With the 300-400cc class witnessing an international boom at the moment, it is in every manufacturer’s best interests to have an offering in this displacement range. While most other Japanese and European manufacturers have models that fit into this class, Suzuki has been caught napping. This might be about to change, as we find out below.
A few months ago, we uncovered details for the GSX-S300 (aka Haojue HJ300), a naked roadster using a larger version of the rather rudimentary SOHC, two-valves-per-cylinder, parallel-twin engine used in the Inazuma GW250.
Proportionally, with the bump up in displacement, we would expect this motorcycle to make 28-30hp.
Now, however, the Japanese manufacturer has filed patents and drawings for a fully-faired motorcycle using an all new DOHC, parallel-twin motor housed in a tubular frame. The engine will also feature liquid-cooling and a side-mounted exhaust end-can.
We can expect the parallel-twin engine to share engine architecture with the smaller, single-cylinder GSX-R150, a motorcycle that also uses DOHC and four valves. Considering that the 150 puts out 19hp, and that a twin-cylinder version would be able to rev higher, we can expect a power output in the range of 35-40hp, with a torque figure of 28-30Nm.
Compare that with the 42hp/29Nm Yamaha R3 and the 49hp/38Nm Kawasaki Ninja 400, and the Suzuki still seems to be slightly behind the game, but it’s now close enough to be a serious rival. Part of this deficit can be attributed to the displacement disadvantage, with rivals already moving forward from the 300cc mark – the Yamaha being 321cc and the Kawasaki at 399cc.
The styling appears to be along the same lines as the smaller GSX-R125 and GSX-R150 that are already sold in various countries around the world. Key design elements include an aggressively styled fairing and a steeply rising tail section, along with 10-spoke alloy wheels. Unique to the 300 is a USD front fork. The rear features a monoshock mounted to a conventional swingarm. The drawings also seem to indicate a radially mounted front brake caliper.
With the emergence of this new 300cc motor, it raises the question as to whether the international version of the upcoming naked GSX-S300 will use the older Inazuma based engine, or this more capable DOHC unit.
With these recent developments, we can see Suzuki showing a greater commitment to this segment than ever before. We are not yet certain whether these 300cc motorcycles will make it to India, but if they do, they will go up against the likes of the faired Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 400 and the Benelli 302R; as well as the naked Benelli TNT 300. The GSX-S300 would also have to compete with the KTM Duke 390, which, despite using a single-cylinder engine, is also a fast and well equipped naked motorcycle, not to mention the best-seller in this segment.