Naked 1st gen vs S model 2nd gen

Randy Grein randygrein at
Fri May 23 18:15:18 PDT 2008

Wow, what  a difference!

I finally picked up my new (to me) racebike - an '03 S model, bone  
stock, perfect condition with 1100 miles. Tires are a bit wooden, but  
who cares? As it came licensed with tabs I took it to work yesterday -  
43 miles each way.

First thing I noticed was that the riding position is impossible - how  
do you guys manage it? The pegs are wrong for the track and worse for  
the street; I'm all doubled over. I felt like me knees were just below  
my chin and feet are ahead of my belt buckle. It won't take much to  
make it bearable - maybe even comfortable, but I'll never ride it  
stock. The seat is hard but not too bad, while the suspension is much  
stiffer than the 1st gen bikes. I'd say excessively so, but then you  
don't get top drawer suspension on an econo bike. Expansion joints and  
ruts transmitted straight through to the rider, but at least it's  
nothing I couldn't live with were I keeping it for commuting. All that  
will disappear on the track, especially once the suspension is upgraded.

What remains great is the engine - bone stock you could feel the  
difference the fuel injection makes, starting instantly and easily  
with a bit more power stock and smoother than I'm used to. The fairing  
is surprisingly good, and the instruments great - I wished I hadn't  
just bought a tach package over the winter. I also noticed Suzuki  
instituted the same rear brake fixes I used on my 1st gen racebikes -  
smaller rotor and shorter brake pedal to reduce leverage and the  
tendency to lock up the rear.

So the wife wants me to put the old racebike on the street for our son  
next year; I even have a spare set of cylinders & pistons to make it  
happen, as well as the stock exhaust and carbs. Yeah, I know - the  
flatslides are cool, but they really suck gas and it's pointless for  
commuting. Maybe I can eBay them, or make an offer. What I have now:

Street bits from the '03. Turn signals may be spoken for, but the  
fairing, bracket, stock bars, instrument cluster.
Race bits from the '02. 2 sets of stock wheels, GSXR front wheel, 2 F3  
wheels (converted), 41mm flat slides with pod filters. I'll consider a  
fork swap if someone needs GSXR forks.

Randy Grein, WMRRA #41

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