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Gsx1400 Review


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#1 VladTepes

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:51 AM

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http://www.cycletorq...Suzuki-GSX1400/

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Suzuki-s Mega Retro
Suzuki's new GSX1400 has come out of left field to give you a dose of big bike fun. Does it match up to the scores of 'lighter = better' sports bikes?
Test by Nigel Paterson
Pics by Keith Muir

November 2001


IF you like your bikes big, strong, naked and comfortable, Suzukiís new GSX1400 should be first on your shopping list. While most classes of bike are getting lighter, smaller and more high-tech, Suzukiís launched a big bike which uses an engine heavily based on Suzuki technology of the 1980sí GSX-R range, albeit fuel injected.

The combination of increased capacity and fuel injection has given the GSX more grunt than your average bulldozer. It makes the machineís ancestors seem gutless.
Although even experienced bike watchers could confuse the GSX1400 with a GSX1100 of 20 years ago (if the light was bad) the 1400 is a comprehensively better machine than its ancestor.

For a start, the 1400 steers incredibly sweetly. The combination of quality tyres, modern suspension, suitable steering geometry, a comfortable riding position and a superbly placed centre of gravity all combine to give the 1400 really neutral, confidence-inspiring steering.
When you add that nice riding position to the great steering and awesome grunt, youíve got a combination which cannot fail to put a smile on your face.

Engine
Right off the bottom, Suzukiís monster in-line four pulls harder than nearly anything else today Ė including trains, semi-trailers, teenage boys. You never have to twist the throttle very hard. This would be a great bike for pulling trailers or sidecars.

The donk is based on the old oil/air-cooled GSX-R motors, but they were never this big or so detuned Ė most owners will rarely bother to rev the GSX1400 hard, because the midrange is so strong. The redlineís a moderate 9000rpm, but they are big pistons.
I believe Suzukiís saying something about the future of its big-bore machinery by fitting fuel injection to this bike. Why does a retro have fuel injection? Is it because most big Suzukiís might be injected in the future? Could be. Itís one of the best injection systems Iíve sampled on a motorcycle, delivering the fuel seamlessly and faultlessly. Unless you have a hankering to play with a set of carbs yourself, I canít understand why you would want to use any other system.

The transmission is excellent. Suzuki builds great gearboxes, and this one is no exception. Slick, easy shifting at any revs. Itís got six gears, at least one more than you really need (I think a four-speed version could be fun) but its so nice to use itís certainly never a bother. When cruising in top at freeway speeds the engine just seems to be ticking over - which means this powerplant could last for hundreds of thousands of kilometres before needing any work.
Some vibration reaches the rider Ė through the tank, Ďbars and seat Ė at various engine speeds, but itís minor and nothing most people will even really notice.

Chassis
Itís the return of the UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) in the chassis department, with a steel cradle chassis connecting the steering head to the swingarm. Simple, cheap and honest, the frame did a good job of keeping the bike pointing the right direction.

The suspension is much better than we had to put up with when the UJM was the dominant force in motorcycling. Fully adjustable at both ends, once set up this machine inspires much riding confidence than I expected from a big, heavy, naked retro. The standard settings will be too soft for most Australians, but both ends can be tuned quickly and easily to your preference.
The brakes are superb. Big six-piston calipers up front give heaps of bite and stopping power. The power and control of these modern stoppers is wonderful.

Equipment
Suzuki has designed this machine for touring and two people. Unfortunately not at the same time, but what do you expect from a naked? Thereís eight Ė yes, eight Ė luggage strap mounting points for strapping things to the back seat, thereís a useful compartment under the seat (I had a one-piece rainsuit, gloves, compact camera and sunnies under there, with room to spare), a big, broad pillion perch and a well-positioned grab rail.

The bike is well designed for touring. Thereís no weather protection, of course, but there is a big, relatively flat tank, just perfect for a tankbag, and the twin-shock design at the back means attaching soft or hard bags/panniers shouldnít present too many problems. The riding position is roomy, thereís plenty of legroom and the Ďbars are just a gentle lean forward (and they are old-steel Ďbars too, which means they are easy to change if thereís another bend out there you prefer).

Although itís pretty obvious, the GSX1400 is a bloody big bike, and is better suited to taller riders. The seat height is high (but not ridiculous) and manoeuvring this machine calls for a reasonable amount of strength.

The seat itself wasnít as nice as I had hoped - it became a bit of a hard perch after about 1/2 a day, sooner than I think it should have. There is, however, plenty of room to move around, which makes life a lot more pleasant. Under the seat lies a helmet hook, while thereís also an old-fashioned helmet lock on the frame rail, operated with the ignition key. Given the compartment under the seat, I would have preferred a hinged seat (rather than removable) but they went out with the ark.


