This Suzuki buyers guide is a run down of this iconic motorcycle the largest capacity motorcycle of its type, the 1402cc engine is full of grunt and will last a lifetime (probably more) and the low center of gravity means it will handle well (with the right settings) and embarrass a lot of bikes.
Although the bike has a large capacity and plenty of low down grunt the bike doesn’t have huge horse power at 106 bhp its not going to break any records but the torque 92.9 lb-ft and low down grunt more than makes up for it.
I have owned my GSX1400 from 2009 and I have learnt a lot of the niggles, issues or problems with it that need to be addressed.
First of all I am going to advise some of the things you should test on the bike or any bike for that manner when buying second hand
- Look over the bike check for areas of rust, especially at the head-race where the top and bottom yokes are cast your eyes down and check the front of the engine where the engine is bolted to the frame make sure that if there is any rust that it is only on the surface and can be treated. The rear seat sub-frame should be free from any rust as well make sure you inspect the whole frame.
- If the frame looks OK move onto the brakes a weak point on these is the front calipers the 6 pot Tokico’s require lots of maintenance and can seize. If you can get the bike onto its center stand on a block of wood, get someone to push the bike down at the back so that the front wheel is raised, spin the wheel and make sure it runs freely squeeze the brakes as hard as you can make sure that there is no give or notching in the leaver. Hold the brakes on for a few seconds then release, check the front wheel spins OK again, if it does you are probably OK. Check the disks on the front have no pitting and that they are even across the surface, if there are any deep pits they will need replacing.
- Do the exact same for the rear brakes as well
- Check the forks, inspect the stations for pitting and make sure there is no oil pooling on the seals, also check the legs for corrosion.
- Now with the bike still on the center stand give the wheels a good wiggle backwards forward and side to side there should be no play at all in any areas, spin the wheels and listen for a rough running sound on the bearings, if they are smooth and there is no play smile and move on to the next thing.
- With the bike again still on the stand with the front wheel in the air sit on the bike ( you may need someone to push down on the back) move the handle bars their full distance left to right very slowly feel for any notchyness or odd movement it should be smooth all the way through. The head-race bearings can be a weak spot and they are not always greased very well.
- Now jump off the bike and look at the chain, it should be clean and free from debris make sure that it doesn’t slap around (give it a wiggle) also check the sprocket at the back for signs of wear (the chain is hard to judge as its a consumable just use common sense)
- Now check the tyres make sure they have plenty of tread and are evenly worn across the tread, take this time to look over the wheels. Check for cracks and chips.
- The rear original shocks are prone to leaking and seizing, make sure the adjuster knob easily moves and there are no signs of leaking on the piston
- Look at the petrol tank, check the seals along the bottom for rust and leaks. Also open the fuel tank and make sure its no too rusty.
- And of course check the service intervals and make sure that all receipts are there
- If all this looks good smile your about to be the owner of a Suzuki GSX1400
Carry on reading for recommendations on upgrades and other things to keep an eye on
Exhaust (down pipes)
The down pipes or headers are a major week spot on these bikes especially the early K2-K4 models, they use a double skinned steel setup and rot as soon as water is even mentioned in the vicinity of the bike. Make sure you give the exhausts on the bike you are looking at a good prod and wiggle (when they are cold)
If you spend time looking after them after a wet ride they will probably last a bit longer but I recommend upgrading to something a bit better you don’t have to spend loads either, my recommendation is the Delkevic header and collector set
These headers are fully stainless and offer more exhaust flow as they are not double skinned and restrictive like the originals, and they are not really going to break the bank especially if you follow my link . If you have a k5 onwards the standard headers are pretty good and just usually need a clean, they are also single skinned.
The original bike comes with some huge mufflers the K2-k4 came with two exhausts either side of the rear wheel like huge megaphones which you can see here
These exhausts are perfectly fine and serve a purpose but they also suffer from rotting if not looked after with kid gloves, so its a good idea to replace them when you can and of course if you want to.
I have a pair of Remus Carbon Fibre jobbies on mine and they have served me very well and I picked them up used from ebay for very little its always a good idea to check the used market for parts see below for some excellent used and new deals for the GSX1400 exhaust
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As advised above the rear shocks can be a bit of a weak spot and are expensive to replace with the originals, however they can be fixed so before you go buying a new set or an aftermarket set please check out the following guide I do not endorse or affiliate with this site in anyway
GSX1400 Shock Fix
If you brave that and it fixes your shocks fantastic, if however your still stuck then I can recommend the following shocks Hagon Nitro, they are excellent value for money and fully adjustable, you can get them made a bit longer as well to make your rear end pop a bit more. Mine are slightly longer and the bike turns in better in my opinion however some people don’t like this, can also make your center stand useless.
The front forks on the Suzuki GSX1400 are pretty good they are fully adjustable and I am pretty happy with them in standard trim, however they are not finished particularly well from the factory, I got mine re chromed and powder coated at http://www.pittedforks.co.uk/
5 years later they are absolutely fine no pitting or corrosion at all and I ride all year round in any weather.
Tyre’s are a difficult one as they really are personal preference really all I can do is recommend the ones I currently use Bridgestone BT-023 they are the best all round Tyre for this bike in my opinion, they last well and are good value
I believe that I have covered everything when looking at buying a used Suzuki GSX1400 but if I have missed any thing please get in contact.
Below are some useful links and youtube videos that may help you on your way to owning a Suzuki GSX1400
Suzuki GSX1400 for Sale
GSX1400’s for sale currently on ebay
The Motorcycle News GSX1400 Review
The GSX1400 owners Club