Test ride: Suzuki GSX-S1000GT

Sports tourers are going through a renaissance with a host of new models wooing big-bike buyers.

Just as SUVs have overtaken estate cars, so tall adventure bikes found favour over traditional sports tourers.

But sports tourers are fighting back and Suzuki has weighed in with the GSX-S1000GT – a faired touring version of the naked GSX-S1000.

Judging by the rave reviews, it has nailed it when it comes to price, performance, practicality and panache.

The GSX-S1000GT does what it says on the tin – a sporty, mile-munching tourer – and takes the brand in an exciting new direction for design and styling.

The tried-and-tested 999cc engine still gives good service. It is super smooth and refined and the snatchy throttle of earlier models is now a thing of the past which makes riding it even better.

With 152PS at 11,000rpm and 106Nm of torque at 9,250rpm you might think it needs to be worked to feel lively. On the road, it pulls strongly from 3,000rpm and sixth-gear overtakes are a doddle.

The exhaust is also acceptably quiet, ideal for long-distance touring, but develops character as you wind up the revs.

With a 19-litre tank and an official 46mpg, it will go nearly 200 miles between fills which is more than enough despite the roomy riding position and comfortable seat.

The front forks are fully adjustable and the rear shock for preload and rebound. It is simple and does the job well, supple enough to soak up all but the worst bumps and lumps, firm enough to make this big bike agile on twisty roads.

The GSX-S1000GT is a large bike but is well balanced so doesn’t feel 226kg. Short-legged riders won’t have any problems getting their feet down with the 810mm seat height.

The twin 310mm front discs, with Brembo four-piston radial caliper and ABS, have plenty of stopping power but need a firm squeeze of the lever.

The up-and-down quickshifter for the six-speed gearbox is a delight, delivering effortless smooth changes.

The ultra-clear 6.5in TFT dash gives all the information you need, without being cluttered, and it’s also easy to alter the five traction control levels and access the three throttle response mappings. It will also link with your smartphone.

Cruise control, a must for touring, is standard.

My only gripe is that the screen cannot be adjusted although, with me being short, it kept any buffeting at bay.

Priced from £11,799 (36-litre panniers are extra) the GSX-S1000GT comes in Metallic Triton Blue, darker Metallic Reflective Blue and Glass Sparkle Black.

It’s easy to like the GSX-S1000GT. It does everything you ask of it, without lots of unnecessary frills and technology which makes it purer to ride.

No wonder it’s being hailed as the best Suzuki for years.

Find out more at orwell.co.uk/suzuki/new-suzuki-motorcycle-range/sport/gsx-s1000gt