EICMA 2015 FIRST LOOK: 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept

Suzuki completely reworks its liter-class sportbike.

2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015

In Suzuki's words, "The king of sportbikes is back." Just when you think it can't get any better, it does. This liter bike breaks new ground with its "Broad Power System" (whose subtext is to broaden the appeal of sportbikes). When you think sportbike, you think of peaky power, high up the rev range, and not easy to use. Erase that thought. This all-new GSX-R engine has centrifugal variable valve timing (VVT) that shifts toward Harley-like torque at bottom revs, then progressively changes to sportbike timing at peak revs. Best of both worlds. The power compromise–either sacrificing bottom power to boost the top, or backing down peak power to fill out the middle–is broken by Suzuki Racing VVT.

The Broad Power System has three other elements:

1) Cam followers are changed from inverted bucket type to fingers having 1/3 the weight. This is common in MotoGP where super-light valve trains are able to follow shorter timings to deliver broader power without loss of peak.

2) Throttle-by-wire system includes “top feed” (showerhead) injectors mounted in the top of the intake airbox. The bottom injector, located under the throttle butterfly, delivers bottom and midrange power while the showerhead cuts in at unspecified revs to boost top power. This is Suzuki Top Feed Injector – S-TFI.

3) Header pipe balance tubes are not new, but Suzuki has added servo-operated valves which close at lower revs, boosting power there, then open at higher revs to selectively boost top power. These tubes join 180-degree-firing cylinder pairs. This is Suzuki Exhaust Tuning-Alpha, or SET-A.

2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept static side view

Fear not – this engine, with its flat 180-degree crankshaft (not the 90-degree crank used in MotoGP), will still make the celebrated and feared GSX-R scream. Other interesting engine details are combustion chambers mainly implemented in the piston crowns, connecting-rods with the smooth organic shapes that come from computer stress studies, and F1-inspired smaller exhaust valves that make room for bigger intakes.

As this is officially a “concept,” Suzuki has not at this point released anything beyond text descriptions–there are no specs as yet, such as bore and stroke, etc.

The complete suite of electronics is provided;

1) Ride-by-wire

2) 10-level traction control, adjustable while riding

3) Three selectable modes of engine power delivery (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector – S-DMS)

4) Electronic ABS

5) Launch control

6) Quick-shift system for both up- and downshifts, implemented (for downshifting) via an auto-blipper.

Note the early success of Suzuki’s return to MotoGP racing–rider Maverick Vinales was second-fastest in the recent Michelin tire test, occurring after the season final at Valencia. This involvement in motor sport lies at the heart of advanced motorcycle innovation.

2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept front suspension
2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept rear suspension

There is an all-new aluminum twin-spar chassis carrying the latest Showa suspension. Showa’s “Balance Free” damping concept removes all valving from the damper piston, placing it in accessible locations. The moving piston pushes damping oil–it has no other job. These systems—fork and rear suspension—are nitrogen-charged. Though we do not know the bike’s weight, the stated goal of the project was to make this the lightest GSX-R1000 ever.

The new Gixxer’s bodywork is rounded, breaking  from the present orthodoxy of points and darts. That seems to work–you won’t see points or darts on MotoGP bikes.

Instrumentation is implemented as a “Glass cockpit” – a large screen on which all relevant information – conventional and electronic—appears. As the press release says, “Find the system (on-screen), adjust its setting, and ride.”

Lighting is all-LED, including the compact headlight.

I am greatly encouraged by this new-model release because it indicates that life is coming back into the motorcycle market. Suzuki, whose identity to such a large extent depends upon their decades-long GSX-R tradition, could not stand by and let the big sportbike market go to Yamaha and Kawasaki!

Remember that rideability is equally desired by racers and sportbike enthusiasts. Rideability is at the center of Suzuki’s new CONCEPT GSX-R1000. Expect to see this bike released as a 2017 model.

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept at EICMA 2015.Jeff Allen

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept action.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept action.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept action.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept action.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept static.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept headlight.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept front suspension.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept front suspension.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept rear suspension.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept instrumentation.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept new engine.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept studio.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept aerodynamics.Suzuki Photo

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2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Concept disassembled parts.Suzuki Photo