Kawasaki’s ZX9 is expected to receive a cosmetic makeover (including dual headlights and a new ram air intake location) coupled with engine modifications that will boost output by approximately 10 horsepower. The cosmetic changes are expected to make the ZX9 look somewhat like the new ZX12 (see MotorcycleDaily’s earlier article on the ZX12). The ram air intake will be relocated to front and center, where the highest air pressure is received at speed, coupled with the cleanest airflow. Some minor chassis and suspension refinements are expected as well.
Suzuki’s GSXR750 will receive some significant modifications for the year 2000. The bike will look very similar to the 1300cc Hayabusa (incorporating design elements which should significantly improve the aerodynamics of the 750). Additionally, expect some engine and suspension tweaks, and some frame modifications designed to strengthen the frame and set the bike up better for Superbike racing. Remember, the road-going GSXR750 is Suzuki’s homoligation for both World and AMA Superbike roadracing, and its basic frame and suspension layout form the basis for Suzuki’s racebikes. Suzuki’s tweaks to this bike (both aerodynamic and mechanical) are all aimed at making the bike a more successful Superbike.
The R1, although selling like mad, will receive significant updates for the year 2000. Expect the R1 to receive ram air, fuel injection and other performance modifications — designed to keep Yamaha ahead in the horsepower wars. A higher windscreen is also likely (even racers think the current screen is too low). Yamaha may also try to cut additional weight from the R1 by replacing some steel parts with titanium (such as the exhaust system).