The eagle-eyed camera’s over at Cycle World have caught Suzuki conducting tests for its MotoGP project, and the early indications are that the Japanese brand has dropped its V4 motor configuration in favor of a more traditional transverse inline-four cylinder arrangement — at least for this present stage of testing.
Cycle World‘s sources say that while the cylinder configuration may be fairly standard, the 2014 Suzuki GSV-R is anything but your typical four-pot. Showing the makings of a crossplane crankshaft via the bike’s exhaust routing, it would seem Suzuki has taken a page out of Yamaha YZR-M1‘s playbook, with rideablility being the name of the game. If you are keen for a good read, checkout Kevin Cameron’s article on Cycle World for more pictures and his analysis of what they mean for Suzuki’s MotoGP prototype.
Over the past few years, Suzuki’s involvement with MotoGP has been tumultuous, to say the least. Downgrading its involvement from two bikes in 2010 to one bike in 2011, the Rizla Suzuki team then seemed set to run its 800cc GP bike in 2012 against the 1000cc motorcycles of its competitors, before finally dropping out of the sport entirely.
Struggling just to compete with the satellite prototypes, the decision to stay with the 800cc bike seemed like another blow to the “factory” racing effort, though that seems to be an unfair analysis now that all the cards are on the table, as it is unlikely that all the current factory bikes are using the full 1,000cc displacement (Ducati is very likely operating in the 900-930cc engine displacement range).
Good paddock gossip says that Dorna finally conceded the point to Suzuki, allowing the Japanese manufacturer to withdraw from the premier class altogether, rather than have the appearance of a “lesser” factory bike circulating the field with its 800cc displacement. This is even despite the fact that the Suzuki likely would have been fairly competitive this first GP season under the new rules, if for no other reason than it has more development time than its competitors.
With Suzuki currently out of GP racing, the company now hopes to return to the premier class in 2014 with some variation of the bike being tested here in these spy photos. Whether that bike will debut on race day in a V4 or inline-four configuration remains to be seen, though at this point we should all just be happy that Suzuki’s MotoGP project has any sort of life in it right now.
Source: Cycle World