Suzuki Announces Plans for Next Five Years

Suzuki Motor Corporation, incorporating both its car, outboard motor and motorcycle divisions has announced its mid-term business plan, titled ‘Suzuki Next 100’ – a five year plan that starts now and is set out until 2019. The ‘Next 100’ moniker is to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary of foundation in 2020.

Sadly, for those hoping that a resurgent Suzuki may be returning to the motorcycle space, their goals and aims seem extremely conservative. Suzuki were hardest hit of just about all the motorcycle manufacturers when the GFC came and they’ve not come close to recovering. Suzuki’s aim is to increase total motorcycles sales in North America from an estimated 50,000 units this year to 60,000 by 2019 – a paltry increase that still puts it way behind what it was selling back in 2008/09.

In Japan, Suzuki is even more conservative stating that their ambitions are to sell the same number of motorcycles in five years as it does now. And if you thought this was all because Suzuki was focusing on growth markets like Asia, you’d be wrong. Suzuki is forecasting that they will actually sell 70,000 less units in five years in that region.

The PowerPoint presentation released to investors showed the following items relating to the motorcycle division:

  • Departure from chronic deficits through selection and concentration.
  • Development of products which clearly define characteristics of Suzuki (150cc and up, backbone, sport)
  • Return to the origin of basic performances of “Running, Cornering, and Braking”
  • Pursue fun-to-ride and easy-to-ride
  • Feedback of MotoGP technologies

It’s all very pedestrian and doesn’t give us great hope that the Suzuki of old will be returning anytime soon. Given rumors of exciting new machines like the Recursion we would have expected the companies forward projections to be a little more ambitious – so perhaps instead we’ll be stuck with the same old machines that haven’t been updated for nearly a decade instead.

2016 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Rumor Round-Up

Suzuki Working on Electric and Hydrogen Powered Motorcycles

While Suzuki’s current range certainly isn’t cutting edge when it comes to technological gadgetry, they appear to be very keen at being at the forefront of drive train technology. Not only are they well on their way to releasing a production version of the turbocharged Suzuki Recursion concept, but recent patent filings show that the smallest of the Japanese manufacturers is working on both an electric motorcycle and a hydrogen fuel cell powered dirt bike.

This isn’t the first patent registered by Suzuki for a fuel cell powered bike. Way back in 2007, Suzuki showed off their hydrogen powered concept called the Crosscage. Then, in 2010 Suzuki has actually produced a hydrogen powered Burgman for real world testing. The patent diagrams indicate that the fuel cell, motor and hydrogen tank are exactly the same as the Burgman proof of concept scooter. The configuration is slightly different with the hydrogen tank mounted vertically instead of horizontally and the electric motor beneath it.

The hydrogen powered Suzuki Burgman concept was good for an impressive 200 miles and could be refueled in five minutes – all without a drastic increase in weight from a conventional scooter.

The more recent patent filing pertains to a battery powered electric motorcycle that appears to be Honda Grom like in size. The patent details are fairly innocuous in that there’s no really radical new ideas here, but a small sized electric bike sounds like a great way to introduce a battery powered machine to the mass market.

Again, this isn’t a first for Suzuki. The patent images seem to be very closely related to their Extrigger concept from late 2013. The Extrigger’s electric drive train was actually borrowed from the earlier Suzuki e-Let electric scooter.

So if Suzuki are filing updated patents on a nearly two year old concept, does that mean the Extrigger concept is going into production? Given the popularity of the Honda Grom, we can only hope so.

 

2016 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Rumor Round-Up

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Suzuki GSX-R brand (see our article on the GSX-R750 here) and next year will be the 15th anniversary of Suzuki’s halo bike, the GSX-R1000. It’s almost certain that Suzuki will unveil a much needed update for the bike this year and we’ve collated all the rumors (both likely and perhaps not so likely) together in anticipation.

It’s a big year for the smallest of the Japanese brands. In addition to the above mentioned anniversaries, Suzuki has returned to full-time MotoGP racing and what better way to capitalize on that than to release a new bike from the publicity this brings. One thing that is clear from what we’ve heard is that Suzuki have no intention of competing with the likes of Ducati and Yamaha in the technology stakes. That’s not because Suzuki isn’t capable of doing so, but they’re making a conscious decision to make the next generation GSX-R1000 as pure as possible and leaving the expensive gadgets to the other brands.

That doesn’t mean it won’t have some new bells and whistles. Traction control and engine modes will be included as well as things like wheelie and stoppie control. Just don’t go expecting electronic suspension or sophisticated internal GPS units. This will please the purists but also keep the new GSX-R1000 affordable and only slightly more costly than the current model.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • The bike will get a completely new engine featuring variable valve timing and based off the MotoGP machine.
  • This engine is rumored to produce just a shade under 200 bhp.
  • Weight will be below the 200 kg mark and the aim is that the new GSX-R1000 will have a better power to weight ratio than the new Yamaha R1 (but only just).
  • Traction control based on the new MotoGP bike will be included
  • Like the Suzuki Recursion concept, the frame will go partially over the engine to make the bike narrower.
  • Bosch cornering ABS is likely.
  • Styling will also take cues from the MotoGP bike, but expect an appearance more conservative than that of the new R1.
  • There is unlikely to be a ‘normal’ version and a ‘premium’ version.

Any announcement is likely at Intermot later this year.

