OWN THE RACETRACK
Quicker to Evolve
Since its launch more than a decade ago, the Gsx R 1000 has been synonymous with the invitation to Own The Racetrack. So dominant has the Gsx R 1000 been on 1,000cm3 production-based road-racing grids around the world that the title The Top Performer has become the sole holding of Suzuki. Suzuki engineers with grit, imagination, and determination to win keep finding new ways to shave excess weight, raise the threshold on power, and enhance the agility, response, and control of rider and machine. So even as the competition threatens to close the technological gap, the Gsx R 1000 races ahead to establish a new pinnacle of sportbike performance year after year. 2012 is no exception. The latest advances in engine technology are remarkable in their ability to boost performance potential and fuel efficiency. Chassis enhancements deliver even better control. And styling refinements evoke the performance and handling advances. Still the one. The only one. The Gsx R 1000 l2. Own The Racetrack.
Better throttle response, acceleration, and fuel efficiency
The 2012 Gsx R 1000 l2’s 999cm3 engine combines advances in design, performance, and fuel efficiency with the fundamental elements that helped to create the GSX-R legend. Key benefits include better throttle response, more power and acceleration at mid-range engine speeds, and approximately 8% better fuel economy - Fuel economy was measured by Suzuki in the Worldwide Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC).
The most visible advance is a switch from two mufflers to a single muffler. The muffler body is, like those of the previous model, made of titanium for lightness. The 4-2-1 exhaust pipe is made of stainless steel, and the material is thinner for lightness. The catalyzer has more cells than that of the previous model, so it gives uncompromised emission control together with compactness and lightness. The overall exhaust system is considerably lighter than the previous one. The single muffler and a revised exhaust-pipe length enhance output at low and mid-range engine speeds, so acceleration is quicker. Plus, less weight at the back of the bike means better dynamics. The bike is easier to throw from side to side on chicanes, so it gives stronger performance on the racetrack.
Advances inside the engine begin with the pistons. Suzuki used finite-element-analysis and fatigue-analysis techniques honed in development of MotoGP racebike engines to make the pistons lighter without compromising their strength and durability. The piston-pin bosses are narrower. The piston skirts are newly shape-optimized, with asymmetry between the intake and exhaust sides. The pistons are newly optimized in terms of overall rigidity balance and are consequently 11% lighter. And the pistons’ valve recesses are smoother for better combustion efficiency. The benefits are more torque and better acceleration at low and mid-range engine speeds, better throttle response, and lower fuel consumption. The performance advantages translate into quicker acceleration out of corners on the racetrack.
Each bore in the integrated aluminium-alloy cylinder-block/upper-crankcase casting is plated with Suzuki’s own race-proven nickel-phosphorus-silicon-carbide coating, which reduces friction, improves heat transfer, durability, and ring seal, and is known as Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM).
The ventilation holes in the sides of each cylinder bore embody advances in that they’re pentagonal rather than rectangular. The greater opening area makes the crankcase lighter. It also means lower pumping losses and accordingly better combustion efficiency. Here too, the benefits are more torque and better acceleration at low and mid-range engine speeds, better throttle response, and lower fuel consumption
Thinner material for the tappet skirts means a weight saving of 2.5 grams per tappet. The reduced inertial mass gave Suzuki the freedom to optimize the valve lift curve. Consequently, Suzuki used MotoGP technologies to revise the exhaust cam profile for a slight reduction in valve overlap (the period when the intake and exhaust valves are both open), thereby increasing the engine’s racetrack performance potential.
Suzuki adopted race-proven specifications and technologies elsewhere in the engine. A bore of 74.5mm and a stroke of 57.3mm realize great performance potential. Optimally shaped combustion chambers and an increased compression ratio of 12.9:1 (up from 12.8:1) promote low-range and mid-range performance and help to realize a broad torque curve. The valve sizes are 31mm on the intake side and 25mm on the exhaust side. And a short intake camshaft combines with location of the cam angle sensor in the centre of the exhaust camshaft to allow a cylinder-head shape that saves weight.
The close-ratio six-speed transmission’s input and output shafts are triangulated with the crankshaft. The crankshaft is positioned optimally forward in the case relative to the cylinder centre line; the transmission input shaft is in an optimally high position; and the transmission output shaft is in an optimally forward position. The shaft positions allow the engine to be optimally short from front and rear. Plus, the crankshaft assembly is simple (consisting of just two bolted-together sections) and accordingly light.
