An old Dennis Noyes piece from Soup...
Soup :: From '04: The Best of Dennis Noyes :: 09-04-2014
Yamaha: "Pure marketing."
Suzuki: "Crazy people racing."
Kawasaki: "Rich boys racing."
I remember that my friend's justification for the "crazy" tag given to Suzuki was based upon the wild nature of their street machines more than on the people who built them. Although the new ilk of 1000cc 165-170 horse power street bikes makes the GSX-R 1000 seem as close to "normal" as such a road going rocket could ever seem, it was Suzuki, first with the GSX-R 750 and later with the 1000, who set the new standard for high-performance roadbikes.
The last time a Suzuki was regarded as a superior Grand Prix machine was probably in 1977, the year of Barry Sheene's second and final title on the RG500, although the rotary valve square four went on to take two more world championships with Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini in 1981 and 1982.
Without Kevin Schwantz they would have been lost in the late eighties and early nineties, and the title won in 2000 by Kenny Roberts Junior was achieved when Honda was without Doohan and Yamaha without Rainey, and when Rossi just was a rookie. But during all these years Suzuki built outrageously fast and edgy roadbikes, outgunning Yamaha and Kawasaki and building the type of uncompromised sports bike that Honda, until the current CBR1000RR, has always shied away from. Daring might be a better word than crazy to describe the commercial philosophy of corporate Suzuki