Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa: the timeless emperor of speed who is no longer the fastest

Suzuki Hayabusa – the name holds so much emotion for superbike enthusiasts across the globe. With the launch of the new 3rd generation model in India, let’s go on a journey through time and witness the journey of this legendary icon on two wheels!

Among all the super motorcycles on the planet, the Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa enjoys a special and very loyal fan-follower. And the reasons behind that are those that certainly make the ‘Busa worthy of that star stature. The 22-year-old journey of the iconic sports cyclist is no less a fairy tale with a few twists and lots of heroic moments. The Hayabusa began life in 1999 and instantly rose to fame as the world’s fastest production motorcycle, reaching speeds of up to 312 km / h. Additionally, the “Dhoom” bike was the fastest production bike of the 20th century – an exceptionally prestigious title for any two-wheeled machine. To celebrate the arrival of the 3rd generation Busa in the country, let’s take a look at this superstar’s incredible journey through the years.

‘Hayabusa’ – What’s in a Name? Think again!

The word “ Hayabusa ” is Japanese for the peregrine falcon – the fastest of the birds which is mainly known for its predatory abilities and the fact that it can dive vertically at insane speeds of 320 km / h or 200 mph while while hunting its prey. And it is no coincidence that Suzuki chose this name for its road missile because the pure intention was to topple the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird to claim the prestigious title of the world’s fastest motorcycle in mass production. Ohh and did I tell you that the peregrine falcon loves to feast on blackbirds the most ?! The name is clearly not a coincidence!

The Gentlemen’s Agreement and why its need?

All the while, Kawasaki silently watched for the Busa’s arrival and wanted to dethrone it in the year 2000 with its ZX-12R. He actually started to claim that the 12R would be much more powerful and could snatch the title from Busa. With this in mind, the war for speed escalated and manufacturers began to claim the ultimate gold title for speed. But luckily after that, in the interest of public safety, fear of government bans, and also, to end this war once and for all, European and Japanese manufacturers teamed up for a deal that stipulated to electronically restrict the top speed of large bikes at 300 km / h. This agreement was called the Gentlemen’s Agreement and bicycle manufacturers still abide by it today.

The 1st generation

When the Hayabusa was first introduced to the world in 1999, it certainly had an impact as no other superbike had broken the previous top speed world record, that too by a decent margin (until 23 km / h). The first-generation model drew power from a liquid-cooled 1299cc inline-four engine producing 173 crank horsepower. Besides its gigantic engine, another great highlight of the Suzuki Hayabusa was its supreme aerodynamics. While this has helped the bike reach stunning numbers, the bulbous, curvy design of the Busa has been criticized by many. Also, the original copper on silver of the first generation Busa was not liked by many, but more and more shades were added over the years.

The 2nd generation

The Suzuki Hayabusa got its first proper generation upgrade in 2008. The bike also received a design update, it looked much fresher but the appearance was essentially an evolution of the original design. The engine was now Euro3 compliant and in order to meet strict emissions standards, a new exhaust system was incorporated for the first time with a catalytic converter. In addition, more importantly, the engine displacement was increased from 1299 cc to 1340 cc, and as a result, the power output also increased to 194 hp. Also, it was only during this generation update that Suzuki removed “ GSX-1300R ” from the name and the bike was simply called Suzuki Hayabusa. With this, Suzuki has made it clear that this speed demon stands out from the brand’s GSX lineup and therefore has its own distinct identity.

The 3rd generation – now

It was only yesterday that the third generation of Hayabusa was launched in India, making loyalists and devotees more than happy. The new 2021 model receives many electronic nannies with the aim of becoming a safer and much more controlled motorcycle. While the engine displacement remains the same, power has dropped to 190 hp with the switch to even stricter Euro5 / BS6 emissions standards. The design became sharper and more desirable and the bike gained many bits like a six-axis IMU with a lean-sensitive 10-stage traction control system, 10-stage wheel control system, gear control. launch and also an engine brake control. . In addition, you now get a two-way as well as a standard quickshifter.

So, with the agreement of the gentlemen in place, while the Hayabusa has lost its rights to enjoy the title of the fastest production motorcycle in the world, the fact that it was proudly once, will always keep it special. It doesn’t matter whether you remember it as the ‘Dhoom Bike’ or the ultimate quarter-mile missile ripping through those trail strips or just an extremely capable hyper tourer, the Busa always gives you that smile that only a purist can. feel and understand. And now I would like to end things here with the hope that the Hayabusa will continue to instill that emotion in many other generations of us humans, something every other bike on the planet can only dream of.

What a classic case of Man-Machine connection, that too, presented by a timeless beauty! And such a strong legacy certainly deserves applause. Truly an icon!

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About Todd Wurtsbach

Todd Wurtsbach

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