Through this article I followed Suzuki’s B-King from concept to reality and I studied the bike’s unique characteristics which individualize it in such a contested class.
Meet the Hayabusa’s first cousin, the all-new B-King. While the 2008 Hayabusa is a sleek sophisticate machine, the B-King is its rowdy alter ego with aggressive styling which gives it an attitude that simply says, “Don’t mess with me.”
Being a brand new model, the B-King has virtually no history but we can track down Hayabusa’s evolution in order to see how the concept of B-King appeared and than the actual production motorcycle that astonished us.
In 1999 Suzuki launched their biggest model, the GSX1300R Hayabusa , a motorcycle which obtained “The World’s Fastest Production Motorcycle” title. Being such a great machine, it quickly became Suzuki’s most popular model so it kept being produced and improved through the years gaining some extra mph in the top end.
In the year 2001 at Tokyo motor show Suzuki brings us B-King concept bike, a machine that took everyone’s breath with its Hayabusa supercharged engine, aggressive look and unique engineering. That is the point when everybody started wondering when the bike will enter production and their questions had an answer: 2008. The production model doesn’t feature the concept’s supercharger as Suzuki engineers considered that the bike already benefits of a great amount of horse power and they weren’t wrong.
Ever since the concept was launched and until it became a production motorcycle everybody wondered if it will destroy the competition but I am wondering what competition. This street fighter is in a class of its own eager to show you the bikes from the same class through his rear view mirrors.
The difference between the two motorcycles is styling, B-King having a very aggressive look which probably says a lot about the rider two. Its imposing engine is out there to be seen as well as the exhaust pipes which let you know that it has the power to reward you with a one-of-a-kind sport riding experience.
I always wondered how the B-King will look when seen through the rear view mirror of a car or motorcycle as the bike has a very threatening look offered by the massive headlight, wide fuel tank, large volume airbox, and radiator. But this is what is so great about this bike, the fact that it looks as though it is going to tear everything in its way and it sure can.
Featuring a slightly modified version of the 2008 Hayabusa’s new engine, complemented by state-of-the-art chassis and suspension systems, the B-King offers incredible all-around capabilities consisting in breathtaking acceleration matched by precise, responsive handling. The performance differences between the two bikes are minimal although the B-King has its own valve dimension to produce smooth, extraordinarily strong low-end power and it also has some unique chassis components, such as its finely crafted swingarm.
As we could expect from a Hayabusa engine, the technical features offer more than we ever desired for such a motorcycle and that is:
New 1340cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, 16 valve engine provided with a gear-driven counterbalancer for smooth operation and Suzuki SDTV fuel injection system with dual injectors per cylinder and ram air intake with large volume airbox.
Suzuki takes care of its riders with S-DMS (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector) mounted on the beast, allowing the rider to choose from two different engine settings depending on riding conditions or rider preferences.
Lightweight titanium intake and exhaust valves with narrow 14 degree valve angle are used for high combustion chamber efficiency.
Dual electric fans controlled by the ECM for increased cooling capacity have the purpose of keeping the high efficiency curved radiator at just the right temperature while the oil cooler now has 10 rows cores for increased heat dissipation.
The 32 bit ECU boasts 1024 ROM for high overall performance and to control new functions like S-DMS.
Ventilation holes at the cylinder skirt for reduced pumping losses and increased overall performance.
The large volume 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system with a large capacity catalyzer, oxygen sensors and an oval cross section canister with dual openings that meets Euro 3 and Tier 2 regulation is completed with uniquely styled exhaust system which enhances the powerful styling of the B-King.
The Suzuki Exhaust Tuning (SET) valve is build into the mid-pipe for optimum exhaust efficiency.
The thrill of riding the Suzuki is also given by its slick shifting 6-speed transmission working in conjunction with an innovative back torque limiting clutch for smooth and controlled downshifts.
The piston rings benefit from Ion platting treatment utilizing PVD (physical vapor deposit) which provide a smoother surface treatment for increased durability, reduced friction loss and reduced oil consumption.
But a new motorcycle also features a new chassis and there are many things to mention on B-King’s such as:
All-new Twin-spar cast aluminum alloy frame featuring optimum rigidity balance and superb handling.
All-new cast aluminum alloy swingarm for the B-King is constructed of 3 main sections for minimal welding lines and a clean overall look.
New KYB inverted front forks specially designed for the B-King and fully adjustable for compression, rebound damping and spring preload to suit rider preferences.
New aluminum alloy rear shock absorber features three-way adjustability with excellent damping characteristics equivalent to those of Suzuki supersport models.
Radial mount front brake calipers featuring an all new design build specially for the B-King and work with 31mm brake rotors to provide superior braking performance.
