Same old, same old.
Like most things in 2020, model year announcements have been unique and socially distanced. Ducati released a five-part video series to introduce the new Multistrada V4 and Monster, Kawasaki leveraged the social media buzz around WSBK winter tests to unveil the new ZX-10s, and Yamaha launched its updated MT series with a comprehensive hype campaign.
While most manufacturers jockeyed for headlines, Suzuki announced its first batch of returning models for 2021 without pomp or circumstance. Hailing from the GSX-R, GSX-S, and V-Strom families, the house of Hamamatsu now adds a second wave of street models to its range.
Leading with the sportbikes, Suzuki’s world-renowned GSX-R platform returns for yet another year. Same classic silhouette, same distinctive diamond-shaped headlight, new liveries for the 2021 model year. The GSX-R1000R now comes in a black metallic paint scheme with tonal black accents and another black metallic base with white and orange graphics. Marked up by $50 for the new model year, the top dog Gixxer comes in at $17,749.
The versatile GSX-R750 mixes things up with a gray or pearl white livery, while the same 600cc supersport chassis houses the iconic 750cc inline-four. The price again goes up by $50 to $12,549. Suzuki is either using more expensive paint or accounting for inflation because the two supersport stalwarts haven’t changed in 2021.
The story is the same on the naked bike front. The ABS-less GSX-S750Z rejoins the fray after an absence in 2020 and the GSX-S750Z ABS return. With a flashy new pearl white and Champion Yellow paint scheme. Thankfully, the ABS variant stays at $8,899 while the comes in $400 behind at $8,499. The standard trim GSX-S750 tones things down with a metallic black and gray bodywork and blue wheels add a tinge of color to the back-to-basics bike.
For the pragmatic riders out there, the V-Strom 650XT platform has offered consistency and reliability over the years and Suzuki isn’t changing that formula in the new year. Still boasting its revered DOHC 645cc 90-degree V-twin, the middleweight V-Strom doesn’t gain any features in 2021 but that doesn’t make it any less adventurous. Featuring the DR-BIG-inspired Champion Yellow colorway worn so effortlessly by the V-Strom 1000XT last year, the 650XT Adventure comes with an MSRP of $10,499. The base 650XT takes a more subtle approach with red and black paint and a $9,349 price tag.
No, we can’t say Suzuki’s lineup is heavy on innovation or excitement. No, we can’t say we’re surprised either. However, Suzuki’s budget-friendly models have always been a dependable option in the market, and we could all use a stabilizing force after 2020.