Suzuki has filed a new patent in Japan which shows a completely unconventional way of mounting the engine in the frame. The entire engine and transmission in the image has been flipped upside down, with the cylinder or cylinders running almost horizontally, nestled close to the top of the forks, with the exhaust headers pointing downwards. The crankshaft is towards the back and the transmission hangs below the engine. This layout is completely different from what we've seen in conventional motorcycle engine layouts, and the benefits are supposed to be to allow for a shorter wheelbase, improving handling and increasing the length of the swingarm for more stability.
The design certainly is novel, but there are some inherent sacrifices in storage space, because the fuel tank is likely to be moved under the seat and the battery and electronics will sit under the front part of the seat. The space generally reserved for the fuel tank will be used up by the airbox and engine intakes. The images do leave a few questions unanswered as to where the radiator will be placed, since the conventional space reserved for the cooling unit has been sacrificed with the cylinder layout taking up the place.
In any case, there's still no confirmation if a production model will be using this engine layout anytime soon. It's still not clear if this layout will employ a single-cylinder set-up or provide space for an in-line set-up as well. But what is clear is that Suzuki seems to exploring various options to make a dynamically superior model with this upside down engine layout. It's still an illustration at this stage, and there's no word on when, and if, Suzuki will introduce a working prototype of the design.