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Kevin Schwantz comments on the GSV-R after testing in Malaysia

Kevin Schwantz comments on the GSV-R after testing in Malaysia

Kevin Schwantz comments on the GSV-R after testing in Malaysia

Private Suzuki tests at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia last week saw the surprise return of a Grand Prix legend. 1993 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz, who scored 25 Grand Prix wins for Suzuki, was on unofficial duty at the development test for the four-stroke GSV-R but, after rediscovering his magic touch, he found himself acting as consultant to the factory engineers and provided a key insight for race fans too.

`On the way to Malaysia I was wondering why I was flying 14 hours just to ride a motorcycle,´ said `Revvin´ Kevin afterwards. `I have lots of them at home, but after riding the GSV-R, I want to ride it again. I´d be prepared to fly to Japan to do it! I really liked it and had a good time riding it. To me, I guess the biggest difference compared with the 500 was how physical you have to be to change direction when you´re on the gas – like through S-bends. I guess that would be because of the extra mass of the crankshaft spinning up´.

`The clutch didn´t seem a big drama to me, but at the same time I was lapping three seconds off. Whenever anybody rode my bike, I didn´t think much of their comments if they were a second or even half-a-second slower than me! It has tons of power. I found if I would roll through the turns a gear higher than Kenny [Roberts], with lower revs, it would immediately wheelie off the turn because of the torque. You have to use more revs to spin the rear or make the front light to finish off the corners. ´

The team were impressed with Schwantz´s efforts, and hope to have the American back on board soon. `It was fantastic to see Kevin on a GP bike again,´ said Suzuki Team Manager Garry Taylor. `He asked us at the start of the year, but he said he wanted a proper test, and he ran a couple of GP distances. He hasn´t lost his touch at all, and he was physically just as fit and vital as during his career. His times would have embarrassed a few other riders at the first day of qualifying for this year´s Malaysian GP. It was very useful to have some like Kevin´s insight, and we´d love to do it again some time…´

MotoGP, 2002

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