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Kevin Schwantz Rides, and Talks About, the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R

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Former 500cc GP champ Kevin Schwantz talks about the new Suzuki GSX-R1000R announced a few weeks ago in the video below. You can see Schwantz riding the new bike at a Southern California track while he discusses its new features, and compares it with the outgoing 2016 model.

This is a promotional video, of course, but it still does a good job of highlighting the features found on the new GSX-R1000R.  It is also interesting to see the 52-year-old former champ riding on a track. You might also like to look at the full specifications for the bike that Suzuki has now posted on its web site.


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38 Comments

  1. Norm G. says:

    what’s that tasty “colorway” with the red wheels…?

    (yup, I said colorway. this term is in heavy rotation in MT and BMX push bikes)

  2. Jdilpkle says:

    Yeah, its taken them quite a while on VVT like on the VFR.
    Heck, my ’06 XB Buell has variable valve timing – I tell it when I plan on riding, and it wakes up the valves at the right time – ha ha

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Unlike your Buell, the VFR actually does not have VVT.

    • Dino says:

      VFR has a variable valve mode that engages 2 or 4 valves depending on rpm. But the timing does not change I think.

      The Kawasaki Concours14 has vvt on the 1352cc motor. You know, they really needed to boost low and mid range without sacrificing to end on that big bike (yikes!)

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I didn’t realize the Kawasaki used it. Thanks.

        Yes, the VFRs system can best be described as static valve engagement/disengagement. Nothing variable about it.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I didn’t realize the Kawasaki used it.”

          strangely, I don’t think they’ve ever gone through great pains to advertise it…? not like Ducati with their VVT Multi.

  3. Jdilpkle says:

    Yeah, its taken them quite a while on VVT like the VFR.
    My ’06 XB Buell has variable valve timing – I tell it when I plan on riding, and it wakes up the valves at the right time -ha ha

  4. dt 175 says:

    Maverick will be selling xt 250’s next year…

  5. SPEED RACER says:

    Ive met Kevin on many times and is as nice as a gent will be.. All those hard days have caught up to him but he rode like no other..

  6. Froste says:

    52? Really? I would have guessed 62 from that photo. Sorry, I have no comments on the bike.

  7. TexinOhio says:

    Not to take away from a fellow Texan, but I’d like to see Vinales demo this thing.

  8. mcmotohistory says:

    Some folks just don’t aged well. And some can’t ride a bike real fast.

    • Curly says:

      I remember him looking 30 at 20 years old the first time I saw him in 1984 at Road Atlanta smokin’ the field of GP550 Kawasakis on his FJ600 Yamaha. He wisely got out of GP in time to save his body so he could very well live to be 100!

  9. PatrickD says:

    Some years ago, Schwantz said that the GSXR750 was plenty enough.
    Now, maybe electronics have brought some performance back within the realm of some riders, but remember that was #34 himself talking!!!

  10. James Geske says:

    I couldn’t get over how old one of my heroes looks. I guess we are all getting old. As the owner of 6 GSXR’s, although all first and second generation, this could be the bike that makes me try a new one.

    • marloweluke says:

      Same age as me. He does look old. I work outside all the time so am exposed to all kinds of weather, but he looks really wrinkled. Must be that dry heat in Texas.

  11. Donald W. says:

    Adrenalin.

  12. proheli says:

    gosh that is a big can

  13. He talks about torque and power delivery. Of all the technologies on the new superbikes, I wouldn’t bet against variable valve timing being a kinda Big Thing.

    • Dave says:

      I agree, and I think it has more potential for smaller displacements and even outside of the high-performance segment. It’s always amazed me that a 600cc engine that makes 110ph @ 14k/rpm could even idle, but then that same little engine struggles to achieve 35mph in a sub-400lb bike. Variable timing could go a long way towards fixing that, along with making that first 8k/rpm more useable.

      • Selecter says:

        I’m guessing you were meaining 35mpg? I dunno – my TT600 would handily get 45-46MPG in normal, non-stratospheric-rpm engine speeds. My ZX-6R averaged 40MPG in its entire time with me. And that was with fast things happening quite often. I would say that, for an engine that is *not* calibrated for fuel economy, both Kawasaki and Triumph did pretty fantastic jobs of making the engines useful, fun, and livable on a daily basis!