The dash consists of two cylindrical pods, with the idiot lights positioned in between. In addition to the speedo and tacho, there are twin LCD tripmeters, a fuel gauge and a clock, all of which is good to have. Interestingly, Suzuki has shied away from using an oil level light, fitting an oil pressure light instead - which is as it should be. You can check your oil level easily yourself, but expensive damage can occur if your oil pressure drops and you donít know it.

The fuel gauge has five segments; thereís around 6 litres left, when it starts flashing thereís less than three and a half. The tank holds 22 litres; its fuel consumption averaged a pretty poor 14.5km/L for the test, giving a range to dry of about 320km. Iíd expect owners to get better fuel consumption, especially cruising. Thereís both a centre and sidestand, and both work well.

Maintenance Retro-styled machines lend themselves to home maintenance, but you might find yourself a bit bored with the GSX1400 if you decide to do it all yourself. Changing the oil (every 6000km) looks to be a doddle; the filter (a spin-on type) needs changing only every third oil change. The valves need adjusting only every 24,000km, half as often as youíd change the spark plugs. Thereís no carbs to balance, but Suzuki does recommend synchronizing the throttle valve every 12,000km. The battery is a sealed unit, requiring no maintenance. Which leaves the drive chain. Lubed every 500km, adjust as needed. Why Suzuki didnít develop a shaft for this machine I donít know, but I believe it would have made the bike attractive to a lot more riders.

Conclusion
Suzuki has built a really honest performer in the GSX1400. Although it looks a bit like the old GS and GSX range dating back to the 1970s, this is a modern machine with all the advantages which come with a modern design. If you liked the style of those older machines, this is a very modern and fun bike, which feels like it will go forever.


I fix my Honda, I ride my Suzuki.....

#2 TALLMAN

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:20 AM

A decent write upPosted Image

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#3 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:45 AM

from:
http://www.cycletorq...Suzuki-GSX1400/

(no copyright infringment intended - free publication)






Changing the oil (every 6000km) looks to be a doddle; the filter (a spin-on type) needs changing only every third oil change.




Great write-up, thanks...

Question- Ive only owned my 14 for a few weeks now so looking at dropping and changing the oil tomorrow as i cant guarantee how the previous owner has serviced it. Does anyone here actually only change their filter every third oil change? or am i better off sticking with changing the filter every time, as Ive always done with all my bikes and cars Ive owned?

Thanks

#4 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:24 AM

[quote name='Torqueaholic' date='08 May 2012 - 10:45 AM' timestamp='1336470301' post='519309']

Changing the oil (every 6000km) looks to be a doddle; the filter (a spin-on type) needs changing only every third oil change.

[/quote]

Great write-up, thanks...

Question- Ive only owned my 14 for a few weeks now so looking at dropping and changing the oil tomorrow as i cant guarantee how the previous owner has serviced it. Does anyone here actually only change their filter every third oil change? or am i better off sticking with changing the filter every time, as Ive always done with all my bikes and cars Ive owned?

Thanks
[/quote]

Personally tend to change my filter every other oil change (keeping to OEM filters), can't hurt doing it every time, but not necessary IMO. Don't forget as well that you will need a sump plug crush washer - it will look like there isn't one on there, so you will need to lift the edge of th eold one with a stanley knife or similar sharp blade and then twist off.

Just don't over-tighten the sump plug either - it's a low torque anyway - the metal on the sump of 14's is quite thin, and a number of guys have had to have theirs heli-coiled, just be aware that they can strip threads easily if too much pressure applied. Normally using a new sump washer will help you save doing this and they are only a few cents to purchase....it's a 14mm crush washer from memory
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#5 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the advice Barmy,
Think i might just change it all this time for piece of mind and start a fresh routine. Good to know about the washer didnt give that a thought. Im usually over causious when tightening a sump bolt up, dont want the headache having to get that heli-coiledPosted Image

cheers

#6 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for the advice Barmy,
Think i might just change it all this time for piece of mind and start a fresh routine. Good to know about the washer didnt give that a thought. Im usually over causious when tightening a sump bolt up, dont want the headache having to get that heli-coiledPosted Image

cheers


Yep, think I'd be inclined to do the same, then I know it's been done. Reagrds the crush washer, don't be fooled when you take the sump plug out, it will look like there isn't one on the plug - but trust me it will be there - it's alloy and flattens right down, so almost does a disappearing act ;)

To save the sump plug "nightmare" and make it easier for the future, I've just fitted one of THESE - STANDARD VALVE complete with locking clip - no more worries about a stripped sump thread now :)

Edited by gsxbarmy, 08 May 2012 - 11:05 AM.

