For Suzuki, the debut of its first all-new superbike design went swimmingly well, with the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R impressing journalists at its launch in Phillip Island earlier this year.
We would hope so, as the Japanese manufacturer once laid claim to being the King of Superbikes, but then cowardly abdicated its throne for an eight-year period, where only modest updates came to the line.
Like most of Suzuki’s motorcycle lineup, the GSX-R models have suffered from abandonment by their caretakers in Hamamatsu, and while there is a new GSX-R1000 for us to drool over (though its true mettle yet untested against its rivals), what is to come of its 750cc and 600cc counterparts?
Our friends from Down Under seem to have the answer, as Australia’s Motorcycle News reports that a new Suzuki GSX-R750 is in the works, likely to debut as a 2019 model year machine.
As for the GSX-R600, well…that appears to be going the way of the dodo, as Suzuki seems set to follow Honda’s on its exit out of the supersport market.
In Europe, Suzuki gets by selling the GSX-R750 and GSX-R600 models because of derogation provisions in the vehicles code, which allow small quantities of out-going machines to continue to be sold without the latest mandates, like Euro4 homologation.
The law even applies to anti-locking braking systems, which became mandatory on all motorcycles above 125cc last year.
Yes, sometimes it is hard to believe that Suzuki has been so far behind the times with its sport bike offerings, that even ABS models of its machines can’t be found – a technology that has been around for almost 30 years now.
All of this leaves a very narrow window of time for Suzuki to get its sport bike house in order, or as we are fond of saying on the Two Enthusiasts Podcast, “get its shit together”.
AMCN reports that Suzuki is doing just that, well…maybe they are doing the Diet Coke version of that plan, as the GSX-R750 is said to be so near and dear to the company’s heart (rightfully so) that is will see the some of the modernization treatment that was given to the GSX-R1000. As we mentioned before, the Suzuki GSX-R600 won’t be as lucky, however.
The Aussie’s report that the new Suzuki GSX-R750 will be more evolution than revolution, with the current Suzuki GSX-R750 likely to get only modest engine and chassis changes, while the latest electronic whistles and bells will be added to the machine.
Whether those changes occur for the 2018 or 2019 model year lineup will likely depend on the Hayabusa, as the GSX-R1300R is due for a refresh as well. Both bikes have a long and important history with Suzuki, along with legions of loyal fans, and will want to have their own time in the spotlight, alone.
Middle children often get overlooked in their parents’ eyes, so this news must surely be heartening for fans of 750cc sport bike. One does have to wonder about the exodus of the Japanese brands from the 600cc segment, however.
The Suzuki GSX-R750 has always been the connoisseur’s choice for a well-balance track bike, but in recent years we have seen that segment taken over by Italian rivals. Bikes like the Ducati 959 Panigale and MV Agusta F3 800 fill this niche now, and do it quite well.
With the rising costs of making modern motorcycles, and the requirement of more electronics and more features, not to mention the current trend of buying on credit instead of cash, the Japanese are slowly losing their battle on price, with riders opting to pay a little bit more each month in order to have the absolute best that the market avails.
Hopefully Suzuki considers this when bringing out the GSX-R750 (assuming this report from AMCN proves to be accurate), because as we have seen from the launch of the “new” Honda CBR1000RR, trotting out the same old tired design no long cuts it in this cut-throat segment.
Source: Australia Motorcycle News