If you’re a motorcycle manufacturer and one or more of your models has had a cheeky, colloquial nickname (such as Hog, ‘Busa or Beemer) bestowed upon it, you know you’re doing something right. Suzuki’s GSX-R range, which debuted in 1984 with the GSX-R400, falls into this category, as the various family members that have come and gone over the years have come to be known as “Gixxers,” a mutant phonetic pronunciation of GSX-R as an acronym. It’s even on Urban Dictionary, and you can’t get much more mainstream than that (except for, you know, the Webster’s and Oxford dictionaries).
The current alpha dog of the Gixxer Pack is the GSX-R1000 and, as the name implies, the DOHC inline-four engine displaces just one cc short of one liter (that's 999cc for those of you who aren't up on your metric units of weight and measure). The 2011 model is a rocket ship, but Suzuki has found some room for improvement. And those improvements have been made to the 2012 model.
While burying the speedometer deep into the triple digits in a car is exciting (and something you should only do on a track…obviously…), doing the same thing on a motorcycle ratchets the excitement up exponentially. And going wide-open on a street bike? Even more knuckle-bleaching, as the big-inch engine bellows between your legs and the avalanche of angry air – undiluted by a full fairing – attempts to throw you off the bike and throw the bike off the pavement.
Here are 20 two-wheeled tarmac scorchers guaranteed to thrill.