2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and 2009 Suzuki Gladius - First Look

A new Gixxer 1000 and a possible replacement for the SV650?

2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 and 2009 Suzuki Gladius - First Look

Suzuki made a big splash in Paris on September 25 with the announcement of an all-new 2009 GSX-R1000 supersport machine and a possible replacement for the U.S. market's SV650. For now, details are scanty—American Suzuki will show its '09 wares at the dealer show in Las Vegas on September 29—but from photos and what information there is, the new Gixxer is truly all-new, with several important changes. The likely SV650 replacement, called the Gladius, has an all-new chassis and revised 650cc V-Twin motor.

The new 1000 looks a lot like the redone-for-2008 GSX-R750, probably sharing similar components in classic Suzuki fashion. The engine is all-new, and shorter then the old 1000 by almost 2.4 inches. This means the redesigned swingarm can be longer, while shaving .4 inches from the wheelbase. Power should be up from the 2008 model, as the new engine gets more-oversquare bore and stroke numbers (74.5mm x 57.3mm, compared to the 73.4mm x 59.0mm figures of the old bike) and a bump in compression to 12.8:1. Also new is the underslung GP-style exhaust, doing away with the twin cans of the old bike. The chassis also gets major revisions, with a new frame and Showa Big Piston Forks—similar to what Kawasaki is using on its new-for-'09 ZX-6R. Pricing for U.S. models has not yet been announced; expect it to be a few hundred dollars more than the $11,499 sticker of the 2008 GSX-R1000.

The Gladius seems to be aimed at a less performance-oriented crowd, so sporting SV buyers will have to be satisfied with the old-model SV650S if it's still available for 2009. The motor is a revised SV650 unit that is probably tuned to be more user-friendly, the seat is lower, and the chassis is a composite steel trellis and cast aluminum job that is suspiciously Ducati Monster-like. Styling will likely be a point of contention for SV faithful with its swoopy, organic shapes. It will have optional ABS, and likely be priced less than the $5999 2008 SV650.Stay tuned for more information as it comes in.