The tip of the superbike spear is a hectic place, full of pressure, competition, and expense. And that’s exactly why the GSX-S1000 ABS makes so much sense. Based on Suzuki’s 2005–’08 GSX-R1000, it leaves the latest engineering and bodywork behind, and in doing so crafts the most affordable way into Suzuki literbike performance. Call it a naked bike, streetfighter, or a stripper superbike; whatever descriptor is applied, the GSX-S1000 ABS answers with a 999cc DOHC inline-four, fuel-injected and liquid-cooled naturally, powering through a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive. Traction control is a valuable standard feature, and the four-pot Brembo front and single-piston Nissin rear brakes are ABS-equipped, again standard. As with the GSX-S1000F ABS, power output and clutch operation are both improved for 2018.
The GSX-S1000 ABS and GSX-S1000Z differ only in appearance, with former finished in regal Metallic Triton Blue/Glass Sparkle Black, nicely evoking Suzuki’s works racebikes, while the latter model gets a stealthy metallic matte black treatment for a couple hundred bucks more.
Likes: Choice of finishes, with traction control and ABS standard.
Dislikes: Seat, footpegs, and handlebar are not adjustable for differently sized riders.
Verdict: Superbike performance on a budget.