Electronic aids are certain to get a boost. Bosch’s ‘cornering ABS’ system is almost guaranteed, while Suzuki have long championed rider modes, and are sure to increase the range and remit of these to work with the new VVT motor. With the V-Strom 1000 and new GSX-S1000 duo sporting traction control, it’s certain that an evolved package – most likely developed on the GP bike – will make its way on the L7. The MotoGP project team told MCN last year that the RR’s engine configuration was aimed at assisting road-going superbike development for engine, chassis and electronics, and it’s no coincidence that the two projects are running so closely in development.
What’s less clear is whether Suzuki will pursue semi-active suspension or Bosch’s Inertial Measurement Unit (already in use on the new Yamaha YZF-R1and Ducati 1299 Panigale). Suzuki’s mantras of affordability and inherent handling stability seem to suggest engineering excellence is preferred over electronic intervention.
At this stage it’s impossible to say how the new GSX-R will look, as all the patents shroud the new technology in outlines of the existing bike, but it’s inconceivable that Suzuki would overlook the MotoGP bike’s allure. While it would require a lot of work to integrate the required lighting and other road garb into the design, it’s logical to assume that there will be a strong family resemblance to the RR – which moves the GSX-R family aesthetic on into a new generation.
While the new L7 is almost certain to be revealed at the Milan show on November 19-22, MCN expects that it won’t arrive in dealers until mid-to-late 2016. Why so late? Well actually it’s early. Dealers suggest that the new bike wasn’t expected to emerge from Japan until 2017, but has been brought forward to compete with the recent glut of ballistic superbike releases.
There’s also a high probability that the new bike will be highly competitive on price. During our visit to the Japanese factory last year the head of product planning went to great lengths to reinforce the firm’s commitment to affordable new bikes. While it’s unlikely to be priced in line with the existing model’s £10,599-£11,299 range, there’s a strong probability of it arriving at sub-£13,000.
Suzuki GB General Manager, Paul De Lusignan, refused to confirm the arrival of a new superbike, but told MCN: “The GSX-R1000 is an important model for us in the UK, and for Suzuki globally. It’s an iconic machine. We are continually developing it both at the factory and in conjunction with our race teams, not least of all our MotoGP team. New technologies are constantly being tested and developed, with a view to enhancing the production version, but we are not in a position to confirm timings on any new or updated models that may be in development.”
Of course, the final piece of the puzzle could take the form of a higher spec, higher priced version, trading off the GP bike’s RR designation, but there’s no indication this is part of the current plan. Regardless, the arrival of an all-new GSX-R1000 is a tantalising enough prospect all on its own.