Enter the Hayabusa
courtesy Suzuki, Japan
One faithful Friday afternoon, members of the product planning and engineering departments met at Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan. The product planners wanted a motorcycle so advanced that it didn't fit into established machine categories. A machine that would redefine street performance. A machine that drew upon lessons learned in endurance and drag racing.
With breathtaking acceleration. Nimble handling. Strong brakes. State of the art suspension. A comfortable riding position. World class fit and finish. A machine that exemplified effortless performance and instilled pride of ownership in its rider. A machine so advanced that it demanded an entirely new performance category: Ultimate Sport.
Meeting the engine performance goals would be no problem, the engineers replied. Building an excellent chassis would be no problem. Brakes, suspension, comfort, fit and finish, all no problem.
The challenge the engineers added, would come in making the performance seem effortless. They would think about the project, the engineers said, agreeing to reconvene the meeting the following week.
The answer came to a young member of the engineering team on a family wilderness outing that weekend. Walking along a trail, the engineer spotted a streak in the sky, high above the trees lining nearby cliffs. Startled, he watched as it swooped at an impossible rate of speed, then turned and whirled back over the treetops. He recognized it as an indigenous falcon the Japanese call Hayabusa. It is not the biggest bird in Japan, nor is it the strongest bird in Japan. But the Hayabusa has a unique ability to cut through the wind to reach top speed of over 300 km/h ( 186 mp/h ).
As he watched, the engineer reflected upon the fact that the Hayabusa does not spend its entire day at 300 km/h. But the ability to slice through the air at such a high rate of speed makes its normal flight seem effortless.
Real world Aerodynamics....
In theory, building an extremely aerodynamic motorcycle should be easy. Take an aircraft wing tank, cut slots in the bottom for wheels, stuff in an engine, leave a place for the rider and tack on a canopy.
The reality of building an aerodynamic motorcycle that people will actually enjoy riding in the real world is a different matter. There are so many things to consider; Riding comfort. Turbulence reaching a normally seated rider. Handling at highway speeds in a straight line and in lower gear on curvy roads, in headwinds, tailwinds, side winds.
In the end, it comes down to the critical details. Not just the profile of the fairing, the curve of the windscreen, or shape of the front fender.
But details like the way cooling air flows around the fork legs and into the radiator. The way hot air flows our over the trailing edge of a fairing vent and meets air flowing around the outside of the fairing itself. The way air flows under the engine and meets the spinning rear wheel. The way the air flow behaves when it slips over and around the rider and past the tail section.
Always with a rider. Take out the rider, and any aerodynamic work becomes simply an academic study. Which is why the team of Suzuki engineers who created the GSX1300R spent so much time working on aerodynamic design and on wind tunnel testing, with a rider in place.
The result of all that research and testing is a work of aggressively styled aerodynamic art. A machine built to catch the eye and slip through the wind. A machine built to deliver almost effortless performance. a machine called Hayabusa.
The GSX1300R is another product of the integrated design process made famous by Suzuki. Instead of a chassis engineers designing around a finished engine or electrical engineers tacking instruments and lights on a completed chassis, a team of talented engineers worked together to produce the innovative machine called Hayabusa.
Building a strong engine or a rigid chassis involves straightforward engineering. Designing a motorcycle to define effortless performance is another matter.
Consider the impact engine size and position, frame geometry and body shape have on aerodynamics. To reach the performance goals, the GSX1300R had to have a four cylinder engine. To realize the targeted gains in aerodynamic efficiency, the GSX1300R had to have the smallest possible frontal projected area. Which meant the fairing nose had to be positioned as low as possible with a precise shape.
The catch is that to position the fairing correctly, the engine had to be very compact and positioned as low as possible. Complicating matters, the fairing shape needed for class-leading aerodynamics could not work with any existing headlamp system or instrument cluster in use on Suzuki motorcycles.
When the engineering work was done, the GSX1300R had the largest displacement yet very compact four cylinder motorcycle ever built by Suzuki. A new headlamp combining a free surface multi-reflector low beam positioned above a 70mm projector high beam, producing an improved, wider, brighter light pattern in a more compact package. An ultra thin instrument cluster with step motor tachometer and speedometer and LED back lighting and indicator lights. All making possible the precise fairing shape and positioning needed to give the GSX1300R the lowest CDA of any street motorcycle ever produced by Suzuki.
