Suzuki has filed multiple patents for a semi-automatic transmission that might be employed on the next-generation Hayabusa. Three patents have been filed dealing with different aspects of the system each in Germany, Japan, and the USA.
The patents are credited to one Hideaki Takahashi, who also has many other patents related to Suzuki transmissions to his name. The new patents detail the use of actuators to control clutch engagement and gear shifting. Unlike Honda’s DCT which uses paddle shifters to select gears, Suzuki’s transmission will use the conventional foot-pedal, albeit actuated. The system is effectively an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). The patents focus on the positioning of the actuators such that there is an efficient use of available space, keeping in mind the airflow needed to cool them.
The model used to draw these designs over is the Suzuki Hayabusa. As much as we would like the opposite, the truth of patent drawings is that not every design makes it to production, however potential it might show on paper. Even if they do exit the drawing board and enter the assembly line, There is no set timeline to expect them. Furthermore, such drawings do not represent future products; the Hayabusa was just for illustration.
Regarding the last line, the current Hayabusa will be obsolete after 2018 because it does not comply with Euro 4 emissions norms. Rumors abound that the Busa will get a displacement boost to 1440cc for 2019. This looks like a good proposition and will bring the big Suzuki in the same league as Kawasaki ZX-14R (ZZR1400 in some markets). Coincidentally, 2019 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Suzuki Hayabusa, and there has to be something going on at the Suzuki HQ regarding the milestone. There were talks of the Busa getting a turbo, but the company has made it clear that the tech would go on its midsize engines, not the flagship inline-4.
We will have to wait and watch for Suzuki to make its move. After December 31, 2018, the legendary Hayabusa will no longer be on sale in Europe. Let’s hope for a new generation of Hayabusa in its twentieth year, eh?