Please briefly tell us about yourself and your position in the project.
I joined Suzuki in 2003. After experience in suspension design, I am now engaged in chassis layout design and frame engineering. In this V-Strom project, I am in charge of the frame and component layout design at the early stages of the development. In my private motorcycling life, I have owned a Bandit 250, TL1000S, and now I own DR-Z400SM which I have been riding for more than 8 years.
For most people, Layout Designer will be an unfamiliar role. What are your main responsibilities?
In plain words, my duty is to transform the Designer’s sketches and the Product Planner’s performance requirements into product reality. Compared with automobile design, motorcycle design has more complexity during the layout work, and styling designs are much more directly linked to, and affected by, function.
For example, the fuel tank is an important part of motorcycle styling design. A certain fuel capacity is required, but there is also an air cleaner box beneath the fuel tank whose capacity is directly linked to engine performance. Bigger is generally better for both of these capacities, but that will have an influence not only on looks but also on rider ergonomics. Additionally, it will change the center of gravity which will influence maneuverability. This is just one example where one part has many elements and influences many other factors. I believe that layout design work is a very important task in designing the character of a motorcycle.