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I would change my mind to agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong

When I tell my wife I'll fix it, then I'll fix it. I don't need reminding every 6 months........

#7 TALLMAN

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:59 AM


Thanks for the advice Barmy,
Think i might just change it all this time for piece of mind and start a fresh routine. Good to know about the washer didnt give that a thought. Im usually over causious when tightening a sump bolt up, dont want the headache having to get that heli-coiledPosted Image

cheers


Yep, think I'd be inclined to do the same, then I know it's been done. Reagrds the crush washer, don't be fooled when you take the sump plug out, it will look like there isn't one on the plug - but trust me it will be there - it's alloy and flattens right down, so almost does a disappearing act ;)

To save the sump plug "nightmare" and make it easier for the future, I've just fitted one of THESE - STANDARD VALVE complete with locking clip - no more worries about a stripped sump thread now :)


Nice find that Dave, might do the same, did you fit one with or without the nipple ? & if with, what was the ground clearance like ?

Edited by TALLMAN, 08 May 2012 - 12:00 PM.

TALLMAN ..................................................................................................BLUE & WHITE K2 , YOSHI CAMS & PODS.

GETTING ANGRY IS ONLY PUNISHING YOURSELF FOR THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS !!!

SAVE THIS PLANET AS ITS THE ONLY ONE THAT SERVES BEER ! BURP.......................



 


#8 gruff

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:50 PM


from:
http://www.cycletorq...Suzuki-GSX1400/

(no copyright infringment intended - free publication)






Changing the oil (every 6000km) looks to be a doddle; the filter (a spin-on type) needs changing only every third oil change.






Great write-up, thanks...

Question- Ive only owned my 14 for a few weeks now so looking at dropping and changing the oil tomorrow as i cant guarantee how the previous owner has serviced it. Does anyone here actually only change their filter every third oil change? or am i better off sticking with changing the filter every time, as Ive always done with all my bikes and cars Ive owned?

Thanks



i personally change my oil on all my vehicles bikes etc and i allways change the filter would you keep putting fresh tea in a mucky mug ? would you go in shower and put on dirty undies ? probably not so why run clean oil through a dirty oil filter
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#9 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

[quote name='gruff' date='08 May 2012 - 12:50 PM' timestamp='1336481414' post='519323']

[/quote]


i personally change my oil on all my vehicles bikes etc and i allways change the filter would you keep putting fresh tea in a mucky mug ? would you go in shower and put on dirty undies ? probably not so why run clean oil through a dirty oil filter
[/quote]


I agree and thats what Ive always done with any vehicle ive serviced, thats why i had to ask the question because to me replacing the filter every third oil change seems to go against the grain>> and at the end of the day at least bike oil filters aren't exactly overly expensive... And a hell of a lot cheaper than paying a grease-monkey to do it for you.

#10 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:19 PM

Nice find that Dave, might do the same, did you fit one with or without the nipple ? & if with, what was the ground clearance like ?


I fitted the one without nipple Richard - ground clearance is fine, overall the whole unit is about twice the thickness of the standard sump plug, so no problems at all. And makes oil changing a doddle, all one has to do is take the clip off, put a container under the valve, open up the valve and robert is your mothers brother.

I did think about getting the 'nipple' version but all you do with that is push a plastic pipe on so you can direct the oil elsewhere from straight down.....
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#11 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

[quote name='Torqueaholic' date='08 May 2012 - 03:15 PM' timestamp='1336486556' post='519327']
[quote name='gruff' date='08 May 2012 - 12:50 PM' timestamp='1336481414' post='519323']

[/quote]


i personally change my oil on all my vehicles bikes etc and i allways change the filter would you keep putting fresh tea in a mucky mug ? would you go in shower and put on dirty undies ? probably not so why run clean oil through a dirty oil filter
[/quote]


I agree and thats what Ive always done with any vehicle ive serviced, thats why i had to ask the question because to me replacing the filter every third oil change seems to go against the grain>> and at the end of the day at least bike oil filters aren't exactly overly expensive... And a hell of a lot cheaper than paying a grease-monkey to do it for you.
[/quote]

Totally agree - perhaps I should have mentioned that I don't stick to standard oil changes, I change my oil every year or 1500 miles max, so effectively the oil is pretty clean going through the engine all the time - hence why I don't change the filter every oil change.
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#12 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:23 PM


Thanks for the advice Barmy,

cheers


To save the sump plug "nightmare" and make it easier for the future, I've just fitted one of THESE - STANDARD VALVE complete with locking clip - no more worries about a stripped sump thread now :)


very Clever idea... think i would opt for one without nipple, but they don't advertise it for k7, surely there is no difference!!!

