While Honda’s approach to its literbike was to focus on weight, handling, and electronics, Suzuki decided to throw the entire kitchen sink at the new GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R, the motorcycle we’re most looking forward to riding in 2017. All the technical mumbo jumbo is covered in John’s story linked above, but know that variable valve timing is the big talking point here, and it’s said to be one of the big reasons the GSX-Rs (both of them) are rated to meet the magical 200-hp threshold while also increasing midrange power. Couple that with the latest Showa suspension, Brembo brakes and the whole slew of electronics directed by an IMU, and you start to get an idea of why we’re so eager to ride the new Gixxer in the coming year.

In short, Suzuki is sharpening the scalpel that was once the king of the entire sportbike kingdom, and it’s up to us to find out if the effort is a success. Fortunately we won’t have to wait long, as the week after I ride the new Honda, E-i-C Duke will be flogging the new Suzukis at the iconic Phillip Island racetrack in Australia. We have high hopes for both the Suzuki and Honda, which means you should stay tuned for the 2017 literbike shootout because it’s going to be epic!