2018 is coming to a close now, so we of course are looking back at what happened over the past year in the motorcycle industry.
There was no shortage of weighty stories in 2018, so we picked just our Top 5 big themes from the year to share with you.
They range from business items, racing news, and new motorcycles (or the lack thereof). Without too much fanfare, let’s get into it, and see Asphalt & Rubber‘s most important stories from 2018.
There has been much conjecture regarding the Suzuki Hayabusa in recent days, especially after the company’s Japanese website listed the Busa’s production as terminated.
This created a fervor on European publications, and because of the internet, it grew from there. We tried to talk some reason into the situation the other day, and now Suzuki Motor of America has made a press release on the matter.
Over the weekend, you may have seen reports from Europe about the demise of the Suzuki Hayabusa, as the venerable hyperbike has been rumor to go the way of the dinosaur, especially now that its Euro4 waiver is set to expire at the end of the year.
This has led to quite a bit of chatter about the machine’s future, with many of the headlines that we have seen focusing on the end of the iconic motorcycle’s run, and that production on the bike has ceased. But, what’s the real story?
We know to expect a Suzuki Hayabusa reboot in the coming months, and in a way, that is all that we know. The iconic superbike is in its 20th year of production right now, and an all-new machine is set to take its place, for the 2019 model year.
Will it be turbocharged? Will it have a larger displacement? How about a dual-clutch transmission? That remains to be seen.
Safe bets are that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will have updated electronics, likely powered by an inertial measurement unit (IMU). Euro4 emissions homologation is a must, and Suzuki will presumably be building the new Hayabusa with the Euro5 standard in mind as well.
Beyond these givens though, it seems that every week there is a new rumor regarding the next Hayabusa generation, and this week is no different.
In this installment of “This Week’s Suzuki Hayabusa Rumor,” we again take a look at the motor of this venerable sport bike. The rumor going around the interwebs right now is that the 2019 Suzuki Hayabusa will feature a “semi-automatic” gearbox.
Side-stepping the part where saying a gearbox is semi-automatic is a lot like saying someone is “semi-pregnant” (you either are, or aren’t), the rumor stems from a patent filed by Suzuki that shows a gear-shifting mechanism with the foot-shifter that doesn’t require a clutch.
If this sounds a lot like an up/down quickshifter system, then you score extra bonus points today for being a rational human being, but you would be very wrong about what this whole rumor should actually be about.
This is where reading the patent is actually really useful, because it turns out that this patent has a lot less to do with some sort of new transmission type, as the internet rumors would suggest, and a lot more to do with repackaging the transmission of a motorcycle (or any engine with an integrated gearbox) into a tighter unit, while retaining a standard manual shift mechanism.
A new Suzuki Hayabusa is coming, this much we know. What that bike will be, what features it will have, and what it will look like though have been open to much speculation.
Unsurprisingly then, the rumor mill surrounding the Suzuki Hayabusa continues to churn out ideas about what this hyperbike will be, and today’s latest tidbit of gossip comes courtesy of Italy’s Insella publication.
In it, the Italian journos wager that the Suzuki GSX-1300R will in fact become the GSX-1400R for the 2019 model year, with the venerable Suzuki Hayabusa getting a displacement increase to the tune of 1,440cc for its four-cylinder engine.
Suzuki Motor America today sent our first view of the 2018 Suzuki GSX-R600, 2018 Suzuki GSX-R750, and 2018 Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycles – now before you get too excited, they are exactly the same as last year’s models (save for some bold new graphics).
This is of course all according to plan. We have already written about Suzuki’s plan to bring new middleweight GSX-R600 & GSX-R750 sport bikes to market, as well as a new Hayabusa.
As such, we expect still to see new sport bike models debuting from Suzuki at this year’s EICMA show in Milan, and all three bikes should arrive mid-2018, as 2019 model year machines.
If you haven’t listened to the latest Two Enthusiasts Podcast episode, you should.
In it, myself and co-host Quentin Wilson break some industry news, with our sources in Suzuki confirming that the Japanese manufacturer will bring a turbocharged Hayabusa model as an early 2019 model year bike.
This news is well-timed, as the Suzuki Hayabusa will turn 20-years-old in 2019, and it has changed very little during that two-decade time period.
Additionally, the introduction of modern forced induction to Suzuki’s motorcycle lineup is sea change moment for Suzuki, with the Hayabusa being a perfect fit for such an endeavor.
Episode 60 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we cover some of the newsy items from the motorcycle industry that have caught our eyes recently.
But before we get to the news, Quentin and I break a pretty big story concerning a certain turbocharged motorcycle, which you won’t want to miss.
We then turn our attention to the plethora of recalls that have beseeched BMW Motorrad, and we also talk about the company’s halo bike, the BMW HP4 Race, and its 3,100-mile engine life.
We also talk about Triumph’s partnership with Bajaj, and how that will affect both brands’ futures, before we talk about Ducati’s software performance upgrade for the 2015/2016 Ducati 1299 Panigale owners.
Before the show ends, Quentin also gives a really insightful talk about plug chops, which unless you have ridden an older two-stroke machine, you have probably never heard of, until now.
There is a lot going on in this episode of the podcast, so you don’t want to miss it. And, if we have and Diet Pepsi and milk drinkers in the audience, please identify yourselves and explain this madness.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.
We keep hoping that Suzuki will reinvigorate the venerable Hayabusa brand, and bring an updated version of its high-speed hyperbike back into the mix. There has been some chatter that such a project is in the works, though it doesn’t seem that 2018 is the magic year for it to appear.
Looking through the current filings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we can see that Suzuki Motor Corporation has filed for the 2018 Suzuki GSX1300R – and the quoted emissions (of which, there are quite a lot) remain exactly the same as what’s quoted for the 2017 model.
In Episode 48 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast, we didn’t set out to talk about all the weird technologies in the motorcycle industry, though our conversation certainly covered its fair share of them.
We start the show talking about the Vyrus 986 M2 supersport, which features a unique hub-center steering chassis. This leads us into a conversation about the supersport market, and the rumors that Suzuki is bringing out a new GSX-R750.
From there, Quentin breaks some news that a reliable source has told him that there will be a new Suzuki GSX-R600 for the 2019 model year, which goes against what had previously been rumored. We then finish up the Suzuki talk with a quick discussion about the Suzuki Hayabusa, and hyperbikes in general.
The show ends with us talking about KTM’s new fuel-injection for two-stroke dirt bikes, and what that means for that segment of the industry. Q also tries his best to explain how transfer port injection works, though we would recommend googling some visual adds when you get to that portion of the show.
A fun show, though we think you will also find it very insightful as well.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!