Suzuki GSX-R is no longer available in Europe

As a Suzuki fan it is not easy at the moment: the MotoGP exit first, then the Suzuki withdrawing from the long-distance EWC despite its sporting success, and in the future the mother of all sports bikes will probably no longer be available in Europe.

As a GSX-R fan, it’s really not easy to write these lines, but you’ve already suspected a bit. After Suzuki suddenly announced their retirement from first class in the middle of this MotoGP season, not only us but the team as a whole were surprised – the contract with Dorn was extended for another five years in 2021. Then another sad news: The Japanese are also withdrawing from the World Long Distance Championships. And that despite the great success, the SERT team is now the leader of the world championship and the reigning world champion. Since then, insiders and Suzuki learners have already buzzed about the sporting orientation of the Hamamatsu-based company – and what will happen to the GSX-R at the time.

With a (racing) mouse

In 1985, Suzuki introduced the GSX-R 750 and with this milestone it turned the entire motorcycle industry upside down. The 100 horses weighed just 201 kilograms, plus a racing-ready chassis and an aluminum frame with double cradle. Not only were the sports drivers turned upside down, the trade press was also enthusiastic about the affectionate “Knicker”. Over the years, the air-cooled GSX-R has undergone many improvements, with the 1100 GSXR joining the agile 750 in 1986. In 1996 there was another evolutionary step with the SRAD, first with carburetors and from 1998 with fuel injection. Here too, Suzuki raised the bar in the design of sports bikes a little higher, because with an aluminum bridge frame and many other racing components, the SRAD was a serious weapon for the racetrack, but with good manners. But the 750cc Gixxer had one problem as Yamaha laid the foundations for the 1000cc superbike class with the R1 and outperformed the competition. Then, in 2001, Suzuki’s liter hammer followed and Yamaha’s R1 R1 response: the GSX-R 1000 K1 literally sucked competition through the Ram Air channels and spat them out of the titanium muffler again. At that time, crazy 160 hp, 110 Nm and only 200 kilograms fully fueled – almost nothing could stop thousands. On the K1 / K2 you can easily withstand even a long route, although the motorcycle was designed for racing. Then a new thousand appeared every two years, which slightly moved the limit. The unforgettable K5 / K6 model, which is still loved by many sports and racing drivers. The last “new” GSX-R appeared in 2017. After 37 years and over a million GSX-R models sold worldwide, at least in Europe, it is unfortunately over for now.

approval problem

There is a (sober) reason why the GSX-R will most likely no longer be available as a new vehicle in Europe from 2023: Euro 5. It is well known that all bikes that were new to the market from January 2020 must have the feature Euro 5 homologation. All “current” GSX-R 1000 models (L7, L8, L9, M0, M1) still operate in Euro 4 standard, and Suzuki will not miss the Euro 5 GSX-R upgrade. GSX-R can be purchased and registered as new vehicle by the end of the year. This has to do with the European end-of-line regulation, which gives manufacturers the option of re-approving existing models within two years. This period is almost over, with January 2023 on the horizon – and it is highly unlikely that Suzuki will receive a GSX-R re-approval within six months. The company’s reorientation towards a resource-saving policy and the shift away from motorcycle street racing speak for themselves. The ‘Kilo-Gixxer’ therefore faces the same fate as the 600 and 750 GSX-R models, which have also disappeared from the European market due to emissions regulations. However, in the US and Japan, thousands, like their little sisters, will still be available.

A glimmer of hope?

In theory at least it seems Suzuki’s development department had a more advanced plan with the current GSX-R. It is currently the only Japanese sports motorcycle that has a variable timing gear. The valves of the engine 1000 are mechanically controlled by a centrifugal force. As a result, the GSX-R always has enough torque, especially in the mid-speed range. During the work on the L7, it was already known that Euro 5 will be mandatory from 2020 – and there are many indications that the GSX-R should be optimized during the Euro 5 regulation. Already in 2019, Suzuki filed a patent for the further development of the GSX engine -R. The patent concerns a sophisticated variable valve timing system with hydraulic camshaft adjustment for changing the timing. It is questionable why Suzuki has not filed a patent so far, as the GSX-R is likely to overcome the Euro 5 hurdle. The aforementioned reorientation of the company will likely be a key point. Gixxer fans can still hope: from 2024, the exhaust emission standard will apply in the Euro 5+ standard, and Suzuki can by then optimize the superbike. Or the ladies and gentlemen of Hamamatsu still have an ace up their sleeve and present the brand new GSX-R. But that is more wishful thinking than anything else in the present situation.


As with all sustainable development, it depends on the behavior of the individual.

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It makes you cry: from 2023, the mother of all superbikes will no longer be available in Europe. But hope is the last one to die, the end often means a new beginning. And hopefully it will start with the new GSX-R. So please Suzuki, sportbike fans all over the world will thank you!

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