We saw it happen in cars, and then, we saw it in motorcycles. More power needs a bigger engine, which needs bigger brakes, a stronger, heavier chassis, and a bigger gas tank. Finally, you can hardly steer the monster; it’s become a power station on wheels. Smoky burnouts are its best feature.
Can we please have the easy handling of a light-to-middleweight motorcycle but with real power? They’re doing it in cars—making the engines smaller to get weight down, then pumping the power back up with modern, electronically controlled turbocharger systems.
Before you look tired and point to the unpopular turbo bikes of the ’80s, think again. Today, turbo systems are regularly designed to give pretty much whatever power curve you want, not the nothing, nothing, wham! of those early days.
Suzuki calls this liquid-cooled 588cc parallel-twin “Recursion,” which means “flowing back, repeating.” The industry today is very much trying to “flow back” to the early days when motorcycles were light and easy for first-timers to handle—back to the days when motorcycles were still in human scale. Today, everyone is looking for designs that will excite non-traditional buyers.
Here is the heart of the matter: Recursion makes a claimed 100 hp at 8,000 rpm, but peak torque is a whopping 74 pound-feet way down at 4,500 rpm. Instead of the never-ending dwee-dwee-dwee upshifting of a 600cc sportbike, Recursion delivers at least 3,500 rpm of hefty, no-shifting-needed torque. This is the torque of a liter-bike, given across a three-times-wider band and packaged into a light middleweight.
This twin sits in a cast chassis with a single-sided swingarm and single front disc brake. It has attractive sportbike styling but is not a power station on wheels. Suzuki will reveal all on November 23, when the Tokyo Motor Show opens.