#13 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:07 PM



Thanks for the advice Barmy,

cheers


To save the sump plug "nightmare" and make it easier for the future, I've just fitted one of THESE - STANDARD VALVE complete with locking clip - no more worries about a stripped sump thread now :)


very Clever idea... think i would opt for one without nipple, but they don't advertise it for k7, surely there is no difference!!!


Nope none at all - in fact mine is fitted to my K7.

Not sure if you might find them locally down under either - maybe search on Fumoto Oil Drain valve as the link is only to the UK supplier, there may well be one "local" to you

EDIT: Yes they do - try HERE - you need the F111 valve which looking at their price chart is $27AU - you'll need to buy the clip separately, but that can't be more than 50c at a guess

Edited by gsxbarmy, 08 May 2012 - 06:04 PM.

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#14 Whitewheels

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

Gruff....you sound like our lass......fresh tea..dirty cup....i use the same cup all the time and only occasionaly give it a quick rinse out.....come on nobody wants to see a sink full of cups that are used once :lol: :lol:

Dave....you never seem to amaze me with your wisdom.....cracking idea that mate im having one of those as i am defo the guy to strip the sump.....me and my "lets just give it one more turn" attitude :lol: :lol:

I take it you still fit a crush washer on the valve??? i know its daft but gotta ask?? :D

#15 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

Gruff....you sound like our lass......fresh tea..dirty cup....i use the same cup all the time and only occasionaly give it a quick rinse out.....come on nobody wants to see a sink full of cups that are used once :lol: :lol:

Dave....you never seem to amaze me with your wisdom.....cracking idea that mate im having one of those as i am defo the guy to strip the sump.....me and my "lets just give it one more turn" attitude :lol: :lol:

I take it you still fit a crush washer on the valve??? i know its daft but gotta ask?? :D


Stewy you can fit a crush washer - I chose not to, the unit itself comes with a fibre washer - so I screwed the unit in as is with the fibre washer finger tight then gave it a nip - and I mean a nip with a spanner - its not coming out again, so job done as far as I'm concerned - problem with the crush washer is that you can'y put a torque wrench on the unit so how tight do you go? For me the finger tight and "nip up" (but not too much) with a spanner has worked spot-on
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#16 Whitewheels

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:28 PM

Stewy you can fit a crush washer - I chose not to, the unit itself comes with a fibre washer - so I screwed the unit in as is with the fibre washer finger tight then gave it a nip - and I mean a nip with a spanner - its not coming out again, so job done as far as I'm concerned - problem with the crush washer is that you can'y put a torque wrench on the unit so how tight do you go? For me the finger tight and "nip up" (but not too much) with a spanner has worked spot-on

Aye see that makes sense.....so in Stewy terms.......sump and crush out, valve and fibre washer in....straight fit i take it?

Cracking idea Dave, will save me a fortune in new sumps every oil change :lol: :lol:

#17 gsxbarmy

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

Aye see that makes sense.....so in Stewy terms.......sump and crush out, valve and fibre washer in....straight fit i take it?


Yup - just be gentle nipping it up....and job done once and for all :)
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#18 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:22 PM

Nope none at all - in fact mine is fitted to my K7.

Not sure if you might find them locally down under either - maybe search on Fumoto Oil Drain valve as the link is only to the UK supplier, there may well be one "local" to you

EDIT: Yes they do - try HERE - you need the F111 valve which looking at their price chart is $27AU - you'll need to buy the clip separately, but that can't be more than 50c at a guess


Great thats for finding that website Dave, will be getting me one of those for sure. Might even see what would best fit the old Hilux... No more dropping and loosing the sump plug in a tub of warm oil.... happy days. :lol:

#19 Torqueaholic

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 11:38 PM

P.s- how do you EDIT a post on here? or is this a privilege you gain once you ditch your L's?

#20 gsxbarmy

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 07:35 AM

P.s- how do you EDIT a post on here? or is this a privilege you gain once you ditch your L's?


Should be an Edit button for the mails you post down in the bottom RH corner of each of your mails next to the Reply button....

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Edited by gsxbarmy, 09 May 2012 - 07:35 AM.

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I would change my mind to agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong

When I tell my wife I'll fix it, then I'll fix it. I don't need reminding every 6 months........