Retro: Suzuki Falcorustyco concept

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Often forgotten in favor of the less ambitious Suzuki Nuda concept from the following year, the bizarrely named Falcorustyco debuted at the 1985 Tokyo Motor Show to an entirely unexpected reaction. Look at the 500cc square four four-stroke engine, the lack of a frame, hydraulic pump two-wheel drive, hydraulic steering and electromagnet-actuated brakes and you probably think “that’s a really neat concept,” but the thing was, Suzuki actually managed to convince the world’s press that the Falcorustyco previewed technology that would be used on production bikes 10 years later.
Well, it’s now 24 years later and we haven’t seen any of the
Falcorustyco’s technology on bikes we can buy, but what we have seen is
an adaptation of the name. “Falco Rusticulous” is the latin name for
the world’s largest falcon species, the Gyrfalcon. The Hayabusa’s name
means “Peregrine Falcon” in Japanese, fitting for a bike that was, for
a time, the fastest production motorcycle, the Peregrine can reach
speeds of up to 240mph in a dive. But we digress, it’s the
Falcorustyco’s technology, not Suzuki’s naming structures that we’re
interested in here.

Let’s start with the engine. Despite the square four arrangement, it
apparently shared no architecture with the RG500 Gamma two-stroke. It’s
unfortunate that we can’t find further info on the engine’s
construction, because it supposedly had three overhead cam shafts and
16 valves. The rumor is, there’s no actual engine behind the covers,
just empty promise.

The front and rear swingarms bolt directly to that engine, eliminating
the need for a frame, while hydraulic steering also eliminated the need
for a steering linkage on the front. Suspension was also allegedly
“electrically controlled.” Judging by other suspension technologies at
the time, we’ll guess that means normal old springs with variable
orifice dampers, as used on the 1990 Corvette ZR1.

And don’t worry, their weren’t any gunky chains or heavy shafts driving
both wheels on the Falcorustyco either, power left the output shaft via
a hydraulic pump, which also eliminated the need for a gearbox and
gears thanks to its ability to operate at variable speeds.

How on earth any of this seemed a 1990s feasibility in 1985 is beyond
us. We’re guessing they also envisioned aluminum foil hats and hover
houses. Still, that’s the kind of optimistic futurism the motorcycle
world currently lacks. Instead of focussing on what technology we might
have in 10 years, Suzuki is currently focussed on clearing its
overstocked dealers

  • CBontheMV

    I’ve said it before…Why most bikes don’t have HID headlights is beyond me. Instead most bikes are still running with ridiculous halogen bulbs that barely light a path at night. Forget hydraulic transmissions and variable suspensions. How about a headlight that throws out more light than the average $20 flashlight?

  • Deltablues

    Yes,yes,yes to HID headlights on motorcycles…especially here in deer-filled Arkansas where a night ride on my Daytona 675 this time of year makes me glad for my AirEvac membership.

    This is a very nice concept motorcycle. Really, it does not look dated.

  • stacius

    Feh. You read the comments here.

    Maybe Suzuki realized that “optimistic futurism” is great for getting magazine covers but in reality, is the LAST thing the buying public actually wants.

  • chuluun

    Didn’t the Hayabusa get its name because the Peregrine Falcon eats mostly other birds … including (Super) Blackbirds?

  • Matthew

    That bike looks amazing from the front. I’ve seen illustrations that give it a very aggressive character.

    Is it just me or has Suzuki totally laid down on the concept front in recent years? What was their last concept, the Crosscage? Boo!

    I want to see some creativity come out of Suzuki, damnit! Even a new Hayabusa design that steals from the latest GSX-Rs would satisfy me. But instead we get the Gladius. :P

    I have the potential to become a loyal Suzuki fan, but they haven’t been giving me any reasons lately.

    • s0crates82

      Didn’t Suzuki have that pretty copper bike concept a couple years back? Could have been yamaha. Hmm.

  • Kopaka

    Yeah, but at least they were trying to think outside the box. 20 years and nothing really has changed at all. Sure – Sure I know things are a lot better then before. But seriously it’s almost 2010. I’m so tired of seeing the same thing year after year. You strip away the fairings and you got the same old bike 10 years ago.

  • Jordan

    Paging Dr. Kaneda… paging Dr. Kaneda.

  • Markkit

    The Britten was seen as a revolutionary bike back in was also built by an amateur.The front fork suspension design was eventually adopted by BMW more than 10 years later on the K1300. Most companies want profit over recalls and lawsuits. Also why spend more on R&D than you have to on difficult concepts, if it ain’t broke why fix it..

  • HW Pfabe

    Hey Wes, can you do a similar feature on the Yamaha Morpho? Some interesting ideas on that 400cc bike, with the GTS1000 being the only realization of it.

    • Wes Siler

      Sure, but not this week, too much current stuff on the to do list.

    • W

      The GTS1000 was the realization of James Parker’s Radd MC2.

  • his boy elroy