Filed Under (Suzuki) by admin on 12-11-2010
The launch of the sixth generation of Gsxr marked a shift in Suzuki’s emphasis on two fronts. One, the Gsxr 1000 now took the upper hand in the development stakes. Historically, the Gsxr 750 led the march-arriving first, gaining the most recent technology, absorbing the lion’s share of corporate pride-but by 2003 the Gsxr 1000 was in the lead. Two, the Gsxr 1000 represents another, more subtle shift for Suzuki engineering, in which the designers-the lucky guys who get to clothe these amazing machines-have more freedom of expression. With this generation, the designs turned edgier, sharper, more aggressive looking than ever. What’s more, the Gsxr 1000 K3 would be the proving ground for a host of changes brought to the Gsxr 600 and Gsxr 750 for 2004. In fact, nearly every upgrade to the smaller bikes appeared on the Gsxr 1000 a year before. But the real impetus for driving the Gsxr 1000 to the head of development and, indeed, shortening its development cycle was competition both on the track and in the showroom. For the track, it was understood that Superbike racing would revert to allowing 1000 cc four-cylinder bikes in place of the 750s that had been the limit since 1982. In 2002, Yoshimura and Mat Mladin barely lost the AMA Superbike crown to Nicky Hayden aboard the Honda RC5!. But it would be the RC’s swan song of competitiveness with the change to 1000 cc fours. To keep speeds in check, the AMA Superbike rules would require 1000 cc fours to have some additional limitations compared to the twins and triples. For example, “Cylinder heads may be ported and machined, but altering of valve angles will not be permitted; aftermarket valves, springs, retainers, and other valve-train components will be permitted; valves must be stock size and same basic material as original equipment; aftermarket camshafts will be permitted, but earn lift and resulting valve lift must be no greater than stock. “In addition, the “stock crankshaft must be retained, The only allowable modifications are balancing, polishing of bearing surfaces and attachment of accessory drives. Homologated transmission gear sets (one optional set of ratios per approved model) will be permitted. Optional sets will be price-controlled and must be available to any legitimate AMA Superbike competitor. Homologated fuel-injection throttle-body assemblies (one optional type per approved model) and aftermarket airboxes will be permitted. Modifications to throttle bodies will not be permitted. Optional throttle bodies will be price-controlled and must be available to any legitimate AMA Superbike competitor.” The thinking was simple: keep the liter bikes from sucking through massive throttle bodies, and the horsepower might not (and, it was hoped, would not) go through the roof. In preparation for racing, Suzuki moto wanted to make a host of small changes to the Gsxr 1000, but its motivation was also to keep the bike at the forefront of open-class street bikes. Suzuki engineers knew that Honda and Kawasaki were readying all-new models-the CBR 954 RR and the ZX 9 R had long since been vanquished-and rumor had it that Yamaha was ready with yet another push with the R1.It was the right time to make alterations to the Gsxr 1000. Heading the list was, as one might expect, a revised engine.