The single vibration-reducing counterbalance shaft in front of the crankshaft has an optimally small bearing diameter of 20mm for low mechanical losses.
The race-proven ramp-and-cam design of the back-torque-limiting clutch reduces pressure on the plates during deceleration, producing smoother downshifting and corner entry and allowing the track rider to concentrate on braking and cornering.
A large radiator with an efficient trapezoidal shape developed for factory team racebikes helps to keep the engine temperature consistent; it helps to ensure efficient combustion and consistent power delivery while allowing the use of narrow bodywork for low drag. The engine oil cooler also has a trapezoidal shape instead of a more conventional rectangular shape, so it allows the lower fairing to be narrow for low drag.
Three rider-selectable performance settings
A button on the left handlebar control module lets the rider instantly switch between the three maps, which are displayed as “A”, “B”, and “C” on the instrument panel.
The “A” setting yields sharp throttle response throughout the throttle-opening range to realize maximal power delivery. The “B” setting yields relatively soft throttle response up to the middle of the throttle-opening range. The “C” setting yields relatively soft throttle response throughout the throttle-opening range by reducing engine power.
Using the system, the rider can use one map for one part of a racetrack and another map for another part of the racetrack. Or the rider can choose one map for a high-speed racetrack and another map for a tighter racetrack. Or the rider can choose the optimal maps for rainy, mixed, and wet conditions.
On the street, the rider can select maps to suit personal preferences in diverse riding situations. For example, the rider can choose one map for tight, twisty roads and another Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) for high-speed cruising.
Cutting-edge digital engine management and emissions control
A key technology under the ECM’s control is the latest version of the downdraft double-barrel Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) throttle bodies introduced on the first Gsx R 1000.
The SDTV system has two butterfly valves (primary and secondary) in each throttle-body barrel. The primary valve is controlled by the rider via the twist grip, and the secondary valve is controlled by the ECM. As the rider opens and closes the primary valve, the ECM reads the throttle position, engine speed, and gear position and incrementally adjusts the secondary valve to maximize the intake-charge velocity. The ECM thereby enhances combustion efficiency, makes throttle response more linear, and improves low-end and mid-range torque.
Each throttle body feeds one cylinder, and each throttle-body barrel carries two ultra-fine-atomization, 12-hole injectors. Each cylinder’s primary injector is aimed at a steep, 30-degree angle down the intake port to optimize fuel atomization and operates under all conditions. The secondary injector is aimed at the secondary throttle valve and operates to add fuel for high-engine-speed, high-load conditions. The amount of fuel delivered by each primary injector is calculated by the ECM in accordance with the engine speed, intake pressure, and throttle position. The amount of fuel delivered by each secondary injector is calculated by the ECM in accordance with the engine speed and throttle position.
The ECM also has an Idle Speed Control (ISC) function. It enhances cold starting, reduces cold-start emissions, and stabilizes engine idling under diverse conditions by automatically regulating the volume of fresh air fed into the throttle-body idle circuits in accordance with the coolant temperature.
The ECM also controls the ignition timing and spark advance based on advanced 3D mapping. The ignition timing reflects new enhancements in precision. Spark plugs with iridium-alloy electrodes produce strong sparks for optimal combustion.
A Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) servo-controlled butterfly valve in the exhaust pipe helps to maximize torque throughout the rev range in diverse running conditions by optimizing the exhaust-system back-pressure in accordance with the engine speed, throttle position, and gear position. The exhaust pipe also incorporates an oxygen sensor. The ECM uses data from the oxygen sensor to adjust the fuel injection for cleaner combustion. The catalyzer in the exhaust system further suppresses emissions of hydrocarbons (HCs), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
An ECM-controlled Suzuki Pulsed-secondary AIR-injection (PAIR) system injects fresh air from the airbox into the exhaust ports in accordance with the engine speed and throttle position, thereby further reducing emissions by promoting the ignition of unburned HCs.
Control is Power
Much more than an all-powerful engine separates the Gsx R 1000 from the pack. The key is total integration of every element of the bike, which brings forth an intuitive connection between rider and machine. With superior balance and precise control, the Gsx R 1000 l2 rider can take maximum advantage of the winning performance.