2016 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Rumor Round-Up

Patents Reveal Production Turbocharged Suzuki Recursion

Just a few months ago, there was a flurry of news surrounding the turbocharged concept Suzuki showed off at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Firstly, Japanese magazine Young Machine claimed the bike had been confirmed for production. Days later, it was discovered that that Suzuki had re-registered the Katana brand name and logo in Europe and the United States. The Recursion has a passing resemblance to the original Katana, a bike which was the fastest production motorcycle in the world at the time.

Now, Suzuki has filed new patents for the Recursion, but with a change to its looks that brings it from concept to real world. There’s no reason for Suzuki to file new patent applications with such a change in appearance unless production was going ahead.

The biggest change in looks is at the front of the machine. Gone is the sleek, futuristic and no doubt expensive face and replaced with a more generic headlight and windscreen arrangement. No doubt part of that is to bring costs down and another is to do with the intercooler – it will need as much air as possible to suck down, and hence as big an inlet as possible is required – function over form.

From the patents, it appears that the air goes into a tube which splits in two, goes around the steering head and then onto the top of the engine. The turbocharger is positioned in front of the engine and connected closely to the exhaust headers. The engine itself is revealed as a single overhead cam unit, making it lighter and smaller than a double overhead cam power plant. That’s not because Suzuki is trying to be cheap, it’s because with the turbocharger added into the mix, high revs aren’t required for power delivery and therefore a second camshaft would be prove mostly unnecessary.

Like the concept, the patent shows that the aluminum frame goes over the engine instead of beside it, keeping the bike narrow. And if previously leaked documents still hold true, The Recursion/Katana will produce 100 hp @ 8,000 RPM and a massive 73 ft-lb @ at only 4,500 rpm – torque that bikes with twice the capacity make.

The other big advantage of a turbocharged arrangement is that it will supposedly have improved emissions and fuel economy over a similarly sized 600 cc bike by as much as 50 per cent. For this reason alone, we’ll see more and more brands returning to forced induction technology as emissions regulations in Europe and California become stricter.

We’re very excited for Suzuki this year. After years of languishing at the bottom of the Japanese pecking order, they’ve returned to MotoGP full-time and there are big rumors that an all new GSX-R1000 will debut before years end. 2015 could well herald the renaissance of Suzuki motorcycles.

 

 

Production Recursion Concept to be called Suzuki Katana?

Just days after magazine Young Machine published that the turbocharged Suzuki Recursion concept was going into production there’s now even more evidence the wheels of progressive are finally turning at Suzuki. It’s been revealed that Suzuki has re-registered the Katana brand name and logo in Europe and the United States.

That seems significant, because the Recursion concept has a strong resemblance (as far as concept bikes are concerned) to the Suzuki Katana’s of old. The original Katana was a rocket ship and at the time it was released in 1980, was claimed to be the fastest production motorcycle in the world. The original Suzuki Katana in fact defined the superbike market for years to come. By the end of the Katana’s run however, the bikes that featured the name were more sport touring than superbike.

But if Suzuki is producing the turbocharged Recursion then resurrecting the Katana brand which was last used in 2006 would be a great way to go because the Recursion is a bike that has the potential to redefine the motorcycle industry by way of a practical, forced induction machine as opposed to the Ninja H2 which few will ever get to ride.

Also of note is that Suzuki re-registered the Gamma name and logo, but in Europe only. The Gamma name was used for a vareity of two-stroke bikes in the early 80’s.

 

Suzuki to Build the Turbocharged Recursion Concept?

News has broken today from Japan that Suzuki may be on it’s way to putting into production the Suzuki Recursion, a concept bike first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and featured a 588cc, parallel-twin, turbocharged engine. But is it too good to be true seeing as this is Suzuki we’re talking about?  A company that hasn’t updated most of it’s lineup in 10 years and who we’ve been critical of as recently as last month?

If Suzuki were ever to get itself back in the game, this would be the motorcycle to do it. While the Ninja H2R and H2 are impressive on paper, very few riders will swing a leg over them and they’re hardly motorcycles for the ‘Real World‘. The Suzuki Recursion is small in stature (the aluminum frame goes over the engine instead of beside it, keeping it narrow), weighs only 174kg dry (not bad with a turbo bolted on) and will supposedly have improved emissions and fuel economy over a similarly sized 600cc bike by as much as 50 per cent.

young machine Suzuki Recursion Concept to be Produced?

Obviously it’s the power and torque figures that are the most attractive proposition. Leaked internal documents of the concept bike indicated 100 hp @ 8,000 RPM, compared to the GSX-R 600 which makes 124 hp at a much higher 13,500 rpm. But it’s the supposed torque figure that is really exciting – 73 ft-lb @ at only 4,500 rpm. The GSX-R 600 only has 51.3 ft-lb @ 11500 rpm. And while we’re comparing the performance figures to the GSX-R 600, don’t think that Suzuku Recursion aims to replace or even compete in the same category at the supersport machine – we’re only comparing like displacement for like displacement. The Suzuki Recursion is more of an SV-650 than a supersport – at least the concept was.

The magazine that broke the news is titled Young Machine. Their track record isn’t totally accurate though they generally get the at least parts of the story right. For example, they were one of the first to indicate Honda were working on a bike to sit between the CBR250R and CBR600RR – claiming it was a CBR400R. They were out by about 100cc, but nevertheless they general idea was right. The image of the Recursion they’ve also printed is probably way off as it looks more concept than the original concept did.

If Suzuki were to release the Recursion, 2015 would be the time to do it. With a return to MotoGP, Suzuki is obviously deciding now is the time to get their name back out there as a manufacturer of high performance machines. If the Suzuki Recursion does make it to market, this is a motorcycle that will the practical alternative to the Ninja H2 and one that we think could end up being wildly popular.