It’s been many moons since Suzuki introduced a brand-new motorcycle. Despite updating the V-Strom 1050 in 2020 along with the Hayabusa, GSX-S1000, and GSX-S1000GT in 2021, the House of Hamamatsu has favored slight revisions over complete overhauls or all-new platforms.
The rest of the brand’s lineup has skated by on new colorways and “bold” new graphics during that period, but Suzuki has a looming decision to make when it comes to its GSX-R1000 superbike. The European motorcycle market required new type-approved bikes to meet Euro5 standard by January, 2020, while manufacturers had an extra year to homologate existing models to the latest standard.
Well, January, 2021, came and went. Yet, Suzuki’s flagship GSX-R1000 sportbike remained on European showroom floors. That’s because the firm filed for an “End of Series” extension which allowed dealers to continue selling non-compliant GSX-R1000 units for two additional years.
Also known as derogation, the “End of Series” exception provided Suzuki a two-year grace period to move models approaching the end of their run. With January, 2023, on the horizon, the company will have to decide whether it upgrades or removes the liter bike from the lucrative European market in less than six months.
The most recent update to the GSX-R1000 range occurred in 2017, which positions the superbike for a much-needed refresh in 2023. On the other hand, Suzuki already pulled the GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 from Europe due to emissions regulations.
While skeptics find that fact discouraging, Suzuki went out of its way to continue selling the GSX-R1000 in Europe. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the top Gixxer is out of the woods. Suzuki recently confirmed that it will pull out of MotoGP and Endurance World Racing (EWC) by the end of the 2022 season.
With the brand focusing on sustainable platforms and bowing out of racing, it’s hard to say how Suzuki plans to develop its superbike for future generations. Hopefully, the Hamamatsu factory has an ace up its sleeve, but we’re keeping our expectations in check.