Lightweight single piston rear brake calipers which work with 260mm rear disc.
The front brake master cylinder, its reservoir tank as well as the clutch master cylinder were designed specially for aggressive look of the B-King.
A new wheel design with a dynamic three spoke look combined with high performance radial tires boasting a massive 200mm rear tire size.
Unique three piece front fender design for a high quality and aggressive look.
All New Instrument clusters features the signature strong B-King styling with an analog tachometer, digital speedometer, fuel gauge, water temperature gauge, twin tripmeters, clock, maintenance interval, running time, average speed, gear position indicator, and S-DMS mode indicator.
The B-King also comes equipped with a standard steering damper for maximum stability.
With one-off characteristics (except Hayabusa) concerning both engine and chassis, the long awaited Suzuki B-King made its entry in the world of sportsbikes as a unique motorcycle in a class of its own.
The first thing that strikes you when approaching the B-King is the imposing dimensions which rapidly make you change your mind about riding the bike if you lack in experience but if you have ridden a reasonable number of street bikes and you really pulled it through with that ones, it should be a easy and enjoyable task the ride with the B-King (mine sure was).
Once on the bike you feel like you’ve reached the highest level of power, comfort, and engineering available for street motorcycles but the fun hasn’t even begin yet. Start the engine, have a little fun with the throttle while enjoying the instruments in front of you, engage first and get moving. You will immediately feel the bike’s weight disappear underneath you and the beast becomes a model in terms of handling and maneuverability. As soon as I realized that I encounter a better product that I was expecting I was tempted to go through all six speeds and see the awesome acceleration that makes this motorcycle a beast and guess what? I did just that and I realized that Suzuki tuned the B-King for great amounts of power and torque at high rpm, the bike being created for pure acceleration. By that level my arms became a little longer but I pushed it a little bit more to see if the bike will satisfy even a supersports rider who is eager to get the same thrill in a more comfortable position. The bike succeeds to be a true opponent for 600cc supersport motorcycles like the GSX600R or CBR600 and it does it big time!
The powerful 1340cc engine, taken right out the 2008 Hayabusa, suffered intake and exhaust changes in order to perform a bit more reasonable. The result is a smooth performance engine which delivers all the needed power at any level of the rpm range in any of the six speeds. The monster also gives a very aggressive, threatening look kind of like a prolog to the extraordinary riding experience.
The aluminum chassis does its job perfectly, as we expected, allowing very tight and fast corners without the fear of falling or getting out of the road. If the fear appears, you should put the B-King to a quick test and lean the bike even more in order to exit the corner safely and more decided to try another one.
This motorcycle features on-off Nissin four-pot brake calipers, the most advanced brake system available at Suzuki’s, a system which encourages the rider to pull the brake lever without mercy, knowing that it will always perform as expected especially in dangerous situations. You should be careful with the brakes, though, as they provide a very powerful stopping which can surprise you as well as they can get you out of danger.
My ride with “The Accelerator”, as I like to call it, ended too fast but I still managed to put 120 miles into it on a race track which gave me the opportunity to see how motorcycles will develop in the future (accelerator in the future) as the bike is heading towards a bright future.
Experienced riders (the bike is destined to advanced riders) who are interested in purchasing a Suzuki B-King should know that the bike is being offered for a MSRP of $12,899.00 and that it has a 12 months unlimited mileage limited warranty. They should also wait a few weeks as the bike is set to hit dealers in September this year.
With such outlandish styling and brutal power, the B-King’s transition from concept to reality has not been an easy one, but uncharacteristically for a concept machine, it has stayed remarkably true to its original form and is expected in dealerships at the end of September.
Engine and Transmission
Engine: 1340cc, 4-stroke, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, TSCC
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 x 65.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Lubrication: Wet Sump
Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh
Final Drive: #530 chain
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, fully adjustable spring preload, adjustable rebound damping and adjustable compression damping
Suspension Rear: Link-type, gas/oil damped, fully adjustable spring preload, adjustable compression & rebound damping
Brakes Front: Dual hydraulic disc
Brakes Rear: Single hydraulic disc
Tires Front: 120/70-ZR-17
Tires Rear: 200/50-ZR-17
Overall Length: 2220mm (87.4 in.)
Overall Width: 800mm (31.5 in.)
Overall Height: 1085mm (42.7 in.)
Seat Height: 805mm (31.7 in)
Ground Clearance: 120mm (4.7 in.)
Wheelbase: 1525mm (60.0 in)
Dry Weight: 235 kg (518 lbs.) CA Model: 236 kg (520 lbs.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.5 liter (4.2 gal.) CA Model: 16.0 liter
Color: Gray/Silver, Black/ Matte Black