Performance Bikes (UK) - - Suzuka 8 Hours -

Yoshimura’s GSX-R is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to any other GSX-R1000 on a grid this year. It bor­rows parts from the Suzuki Mo­toGP pro­gramme, has the most ad­vanced elec­tron­ics in the world and is built al­most en­tirely from parts unique to this ma­chine. It’s as breath­tak­ing to look at as it is quick on the track. While Yoshi have al­ways had close links to Suzuki, their fac­tory links have been in­creased, with a lot of trans­fer from the Mo­toGP pro­gramme. They’re ef­fec­tively Suzuki’s race de­part­ment: this bike is pi­o­neer­ing kit part devel­op­ment which will fil­ter down to sup­ported teams, like the Hawk Rac­ing bikes in BSB and on the roads. But even they won’t get ev­ery­thing seen here...

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The 2017 bike, co­de­named the XRJ0, has been de­vel­oped by Yoshimura in con­junc­tion with the Suzuki fac­tory. The Suzuka bike shares the same ba­sic chas­sis and en­gine spec as the Mo­toAmer­ica and BSB bikes but has plenty of up­graded parts to change its char­ac­ter. The big­gest vis­ual changes are a big­ger fuel tank and a mod­i­fied swingarm for eas­ier pit­stops, but up­graded elec­tron­ics make the big­gest dif­fer­ence.

ELEC­TRON­ICS The Mag­neti Marelli unit ben­e­fits from the in­put of the Suzuki fac­tory’s elec­tron­ics de­part­ment, and with three elec­tron­ics en­gi­neers on site at Suzuka this is the area with the most re­sources al­lo­cated to it over the race week­end. Free­dom from the usual re­stric­tions mean this sys­tem is more ad­vanced than even a Mo­toGP ma­chine’s. The team can tweak their maps to pin­point power de­liv­ery at each cor­ner.

EN­GINE AND EX­HAUST The same spec as in do­mes­tic cham­pi­onships; the team can only make lim­ited changes to the power unit. They changed their en­gine spec just days prior to Suzuka, look­ing for more midrange torque. To prove re­li­a­bil­ity they sim­u­lated 340 laps of Suzuka on the dyno. The unit was in­stalled on Wed­nes­day and the bike qual­i­fied sec­ond fastest. The Yoshi-de­signed ex­haust took 18 months to de­velop.

SWINGARM Length­ened and stiff­ened, tak­ing lessons from the GSX-RR Mo­toGP bike. The swingarm pivot is heav­ily mod­i­fied, too – the area is ma­chined out and fit­ted with ad­justable in­serts.

AERODYNAMICS Tin­ker­ing has taken place to re­duce drag and in­crease top speed. Despite a sim­i­lar sil­hou­ette to the stan­dard road bike, the Yoshi bike has a subtly widened top fair­ing around the screen, and a car­bon cowl be­low the rider’s feet to fur­ther the aero­dy­namic gains.

CAR­BON FI­BRE It’s everywhere, from the self-sup­port­ing seat, to tiny pro­tec­tors on the clutch and rear brake. While en­durance teams typ­i­cally fo­cus on speed of re­pair, Yoshimura made a clear de­ci­sion to fo­cus solely on speed on track.

WEIGHT DIS­TRI­BU­TION The 24-litre tank is eight litres larger than stock, so space has to be cre­ated to fit the in­creased vol­ume in a way that doesn’t un­duly af­fect weight dis­tri­bu­tion. The fuel cell is buried in the frame and sub­frame, keep­ing the weight low and cen­tral to min­imise its ef­fect on the bike’s in­er­tia from up­right to full lean.

BRAKES Tiny 290mm discs are used with Brembo M50 calipers. Typ­i­cally, a 320mm disc is used in WSB (and as stan­dard) but at Suzuka – a cir­cuit with­out many heavy brak­ing zones – the re­quire­ments are dif­fer­ent, and the re­duced in­er­tia/un­sprung mass was deemed to ben­e­fit steer­ing to a greater de­gree than the re­duced swept area would com­pro­mise brak­ing. Brookes and Guin­toli didn’t use the foot-op­er­ated, billet Nissin rear caliper, whereas Tsuda used it ex­ten­sively.







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