Click above for high-res gallery of 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 has been around since 2001, replacing the venerable 1100 sportbike that couldn't quite match the performance of the sensational Yamaha R1 that was introduced in 1998. Ever since, the big Gixxer has been battling it out with the other Japanese literbikes for the outright performance crown. For 2009, the model gets evolutionary changes that are meant to eke that extra bit of speed out of the platform, which has shed a few pounds off the slightly porky model of the past few years. One instantly recognizable update is the new dual exhaust cans, now made from titanium in a very swoopy shape. There's a slight bump in the engine's compression, which now has larger titanium valves for better breathing potential. The front forks also come from Showa and feature the firm's new Big Piston technology. All in all, it may not be as flashy as the ABS-equipped CBR from Honda or the new crossplane crank from Yamana, but Suzuki's definitely been in-the-hunt these last few years. We'll see how things play out on the track and on the sales floor soon enough. (NOTE: pics are of European model, we're still waiting for Suzuki to release images of U.S.-spec version.)

Related Gallery2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Europe

[Source: Suzuki]