        That said, making the lower several thousand rpm would be nice, and so would even better fuel economy. But the former isn’t necessary – if you’re riding a 600 four at 4000rpm, you’re doing it wrong. Only in first gear do you ever need to do that…

        • Dave says:

          Yes, I meant “mpg” but you kind of prove my point. 45mpg for a .6L engine is terrible. My carb’d SV650 gets 55-60 no matter what I do with it. The Honda NC700 goes over 70mpg. They do it with moderate tunes that are aimed at something closer to daily riding scenarios. With true, sophisticated, I believe a high performance 600 can get a lot closer to that, without neutering it’s peak hp.

    • paul246 says:

      That is why I like it on my VFR with VTEC, it greatly increases the flexibility of the engine, more torque down low, making the bike a pussy cat around town and then, cross the 7,000rpm threshold and hello horespower, here we go. Love it.

      • Hi paul246,

        It’s interesting that you should mention this particular motorcycle. It sounds like you really enjoy it, and I wish you the best. But my experience with a 2006 Interceptor was not as great as yours. The motor felt neither more torquey down low, nor faster on top, than other non-VTEC Interceptors I had owned and ridden (and I don’t think I ever saw a dyno chart that supported the proposed benefits of VTEC, either). Worse, the fueling (or something!) at the 7K mark drove me mad. On the track, one can exit corners at higher rpm, thus avoiding 7K, but on the street it seemed I exited and entered a lot of corners at about that engine speed. The fueling was not good, and the change-over was NOT silky smooth imperceptible (as some, but not all, journos asserted). Last thing a rider needs is a hitch in the fueling and throttle response at the exact rpm where, at maximum lean, he or she gently feeds the throttle back in. Yeah, the only thing I hated worse than the engine on that 2006 Interceptor was the stock Dunlops (D220, IIRC) which spun up despite the relatively flaccid torque curve. Loved everything else about that bike, including the gorgeous silver paint.

        I ended up concluding the VTEC on that bike was a solution looking for a problem, and greatly preferred the engine of my ’99. It seems like the solution Suzuki have chosen for the new superbike is more interesting and possibly more gradual in implementation. We shall see, and it’s very interesting to see what happens!

        Ride safely,

        Curt

        PS: As this in the internet and we accordingly don’t know each other well, I’ll share a few pertinent facts to help you assess my…assessment. My first Honda was purchased for me about 37 years ago, and I bought my most recent this year, with about 15 bikes (mostly Hondas) between. I have owned 1999 and 2006 Interceptors. I used to be a bigger Honda fan(atic) than I currently am, though the new CBR1000RR SP has me drooling a little. I am a moderately skilled (fast but not Fast) street rider. I ride harder in the corners than the straights. Cheers, brother.

      • paul246 says:

        Thanks Curt. I have heard of some of these problems from other viffer riders as well. It seems some do and some don’t.

        • The problem was minor but persistent, repeatable, and annoying. 🙂 I would be curious to ride a few different bikes and compare, including subsequent model years where they moved the engagement point down a few rpm. I would not be surprised if that made a big difference!

        • paul246 says:

          Curt, just curious… did you do the pair valve/flapper valve/snorkel mod on your 2006?..it made a big difference on my 2003.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’m surprised it has taken this long really. Is any other motorcycle engine besides the Ducati twin introduced in the Multistrada currently employing variable valve timing?

      • paul246 says:

        Honda VFR 800 Interceptor.

        • paul246 says:

          correction.. not vvt but vtec

        • Dave says:

          The VFR never had truly variable valve timing, it simply “turns off” two valves per cylinder below a certain rpm (not to diminish the value of it). Honda’s cars were some of the first practical cars to employ true VVT, but on bikes it’s still very rare.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          The Honda actually does not have variable valve timing. They just use actuators to turn two valves on and off at a certain rpm.

          Oddly VTEC in their automobile line is a true variable valve timing. I’m not sure why they used the VTEC nomenclature for their motorcycles seeing as it is a completely different system.

          • Norm G. says:

            Q: I’m not sure why they used the VTEC nomenclature for their motorcycles (?)

            A: to DUPE the unsuspecting buyer before he or she gets a chance to develop their Moto-IQ.

            (tap, tap, tap) hello, is this thing on…?