A newly evolved chassis
The 2012 Gsx R 1000 l2’s chassis represents an evolution in terms of cornering and stopping performance—an evolution that gives the rider even greater control and allows the rider to take better advantage of the engine performance.
The chassis retains the basic elements that have contributed to the Gsx R 1000 legend: A twin-spar frame that’s welded together using just five cast aluminium-alloy sections. An aluminium-alloy swingarm that’s welded together using just three castings and is arched to allow the muffler to be tucked in tightly. A short wheelbase for nimble handling on the racetrack. And a long swingarm that enhances traction and acceleration out of racetrack corners while resisting rear suspension squat.
Evolutionary advances can be seen in the front brakes, front forks, front and rear tyres, and front axle. Together, they take the Gsx R 1000 l2 to even higher levels of controllability and performance.
Updated front brake system with Brembo calipers
The monobloc calipers are lighter and more rigid than conventional bolt-together calipers and give better feedback to the rider. Increased piston diameters mean better braking performance. Also, Suzuki reduced the disc thickness from 5.5mm to 5.0mm for lightness and adopted a more durable material to ensure undiminished heat resistance. The calipers and discs are 130 grams lighter overall.
Superior braking performance combines with hard-braking stability yielded by enhanced front forks to bring out the best ability on the racetrack. To highlight the superior braking performance, the new calipers have gold colouring with red lettering.
Enhanced suspension technologies
The 2012 Gsx R 1000 l2 carries forward the Big Piston Frontfork (BPF) design, which eliminates the need for a cartridge assembly in each fork leg and instead has a single, 39.6mm upper piston riding against the inside wall of each inner fork tube.
Advantages of the BPF design include highly effective valving, with well-controlled compression giving great feedback to the rider. Low stiction and minimal changes in internal fork pressure mean good response to small bumps. The fork springs are fully submerged in oil, so oil foaming is minimized and damping is accordingly consistent. Rebound and compression valving adjustment screws are indented into the fork caps. Spring preload is adjusted at the bottom of the fork leg assembly. Also, the BPF design simplifies fork maintenance because the entire damping assembly can be quickly pulled out of the top of each fork leg and replaced without complete disassembly of the forks.
New enhancements include a reduction of 7mm in overall length, a reduction of 5mm in stroke, and softer suspension settings that accommodate the bike’s lower weight and the shift in centre of gravity that resulted from the switch from two mufflers to one. The softer settings improve shock absorption early in the stroke, thereby improving grip. When the rider leans on a curve or switches direction on a tight S-bend, the bike feels better controlled and more predictable. The bike is more stable even under hard braking on the racetrack. More grip also allows the rider to open the throttle wider. The softer suspension settings also yield great roadholding while the rider is using less throttle on public roads.
The new Gsx R 1000 l2 also retains the rear suspension system that was so effective on its predecessor. A Showa rear shock works through an aluminium-alloy linkage mounted on the swingarm, with extruded aluminium-alloy link rods connected to the frame. The layout reduces the lever ratio as the rear wheel moves upward, making the suspension more progressive and responsive, thereby increasing traction over pavement ripples while ensuring smooth response over bigger bumps. The shock has adjustable rebound damping, spring preload, and high-speed and low-speed compression damping.
An electronically controlled steering damper uses the ECM to monitor the bike’s speed and adjusts itself for lighter steering at lower speeds and for more damping force at racetrack and highway speeds.
Impressively lower weight
The new Gsx R 1000 l2’s front tyre is lighter than that of the previous model, and its front axle is lighter since it has an outer thread and a nut rather than the previously used hollow bolt and inner thread. The bike’s unsprung weight (the weight of the components between the suspension and the ground) is accordingly lower. The unsprung weight has a huge effect on the tyres’ ability to stay in contact with the racetrack surface. More contact means more traction, which is especially important when the rider accelerates out of a corner or trail-brakes into the apex of a corner. Newly improved tread patterns on the front and rear tyres also contribute to sharper handling.
The front and passenger seats are covered with new high-grip leather, so the rider enjoys greater stability while accelerating on the racetrack.
The wiring harnesses that run throughout the chassis are lighter than those of the previous model thanks to a new waterproofing method.
