Thursday, November 12, 2015

Suter MMX 500 provides a glimpse of the Golden Age of 500cc grand prix motorcycle racing

The bike on top is not Wayne Gardner's Honda NSR500, it's actually a Suter MMX 500 in the NSR's Rothmans Honda livery. Yes, the MMX 500 looks gorgeous and, with its 195bhp two-stroke V4, the 127-kilo bike will blow the fairing off almost any other motorcycle on the planet...

Owned and managed by Eskil Suter (former 500cc GP test rider and 250cc GP racer...), Suter Racing Technology (SRT) has been around for the last 20 years. The Swiss company designs and develops engines and chassis for motorcycle GP racing teams. They've worked closely with the Fogarty-Petronas team, the Ilmor outfit, the Kawasaki ZX-RR MotoGP effort and, of course, developed their own Suter MMX racing bikes, even participating in MotoGP from 2012 in the CRT class.

Eskil Suter, the man behind SRT, misses the two-stroke 500cc days and the bike you see here - the Suter MMX 500 - is his bid to bring back the glory days of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. A limited-edition machine that is priced at all of 120,000 Swiss Francs (that's 111,000 euro or US$119,800), the Suter MMX 500 is fitted with a fuel-injected 576cc two-stroke V4, with double counter-rotating crankshaft and a redline of 13,000rpm. The bike weighs 127 kilos and the V4's power output is 195bhp, which means that power-to-weight ratio is an astonishing 1.5:1. The MMX 500's top speed is in excess of 310kph.

As you might expect, the Suter MMX 500 has all the right, top-spec running gear, including a CNC-machined twin-spar aluminium chassis and swingarm (with adjustable ride height, steering, wheelbase and riding position etc.), fully adjustable race-spec Öhlins fork and shock, 17-inch OZ wheels (you can choose from magnesium or aluminium hoops...) shod with 125/75 and 205/75 rubber, Brembo brakes with twin 320mm steel brake discs and radial-mount 4-piston calipers. The bodywork is all carbonfibre, the Akrapovic exhaust has Titanium chambers, the 6-speed cassette-type gearbox allows ratios to be swapped quickly, and 2D data logging is optional.
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