Suzuki Hayabusa To Get VVT?

Credit: Suzuki

It looks like Suzuki isn’t ready to give up on the Hayabusa just yet! Patent paperwork uncovered by motojournalist Ben Purvis shows Suzuki working on a plan to install variable valve timing on the hyperbike’s engine.

Variable valve timing technology has been common in cars for some time, but it’s been fairly rare in the motorcycle world. Honda’s VFR800 brought the V-Tec engine to riders for years, but that was pretty much it until the mid-2010s. Now, VVT is fast becoming a standard for flagship machines like the BMW R1250 series, and even on smaller bikes like Yamaha’s beginner-friendly R15.

On its part, Suzuki has used VVT for its GSX-R1000 for a while now (although, most interestingly, it’s not used on the latest 800 parallel twin engine). But now, paperwork shows Suzuki is tinkering with the Hayabusa’s 1300 engine, fitting a variable valve timing system. You can see Purvis’ write-up on the design here at Cycle World.

The ‘Busa VVT patent shows a cam phaser-type design, and it is hydraulically activated, using oil pressure to power the system.

What does a VVT system do? A four-stroke engine uses intake valves to feed the fuel-air mix into the cylinders, and exhaust valves to clear the burnt gases. Depending on the complexity of the VVT system, it can simply change the time that those valves open and close, or even change the length of time those valves are open, and more.

Why move to the added complexity of a variable valve timing design? Suzuki would do so for the same reason that everyone else is using the system. VVT allows the engine to run more efficiently at a wide range of RPM. This can increase horsepower, or clean emissions, or both.

In that case, it would be welcome change for the Suzuki Hayabusa. The latest-gen ‘Busa did not get the forced induction system that people had hoped for. Horsepower wasn’t up at all—in fact, it declined from the previous version. You can blame emissions regulations for that, and those regulations aren’t about to slack off anytime soon. They will tighten. VVT can help Suzuki keep the Hayabusa trucking forward into the 2020s and 2030s, and maybe even find some extra horsepower along the way.


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