Interview Discover what works best

Test Rider Development Quality Assurance Group
Motorcycle Quality Assurance Dept.

Shogo Sato

Please briefly tell us about yourself and your position in the project.

I joined Suzuki in 2008 and I am in charge of test riding our large capacity road bikes. I was previously in charge of the test riding team for the V-Strom 650 and gained many insights during that process. This experience was very useful when developing our new adventure model. At the clay model stage, we refined the riding position and conducted wind tunnel experiments. I was determined to produce a high level of performance for our flagship adventure model.

What are the test rider’s assignments?

We have two tasks. One is to check the functionality and quality of our motorcycles. We want to uncover and rectify issues during testing so that our customers benefit from the best possible durability and functionality from every component. The other is to make refinements to the handling and fuel injection with the technicians. We conduct many kinds of test to check these areas. We have to exceed Suzuki’s high standards in every test and follow the model design concepts. We carry out these tests without any compromises to satisfy our customers.

How do you simulate real-world road conditions when testing?

We test motorcycles using all of the facilities in our proving ground to ensure the maximum performance of a machine. We concentrate on setting straight line stability using the two kilometer straight on our test course. And we also ensure the maximum cornering performance, both in stability and agility on the handling courses with tight corners. After these tests, we move to the roads and highways of Europe and the US to make minor adjustments to every part such as the setting of suspension and braking. The conditions on our proving ground and public roads overseas are different and the feeling between them may change. So, as we work towards the final settings, we involve local test riders who know the area’s road conditions very well.

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