From Concept to Production The 2008 Suzuki B-King!
My Custom B-King

2008 Suzuki B-King GSX 1300 1340cc Street Fighter Two Brothers M2 Rob Green Tacoma WA Washington Road-Quest.com Naked Bike From Concept - Suzuki first introduced the B-king as a concept bike in 2001 at the Tokyo Motor Show. In it's original form, the B-King sported a Hayabusa 1300 engine equipped with a supercharger. At that time the Hayabusa engine produced 175 bhp. Brake Horse Power is the HP at the crank prior to loss that would come from the gearbox, exhaust etc. With the addition of the supercharger the engine muscled up an enormous 240 bhp. Some of the materials used in construction of the B-King were carbon fiber, stainless steel, aluminum and leather. The rear tire was a whopping 240mm wide. The B-King had an alarm system with on board audio so that the owner could contact the bike via cell phone and be heard over the audio system. I'm not sure at that point what use this would be other then to beg the thief not to take it or if he did, to treat it right.


2008 Suzuki B-King GSX 1300 1340cc Street Fighter Two Brothers M2 Rob Green Tacoma WA Washington Road-Quest.com Naked Bike To Production - In 2007 Suzuki introduces the B-King to the world as their new production muscle bike. Over the years the B-king had a few changes. The original 1300 supercharged Hayabusa engine was replaced with the 2008 Hayabusa 1340cc engine. The engine was not left untouched. Suzuki changed the valve dimensions, intake and exhaust dropping the Horsepower at the wheel by 9.4 hp. Torque was reduced by 6 ft. Lbs. as well. In the grand scheme of things these reductions are minor as the power plant still generates enormous toque and hp at the rear wheel. On the road, torque is king. The B-King produces approximately 70 ft. Lbs. of torque @ 2,500 RPM. This low end torque reduces the need for shifting and provides for quicker times off the line.

 

 

B-King RPM Red-Line
2008 B-King Hp 161.4 9,000 10,500
2008 B-King Torque 97.9 7,000  
2008 Hayabusa Hp 170.8 9,500 11,000
2008 Hayabusa Torque 103.9 7,000  


Suzuki didn't stop at the power plant....

Cosmetics - Suzuki went way over the top with the bold futuristic design of the B-King. The body style and colors are very polarizing. This is evident if you stand around any show room or cycle show long enough to listen to people's reactions or read the forums for that matter. Bottom line is that people either like the bold style or they hate it. I personally like it and found that the all black model seemed to draw me in. 

Brakes -  Suzuki gave the B-King Radial mount front brake calipers which feature an all new design built specifically for the B-King and work with 310mm brake rotors to provide superior braking performance. On the rear a lightweight single piston brake caliper works with a 260mm rear disc. The front brake master cylinder has its own reservoir tank as well as the clutch master cylinder. Both of these components were designed specifically for the the B-King. 

Chassis - The B-King got an all new twin-spar cast aluminum alloy frame that provides optimum rigidity balance and superb handling. The swing arm is newly made of cast aluminum alloy constructed of 3 main sections for minimal welding lines and a clean overall look. The front forks are new as well. The KYB inverted front forks are specifically designed for the B-King and are fully adjustable for compression, rebound damping and spring preload to suit rider preferences. As for the rear suspension, it's new aluminum alloy rear shock absorber features three-way adjustability with excellent damping characteristics of Suzuki's super sport models. One really nice feature is the standard steering dampener that sucks up any energy from the road and provides added stability.

Instruments - Suzuki gave the B-King an all new instrument cluster with an analog tachometer, digital speedometer, fuel gauge, water temperature gauge, twin trip meters, clock, maintenance interval, running time, average speed, gear position indicator, and a S-DMS mode indicator. The S-DMS mode switch allows the rider to select A or B mode. Each mode provides a different fuel and ignition mapping. A mode is the full mode and the default. B mode limits the Hp to approximately 114 Hp. This would be used in a wet pavement situation. As for the instrument cluster, it's one of the nicest gauge cluster's I have come across.

