Suzukiâ€™s 2011 update of the GSX-R600 and 750 is very much like a MotoGP teamâ€™s midseason adjustment: minor in that itâ€™s not a total redesign but moves steadily in a desirable direction. In the case of the 600, the 67.0 x 42.5mm inline-Four is rotated backward slightly, enough to allow it and the swingarm pivot to be moved forward. This shortens the wheelbase from its former 55.1 inches to 54.5. Shorter is better for quick handling, because when you turn the front, the wheelbase is the â€œleverâ€ by which the steered motion of the front end steers the rear wheel.
In the outdated language of 40 years ago, the heavy-steering bikes admired back then â€œcornered as if on rails.â€ Locomotives actually are on rails; just try steering one. Todayâ€™s quick-responding bikes allow us to make midcourse corrections and quickly evade road hazards.
A similar set of changes to the GSX-R750 takes its wheelbase from 55.3 inches down to 54.7. Claimed curb weight of the 600 decreases by 20 poundsâ€”from 432 to 412. The 750â€™s 2011 diet trims it from 437 lb. to 419.
Both the 600 and 750 receive the Showa Big Piston Fork (BPF) that was so much discussed during the final racing season of Suzukiâ€™s many-time AMA Superbike Champion, Mat Mladin. As tire grip and speed of maneuver increase, chassis and component stiffness must do so as well. On this forkâ€™s radial mounts are new Brembo calipers. As racing-minded readers know, Brembo has come to dominate Superbike and MotoGP