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EMOTIONAL PERCEPTION OF RIDING A TWO-WHEELED BEAST text Miran Ališič
photography Bor Dobrin, Eskil Suter Archive
While I was looking him up on the internet, the most succinct
him I found was simply “a motorcycle rider and constructor”. But Eskil Suter is obviously much more than that. I began to suspect that he really is something extra as soon as I began arranging the visit. “No
Wednesday at 2PM, as we agreed. Unless we hear from each other again, it’s set,” was how to the point his assistant was when we agreed on the date of our visit in a 10-second conversation that took place about a month before we spent an afternoon in Turbenthal. Yes, Turbenthal.
Doesn’t sound like it might have much to do with motorsports, does it. But it is not far from Hinwil, where Peter Sauber built his racing empire, which places us squarely in Switzerland. More precisely, in the middle of an idyllic countryside, an hour’s drive from Zürich, deep in the German part of Switzerland. To be honest, without being told how to get here and given the exact address, we would certainly not have been looking for a motorsport factory here. The company is 20 years old, the current factory a few years less. The Suter company thus succeeds in breaking the stereotype that there are only lakes, mountains, clocks, cows, chocolate and cheese in Switzerland, even though Eskil Suter loves to live exactly like most of his countrymen. In a wooden house at the edge of a forest, accompanied by a dog and unusual hobbies.
“It would be wrong to think that we are surrounded by a technological wasteland. There are numerous hightech companies in the region, without which we could not have succeeded,” Suter praised the area where he develops motorcycles and many other things. “To guarantee the growth and quality of a company like ours, it is essential to have excellent suppliers nearby.” So what exactly does Suter Racing Technology (SRT) do? It designed a Petronas motorbike for superbike, prepared and managed a Kawasaki for MotoGP between 2004 and 2006, a bit later collaborated with Mario Illien, another Swiss national and the designer of Mercedes engines for Formula 1, then started the Ilmor X3 project, which was followed by a prototype for BMW as it eyed entering the MotoGP. They also raked up numerous successes in Moto2. They won the