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Suzuki Will Stop Racing ‘Temporarily’

Removal from MotoGP by End of This Year - and No Mention of Motorcycles in Suzuki's Mid-Term Management Plan

A Suzuki macine on the circuit of MotoGP

“Removal from MotoGP??,” you ask.

“But hasn’t Suzuki already pulled themselves out of WorldSBK??”

Yup, 100%; and the brand’s struggle in motorcycle sales may have them pulling back even more before the year is out. 

A view of Suzuki's Gixxer lineup

Being the smallest and most conservative racing team, Suzuki just hasn’t had the pile of funds (nor the resources) to pull together more than one team for the circuit. 

Now, a report from SuperBike Planet tells us that the removal is largely due to the manufacturer’s financial state, cut by a fall in bike sales that’s been going on for quite some time. 

“…they just can’t afford to go racing,” shrugs the report. 

A view of the Suzuki racing team set for 2022's iteration of MotoGP

“Since the global recession hit, and sales went in the tank, Suzuki has struggled to pay for anything which does not result in motorcycle sales.”

“Suzuki’s precarious financial situation has hit every single department at the manufacturer over the last five years.”

A view of Suzuki's Gixxer lineup

The situation has gotten so strict that the report even details the story of an Suzuki rider and brand ambassador (they remain unnamed for privacy purposes), who was invited to a PR event in Japan last year ‘on behalf of the manufacturer.’

“He told them that he was more than willing to do the event but wanted to mention that he had not been reimbursed for his expenses from the last two trips he made on behalf of the manufacturer to Japan,” continues the report. 

A view of Suzuki's Gixxer lineup

“He added that he wasn’t crazy about sponsoring another trip to Japan if reimbursement was going to be ruled by a sun dial.”

“Suzuki said they would figure it out and would call him back. The last time I spoke with him they had not called him back nor reimbursed him.”

A view of the Suzuki racing team set for 2022's iteration of MotoGP

Suzuki’s successes in the past were largely due to the GSX-R, of which nearly every unit was sold until 2008. Since then, sales for the gixxer line have declined bit by bit, exacerbated by other brands’ removal of the GSX-r’s competition (Yammie’s R6, and the Kawi ZX-6R) in the bid to build newer toys with better tech (Yammie’s R7, Aprilia’s Tuono and RS660).

A view of Yamaha's R6 and Kawasaki's ZX-6R

To sum up, money from Suzuki’s bike sales that purportedly fuelled the brand’s racing budget is now crumbs compared to what it was. SuperbikePlanet points out a staggering 15% drop in motorcycle sales for Suzuki’s 2021 fiscal year alone – afurther 10% drop is noted for 2020 before that, with no mention of motorcycles in the ‘Mid-term Management Plan’ for Suzuki’s Annual Report.

Stay tuned for updates; the call-to-end racing for Suzuki (at least for MotoGP) has been labeled as ‘temporary,’ so it is also possible that Suzuki will be using the previous MotoGP budget to do something else – hopefully a big about-face, but we are yet to be privy to that information. 

What do you think is in store for Suzuki? Drop a comment letting us know what you think, and as ever – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from Superbike Planet, Pinterest, VisorDown, Top Speed, Motorsport MagazineMAM and Asphalt & Rubber*
  1. That’s really too bad. I love Suzuki’s motorcycles! They’ve been my favorite since I was a kid, and I always cheer for the Suzukis in MotoGP races. I hope they can figure something out. Nobody makes a nicer tranny in a motorcycle, and they’re durable and reliable.

  2. It’s unfortunate. I loved my SV650, on which I cut my sportbike teeth, but lately their bikes seem to be old-tech, old design, overpriced, and a little less relevant than what the competition keeps churning out. Their bikes are still rock-solid, but for the price, you can go many different directions that offer more cutting-edge technology. Hopefully they’ll turn it around. It would be a sad day if they stopped making motorcycles.

  3. What do you expect? They are in last place on all fronts for offering what the buyers want.

    In the next article, I see Germany just had its best quarter in 15 years. People are being offered over original MSRP for 1-2 year old used bikes. Covid was a boon for motorcycles! But not Suzuki…

    Must be the lackluster offerings while trying to also be the “economical” option. Models which have not changed in 10 years except for a 50cc engine mod.

    If they want to survive, they better get fire in their bellies and soon. Otherwise we will remember them in old movies we show our grandkids one day.

  4. Like Farmer John I’ve owned and really enjoyed multiple Suzuki’s. But in the last 2 years I haven’t been able to buy one! And some of the reviewed new ones are low tech throwbacks. Basic bikes, or worse, no bikes, isn’t going to help them succeed. Yes, the past few years has messed up so much. But Ducati, BMW and Triumph are getting bikes out there.

  5. I realy hope Suzuki get back on their feet. A dammed good productand well run brand. Good luck I have had a few in my time, but the best by far was my lovely K5. one and three where good but the K5 was the daddy.

  6. Suzuki may be leaving MotoGP, but where is the proof that their financials are so bad and their sales are way down? Everything I’ve read has stated the contrary.

  7. They haven’t built a car of their own for the western market for a number of years. They’ve all been surrogates and Suzuki have had problems in the engine department since 2001. They’ve made a few scary customer-killing motorcycles too. It is the death knell of the brand because their sponsorship of individual support has been pants.
    I have many classic Suzuki’s but since anything twin was introduced I have preferred to develop my fours. I will never buy a parallel twin or triple.
    The Chinese are making everyone’s bikes these days. Doesn’t that ring the alarm bells for you?

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