Suzuki’s Hayabusa, by far, is the most remarkable achievement of modern day sportbike engineering. No other motorcycle has had its life filled with as much emotion, opinion, support and controversy as the Hayabusa. And it’s got all of those things at the same time.
In essence, Hayabusa has been the standard which has defined Superbike performance since its launch in 1999. A century came to its end as it gave birth to a new generation of performance motorcycles. Without a doubt, this is Suzuki’s finest sportbike so far. World’s first production motorcycle to touch and cross the magic figure of 300 km/h, and the one which brought the infamous “Gentlemen’s Agreement” into existence. Of course, we all know what it means – that no motorcycle post the year 2000 shall exceed the top speed of 300 km/h.
And for exactly this reason, the 300 km/h is still a magic figure for any motorcycle even though many of them are well capable of going beyond it (but they are electronically restricted).
But why did Suzuki do it and it’s not a typical case of why not! A few days back, we came across an excerpt from the man who led Hayabusa’s engine development team. Interestingly, he disclosed that Suzuki wasn’t really out to make the fastest motorcycle in the world, their only objective was to make an engine which would give effortless power at all speeds. Such a simple line of thought one would say. And look where it got them.
Riding the Hayabusa would reveal to anyone that the rider doesn’t really have to work to generate speed. It is like it is always there. It comes so easy on tap. To be fair to all Superbikes and Hyperbikes, none struggle (by any definition) to gain speed, but there’s something about the Hayabusa, that big and round thing of a motorcycle when it just continues to put G-forces on the rider without an iota of a hiccup in its acceleration. There’s literally no dip of any sort in its torque curve. Beyond a point, it actually feels it would blast through a wall if required!
Suzuki has designed Hayabusa on the concept of the Peregrine Falcon, a relatively large bird (a falcon) which is renowned for its high-speed dive to hunt its prey on the ground or water where it achieves the speed of around 320 km/h making it the fastest of all forms of animals. Hayabusa, at its launch, could go well over 300 km/h and several reports suggest that it could do somewhere between 320 to 330 km/h before the top speed restriction came into place.
Hayabusa’s front impeccably resembles the face of a falcon or a hawk or an eagle – the headlight being a part of the beak while the indicators and air-vents form the nose. It is sharp enough and aesthetics aside, it is one of the most effective aerodynamic fronts one would find on a motorcycle. Period. The whole fairing, from front to back, has been designed in a wind tunnel to tear through the wind with the rider tucked in behind the windshield. It is as stable as a motorcycle can get at all possible speeds.
At xBhp, we have had a long association with this motorcycle and are smitten by its capabilities as a long distance sport-tourer. This motorcycle has been around on various pan-India rides and has proven to be an absolutely dependable two-wheeler. The reliability is absolutely bullet proof. It is not without its own share of faults, though. It heats up pretty good and the middle part of the frame becomes quite unbearable after a good ride in Indian traffic. Heat management can definitely be better.
Suzuki now makes Hayabusa in India, but if you still find it a bit out of budget, perhaps, you can try searching it on OLX and find a good second-hand deal for yourself.
Suffice it to say that Hayabusa is one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Personal preferences aside, it is one of the most important motorcycles ever made in the world. Even when its main competitor, Kawasaki ZX-14R, has more features, Hayabusa continues to be the favourite for many riders who are looking to buy a Hyperbike.
The legacy is quite unmatched.