On our way to Phillip Island in Australia to ride the baddest Gixxer ever, we stopped over in Japan to visit Suzuki’s factory and test track in Hamamatsu. While there we learned some interesting tidbits about the all-new 200-horsepower superbike.
1. Variable Valve Timing Is Nothing New
Variable Valve Timing makes its way for the first time on a production Suzuki in this GSX-R, but its lineage stretches back at least four years. Suzuki’s top-level racing superbikes, including the AMA/MotoAmerica ones, have been using a similar system since 2012.
2. Sub-10 Second Quarter-Mile
Suzuki’s chief test rider Nakashima-san says the new Gixxer runs a standing quarter-mile in just 9.8 seconds at the Ryoyu test track, an improvement of 0.2 second over last year’s model. Nakashima has a 30-year history at Suzuki, 28 as a test rider, stretching back to the beginning of of the GSX-Rs.
3. Inspected By Humans, Not Robots
The oil holes of the Gixxer Thou’s crankshaft are inspected by humans with tiny camera because of the extreme high-performance nature of the bikes; engines in other Suzukis are checked by machine.
4. Cranking Them Out
Suzuki’s production line at its Toyokawa plant can assemble 240 GSX-Rs per day on its 80-meter assembly line manned by 51 employees. Engines are built 30 miles away at Suzuki’s Takatsuka Plant in the Hamamatsu area.
5. Revvin’ Kevin
The GSX-R1000 with the 34th VIN number will be sent to 500cc Grand Prix champion Kevin Schwantz, who famously rode with the #34 on the side of his bikes.