Say, did we miss the Suzuki GSX-R’s 30th birthday party? Sorry about that – but you know how it is when you have so many children running around the house. You lose track. The GSX-R grew so ubiquitous over the years – if you weren’t tripping over one in the garage, you were backing over one in a parking lot or crashing one at Willow Springs. Lately, however, there seems to be a lot of interest in the motorcycle that led Suzuki directly to the GSX-R. That would be the GS1000R, better known now as XR69.
For the second time this season, Factory Ducati #1 Andrea Dovizioso and Repsol Honda prodigy Marc Marquez gave us a late-race knives-in-a-phonebooth duel, a ten-point spread in the standings at the top of the heap at stake. And for the second time this season, Dovizioso prevailed in what was almost a carbon copy of the first win, a last lap exchange of fortunes in Austria. Now it’s Two for the Road, as the two “blessed” riders in this year’s championship, separated by 11 points, seem destined to square off in Valencia.
Now that AIMExpo 2017 is complete, we’ve compiled our choices for the coolest stuff we saw while perusing the show. While the number of new 2018 model-year motorcycles was limited because of the show’s early date, that didn’t prevent the show from reflecting a vital motorcycle industry. So, as we reflect on last week’s show, here’s a list – in no particular order – of the top 10 products that we saw at the 2017 AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio.
Suzuki will present a SV650X next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, showcasing a “neo-retro” version of its naked V-Twin. Though it looks to be production ready, Suzuki says the SV650X is only a concept, and the company says it hopes to gauge consumer reaction before deciding whether to put it into production (which seems like a familiar theme for Suzuki this year.)
A few weeks ago Suzuki invited us to the launch of its GSX250R. During the event we were briefed on Suzuki’s plans for bringing new and returning riders back into the sport with this new motorcycle. Many critics, upon hearing news that Suzuki was coming to market with a 250, were asking why not a 300 like most of the other bikes in its class. Whatever Suzuki’s reasoning may have been for the decision, it should be notedthat the 2018 GSX250R is a great bike. It may not be the lightest or fastest but it does an adequate job of being a practical sportbike that looks good.
New for the 2018 model year, Suzuki has released its quarter-liter sportbike, the GSX250R. Some may say Suzuki is a bit late to the game and ask: Why not a 300? In fact, everywhere I have ridden the GSX250R, fellow motorcycle enthusiasts have asked that question. Suzuki reps tiptoed around that elephant in the room and were quick to mention performance isn’t the main selling point with 250cc motorcycles, even to the point of not providing horsepower or torque numbers. They insisted price, style, practicality, and ease of ownership are where customers are making decisions when purchasing these bikes.
When I was invited to the 2018 Suzuki GSX250R introduction I had mixed feelings. I have only owned one personal motorcycle under 995cc. Small bikes just aren’t really my thing. While I have plenty of reasons for my bias, I was willing to go into this bike launch with an open mind and I am glad I did. This lightweight bike was tons of fun.
MotoGP Madness descends upon the British Midlands this weekend as Round 12, the two-thirds mark of the 2017 season, arrives. Repsol Honda prodigy Marc Marquez maintains his lead in the series at 16 points, but only 35 points separate the top five riders. A single mishap for #93 and it’s anybody’s season. But Marquez was down by 37 points after Mugello, and has gained 53 points on the field in the last five rounds. His pursuers need to evacuate or get off the pot if they want to Let Valencia Decide.
Honda Racing took a turn slapping the competition around at Brno. This week, in a country synonymous with mountains, beer halls, and alarming political geneses, Ducati Corse gets its chance. The Track with Only Nine Turns hosts Round 11 of the 2017 MotoGP championship on Sunday. Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jorge Lorenzo need to make hay while the sun shines, because Honda man-child Marc Marquez is pulling away from the field.
TFT displays are a type of LCD flat-panel display screen in which each pixel is controlled by one to four transistors, which can combine to yield full-color readouts. Not only does this type of display offer great resolution, it allows manufacturers full customization of how the user interface interacts with the rider. In more performance-oriented bikes, we see normal street-riding displays, while more track-focused screens can be made available at the push of a button. Track-specific screens generally focus on tachometer, lap timers, and gear indicators to give trackday enthusiasts an easier intake of information that is important while spinning laps.
Three years ago in its maiden season, the Yamaha FZ-07 came out with both 80mm pistons blazing to take the win from five other tasty middleweights (including the KTM 690 Duke) in our 2014 Middleweight Mash-Up Six-Way Shootout! Last year, we threw the Yamaha in with the Duke 690 again – also the reborn Suzuki SV650 (alongside Gabe’s old SV, because why not?), and watched as the Yamaha lost out to the Duke by the slimmest of margins (a different set of testers…), on its way to beating up (barely) the new Suzuki SV.
For those who’ve lapped up every word, expression, and metaphor of the performance novel that was our 2017 Superbike Track Shootout and Superbike Street Shootout, the heir apparent is as obvious as the bike coming in last place. For those still wallowing in anticipation, unable to decipher our MOrse code, you can take a breath because, without further ado, we give you…
With more passing than you’d see at an April 20 party, the 2017 Motul Assen TT was one of the more riveting races in recent memory. Tech 3 Yamaha rookie sensation Johann Zarco led the first 11 laps from pole. Meanwhile, Valentino Rossi and Ducati brute Danilo Petrucci were in the heart of the lead group along with Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda. But Rossi – fast, patient and strategic – managed to beat Petrucci to the flag by .06 seconds. They don’t call him The Doctor for nothing.