With the GSX-R Slabbie-painted bodywork back from the paintshop, I paid a visit to TTS Performance in Silverstone to see the bike for the first time in its new clothes. I took with me a copy of this week’s MCN which featured the SuperBusa on the front page – both TTS’s Richard Albans and myself were blown away by the coverage for the bike. But there’s still a lot to do – the bike needs to be road test ready, but even before that it needs to be ready for the public unveiling at TTS’s 40th Anniversary bash at the Super Sausage on 20th August.
And it’s still a way off. The winglets are being modified as they jut out just a little too far. Final versions will be in carbonfibre but Richard is having them 3D printed for now.
Part of my task today is to get some video and photography content for the SuperBusa microsite (delayed launch due to technical hitches at my end), weather permitting. Thankfully the rain clears up by mid-morning and after Richard takes the bike for a brief ride around the block he hands me the keys.
At this point I’m a little apprehensive. I’ve ridden hundreds of bikes over the last 39 years, everything from Bimotas to lumbering Vmax’s. But while Richard is a seasoned, and championship-winning drag racer used to bikes with astronomically high power outputs, I’ve never ridden anything with much more than 210bhp – a peaky MV Agusta F41000 and a, er, peaky MV Agusta Brutale 1000. What’s more, I know the bike represents hundreds of man hours and it’s due to be the showpiece for the birthday bash.
So the plan is to take it steady, get some footage from the steady camera car I’m following at a steady 50mph, and Bob’s your dad’s brother. None of that silly stuff. I needn’t have worried, an intermittent electrical gremlin (which Richard later discovers is due to a faulty sensor in the back wheel) is enough to stop me from getting carried away. Even so, my brief stint on the SuperBusa was enough to give me a teasing glimpse of the power on tap.
But this minor hiccup is a reminder of the technical challenges that Richard tackles and beats regularly – he’s right on the front line, there are very few people (if any) doing the things he’s doing with this Gen 3, to this level.
I’m already looking forward to my next visit to TTS and seeing a sorted, winged-up prototype ready for another test run. Until then, here’s a taster of what’s to come.