Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1: The First Gixer 1000
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Suzuki GSX-R1000 K1: The First Gixer 1000

By JeffWare - 12 September 2023

Words: Jeff Ware

In 2000 Honda uprated the CBR to 954cc, Yamaha had the YZF-R1 and Kawasaki, less impressively, continued with the ZX-9R. But Suzuki were still in 750 land. And despite winning races on track, the 750 was falling behind the 1000s in sales. Something had to happen.

The traditional blue and white was the most popular by far.

The result was the mighty GSX-R1000. From the start, the GSX-R dominated – with 142RWHP to the R1’s 130. It was also light and extremely compact for its day. I still remember seeing one for the first time when I was a journalist at Two Wheels. Man, did it look trick.

It looked just like the current GSX-R600 and 750 but had 1000 on side of it. Amazing.

They were narrow for a four-cylinder bike of the era.
The taillight and 6in wheel with 190 tyre looked awesome.

The K1 1000 frame is essentially a 750 – as is the fairing aside from the bellypan. The rear tyre was a whopping 190-section on a big 6in rim and the gold coloured fork tubes looked so, so sexy. Not to mention the massive six-pot calipers.

Everything was trick from the forks to the headlight and frame.
Stripped back, the K1 looked like a 750, but it had a 1000 motor!

And just as the horsepower wars were taking off with most 1000s punching out between 125 and 130 rear wheel horsepower, the GSX-R stomped out a massive 140-plus at the rear Bridgestone. It pretty much ended the war!

The engine is legendary, so much awesome grunt!

It was an amazing figure for what was basically an under tuned bored (1mm) and stroked (59mm was longest in class) GSX-R750 engine. Tuners would soon be getting well over 160hp at the wheel. Life for us sportsbike riders was changed forever…

Slender, light and highly powerful, the K1 was considered nuts! 

The 73mm pistons were lighter than the 750s 72mm items and the 1000 had a trick dual butterfly throttle-bodies. It also had an oil cooler and a crankshaft counter-rotating balance shaft.

We had the R1 but the GSX-R1000 was next level, check it out!

To say that the GSX-R1000K1 changed the face of sportsbikes forever is an understatement. It was smooth, torquey, rideable yet with huge top end and it dominated on the streets and on the racetracks.

Basic, race-style dash. A lot easier to read than modern ones.

As soon as it was released, Honda built the 954 Blade, Yamaha stepped up the R1 and Kawasaki gave up on the ZX-9R.

With a weight of only 170kg and a top speed of 288km/h the Gixer 1000 truly was King.

The red and black was a lot less popular than the blue. 
There are some black and silver ones around but not many. 


NEW: $18,990 + ORC

USED: $3,500 (rough) – $11,000 (mint)


-170kg, 160hp = 288km/h

-10.1s ¼-mile, 0 – 100km/h in 3.0s

-GSX-R750 frame with 6% stiffer alloy mix .5mm thicker and 1% stiffer swingarm

-6in rear wheel with 190-section tyre

-GSX-R750 fairings aside from modified bellypan

- and bored 750 engine with modified cases, oil cooler and balance shaft


ENGINE: DOHC 988cc liquid-cooled fuel injected four-stroke inline four, TSCC, 16-valve

COLOURS: Blue/White, Black/Yellow, Red/Black, Silver/Black

CLAIMED POWER: 160hp@10,800rpm

WEIGHT: 170kg

TOP SPEED: 288km/h
CHASSIS: Twin spar alloy

SUSPENSION: Kayaba 43mm inverted forks, Kayaba rear shock, alloy swingarm

BRAKES: Tokico six-piston calipers, 320mm stainless-steel rotors.

Protect your motorbike. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.