Suzuki is an amazing island in the motorcycle industry. Time passes slowly here, conservative developments have been alive for years, and new-generation models can represent a deep modernization of technology more than a decade ago. This is the third iteration of the iconic Suzuki Hayabusa hyperbike. In Hamamatsu, did they finally fall into a lethargic sleep, or did they give the fans what they so passionately longed for?
Meetings of ordinary people with the hero of our story usually follow the same classic scenario. A lone headlight flashes in the rearview mirror and begins to approach with an uncanny, hypnotic speed. After a few moments, the object, which was several kilometers behind, turns into a point rapidly receding to the line of the sky, leaving a biting, heartbreaking howl in memory of itself.

Only in a parking lot or in a traffic jam, a low-flying vehicle, decorated with a hieroglyph and the expressive sounding name Hayabusa, graciously allows the gaze to slide along its whimsically sculpted fairings, leading some to ecstasy, while making others contemptuously turn away and draw an analogy with a squid. Design by design, but the cephalopod proved to be extremely tenacious it has ruled the autobahns and drags strips for more than two decades Aerodynamic armor evokes associations with sportbikes in the audience, but the creation of Suzuki is part of the cohort of hyperbikes maddening touring models created for jumping into parallel space and teleporting between cities and countries.

They are quite heavy and massive, have a more comfortable fit than purebred sports, and skillfully know how to devour hundreds of kilometers of asphalt in one sitting. Their domain is unlimited tracks and drags strips that unleash the remarkable potential of large four-cylinder engines.

Putting hyperbikes on a racetrack and making them squeeze into tight turns is not a good idea. Better to leave deep slopes and worn knee sliders to pilots of “600” and “evil liters”.The intercourse of the kings of the two-wheeled world has always been intimate, but no less exciting and intense than the legendary fight between Mohammed Ali and Joe Fraser. The arms race was actually started by the Kawasaki ZZ-R1100 – the flagship of a fairly popular line in Russia, which changed the perception of the laws of physics and time.

With the Yamaha FZR1000, you could quickly get to the store and still remember the ride. On the ZZ-R1100, everything happened instantly – you were already returning home, barely leaving. It turned out to be not only dynamic but lightning fast. You didn’t travel on this bike, you just materialized somewhere else, ”recalls Simon Hargreaves, a journalist for British magazine Bennetts and a big fan of hyperbikes.

The mega-sizer appeared in 1990, two years before the outstanding Honda CBR900RR Fireblade, which rewrote the standard in the older sports bike segment, and definitely had no track ambition. Nevertheless, a large, comfortable, and heavy cruiser with a 1052-cc “four” with 147 hp and a maximum speed of over 275 km / h awakened a lot of appetite in Honda engineers. In 1996, the famous “thrush” CBR1100XX Super Blackbird flew out of the nest of the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer number one, under the strictly designed fairing of which an inline four-cylinder engine with a volume of 1137 cc was hidden. see Output at 164 hp. seemed at that time something from the realm of science fiction – it is no coincidence that the presentation of the novelty took place at the French Circuit Paul Ricard circuit with its dizzyingly long straight.

The maximum speed of the hyper tourer danced around 280-290 km / h. According to Hargreaves’ recollections, it was almost impossible to squeeze 300 km / h out of a standard “thrush”, and 320 km / h required an increase in engine displacement, installation of different camshafts, a sports exhaust system, and witchcraft with the ignition. But how many needed to go beyond the boundaries of reason?

The character of the Honda CBR1100XX was distinguished by refinement – according to corporate traditions, it bribed the pilot with practicality, balance, versatility, and aviation aesthetics as a bonus. Proud owners saw the hyperbike as the earthly embodiment of its namesake, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft. Meanwhile, a completely different picture rebelled before the eyes of Suzuki specialists. One of the fastest motorcycles in the world, they viewed it as a small bird to be attacked by a powerful, uncompromising, and ruthless predator. That hunter was the GSX1300R Hayabusa, which blew up the motorcycle world in 1999.

