Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents -

Cel­e­brat­ing the Suzuki GSX1300R’S twen­ti­eth birth­day with the late, great John Robin­son

As ever, the peer­less John Robin­son clouted sev­eral nails on the head when he tested the newly launched Suzuki Hayabusa at Catalunya with its 1km main drag. He wrote: “When your am­bi­tions are for very high speeds big is bad. The only op­tion is to get neck-deep into aero­dy­nam­ics and watch the stylists tear their hair out.you can take bets on whether they tear their own or one an­other’s.then they get their own back by paint­ing it black. Or brown.

“The ob­ject of aero­dy­nam­ics is to make a large mo­tor­cy­cle be­have like a small one.this sleight of hand is called CDA (pro­nounced seedee-ay to rhyme with tarara­boomdee-ay apart from view­ers in New­cas­tle).the Cd bit is the co­ef­fi­cient of drag, the slip­per­i­ness of the ob­ject in ques­tion.thea is for frontal area, the sheer size of the thing. Mul­ti­ply the two to­gether and you have the bike’s con­tri­bu­tion to to­tal air drag, so a big bike with a lot of A (the GSX) could have a very small Cd and be­have, speed­wise, like a small bike with a nor­mal Cd. Mind you, there’s some­thing to be said for start­ing with a small bike in the first place like Aprilia’s RSV that man­ages 170mph on a mere 115-120bhp.

“Which leaves the ques­tion of just how fast the 1300 will go. If Suzuki are right about the power and the aero­dy­nam­ics, they’re look­ing at 200mph. If we’re right about the power and if the aerody­man­ics are above av­er­age, then it’s go­ing to be 185-190mph.” And of course he was spot-on. RIP JR.

JR fling­ing the new Hayabusa around Catalunya in 1999 . The man could ride

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