Ergonomics' -  The rider position is closer to upright with a slight lean into the bars. The rider position is similar to that of a sport touring bike. The pegs are a bit high for a rider with a 32" + inseam but still comfortable. The bike is beautifully balanced. The B-King weighs in at 518 lbs. but feels as if it weighs much less. The bike is very easy to maneuver at low speeds and feels like it's riding on rails in the turns. The wide cowls on each side of the tank actually play a positive role in reducing wind on the riders lower extremities. In fact, the wind felt on the rider is from the mid chest up.

Specifications

Specs
Engine: 1340cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Bore Stroke: 81.0 x 65.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5 : 1
Fuel System: Fuel injection system
Lubrication: Wet sump
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: RK GB50GSV Z4, 118 links
Overall Length: 2245 mm (88.4 in)
Overall Width: 800 mm (31.5 in)
Overall Height: 1085 mm (42.7 in)
Seat Height: 805 mm (31.7 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Wheelbase: 1525 mm (60.0 in)
Dry Weight: 235 kg (518 lbs)
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) tubeless
Tires Rear: 200/50ZR17M/C (75W) tubeless
Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.5 L (4.4/3.6 US/Imp gal)

 Road-Quest.com Test Ride & Results

First of all I want to clarify the scope of riding during this test. This was a 100% road test. No riding was performed on tracks of any kind. If your looking for track test results please look to TopSpeed and MotorcycleUSA for their reviews.  

Let's get on with the test ride. To get the best of lower speed town riding, straight and sweeping freeway as well as high and low speed turns I decided to choose a route along the Tacoma water front and up through the Tacoma City center. The second phase of the test would be a straight shot east bound on hwy 509. Phase three would be the back half of hwy 509 that has some nice sweeping turns as well as tight turns including one 10 mph hair pin. I couldn't have picked a better day for the ride as we had  partly cloudy conditions with some nice sun breaks. The temperature was 62 degrees and the pavement was a combination of dry, wet and in some cases a mix of both with fall leaves introducing dicey conditions. If that wasn't enough throw in 15 mph wind gusts. All this providing for a real life road test with conditions riders face throughout the seasons with the exception of Ice.

The ride along the water was nice. The bike seemed to purr along at 2,500 RPM in 3rd gear still delivering allot of torque and acceleration with a twist of the throttle. The ride was almost vibration free. The road had allot of bad spots in the pavement as well as some small pot holes. The B-king just sucked them up retaining a smooth ride. This surprised me because my first impression was that the suspension felt a bit stiff.

As I entered the City Center I encountered several blocks of stop and go traffic and on several occasions I had to maneuver around vehicles that were stopped waiting for parking. The b-king was noticeably agile at low speeds and easy to maneuver.  I notice the exceptional braking power of the bike as well.

At my last red light I waited for the green to bring it up in the RPM range as I entered hwy 509. Looking at a strait run for several miles this was a great opportunity to let the engine lose. The only cars on the road were next to me and miles ahead. I left the light and let the engine wind to 7,000 RPM and shifted to 2nd, then 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The acceleration was unbelievable to say the least. I didn't come close to redline as it's still a fresh engine. By the time I was at the end of the bridge (a few blocks) the speedometer was in triple digits. The torque was monstrous as the bike approaches 6,500 and then the horsepower curve really came on leaving me at the rear of the seat. At these speeds the B-King was extremely stable and the wind was not too bad. I expected allot more instability and wind blast at those speeds. I think the large cowls, tank and front end design diverted air flow away from my lower extremities. Since I had my high speed run out of the way, I slowed to a comfortable 70 mph for the next few miles. The riding position was very comfortable although I do think the pegs are a bit too high for riders with a 32"+ inseam. That said, The riding position is comfortable unlike the 2008 Hayabusa I rode a couple months prior. 

The back half of hwy 509 parallels the eat side of Commencement Bay and provides some nice sweeping turns. That bike transitioned through the turns effortlessly at slightly above freeway speeds. Further up 509 the road turned away from the water and began to deliver tighter turns with very little transition time between them. At this point the road conditions were still dry and 40 mph through the turns was not an issue. Within a mile or so the riding conditions significantly changed as the turns became covered in wet leaves and the pavement was wet. My speed was reduced to the posted speed limit. B-King sucked up these poor riding conditions with ease. I had no sensations of the tires pushing out as the bike effortlessly maneuvered through each and every turn.