Huge as life itself and fast as a lightning bolt, Busa overshadowed everything that existed before, eliminating competition overnight. And this design … A fantastic creature that escaped from the darkest corners of the consciousness of designer Koji Yoshiura, at the same time resembling a unit of futuristic bomber aircraft, makes hearts beat faster even after more than twenty years since its inception!

The name of the model (translated from Japanese Hayabusa – “falcon”) accurately reflects the essence of the motorcycle. In wildlife, the predator feeds on the same thrush and in a diving flight is capable of developing over 320 km / h. In terms of power and dynamics, the GSX1300R followed the precepts of its heavenly counterpart. The in-line four-cylinder 175-horsepower engine with a volume of 1298 “cubes” with fuel injection system felt truly bottomless in a wide rpm range and allowed to move on the Autobahn at the pace of a tornado with the speedometer needle lying below the 300 km / h mark.

The title of the fastest motorcycle on the planet passed to Suzuki, albeit not for long – since the 2000 model year, a gentlemen’s agreement came into force, interrupting the flight of two-wheeled “rockets” at 299 km / h and making disputes about the fastest serial production irrelevant. Hayabusa didn’t get any worse from this. “I became part of the motorcycle or it became part of myself. This is the peculiarity of hyperbikes – they not only change the laws of physics but also reshape the pilot, “- Simon Hargreaves shared his admiration after a trip to France on the Hayabusa.

The second-generation GSX1300R, introduced as a 2008 model, split the fan base into two camps. Representatives of the former rolled their eyes dreamily and hastily raised the hammer over the piggy bank. Their opponents in horror covered their faces with their hands and sent unkind words to the company. It would be better if Suzuki continued to produce GSX-R and V-Strom, and Busa was sent to rest – outraged by the grotesque design, they released about such unflattering remarks in the Internet communities.

But as soon as the skeptics were in the saddle of a new jet cruiser, all the negativity was swept away by a wave of the oncoming wind. The volume of the engine increased to 1340 cubic meters. cm, the power jumped to 197 hp, and the car with a curb weight of more than 260 kg gained even more breathtaking dynamics – in its standard form, it can gain 200 km / h in 6.9 seconds and burn a quarter-mile in 9.7 seconds!

It was just the beginning of the fun. The fact is that the Busa engine is a kind of the equivalent of the legendary Toyota 2JZ-GTE and is great for extreme tuning. Installation of a nitrous oxide injection system, turbochargers – what a narrowing unit did not have to endure. The hyperbike has formed the basis of countless custom projects beyond good and evil. Among them are the Eisenberg V8 with two Hayabusa engines fused into a 480-horsepower monster, the streetfighter Turbobusa of the famous Swedish hooligan Ghost Rider with a recoil of half a thousand “horses”, a record monster that showed 502.027 km / h in 2011, and a teleporter from BDR Performance pumping out an unimaginable 650 hp.

The Falcon hovered over the world, while its competitors did not sit idly by. Honda produced the blackbird with various upgrades until 2007 and then left the hyperbike segment to focus on the all-new 2008 CBR1000RR Fireblade (SC59). But Kawasaki did not think to give up – in 2000 it responded with the ZX-12R Ninja, which has a reputation for wild and unbridled, and six years later tore the cover off from the spectacular ZZR1400 / ZX-14 Ninja, going its own samurai path. It has an extremely unfriendly “prickly” appearance and is charged with a relatively small for a hyperbike 998-cc engine with a capacity of 200 hp. and fully compensates for the lack of volume with a mechanical supercharger. The Ninja H2 SX delivers a heady feel – the boost pickup delivers near-instant, overwhelming dynamics, unlike the linear acceleration of the GSX1300R.

Interestingly, the 1352-cc unit of the next mega-“sizer” is not installed in the traditional diagonal frame, as in the Super Blackbird, Hayabusa, and the lion’s share of sportbikes, but is attached to an aluminum monocoque and is included in the power structure. Thus, the developers have achieved high structural rigidity and the optimal location of the center of mass for better handling.

Interestingly, the 1352-cc unit of the next mega-“sizer” is not installed in the traditional diagonal frame, as in the Super Blackbird, Hayabusa, and the lion’s share of sportbikes, but is attached to an aluminum monocoque and is included in the power structure. Thus, the developers have achieved high structural rigidity and the optimal location of the center of mass for better handling.

