Suzuki Hayabusa Road Test
The mighty ‘Busa originally launched in 1999 to rapturous applause from lunatics the world over. Finally, here was the bike to knock Honda’s Super Blackbird off its 178.5mph top speed throne, by 14.5mph no less, which in superbike terms, is one giant leap for madkind. The Suzuki Hayabusa, it seems, was created for those who deemed anything short of 200mph strictly reserved for the lily-livered.
Still trying to wrap my head around the insanity that is a motorcycle with a larger engine than a modest sized hatchback, I take comfort in the fact that this updated 2013 model has had a few tweaks, not least, and to my eternal relief, ABS.
As I got my proverbial leg over, the distinct lack of experience with anything other than the obligatory, entry-level sewing machine powered by a 125cc hair dryer began to ring true. Fun? Yes. Fast, er, no. A great deal smaller and lighter? Absolutely. This was going to be interesting.
I’d been assured that this monster was nothing more than a motorcycle for fatties, who stuck to the straights and lacked finesse in the bends. So I was pleasantly surprised as I tentatively eased out the clutch and gently pulled away, because as soon as you’re rolling, all that heft disappears and that 260kg becomes supremely planted the faster you dare. In the bends, I was achieving substantial lean angle and when treated with respect, this rhino of a bike is surprisingly agile. And here’s the thing. Having crossed continents on this two-wheeled road rocket, I’m inclined to dismiss all the nay sayers as delusional elitists. I suspect that 99% of riders will spectacularly run out of talent way before the mighty Hayabusa does.
It’s a testament to the fundamental design of the old bruiser that it’s still in production today. And with rumours of an update due in 2015/16, I, for one, will be first in line. With a spare set of smalls.