By Tom Roderick and Suzuki against one another in two separate competitions. At 999cc and 1043cc the GSX-S1000 ABS and Kawasaki Z1000 ABS were the Goliaths, while the 749cc and 806cc displacements of the Suzuki GSX-S750 and Kawasaki Z800 ABS were the Davids. Is it possible for David to defeat Goliath? Which motorcycle is the true king of Israel?
Interestingly, the two OEMs swapped wins in the aforementioned shootouts, the Gixxus Thou defeating the Z1K, while a few weeks later the Kawi triumphed over the Suzi. In both shootouts the Suzukis scored a perfect 100% in the Objective categories of Price, Weight, lb/hp and lb/lb-ft. But the smaller Gixxus, even with this early advantage, was unable to beat the Z8 to the finish line, coming in a close runner-up with a total tally of 84.8% vs 85.2% when the Subjective scores were factored in.
It’s easy to assume the big bikes are heavier and more powerful, but the Z800 defies logic by weighing more than either liter bike: 506 wet pounds vs 488 and 465 wet pounds for the Z1K and Gixxus Thou, respectively. Compared to the Gixxus 750 the Z800 weighs a whopping 70 pounds more! Even at this heft, however, the Z8 remains a competitively good handling motorcycle among the four, scoring only fractionally less than the GSX-S750 in the original shootout.
The Z8 is the heaviest bike here, but definitely not the most powerful. That title belongs to the Gixxus Thou with 144.4 hp at 11,700 rpm on tap. At the other end of …read more