Suzuki Ram Air Direct ( SRAD )
The GSX1300R doesn't just slip through the wind. It also uses the wind to boost engine performance, with a unique version of Suzuki Ram Air Direct.
The SRAD intakes are placed close to the centerline of the carefully shaped fairing nose, near the point of maximum air pressure. The integrated turn signals are positioned and shaped to force more air into the intakes, maximizing the ram-air effect.
Pressurized air is ducted into a large capacity airbox and fed into the engine through straight, downdraft intake tracts. The result is a significant boost in horsepower torque and acceleration.
A Responsive Engine
The SRAD system feeds an engine built with lessons learned from years of successfully competing in unlimited class road racing events. Combining large displacement and reduced intake resistance with big valves (33mm intake, 27,5mm exhaust ) set at a narrow angle ( 28degrees ) in compact (18,8cc) TSCC combustion chambers, producing more efficient combustion to boost torque and maximize acceleration. Plating the cylinder bores with Suzuki´s own race proven nickel-phosphourus-silicon-carbide coating, known as SCEM ( Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material ), to minimize cylinder spacing, make the crankshaft shorter, reduce weight and improve engine cooling. Reducing internal friction with lightweight, oil-spray-cooled pistons (the cooling oil delivered directly from an air-cooled oil cooler. ). Improving lubrication with simpler, straighter oil passageways, and delivering efficient cooling with a large-capacity, curved radiator and efficient electric fan. Handling the power with a large-capacity, back torque limiting 150mm diameter clutch delivering smooth, predictable engagement with a light lever pull. Delivering a precisely-shifting six-speed transmission with fully floating shift fork shafts and special shift shaft bushings. And increasing transmission durability with oil jets spraying the faces of the most used gears, fourth, fifth and sixth.
The GSX1300R engine is a textbook example of high-performance engineering. A liquid-cooled Inline Four with 81mm bore and 63mm stroke for 1298cc of displacement. Double overhead cams, chain driven off the right side of a five main journal crankshaft, with four valves per cylinder operated through bucket tappets using lash adjustment shims set in aluminum-alloy valve spring retainers. A crankshaft driven counter rotating balancing shaft. And a digital electronic engine management system combining precise fuel injection control and a fully transistorized ignition system, with individual ignition coils built into the spark plug caps.
The entire engine package is as compact as the legendary GSA-R1100 engine, yet produces far more horsepower (175hp @ 9,800rpm ) and torque (14,1kg-m @ 8,500rpm) In fact, the GSX1300R has the most powerful production motorcycle engine ever built by Suzuki.
Precise Fuel Injection
The GSX1300R's new digital electronic fuel injection system uses an eight-trigger-pole crank-angle position sensor, which is significantly more accurate than commonly used four-trigger-pole sensors.
Each cylinder's single fine spray injector maximizes efficiency while reducing weight. The system's compact fuel pump is built into the throttle body assembly instead of being positioned inside the fuel tank, reducing weight and simplifying the overall design.
And to make everybody breathe a little easier, every GSX1300R uses Suzuki PAIR ( Pulsed-Secondary Air-injection ), which minimizes unburned hydrocarbons by introducing fresh air into the exhaust ports. European market GSX1300R models also feature catalyzed exhaust system.
A Rigid Twin-spar Frame
The GSX1300R has a chassis built around an aluminum-alloy twin-spar frame built with race-proven technology. The frame itself combines extruded main spars with cast steering head and swingarm pivot sections. An aluminum-alloy swingarm combines extruded arms with a cast pivot and cross-brace section and cast axle holders, along with a square-section brace.
Quality Suspension Components And Running Gear
The GSX1300R features inverted forks with 43mm stanchion tubes and the extensive use of aluminum-alloy internal components to reduce weight. The forks have adjustable rebound damping, compression damping and spring preload and fork travel is 140mm ( 5,5inches ) The front and rear axles and the swingarm pivot shaft are hollow to reduce weight.
Details include a place to store U-shaped lock underneath the seat. Bungee-cord hooks built into the bottom of the passenger grab rail and on the passenger footpeg mounts. A large-capacity, maintenance-free 10AH battery. A hinged fuel tank for easier maintenance. And an optional, available center stand.