On the back of 44Teeth’s ‘Top-5 Fireblade mods’, we’ve been pleasantly and humbly bombarded with enquiries about priming other sexy steeds for transforming, headed by recent GSX-R1000s.
Ah, the good old, massively popular GSX-R. It’s like your favourite pair of slippers: comfy, dependable, perfectly able to get chucked about with minimum effort and can be used for the occasional spanking, even long journeys. But it needs jazzing up.
Like Honda’s Fireblade, Suzuki’s iconic litre bike has been significantly left behind in development and blue-chip goodies in recent years: it’s a mild evolution rather than frenzied revolution over the past decade. The upshot is the unadulterated Gixer responds well to tuning. If you’re a hardcore Gixer junkie, excuse some of the obvious. If you’re thinking of modding, enjoy emptying your wallet.
How to turn a GSX-R into a BMW S1K-beater. Ish.
Even with BMW’s own admittance, the insanely adept S 1000 RR was based on the GSX-R K5 – just with an onslaught of Germanic ‘roids and technical input added, although key parallels are still evident. While Suzuki engineers have been shy of going nuts with the flat-four, BMW’s barmy army have heaped a mass of new technology into the S1K’s internals.
The Gixer’s standard cam profile is very soft, comparing ZX-10Rs and BMWs, all using around 11mm of lift on the inlet cam. Suzuki use 10mm, which is quite a big difference – apparently.
Yoshimura and Suzuki go together like Black and Decker, and the Japanese tuning gurus knock out some seriously effectual camshafts. Before haters hate, a set of Yoshi cams will set you back a relatively measly £500. And they slip into the motor in situ. And you’ll get an instant, decent dollop of power without additional hassle – no head gasket, no aftermarket pistons.
The dyno below shows a bog-stock 2015 BMW S 1000 RR (in blue) overlaid with a 2014 GSX-R1000 (red trace), complete with Yoshi cams, Yoshi full-system and a Bazzaz fuelling module. As you can see, the fettled Suzuki matches the Beemer in most of the rev-range, only losing a touch between 8,000-10,000rpm and gaining in others. Spending big in the hunt for horsepower doesn’t get more effective than cams.
The big dip in the BMW’s curve is something to do with ram-air…
JHS Racing have raced the GSX-R1000 at the TT and short circuits, spending years developing in the process
James at JHS: “Suzuki use titanium headers to keep the weight down on the bike, not titanium for performance. Primary pipe length, bore size and the way it scavenges – it’s all about getting those exhaust gases out as quickly as possible. And it’s also all about using the energy from the exhaust gases to allow the charge and energy going back into the engine via the induction during valve overlap. Exhaust gases play a part in induction, as on valve overlap, the forces of the gases cause a vacuum to suck air into the engine.” So there.
Don’t sweat over titanium, as you won’t have a cat or an exhaust valve, but choosing a good system is essential. With the exhaust comes the necessity of a fuelling module, and a secondary module to run the top bank of injectors.
James has also spent years refining an ECU strategy: “It’s taken nearly two years to develop a map for the GSX-R, not just a straightforward ECU reflash. It also alters the engine characteristics. We’ve done one for a standard motor and one for a tuned engine, and got rid of some of restrictions. It doesn’t necessarily give more power but makes the motor more tractable.”
Playing with L-series geo
In the last few years, there’s very little to complain about dynamically. Sure, the Suzuki lacks the wiz-bang electronica and aids of more modern rivals, but it’s difficult to criticise handling after racing one for a season. So, covering the basics…
It certainly doesn’t lack steering pace or precision (only weight causes issues), so making the chassis longer and flatter by bringing the forks flat with the yokes and increasing wheelbase is worth trying, improving arse-end mechanical grip and ensuring the steering damper doesn’t have excess grafting to do.
Baron’s GSX-R1000 K7 Wishlist
“For starters, it’s way too over-geared, so add a few teeth to the rear. Secondly, she’s HEAVY: ditch the cat, get a lithium battery and stop eating burgers, basically anything to shed some pounds.
“The gearbox is lovely and solid, so deals with quickshifters well. HM now do the entry-level Superlite for under £200, and most riders will not feel too much difference on the road against the GP jizzer unit.”
Plug in, brock out
The good old Nikko G-Pack module – some rate it, some don’t, although the few Suzukis we’ve sampled this little box of tricks on are evidently sharper, and it’s £150. It works on the same principles as ECU flashing (ignition advance and fuelling), but obviously more basic. It also removes speed restrictors, if 186mph isn’t enough on the M1
The bike has the capability to register every gear that’s it’s in, putting a different resistance for each gear. The older, less complex modules sit in between the gear position sensor and the ECU, giving a fixed resistance. The G-pack gives the best ignition timing, also considering speed and RPM, making a crisper throttle.
44teeth.com reader, Mark Hendry sent us an email the other day: “My GSX-R is vibey as hell through the bars. Anyway fitted some ‘Grip Puppies’ last year…. What a difference, much more comfy. Have a look at them, cost next to nothing, piss to fit and as far as I’m concerned wouldn’t be without them.”
Got any more GSX-R-specific mods? Let us know…