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2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000 Preview


by John Ilkiw ,

Sticking to the two-year life cycle for high end Japanese sportbikes, Suzuki will hit the showroom and Superbike championships for 2009 with an all-new version of the beloved Gixxer. The biggest news is obviously it's 191 (Crankshaft) hp, just what the doctor ordered for stock-based racing classes around the world, as well as what is needed to beat up the competition in every liter sportbike comparo, the key to street sales in America and Western Europe.

Improved casting as well as lighter metal come together in a more compact engine.

From the outside, the most notable change is the great swoop of the dual titanium exhausts, and some more subtle changes to the front fairing to accommodate larger air intakes, as well as new fairing pieces and shapes aimed at reducing turbulence and drag.

The extra 30 hp on tap for 2009 come from a completely new engine based on the lessons learned by Suzuki in MotoGP. Improved casting as well as lighter metal come together in a more compact engine, which in turn meansless weight, a lower moment of inertia, better front-rear weight distribution, as well as allowing use of a longer swingarm (33mm) within a shorter (10mm) wheelbase. A more compact, more agile bike usually leads to better braking, easier corner entry and improved traction on full tilt corner exit - all good stuff!

Improved torque and horsepower come from a higher compression ratio, higher maximum revs, new 12-hole fuel showerhead injectors, as well as improved combustion chamber shape, different cam timing, a faster ECU processor, a more efficient air box and improved fuel and ignition mapping.

The good news continues with Suzuki's new and lighter (720 grams) Big Piston front fork (BFP), using carbonized titanium coating to reduce stiction, and re calibrated damping to improve feedback during corner-entry. Rebound and compression damping adjusters are located on the fork cap of each leg, while spring preload is adjustable at the bottom of each leg, to simplify adjustments when riding condition change or for finr tuning track behavior.

The rear Showa shock features adjustable high- and low-speed compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload. The front calipers are now machined from a solid bloc of forged aluminium (Monobloc) rather the old two-piece bolted-together design. The new, stronger pieces shave 205 grams of unsprung weight off each side, as well as provide better feedback to the rider. More unsprung (And rotating) weight is saved through the use of lighter front and rear wheels.

In their constant search for improved feedback for the sport-minded rider, Suzuki has returned to a cable-actuated clutch, which by the way also reduces weight.

With a more compact engine, revised controls, and a claimed 5 kilos drop in weight, the lighter, faster and better looking 2009 GSX-R1000 will certainly challenge for Superbike supremacy, on the street as well as on the track. Watching it fight in Canada, the US and World Superbike should be a delight. The battle for buyers will also no doubt be fascinating.

Photo Credit : Suzuki