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That the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 was coming in the new year was no surprise at all, with Suzuki making an official announcement of the Gixxer replacement as far back as 2015. What was anticipated were the changes that were going to be made to Suzuki’s flagship superbike, and it was well worth the wait.

Top of the list is the variable valve timing (VVT) system in the GSX-R1000. A completely mechanical system – as dictated by MotoGP rules – a cluster of ball bearings is driven by centrifugal force to change the cam orientation and affect valve timing for top-end power.

Suzuki claims the big Gixxer will produce 199.2 hp and 117.6 Nm of torque. According to a Motorcycle News report, Shinichi Sahara and Eiji Sasaki, GSX-R chief engineer and engine project leader respectively, have said the GSX-R1000 engine gets a power boost from “about 10,000 rpm.”

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The GSX-R engine is also physically smaller, with paired velocity stacks – long and short – in the inlet tract to produce both mid-range and top-end power. The Gixxer comes in two flavours for 2017, the base GSX-R1000, and the more race oriented GSX-R1000R.

Differences between the two include the suspension, where the ‘R’ model gets Showa’s Balance Free Fork (BFF) and Balance Free Cushion (BFRC) rear shock, while the base model makes do with the Showa Big Piston fork. Apparently, Suzuki test riders did not find any advantages to a semi-active suspension setup during development, so the Gixxer’s suspension is an all-mechanical setup.

However, electronics are now the norm in the world of superbikes, and the 2017 GSX-R1000 is no different. There are three engine modes, a six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), traction control with 10 settings, and cornering ABS. The GSX-R1000R, in addition to the base model’s electronics suite, also gets launch control and an up-and-down quickshifter.

Instruments in the Gixxer’s cockpit are also all-new for 2017, with the base GSX-R getting a black-on-white dash, while the R gets the inverse. Lighting now uses LEDs at both ends of the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000, and the GSX-R1000R gets a pair of LED DRLs.