Zaphod wrote:Just read an interesting interview with Gary Taylor in AMCN.Unfortunately I won't be able to scan it for all to read till I get home on Sat. If someone else can before that, it'd be great.
It's written by Michael Scott, so take it as you will, but.......some of the interesting bits revolve around the effort that his team put into developing (by outsourcing said ideas) stuff that Suzuki took back to Japan and cut up, because they didn't think of it themselves.
1983, carbon composite frame, Taylor saw one of the units run through a bandsaw.
1990, in conjuction with Pro-Drive developed Electronic active suspension. Thrown out by the factory.
1990's, Flow bench.Taylor told to tell the Czech manufacturer "that it was no longer needed"
1992, Shenton shocked when arriving at Suzuki that they didn't have a transitional Dynamometer. Ordered..then put on the back-burner for another 13 years.
late 90's Schwantz tested a fuel injected system developed outside Suzuki Racing dept.........canned.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues surrounded sponsorship....here is what Taylor says of the Telefonica days.
"For a long time we had some really good sponsors, Pepsi, Lucky strike and then Telefonica. It meant that they had senior representitives at races, and they were pretty astute.They could see if things weren't right technically, not least because the riders would delight in telling them."
This put unbearable pressure on the Japanese race track staff.
"In the end we fell out in a fairly major way with Telefonica, because they got frustrated (to use a polite word)in terms of the promises of improvements that never materialised"
Chiefly, the promise came in the form of a letterfrom the board to Telefonica and to the rider Roberts promising that 2003 would bring "the fastest bike on the grid"
"It never even nearly happened. Kenny kept the letter pinned to his fridge, as a joke. From that point on, I think the factory actually breathed a sigh of relief."
There is much more to the article than what I have put here, and I didn't see it as Taylor ragging on Suzuki for his own gain. He says that they are a great company with some fantastic motorcycles.
Given their attitude, I'm surprised they won anything. More credit to that team, Roberts, Beattie and Schwantz than anything Suzuki did.
I'm a Suzuki fan, but the level of commitment to win is shocking. All the development for the above mentioned items was paid for by the team, not Suzuki.
Taylor even had to pay Kanemoto out of his own pocket until Suzuki stopped quibbling about Kanemoto's contract.
Makes Ducati look outstanding by comparison !
Nothing new or surprising here. Every team will have similar 'not invented here' stories. In deed every work place, industry and nation will have 'not invented here' stories and 'how stupid management is' stories. The publishing industry's life blood is publishing 'what ifs'
. For the very simple reason the Teams and mechanics have a very narrow view of the realities the company might face. Management generally has a better view and a different mission and aims. Management has to take into consideration, profit, marketability, finances etc etc etc, now and into the projected future.
Of course they will get it wrong and of course there will be missed opportunities. The management has got to be judged 'in the balance'. Considering that Suzuki has been bailed out by VW is the past 10 years it might be a better indicator of missed opportunity etc.