Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Brother Coastie asked about B12 swing arm mod

A good friend and I were discussing the modifications I had made to my Suzuki GSF1200s, aka B12. The modifications done so far are only those that have the most impact against the stock configuration which include Ivan’s stage two carburetor re-jetting, intake box modification and Yoshimura high flow exhaust, all about $500. This provided the biggest performance bang for your buck not just in power but much smoother delivery and control. With manufacturers trying to meet EPA requirements, many of the newer bikes are performance restrained until these basic modifications are made.

   Our discussion was about modifications to the chassis which so far I haven’t made any except for a set of Gen Mar handlebar risers, 1 inch up and 1 inch back making for a better long distance allowing you to ride in a more upright position when cruising, while still allowing transition to a flat position should speeds beyond 120 be necessary or twisty turns.

   The next modification I am waiting to receive is a Super Brace, which is the leading motorcycle fork stabilizer now necessary with all the extra power as a result of the carb kit modifications. The B12 is known for wagging its head on full throttle take off as the frame compresses from the torque and the steering tree tries to catch up for those few seconds. Which brings us to the modification my friend and I discussed most, the custom extended adjustable swing arm (see pic). The adjustable swing arm allows the sport enthusiast the ability for one bike to be used in both drag racing and road racing and road racing applications. Shortening the adjustable swing arm beyond stock for road racing or extending the adjustable swing arm beyond stock for drag racing, keeping the front end down (see pic). Both sports are very expensive so the adjustable swing arm at $600 is well worth the cost savings of having to maintain two separate motorcycles for each separate sport.

   It is said that the road-racing enthusiast have to forgo money, sex, and beer to support these sports, supposedly because road racing is better then all three anyway. As for myself beingraised racing dirt bikes in enduro off road I can tell you that dirt bike riding keeps you in shape for all three of the things you give up in road racing, especially in the pelvic and leg muscle areas where it really counts.  So I won’t be modifying my B12 swing arm since as an enthusiast myself my interest are cast in dirt not pavement.

   The last modification I will probably do to my B12 is the installation of the Nikko G-pack Module, which overrides the factory mandated speed restriction program of 150 MPH and allowing the B12 to reach its intended speed of 185 MPH (see pic). Now you are saying to yourself why would I want to do that when 150 MPH is more then enough for the highway. Well I have been to 150 MPH and it was unnerving to have the engine electronically hit that wall and slow down when the bike was running so smoothly. I am not Mad Max but I like to get the most for my money even if I will never use it and resist all outside control over my freedom.


   *Sport Rider magazine has an article on the B12, its road racing roots and super power on the track with minimal modifications.

"A relatively docile package, despite its prodigious power output. Dial in more than half-throttle above 3500 rpm, however, and you’d better be pointed in the right direction—bike possesses incredible torque in the low-to-midrange rpm band, launching the bike with such force that the front end reaches for the sky in the first three gears without provocation. Serious power begins at 6500 rpm, with the acceleration literally trying to peel the bars out of your hands.".