During this 30 miles ride I was fortunate to encounter a diverse set of riding conditions. The B-King handled them all with ease. The traction in wet pavement conditions was exceptional. As was stability at low and higher speeds. Low speed maneuvering was a pleasure. The braking system on the B-King out performs any bike I have ridden to date including the Hayabusa.  The riding position is very comfortable and may allow the B-King to enter into the Sport Touring class. The gages and controls were simple to use and easy to read even with the sun behind the rider.  There's no doubt the B-king produces enormous torque and horse power, yet the bike is very well behaved in the lower speed and RPM range making the B-King a great all around roadster. I didn't test the S-DMS modes because I didn't find the need to reduce the performance of the bike. The only application for this mode would be new riders and or slippery conditions. The exhaust is quite but has a nice low rumble. The bike is said to get between 30 and 35 Mpg. The tank only holds 3.6 US gallons making for a short riding range. The seat is flat and stiff butt so far I have not had any discomfort to my backside.

Update: I have over 2,300 on this bike now. I have been riding all winter long including sub freezing temps, rain, heavy winds and hail. The Suzuki B-king is an amazing machine to say the least. I will be participating in the 2009 Dam Tour and will be making some of the day rides on the B-King. I'm really impressed with the ergonomics of the bike. One thing I noticed is the power seemed to really increase as is broke in around 1,500 - 2,000 miles. Check out the video below. it has the Dyno runs in it. The B-king came in at 161 Max HP and 95 ft. lbs. of torque! If your interested in a B-King, they are selling for just under $10,000 with some coming in under $9,000. They are worth every penny.

Pros:

  • Good Rider Ergonomics.
  • Great wind deflection for lower extremities.
  • Extremely stable in all conditions.
  • Steering stabilizer comes standard.
  • Well balanced and is easy to maneuver at low speeds.
  • Handles exceptionally well at higher speeds including transitioning from turn to turn.
  • Instrument cluster is easy to use as well as see under direct sunlight.
  • The Braking system is one of the best. (Non ABS used in test)
  • Flat engine torque curve from 70 ft. lbs. @ 2,500 RPM to 97.9 ft. Lbs @ 7,000 RPM.
  • Monstrous Horsepower - weighs in at 161.4 hp @ 9,000 RPM.
  • Over the top futuristic looks.
  • Possesses most of the traits found in a sport touring bike with a gob of torque & Hp to boot!

Cons:

  • Peg height is questionable. Riders with 33"+ inseam may feel a bit cramped.
  • Fuel capacity is border line inadequate for tiruing. Suzuki could have made the cowls smaller and taken on another gallon and a half. This would have added to weight but I doubt it would be that much difference in performance.
  • The bars could have been raised another 2" for a better rider position.
  • The looks of the bike are over the top by design. I found the two tone charcoal and silver B-king to appear wider and take on more of a transformer type look then the solid black. I also wish Suzuki would have stayed with the headlight bucket design on the original concept bike. Too each his or her own.

Overall the Suzuki B-King is an exceptional roadster that allows the rider to enjoy a diverse set of riding types. I plan to install a set of Textile bags and the B-king will double as a street muscle bike and a Sport Touring bike. As for sport touring, there is no doubt I will have to plan my rides carefully due to fuel capacity limitations.

Hinshaw's Motorcycles Hinshaws Service department new and used motorcyles bikes gear. Parts and ride gear Auburn WA Washington.A special thanks to Bob (General Manager) and Jason (Sales) of Hinshaw's Motorcycle store in Auburn Washington. They were extremely accommodating by allowing me to test several bikes over the period of a couple months. For me, purchasing a bike is a decision that requires test rides and ample research. The fact that Hinshaw's hung in there with me without the presence of high pressure sales is what, in my opinion, puts them over the top in comparison to the other dealerships I have worked with. I can't forget there service team headed by (Jim Speers). They quickly and methodically took the B-king from crate to street with the addition of a few accessories. Jim also worked with me on a joint Dyno project where we ran my B-King and their B-King with Yosh TRC exhaust.

Test Ride Date: 11-8-2008
Review Date: 11-9-2008
Tested and Reviewed By: Rob Green
Owner/Editor Road-Quest.com

 

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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