New Suzuki Bikes for 2007

Blower-Free But Packing Hayabusa Power, It's Good To B-King!

Suzuki unveiled the B-King concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2002 featuring a supercharged engine and 240 rear tire.

Suzuki's much-rumored and highly anticipated B-King will finally come to a dealer near you in mid-'07 as an early-release '08 model. And although the production machine lacks the supercharger that made the '02 Tokyo Motor Show concept bike so alluring to fans of Really Big Horsepower, its Hayabusa-sourced 1300cc inline-four promises plenty of power regardless of what tuned-for-torque meddling might have gone on behind the scenes.

More good news is the fact that the production machine made the trip from design studio to production line with nearly all of the aesthetically stunning concept bike's styling cues intact. These include, unfortunately, the bike's pointy, oversized mufflers, which are clearly meant as a styling element but make the bike appear slightly clownish, a character trait that's bound to clash with the way the 'King gets down the road. Still, the production machine shown here is an asphalt-spittin' image of the concept bike, with its tank, fender, tailsection, sidepanels, swingarm, engine (obviously), frame, wheels, brakes, radiator and oil cooler appearing almost identical to the concept bike's hand-made parts.

At press time Suzuki had no information whatsoever about the B-King, so we're left to guess what's on its features manifest. But a close look reveals plenty of good stuff, such as the suspension. In front there's an inverted fork with both spring-preload and rebound-damping adjustability. The jury's out on whether the fork offers compression adjustability. In back there's a reservoir-equipped shock that's likely to offer both rebound and compression adjustments in addition to preload via a stepped collar. Wheels and brakes look suspiciously similar to GSX-R items, including radial-mount Nissin calipers up front. Dunlop Qualifier radials are standard-issue, though these are probably specific to the bike in question and not the same as off-the-rack Q's. A steering damper is standard equipment, and the beautifully cast swingarm is braced like there's no tomorrow. At the very least, the trick-factor of the King's chassis bits hint at how much power this thing is likely to churn out. We'd guess at least 140 ponies at the rear wheel.

Note how little changed the B-King was from supercharged prototype (top) to normally aspirated production form. Alien space-helmet headlight is complemented by ray-gun mufflers, which look like they could double as a 12 o'clock bar.

Aesthetically, the B-King is thoroughly modern. The angular yet rounded shapes are aggressive and forward-leaning, especially the headlight/fairing assembly, which looks to us like some sort of helmeted alien. Ergonomics- shaped by the semi-pullback, superbike-type handlebar and footpegs that don't look overly high-appear reasonably roomy and comfortable, though wind protection will be minimal. Instrumentation is similarly modern, with a large analog tach and digital speedo dominating the cockpit display. The clutch is hydraulically actuated, the turn signals are cleverly built into the tank's side shrouds, and there's no centerstand, though this could appear as an option through Suzuki.

OK, we admit it: We're chapped there's no supercharger. Two-hundred-plus horsepower in a full-sized, point-and-shoot naked bike sounds like Big Fun to us. But we shouldn't be surprised; Suzuki's lawyers aren't stupid, and they know the foolishness 200-plus ponies might bring in the hands of the uninitiated.

Still, this one looks plenty interesting to us. We'll have a full report as soon as we can.

Suzuki B-King
Suzuki unveiled the B-King concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2002 featuring a supercharged engine and 240 rear tire.
Note how little changed the B-King was from supercharged prototype (top) to normally aspirated production form. Alien space-helmet headlight is complemented by ray-gun mufflers, which look like they could double as a 12 o'clock bar.