Suzuki Boss Hints At Retro Bikes, Turbochargers, And An All-new Hayabusa!
After a series of recent interviews, Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki has given us a revealing glimpse into the future of the motorcycle manufacturer. Suzuki-san has been pretty liberal with the hints that he dropped, and also gave strong and convincing answers to journalists and fans questions. It’s fairly uncharacteristic for a top level President to be so honest, so we’ve decided to go through the recent interviews and press conference Q&As to give a clearer picture of , and provide answers to some of those nagging questions. The details have come from numerous sources, and we’ve used a fair bit of Google Translate too, so in light of that, there will be few (if any) direct quotes…
To give a bit of background to Suzuki’s future, it’s worth making a quick note of its recent past. Back in June, Suzuki Motor Corp’s CEO Osamu Suzuki named his eldest son as the succeeding president. It was a move that brought a new stability to the company and boosted Suzuki’s share prices by over 5%. Toshihiro Suzuki has outlined bold plans for the company’s future, but keeps his dreams grounded in realistic plans. Since Toshihiro became president, Suzuki has upped their game – at INTERMOT and EICMA, we saw what the Hamamatsu manufacturer is capable of, and we like their strong and aggressive new direction.
Retro Modern Machines?
Despite the new energy and incredible innovation from Suzuki, some things were noticeably absent from their unveilings. First up, many people are wondering why Suzuki failed to enter into the retro-modern category, which is currently being championed by the likes of and , with strong offerings from and too…
According to several interviews, Suzuki quite simply weren’t willing to become trend followers. In one, Toshihiro-san explained that Suzuki were reluctant to become labelled as “those who always did the same bike” as everyone else. However, in another interview, he hinted that something was coming along. Reading between the lines, it certainly won’t be a café racer or a scrambler, as Toshihiro added those two styles “would not be a bike that reflects the values of our brand” but continued to explain that what Suzuki are planning “will draw from our history.” Early indications would be something along the lines of an , which is more in line with the company ideals…
The Supercharged Recursion Concept?
Suzuki revealed their a few years ago, and we’ve even seen a few genuine patent images doing the rounds. The Recursion was effectively Suzuki’s first real attempt at adding a supercharger to a production bike, and we were looking forward to seeing it make an appearance at this year’s trade shows. It was noticeably absent. The Recursion may have been nothing more than a design study, but there’s no doubt that forced induction technology is making a big impression in the two-wheeled department. So, what gives Suzuki?
In one interview, Toshihiro-san insisted that the project had not been abandoned, and Suzuk’s plans for a supercharged something will come to fruition, just “not for this coming year” – so whatever it is, we can rule out an appearance in 2017, too. It seems that the Recursion project may have been a design exercise or a simple prototype to assess feedback from the public, and for Suzuki to tinker with. Finding the balance between efficient mass-production and making it cost-effective in the long run seems to be playing on the minds of Suzuki’s R&D department.
In another interview, the president explained that their plans for turbocharging a Suzuki motorcycle had nothing to do with fuel efficiency or maximizing the output of a smaller capacity engine. In fact, he explained that it was all about pleasure and the ride experience. “A motorcycle with a turbo is a pleasure motorcycle that we’ll develop, not a two-wheeled utility motorcycle.” And that sounds grand.
The Future Of The Hayabusa?
And then there was the Hayabusa. No matter how much you love or hate the big curvy behemoth, there are two things you can’t deny: first, it’s fast. Very, very fast. Secondly, it’s getting a bit dated. Even though it’s been given a , it seems like the Hayabusa may be on the way out. According to Toshihiro, the Hayabusa “will have a descendant that will not go too far from the family.” The Suzuki boss also mentioned that their engineers are already working on the Hayabusa’s successor, so it seems we’re going to be seeing it in the not so distant future.
So far, all we know is that: “It will be stylistically detailed with the familiar lines of the Hayabusa and it will have a lot of electronic assistance for riding fast.” For all the Hayabusa fans out there, that’s all you really need, right?
Of course, there’s more to say about the future of Suzuki, but unless you care about tiny rises in share prices or their financials, there’s nothing really else to say. Maybe one thing: electric bikes are coming, but not from Suzuki just yet. Their major sales come from Asia, and until they have a more suitable infrastructure for charging, Suzuki are leaving their electric dreams on the back burner…