Once upon a time, the biggest, baddest superbike you could buy was the Suzuki GSX-R 1000. But, as technology marched on, the big Gixxer was eclipsed by offerings from the other Japanese manufacturers, notably the Kawasaki ZX-10R and Yamaha R1-M.

This is set to change at the end of this year, as Suzuki plans to launch the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 L7 by year-end. According to a source in Suzuki Assemblers Malaysia, the “King of the highway,” as the GSX-R is popularly known amongst local superbike aficionados, will be making its Malaysian debut towards the later part of the year.

Although no specific details such as a launch date or price were provided, Suzuki Assemblers Malaysia is looking to raising its market profile after several years out of the spotlight. To that end, a dealer superbike racing team, Team Suzuki Hiap Aik Racing, has been established, along with support from Suzuki Assemblers Malaysia.

Carrying a a 999 cc inline-four, liquid-cooled engine, the big Gixxer’s mill comes with a steel ball-driven variable valve timing (VVT) system that acts on the intake cam by sliding the lobes along the shaft to alter the profile. Suzuki says this will produce top-end power without sacrificing anything lower down the rev range.

Suspension design for the Suzuki GSX-R 1000 L7 is also new, with Showa’s fully adjustable and race developed Balance Free front fork, coupled with the Balance Free Rear Cushion (BFRC) fully adjustable shock from the same manufacturer to keep the skeletal forged and welded swingarm in place.

The 2017 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 L7 also comes with traction control, ABS, electronic throttle, launch control and quick shifter in a package designed for the racer and serious track day rider. It will be interesting to see how the new Gixxer will stack up against the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, which will be launched in Malaysia soon.