I hope its not's a congenital problem, in every GIXXER. Though if it is, I wouldn't be too surprised. Year after year the manufacturers create lighter and faster bikes, leaving less margin of error everytime a bike comes down the assembly-line. From that it's easy to extrapolate, at some point an inherent flaw is going to eventually occur. If catastrophic frame failures begin happening on a regular basis and as a result riders are injured or killed, there's going to be Hell to pay - or at least, some hefty legal fees. We'll just have to wait-and-see if the class-action vultures jump on this one.
You know that the big four have pulled out all of the stops in the quest to make their bikes .0000001% faster when that start shaving off weight by scrimping on the welding rod that holds their frames together. VWW
Yup, it did break, but if you actually read the story, the bike was involved in a 100 mph crash. Now the question would be did the frame break before, or after the crash? I don't think it would be a defect if the frame broke after the crash, nor would it be unusual. M0 wasn't "playing down" anything. They were just trying examine the whole scenario.
At least part of the reason that I bought a 1000RR last year was that it looked slightly (slightly) more crash-worthy than the other offerings. The frame looks massive compared to the others in class. I don't have any science to back up my religion there, but some of those bikes are getting a bit flimsy it seems.
And of course, I dropped it like an idiot when I was putting air in the tires (don't ask, please) and nothing was damaged other than a foot peg and the clutch lever.
The Kwakasaki in particular looks like it might not fare so well in a crash or even a drop. That frame is skinny!
Thats the game you play with sportbikes (and cars).
Power to weight to strength to handle the stresses involved with a bike at the limits of performance. Frames can be lightened so much, then you get a flexi-flyer, so you beef it up some. Then you up engine or suspension or tire performance and the frame gets heavier to handle it. Then you have to drop weight to take advantage of the gains, etc...etc...etc...
I'd still lean to the crfash as the source of the failure, until further investigation. Its possible that a flaw in the weld could have been fatigued due to the race stress. Then some frame flex shows up unexpectedly, upsets handling just enough to take the rider by surprise. Bamm, lowside at 100+mph. Crash forces ripe through the bike finding the weakest point to have an effect. Frame breaks at weld.
Oh sure, bike frames always break when the rider loses the front end. MO describes the frame weld as "casted" (sic). I suppose they meant cast. I can't think of any other way to describe their comment other than defensive.
Would it help to use controlled fill like Yamaha has been using for the R series bikes. It seems like if you could avoid welds as much as possible it would be stronger. As well it would look a little smoother.
Makes me wonder too, are the trellis frames like the Ducati and MV stronger than aluminum ?
Why on earth would MO be defensive about a Suzuki product? I gather you are implying a situation that is influenced by finances on our part, so I'll state for the record: MO has never received money or material support from Suzuki. In the history of MO, how many Suzuki ADs or race bike sponsorships have you seen?
Our comment was written by an experienced welder and engineer, with a successful history of building (non-Suzuki) race bikes. The comment is simply the product of a responsible journalist who is trying to prevent the readers from jumping to too many conclusions before all of the facts are available. -Sean