Philip Island, February 2007: At the end of the second day at Phillip Island, where we had been testing the new 2008 GSX-R 1000, Suzuki put all the journalists present in a coach for a ride around the circuit.
We did not really understand the meaning of this initiative, since we had been circling the Australian track for two days, until a few moments after we had entered the track we were overtaken by two huge naked, ridden by factory riders.
As the coach was going slowly, the two bikes had time to overtake us a couple of times as we turned the track.
What most surprised us all were its enormous leaks, emerging under the tail, like the Alps.
What we knew then is that we had just seen two prototypes of the B-King, a large and futuristic naked one, which was powered by the Hayabusa 1300 engine, with its 1,340 cc four-cylinder as is and its 185 hp.
Those were other times, and then Suzuki was capable of producing bikes as personal and imaginative as Hayabusa herself or her naked version, the B-King. In fact, in 2001 the Hamamatsu brand showed a naked prototype with the turbocharged Hayabusa engine and a stupid HP, which it did not dare to manufacture in series.
Instead, he built the B-King, which with its strange look and concept was not exactly a mass bike. With its two huge exhausts and its relatively small front, the aesthetics of the Japanese supernaked looked like something out of a Batman movie.
Those huge leaks …
Many users turned to auxiliary brands, especially Yoshimura, to replace the huge (and ugly, let’s say it once) series exhausts. In fact, Suzuki itself offered its latest units, offering it directly with the Yoshimura instead of the series, with which you could save a few kilos of weight, and especially, improve aesthetics.
Dynamically, the B-King was bulky and heavy, and on a sporting level it could not be compared to other large naked, not even the BMW K1200R, more agile than the Suzuki. Nor was it the idea of the Suzuki folks to create a sporty and agile naked.
As has happened with other bikes – and even other large and picturesque naked ones, such as the Yamaha MT-01 – the B-King is currently more valued than when it saw the light.
Its good stability, excellent finishes, more than acceptable comfort (even for the passenger) and its immeasurable engine, make it a good motorcycle to travel and, especially, be the object of many looks.
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