Long ago, in a galaxy far away, Suzuki brought out a turbocharged concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show. That was all the way back in 2013, and it seemed like the idea had died in the years since, despite patents periodically surfacing showing updates to the engine design. Now, though, some mags are running patent drawings showing Suzuki might not have abandoned the idea just yet. It’s just changed the plot, and is building the bike without the turbo.
Back in 2013, forced induction was all the rage. Kawasaki was working on the supercharged H2 hyperbike (released as a 2015 model), and Suzuki appeared ready to bring out its own take on the idea, a turbocharged middleweight. The concept bike was called the Recursion. It had a 588cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine with turbo, and was said to make about 100 horsepower. It was an idea that would have turned the middleweight moto market on its ear … but it never made it to showrooms.
For various reasons, Suzuki’s been playing a very conservative game for the past decade. The updated GSX-R1000 series is the only new platform it’s brought to North America; everything else is a re-hash of old tech. The SV650, V-Strom 1000, VanVan 200, etc., are all adaptations or updating of existing designs. The company’s leadership seems to believe high-volume sales of small-cc bikes are the future, not the premium motorcycles that brought all the big profits in during previous years.
Yet, we’ve just had another document leak that shows Suzuki is still working on a middleweight design seemingly based on the Recursion concept. Ben Purvis over at Cycle World continues his long streak of digging up arcane patent paperwork, with patent drawings showing a new Suzuki middleweight naked with basically the same engine as the Recursion concept, but with no turbocharger.
Wait, wot? Why put all the money into designing a turbocharged parallel twin, then ditch the turbocharger? Simple: This is the reality of motorcycle design projects. Ideas get abandoned because they aren’t technically feasible, or they aren’t cost-effective, or they just aren’t desirable, or whatever. It’s always worth noting when you see a exciting new patent unveiled—just because there’s technology in a patent, there’s no guarantee it will make it to production.
Purvis’s piece in Cycle World points out the practicality of a parallel twin design for Suzuki. It’s cheaper to manufacture, and easier to make a compact chassis around this layout. He reckons Suzuki will update the SV650 to meet Euro5 requirements and continue refining this new engine for a future release.