The European motorcycle press had their first taste of the all-new 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 this week at the Almeria race circuit in Spain – and initial responses are that the sportbike has taken a leap forward in many areas.
With testers from all major European motorcycle publications in attendance, early feedback was extremely positive thanks to ground-up changes on the new Suzuki GSX-R that is aa full 9kg (19.8 lbs) lighter than its predecessor.
Motorcycle News tester, Michael Neeves was quick to share his views on the new Suzuki GSXR 600, commenting: "We’ve only had a couple of sessions on track but already I can feel the major differences over the old bike."
"The motor feels keener with more mid range and the chassis noticeably sharper. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the bike and trying the settings suggested by three times BSB champ John Reynolds."
Superbike Magazine editor, Kenny Pryde, got back in from his second session and added: "I’ve had the 2010 model all year as my long-term test bike, so I was really keen to get out and try the new bike."
"Already I can feel more mid-range performance and the chassis is very agile now. The power of the new Brembo brakes is really noticeable."
The GSX-R600 motorcycle model both features completely new chassis designs, each based on a more compact, lighter twin-spar aluminum frame with a 15 mm shorter wheelbase. The GSXR 600 now has a wheelbase that measures 1385 mm.
The 2011 Gixxer 600 motorcycle shares the compact and powerful four-cylinder engine design of the GSX-R 750. The engine is liquid-cooled with Suzuki Ram-Air Direct (SRAD) induction and a digital engine management system.
Double Overhead Camshafts (DOHC) are driven by a link-plate chain off a forged crankshaft and open four titanium valves per cylinder through bucket tappets, with shim-under-bucket lash adjustment.
The valves are set at a narrow angle, 22.0 degrees for the GSX-R600-allowing a very compact Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber (TSCC)-with the GSX-R600’s intake valves set at 10.0 degrees from the cylinder centerline. The exhaust valves are set 12.0 degrees from the cylinder centerline.
The four-into-one stainless-steel exhaust system features four individual head pipes and a single collector. The GSX-R mid-pipe located between the collector and the under-engine exhaust chamber carries a Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) servo-controlled butterfly valve to match exhaust system back-pressure to engine rpm, throttle position and gear position.
The exhaust chamber leads to stainless-steel S-bend pipe and a titanium motorcycle muffler shaped and positioned to enhance cornering clearance and improve aerodynamics. A reduction in pipe wall thickness and a smaller, more efficient exhaust chamber and muffler combine to make the GSX-R600 system 1700 grams (3.75 lbs.) lighter.
The new 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 also uses lighter, more durable forged pistons designed with the same Finite Element Method (FEM) and fatigue analysis technology used to develop MotoGP racing engines.