Thanks to Suzuki’s uncompromising efforts to shave excess weight, the 2012 Gsx R 1000 l2 is 2kg lighter than its predecessor. The lower weight and precise weight balance allow higher speeds on straightaways and corners, so they translate into faster laps.
Sharp, Clean, Edgy Styling
As well as delivering world-beating performance and handling, the Gsx R 1000 never backs down from the challenge of giving its riders the winning look. Sharp, clean, edgy styling and a new interpretation of Suzuki’s famous racing colours highlight The Top Performer’s unmistakable identity and its ongoing evolution.
Looks that highlight the Gsx R 1000 l2 evolution
The Gsx R 1000 l2’s styling is sharp, edgy, and clean. And thanks to extensive wind-tunnel development, it contributes to outstanding performance. A wide upper fairing cuts turbulence and drag while offering great wind protection. A narrow lower fairing also cuts drag. Suzuki Ram Air-Direct (SRAD) intakes are close to the centre line of the fairing nose, where air pressure is highest while the bike is moving. Sharply creased fairing sides have a layered shape that enhances the flow of cooling air through the radiator and away from the rider. The fairing lowers extend rearward to smooth the flow of air over the muffler.
Newly evolved styling details evoke the bike’s newly enhanced performance and handling. The single muffler makes the bike look lighter and nimbler. The wheels have red pinstripes punctuated by “R” logos that highlight the bike’s identity. The outer tubes of the front forks are black (rather than the previously used gold) to complement the gold-and-red colouring of the Brembo monobloc calipers. Black surfaces have an exquisite matte finish. The rear combination lamp has a new LED layout for lower weight. And the bike’s identity is emphasized by bigger “GSX-R” graphics and more extensive use of Suzuki’s signature blue colour on the bodywork.
The seat is designed to be comfortable and to complement the overall styling. The relative positioning of the seat, handlebars, and footpegs also contributes to riding comfort. The footpegs can be adjusted to any of three positions in a 14mm horizontal and vertical range. The rear brake pedal and master cylinder move with the right footpeg assembly, and the shift-lever linkage can be adjusted to accommodate changes in the position of the left footpeg.
A sportier-looking instrument cluster
The proven instrument-cluster design includes LCD indications for the speedometer, an odometer, dual trip meters, a reserve trip meter, a clock, the coolant temperature, the oil-pressure, a gear-position indicator, a laptimer/stopwatch, an S-DMS indicator, and a bar graph showing the brightness of the instrument illumination. There are four LEDs for a programmable engine speed indication system. There are also LEDs for fuel injection, low fuel, neutral, high beam, coolant temperature/oil pressure, and turn signals. An LED that shows immobilizer activation is also included where relevant. The right handlebar control module incorporates a speedometer display mode switch that can be used to trigger the laptimer/stopwatch.
The Total Package
Building a winning motorcycle is not simply a matter of maximizing power or minimizing weight. Victory is not something you can simply bolt on. Separating yourself from the pack requires a total package: state-of-the-art motorcycling technologies in precise balance. You feel it the instant you click the 2012 Gsx R 1000 l2 into gear. Off the line, smooth-revving performance born from lighter pistons and other refinements that significantly reduce friction losses gives you an edge. As you shift up, the flow of powerful acceleration is seamless. Heading into the first corner, you have the confidence to start braking a fraction of a second later thanks to the Big Piston Frontfork design, new tyres, and Brembo front brake calipers. Leaning in, you grin at the simplicity of adjusting your line and maintaining your speed thanks to the bike’s lower weight and precise weight balance. It feels like an invitation to extend your lead.
Faster to the Future
The truth about the edge is that it keeps moving. There’s no point at which performance becomes so superlative that it can’t be improved. There’s no endgame in the pursuit of the next, more advanced technology. This is a lesson Gsx R 1000 l2 engineers live with 365 days a year. The result, of course, is that in 2012 the Gsx R 1000 l2 reaches a higher plateau. Again. With the bar raised in acceleration, braking, and cornering, the quickest Gsx R 1000 l2 ever hits the streets and racetracks of the world. It’s a pure, untainted riding experience for the true Supersport rider. Welcome to the next chapter in the greatest motorcycling legend of modern times. Take yourself to the new edge. Own The Racetrack.