines ever. Love the sound. It’s powerful and has a very wide power range.” Others mentioned the engine’s smoothness at throttle changes, its perfect delivery of power, and its smooth torque that “…is fantastic for real world use in cities or canyons.” For almost two decades, engines have been highlighted by both the media and owners as an outstanding feature of Suzuki motorcycles. The comments from the invited press make it clear that this proud tradition will continue.
Feedback from the press about the chassis and riding comfort of the GSX-S1000GX were also quite positive. Several participants said that the suspension is excellent, and it was also noted that handling was good and that the chassis overall, with the suspension, made a good team. One rider reported, “Riding position is perfect, and it provides both sportiness and comfort.” Another also called the riding position “perfect” and applauded the comfort of the seat and the protection from turbulence afforded by the windshield. Mentioning that the brakes are easy to control, from the test ride experience, one reported that the front, rear, engine and brakes all work harmoniously together.
And the consensus was that the GSX-S1000GX is not just a good ride, it is good looking too. The comments about the styling and design show that there is a long list of compliments from the press about the crossover’s looks. Among the aspects mentioned are the “characteristic front design”, the “sharp nose”, and the motorcycle’s “uniqueness”, in the words of one reporter, “A Suzuki with personality.” There was also mention of the attractiveness of colours, Metallic Toriton Blue and the newly developed Pearl Mat Shadow Green and the three colour schemes available.
From their comments at the close of the event, it was clear that their evaluation of the GSX-S1000GX concurred with Suzuki’s intended concept. They agreed the new model is a true crossover, a high-tech machine, that balances sportiness and comfortable riding in various situations and road conditions to fit the rider's mood and preference. For the invited media, the Worldwide Press Test Event was not only professionally rewarding but also personally enjoyable. In remarks about the organising of the test ride event, participants praised the selection of the Lisbon area for the event, lauded the excellent hotel and restaurants, and complimented the staff. In a final note from a participant from Italy, came the perfect summation of the days together. “Keep working, keep introducing new models. The world needs Suzuki.”