Friday, October 29


The Grand Unveiling
NEW ZEALAND's leading Suzuki dealer, Colemans Suzuki, pulled the wraps off the new for 2011 GSX-R600L1 at the new model's premiere at the Auckland dealership last night (October 28).

Darren Sweetman & The ED
On hand for the unveiling were Suzuki New Zealand's Motorcyle Sales Manager Simon Meade, multi New Zealand Champion Andrew Stroud and former New Zealand 600 Supersport Champion Craig Shirriffs, as well as a large group of loyal Colemans Suzuki customers eager to get a look at the new bike.

Also in attendance was former World 500 Motocross Champion Shayne King, representing the Italian garment and boot maker Alpine Stars.

The big news is that Suzuki has given the GSX-R600 a major work-over, leaving no stone unturned to reduce weight and increase power. The new model weighs a claimed 186 kg fully fuelled and ready to go, which, Suzuki says, makes it the lightest 600 on the market.

While the engine's crankcase and cylinder head castings remain pretty much unchanged - at least externslly - the internals have come in for a thorough revision. Included in this are revised ventilation passages between the bases of the cylinders to reduce pumping losses even further, while lessons learned in Suzuki's MotoGP programme have led to a staggering 14 per cent decreasse in piston weight and a 12 per cent reduction in connecting rod weight.

Stroud & Shirriffs Banter
The titanium valves are opened by camshafts with revised profiles to boost mid-range torque without losing any top-end power, the fuel-injection nozzles have been re-angled in the throttle bodies and there is a completely new exhaust system.

The adjustable Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) has been changed from a three to a two mode system (Suzuki says owners were bot using the C-mode that was available) while on the suspension front Showa provides a set of 41 mm Big Piston Forks up front and a revised rear shock absorber.

With the revised power curve, Suzuki has altered the ratios in the six-speed gearbox. First gear is 'taller' while second, third, fourth and sixth gear ratios have been lowered.

Other news is the adoption of Brembo radial-moint four piston calipers up front, which bite into new 310mm diameter fully floating disc rotors but at the rear there's a Nissin single piston caliper operating on a 220 mm disc.

In Showrooms late February
The other big news is the new frame which has seen the engine repositioned to optimise geometry - reducing the crucial steering axis to swing-arm pivot dimension and at the same time reducing the wheelbase by 15mm while retaining the same length swing-arm, which is an all new unit.

The new GSX-R600L1 is expected to be available in New Zealand in late February.

A heap of pics from the night are on our facebook page here: