In the 1970s, Honda came out with a rather interesting concept. Parallel twins from the English motorcycle manufacturers were in vogue during the post-war years, and that was accepted as “suitable for road-going use.”
Taking the idea of the twinning two four-stroke parallel-twins, Honda designed its first road motorcycle with a multi-cylinder engine. With the creation of the Honda CB750, with its inline-four engine and overhead camshaft, the Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) was born.
Other Japanese manufacturers quickly followed suit, Kawasaki with the Z900, and Yamaha with its XJ and XS series bikes. But, in the late 1970s, the undisputed of the four-cylinder UJM, was Suzuki.
Beginning with the eight-valve GS-series bikes, then upping the ante with the DOHC, 16-valve GSX-series, Suzuki Gixxers ruled the roads, and endurance racing. Nothing could hold a candle to the GSX, or even if they tried, like Honda with the CBF-series, that candle was quickly melted down in the thermonuclear furnace of the GSX engine’s performance.
Which brings us to the present day, forty years on. The current Suzuki iteration of the UJM is the 2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000, an inline-four in the traditional manner. The Suzuki inline-four has had a decades-long reputation for being bullet-proof, and we were eager to see what this current engine generation would be like.