With the usual two-year update window for the GSX-R1000 coming up in 2009, everyone was waiting to see what Suzuki was going to do with the machine that had been the dominant literbike (on both the showroom floor and the AMA Superbike series) for the past decade. And it appears-on paper at least-that Suzuki has answered the call with an all-new GSX-R that is aimed at addressing the issues that had plagued the previous generation model. Namely, power and weight.
The engine has received a major makeover, with the 999cc powerplant utilizing a more oversquare bore/stroke configuration (74.5 x 57.3mm, from the previous 73.4 x 59.0mm measurement) for increased rpm and top-end power potential. The combustion chamber has been reshaped for even better efficiency, with compression ratio increasing from 12.5:1 to 12.8:1. With a larger bore comes room for larger valves, and both intake and exhaust in the new GSX-R grow 1mm, with the intake poppets going to 31mm and the exhaust to 25mm; the steel alloy used in the single valve springs has also been revised. Camshaft profiles have been redesigned to improve low-end and midrange power, with the intake camshaft shorter and lighter than the previous unit. The cam position sensor has also been relocated, allowing the cylinder head itself to be reshaped for less bulk and weight.
Working with the high-rpm power potential of the new bore/stroke configuration are 10mm-shorter intake manifolds (138mm from 148mm). The airbox has been revised for less weight, and the ram-air intakes on the upper fairing have been relocated closer to the centerline of the nose where air pressure is highest. The SDTV (Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve) electronic fuel injection system is basically the same, with two 12-hole injectors per cylinder and the primary injectors aimed at a steep 30-degree angle down the intake ports. Suzuki's ISC (Idle Speed Control) handles cold-start and idle stabilization via bypass air feed, and spark plugs using finer iridium alloy electrodes help produce a stronger ignition.
Spent gases are handled by the latest iteration of the underengine exhaust incorporating staggered-length titanium header pipes feeding into a collector and exhaust-valve-equipped midpipe that lead to a stainless steel chamber containing the catalyzer unit. The previous dual stainless steel mufflers have been replaced by curved MotoGP-inspired titanium components.
The new engine uses a more...
The new engine uses a more triangulated transmission shaft setup for a shorter engine and longer swingarm. Precision die-cast frame is also all-new, allowing the frame spars to mold around the engine for a slimmer profile.
The engine's bottom end changes include repositioning of the transmission's input and output shafts to provide a more triangulated configuration in relation to the crankshaft (pioneered by the original Yamaha R1) that shortens the powerplant's overall length. The crankshaft axis has been moved forward in relation to the cylinder bores' centerline, the transmission input shaft has been shifted upward, and the output shaft set closer to the crankshaft. All this has reduced the distance between the crankshaft and output shaft by 59.6mm. Another benefit to the input/output shaft repositioning is that the crankcase assembly could be simplified, with the new cases utilizing only upper and lower halves instead of three separate pieces; this eliminates 16 bolts and helps cut 670 grams from the engine's weight. The single counterbalancer is now smaller in diameter, allowing the use of 20mm bearings (versus the previous 23mm units) for less frictional losses.
More weight was cut by changing clutch actuation from hydraulic to cable operation. Because hydraulic actuation allows the use of stiffer clutch springs without excessive effort, the GSX-R's slipper clutch now incorporates the SCAS (Suzuki Clutch Assist System) found on other Suzuki models that use the same type of internal ramp setup to allow clutch plate movement during back-torque, but on the opposite side. Thus, torque applied to the clutch actually helps press the clutch plates together to prevent slip, permitting the use of lighter clutch springs for less lever effort.
A new integrated clutch and starter motor cover cuts about 200 grams from the previous two individual covers. The oil cooler has been changed to the works-style trapezoidal-shaped unit, which is not only more efficient than the old rectangular cooler, but also allows a narrower lower fairing for improved aerodynamics.
The twin-spar aluminum frame is completely new, comprised of five precision-cast sections. The more compact engine allowed Suzuki engineers to shorten the distance between the steering head and swingarm pivot, while the precision casting permits the main spars to precisely fit the contours of the engine, keeping the assembly narrow. A new one-piece cast aluminum rear subframe cuts more weight while keeping seat height the same as before.
The shorter main frame section allows the new swingarm (made from just three aluminum castings) to be 33mm longer (now 577mm pivot to axle in "standard position") while still reducing the wheelbase by 10mm to 55.3 inches. The swingarm sports cross-bracing on both top and bottom, and is arched to make room for the dual mufflers.
Like the new Kawasaki ZX-6R, the new GSX-R1000 uses Showa's latest BPF (Big Piston Fork) 43mm inverted fork that eliminates the conventional internal cartridge and instead uses a single 39.6mm piston running on the inside of the fork tube for more effective valving and stable damping characteristics. The reduction in components also reduces weight, with each BPF leg scaling 720 grams lighter than a conventional fork tube. The rear shock retains its multiple adjustability (high- and low-speed compression damping, rebound damping, spring preload), and the electronically-controlled steering damper is retained for '09.
43mm fork and Tokico monoblock...
43mm fork and Tokico monoblock radial-mount calipers headline just some of the many upgrades to the new GSX-R1000
The front brake system sports 310mm discs grabbed by new radial-mount forged aluminum monoblock calipers. The new calipers not only provide better feel by reducing flex, but are also 205 grams lighter than the previous calipers. The radial-pump master cylinder now features a smaller 17mm piston (from 19mm) to match the new calipers. Both wheels sport a new more aggressive design and are lighter than the previous hoops.
Other detail changes include a new wind tunnel-tested fairing design with a wider upper fairing for better wind protection while also reducing turbulence/drag, along with "sharply creased" sides that improve cooling airflow through the radiator and direct it away from the rider. The fuel tank features a new shape while retaining its 4.6-gallon capacity and weighing less than the old tank. The instrument cluster is all new, with a programmable shift light system utilizing four LED lights and the S-DMS (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector) now adjustable quickly on the fly with a switch on the left handlebar.
Suggested retail price for the new GSX-R1000 is set at $12,199. -KK
Intended as an entry-level version of the SV650, the new Gladius sports a retuned version of the 645cc V-twin housed in a steel tube trellis frame. Revised camshaft profiles, 10 percent more crankshaft inertia, slightly staggered intake and exhaust tract lengths, and an increase in exhaust system volume are said to contribute to an increase in low-end and midrange torque without affecting top-end power. A change to single valve springs reduces mechanical losses, while a new lighter, narrower, and more efficient radiator and new liquid-cooled oil cooler reduce weight. A new more compact internal fuel pump in the fuel tank also cuts precious grams.
The new chassis has the same 25-degree rake angle as the SV frame, while trail is lengthened incrementally by 4mm to 104mm. In order to make the Gladius more comfortable for novice riders, the chassis and bodywork at the seat/fuel tank junction are as slim as possible, and the outside forward edges of the seat are rounded, with the seat height lowered to 30.9 inches (from the SV's 31.5 inches). The Gladius' two-tone seat, frame, and bodywork are available in a variety of contrasting colors.
With the demise of the standard SV650 (discontinued for '09, although the S-model remains), the Gladius will fill that role, retailing at $6499.