During the 2004 season Crash.net took a trip down to Verwood in Dorset to Crescent Suzuki, the home of the Rizla British Superbike racing team. Somehow our intrepid reporter Adam Arnold blagged himself a ride on the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 road bike, where he managed to scare himself and all those witnessing...

Oh dear, someone has just handed me the key to arguably the fastest production bike in the world, and now I'm about to have a ride.

The Rizla Suzuki GSX-R 1000 is not like any other GSX-R 1000, this one has been modified for the road, and is available for customers to buy.

The paint scheme is the first thing to be noticed that sets it apart, the livery taken straight from the winning British Superbike championship machine.

Futher modifications are there to make a very fast motorcycle- even faster. A full free-flow exhaust system and fuel injection tweeks takes the engines output up on the standard machine, no slouch itself at 150+ bhp. The Rizla Suzuki road bike is in the region of 160 bhp at the rear wheel.

Knowing all this in advance, it's no surprise I'm a little worried about my first ride of such a fast machine.

0 to 60 in bugger all (just over 3 seconds), a top speed that will take you back in time (around 180mph depending on your natural fear responses) and razor sharp race handing and braking. It's a package that demands a great deal of respect, and gentleness, like a fine woman.

Now I'm no newcomer to motorcycling. I got my first riding lesson at the innocent age of four and have been riding bikes seriously for the past ten years, with some racing thrown in for good measure.

However, when faced with such an extremely powerful motorcycle, it doesn't hurt to work out a little game plan, just in case.

In this instance the game plan is simple- don't drop it. Easy to say, but this motorcycle has more torque than a politician at election time, and I don't even want to think about the amount of power going through that back wheel.

Oh well, better get going before they change their mind.

Key in and turned, watch the clocks do their dance, giggle to myself in my helmet, clutch in and starter button pressed.

WurrWurrWurr- Blam!

She fires on the third turn with such a deep exhaust note that it vibrates my already fluttering bowels. My god I'm going to enjoy this.

The riding position on the GSX-R isn't what I'd expected, very race orientated, obviously as it's a race bike, but surprisingly not too uncomfortable. The bars are quite close to the knees, which makes the bike feel small. This always has the effect of installing confidence, as it's easier to boss a small motorcycle.

Out on the road and the power makes itself instantly known. A fistful in any of the first couple of gears will be sure to send the front skywards. Acceleration can only be described as phenomenal.

As you would expect from a machine of this calibre the brakes and handling are matched to engine performance. The small feel from the riding position and low centre of gravity enables the bike to be tipped on its ear with absolute ease, holding whichever line you decide through a corner.

Equally as impressive are the radially mounted brakes, offering more rigidity of the callipers on the discs than the normal set up. This allows smaller discs which reduces un-sprung mass of the wheel, ultimately offering a very quick tuning bike.

Feel through the brake lever is top notch, giving a very good indication of how much more pressure can be exerted without locking up or forcing the front wheel to skip over bumps.

This is a light machine in bike standards, and the brakes do a faultless job of stopping the bike quickly at any speed.

The one thing that impressed me was it's ability to be ridden at slow speeds around town and in traffic. The engine has such a wide spread of torque, its easy to just plonk around in a higher gear around 2,000 revs, changing speed in an instant with a twist of the wrist.

This makes this race orientated bike quite road friendly. Lets be honest with ourselves how often are we given the opportunity to ride a machine of this specification to the limits on the U.K. roads?

Exactly zero, therefore the low down drivability of this machine makes it a better road bike than super sport 600 machines with their power bands situated in the outer echelons of space.

And then when the pace quickens it's easy to ride this bike to the roads full potential due to the almost limitless drivability of the engine.

However, this machine is a race bike and is therefore designed to deal with the track- not the road. As a result the ride is quite hard to maximise tyre traction, resulting in a less than comfortable road experience. Unfortunately you can't ask a bike to handle well and deliver a soft ride, therefore a certain amount of comfort has to be sacrificed to allow such superb handing.

But that's to be expected and adds to the thrill, we don't buy race replicas because they make good road bikes, we buy them because they make good track bikes, and as a track bike this is one of the best.

The Rizla Suzuki GSX-R 1000 was the winning machine in the British Superbikes this season, which is itself the fastest Superbike racing series in the world.

Draw from that what you will, but it is easy to see the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R 1000 is an awesome bike on track, and a worthy substitute for your hard earned wages on the road.