Suzuki has updated its GSX-R1000 sportbike for 2012 with Brembo monobloc calipers and a new single-pipe exhaust system.

Last updated in 2009, the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000 also receives a number of updates to the the engine to the wiring harness to even the front tire to to reduce overall weight by 4.4 pounds. The new GSX-R has a claimed curb weight of 447.5 pounds.

The 999cc engine receives new MotoGP-derived pistons, now 11% lighter than the previous version. The new pistons are also largely responsible for a slight boost in compression, from 12.8:1 from 12.9:1. Cam followers are each also 2.5 grams lighter, and revised exhaust cam profile provides less valve overlap. The higher lift exhaust cam profile allowed engineers to boost midrange (roughly between 5500 to 7500 rpm) without sacrificing horsepower in the top of the powerband. New pentagonal-shaped crankcase ventilation holes, just like those first seen earlier this year on the all-new GSX-R600 and 750, reduce pumping losses and is a key contributor to improved mid-range grunt and 8% better fuel economy.

The exhaust system has also been changed, with Suzuki going back to a 4-2-1 system from the previous version’s dual exhausts. The exhaust under-engine chamber has effectively been eliminated while the catalyzer is also revised, both for weight savings and improved emissions. The header pipe is still constructed from stainless steel, but pipe walls are thinner while the muffler is made of titanium — just as on the previous model.

The Showa Big Piston Fork returns, but now 7mm shorter and with 5mm less stroke. Settings have been softened to accommodate the lighter weight and the shift in center of gravity from not having two pipes at the back. The fully-adjustable Showa rear shock returns unchanged.

New Brembo monoblock calipers identical to those on the 600 and 750 GSX-R models are now on the 1000, however, the big Gixxer’s discs are now 0.5mm thinner than the previous 5.5mm discs, but their 310mm diameter remains unchanged. The rear Nissin caliper and disc also carry over from the previous 1000. Further unsprung weight savings were found in the new lighter front tire and axle. The tread pattern of the Bridgestone S20 tires is updated for improved grip.

Visually, the 2012 Suzuki GSX-R gets slight tweaks. Suzuki added red pinstripes with its signature “R” emblem to the wheels, and seat cover material is revised to offer better grip to help keep the rider in position. Seat height is unchanged from 31.9″. Other areas (frame, wheels, instrument cluster, etc.) of the previous GSX-R1000 carryover to the new model.

The 2012 GSX-R1000 should hit dealers in February with retail currently set at $13,799, an increase of $200 from the 2011 model. The 2009 GSX-R1000, technically the same as the 2011, retailed for $12,899.

No Traction Control or ABS for the Updated Gixxer Thou?

Notably absent among the various revisions on the new 1000 is traction control and ABS. According to Suzuki America’s product marketing manager, Derek Schoeberle, Suzuki decided to focus on improving the GSX-R’s overall performance package through the aforementioned updates, and forgo for the time being the addition of TC and ABS. While Schoeberle indicated the company is likely to introduce a proprietary TC system at a future date, he says what was deemed more important was enhancing the base package rather than rush to follow trends by including TC and/or ABS which would then inflate the 1000’s MSRP more than what Suzuki was willing to at this time.

It’s likely the 2012 GSX-R1000’s targeted suggested retail, as much as anything about the new bike, was the leading factor in holding back on traction control or ABS.

The $13,799 price (technically) makes the Gixxer 1K the least expensive liter bike in 2012 from the Big 5 (gotta include BMW now!).

Honda’s newly updated 2012 CBR1000RR retails for $13,800, Yamaha’s R1 now with TC is $13,990, Kawasaki’s ZX-10R with standard TC sells for $13,999 and BMW’s 2011 (2012 pricing is TBD) base model (no TC or race ABS) S1000RR lists at $13,950.

Had Suzuki introduced a traction control/ABS-optional model this year, the bike’s $13,799 price would easily have increased as much as $1000, or more, putting it at the other end the spectrum from where it is now.

While the new Gixxer price advantage ranges from (an irrelevant) $1 to $200 — amounts that most prospective buyers would deem insignificant in this price category — what’s clear is that Suzuki is doing what it can to retain as much market share as possible in light of model year 2010 when no new street models from Suzuki came to the U.S.

But lack of TC and ABS aside, the 2012 Gixxer Thou’s various worthwhile updates come at the cost of a rather nominal $200 beyond last year’s price.

[Source: Suzuki]