Suzuki make racing return with GSX-R1000R to compete at Suzuka 8 Hours using sustainable parts and fuel

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Suzuki have announced that they will be competing in this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race on a special GSX-R1000R superbike using more environmentally sustainable fuel and componentry.

Although Suzuki have now discontinued the GSX-R1000 family in Europe, it remains on sale in other markets with less stringent emissions regulations, with this year’s special factory-backed race bike intended to run on petrol supplied by Elf containing 40% bio sourced material.

“I can say with confidence that endurance racing, which simultaneously requests running performance and endurance, is the optimal place for testing and development of not only fuel but also various sustainable items, and it is an activity that would revitalise the future of motorcycle industry,” Suzuki’s Executive General Manager of Motorcycle Operations, Tsuyoshi Tanaka said.

Suzuki GSX-R1000R endurance race bike with catalytic converter in the exhaust

“We will not make it a one-time initiative but make firm efforts so that we can continue the initiative by aiming for higher goals in the years to come. I ask for your kind support.”

Announced at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show in late March, the GSX-R will compete under the banner of Team Suzuki CN Challenge, with the personnel mainly made up of Suzuki employees working in collaboration with Yoshimura Japan.

Building on the standard 199bhp inline four-cylinder superbike, which left Europe at the advent of Euro5, the striking racer will also use a number of components said to be cleaner to the environment.

Rear view of Suzuki GSX-R1000R endurance race bike

This includes a Yoshimura exhaust system, featuring a stubby silencer fitted with a catalyser to catch some of the pollutants from the engine.

The oil also comes courtesy of Motul featuring a bio sourced base, with the fairings made of recycled carbon, and the fenders made of plant-based natural flax fibres.

“Suzuki has been making efforts in re-allocating resources toward promoting development of sustainability-related technologies,” Representative Director and President of Suzuki, Toshihiro Suzuki added.

2024 Suzuki GSX-R1000R endurance race bike

“By making development of sustainable fuel and other sustainable items of Yoshimura Japan… I believe that it would lead not only to improve Suzuki’s environmental performance technologies but also to contribute to personnel development and to increase motivation, which will be linked to making even better products in the future.”

This year’s Suzuka 8 Hours takes place from 19-21 July, with more information available at now.

Endurance racing GSX-R1000R in detail:

  • Blast from the past Suzuki’s official return to racing is a surprise, given they officially pulled out of MotoGP and the Endurance World Championship (EWC) at the end of the 2022 season, later stating the reason for departure was to focus on sustainability.
  • Special treatment The E40 fuel has been certified by the FIM, however isn’t the official fuel of the EWC, meaning Suzuki will compete in a special experimental class of race bike.
  • Gripping times Adding to the sustainability are special Bridgestone Battlax V02 slick tyres, which will have a higher level of recycled material that usual. Suzuki could not confirm the ratio at the time of writing.
  • Contender ready Suzuki have confirmed that three riders will be used for the race, however the specific pilots are still to be determined.
  • Batteries on the way Alongside investment in sustainable fuel, Suzuki’s General Manager for motorcycle sales Akira Kyuji told MCN in late 2023 that the first small capacity battery electric bike will arrive in 2024.