The ferocious Kawasaki retired in 2020, but the manufacturer, with a long tradition of building insane technology, has firmly refused to leave the hypertufa segment. Currently, it is represented by the Ninja H2 SX, a co-platform for the Ninja H2 compressor sportbike, and the surreal 310-horsepower Ninja H2R, which has no access to the public roads.

Another unusual opponent of the Japanese predator was the BMW K1200S, and especially the larger engine K1300S, which appeared in 2008 and left the scene in 2016. The Bavarians concocted a 173-horsepower car, which was not at all torn among the fastest in the world but surpassed the Busa in several consumer qualities. If Suzuki is engine, design, and charisma, the Ka-es bribed with its chassis and electrical equipment aimed at the comfort and safety of the pilot.

The suspension architecture in no way resembles that of Suzuki. At the front, instead of the usual inverted fork, there is a Duolever link structure, and at the back, there is a cantilever Paralever with a propeller shaft, so beloved by BMW. Add to this the electronic control of the suspensions with the ability to adjust the degree of damping on the fly, an anti-biting system, and a quick shifter that allows you to change gears without squeezing the clutch and releasing the gas, accompanied by the incomparable whistling rumble of a 1298-cc in-line our and sentimental shots from the exhaust tract. Suzuki rivals replaced each other, disappearing into the fog of history. Meanwhile, the main hero of the occasion was preparing to pass the baton to his successor, fanned by a variety of rumors.

We believe that the premiere of the third generation hyperbike in early February 2021 was a disappointment in the hearts of thousands of motorcycle fans. Sounds too pretentious? How else, because the “new” Hayabusa in fact turned out to be the result of deep modernization of its predecessor contrary to expectations, it did not receive any other unit or a fundamentally new chassis. Moreover, the recoil has decreased! We looked at different engine configurations before coming to a final decision. As part of the experimental work, prototypes with oversized engines, turbochargers, and six cylinders appeared, ”explains and reassures the discouraged audience, ministry engineer Naoki Mitsoguchi.

It turns out that there can be nothing better than the current Busa? If you believe the gentlemen from Suzuki, then in a sense, everything is exactly like that. For example, the turbo version promised ferocious dynamics, but its complex, expensive and heavy hybrid powerplant, which included a supercharged unit from a liter fixer threatened to drive up the bike’s price. The increase in displacement could compensate for the drop in power due to the need to comply with modern environmental standards, but engineers saw in the additional cubes a threat to reliability and did not risk it. In the end, none of the engine variants surpassed the current one in terms of performance. I worked as a test driver for the first and second-generation motorcycles and worked hard to ensure that the new Hayabusa has a worthy successor, ”says factory tester Yuichi Nakashima.

Under the pretentious plumage, a modified 1340-cc “four” (cylinder diameter and piston stroke are the same – 81 mm and 65 mm), strangled by Euro 5 environmental standards for motor vehicles and developing “only” 190 hp, puffs tensely. at 9700 pm. On paper, the parameters, not only falling short of the second-generation model’s performance but also of the psychologically important 200-strong mark, are a little disappointing. In reality, a 264-kilogram hyperbike capable of accelerating to 100 km / h in 3.2 seconds, gaining 200 km / h in 6.8 seconds, and lightning-fast moving the speedometer needle to 299 km / h will give no reason for sadness.

At the front, Brembo Style brake calipers have appeared, which, in particular, are installed on the Ducati Panigale V4 supersport. The subframe is modified and lightened by 700 grams, but the diagonal frame is very similar to the skeleton of the old Hayabusa, the inverted KYB fork with 43mm stays is so to speak nostalgic and the dashboard retains the analog immortal warm tube classic or another conservative Suzuki bike? The golden ratio or archaic? A perfect diamond after cutting or a cruel deception of the expectations of fans? We assume a bit of everything. Skeptics will see a complete failure in the soaring falcon, and those who have always loved the bike the way it is will welcome a new round of evolution and remember the beauty in the eyes of the beholder. The legend continues!