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Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo

Published: 09 September 2002

Updated: 19 November 2014

Name: Matt Taylor. Age: 37. Job: Owns/runs Diamond Motorcycles, Nuneaton (024-7634-1382) (used to be an agricultural engineer). Previous bikes: " There’s nothing I haven’t had. " Kawasaki Z900 – fastest 8-valve bike in 1989 Ultimate Streetbike drag series; YZF750 with EXUP 1000 engine. Bike: Suzuki Hayabusa Turbo. Tuner: Matt, with big help from Graham Barrow Tuning (01253-725432). Power: 275bhp (stock 155bhp). Torque: 170ftlb (stock 95ftlb).

" I did it because… I always do! My previous bikes have been tuned and I bought this for the purpose of tuning it. I got it brand new in 2000 and gave it a few miles just to play with it, but it was always going to be tuned.

" There was actually a first bike but it got stolen, so this was the replacement. At cost price this would’ve been more or less £20,000 – if I could get that for it, I’d sell it tomorrow. In the real world I guess it’s worth around £10,000 and I certainly haven’t paid list price for all the parts – things like the AP calipers are £1100 each! Not many people would swallow that.

" People think it’s mad – a lot of people think a stock Hayabusa is too much already – but it’s a surprisingly good bike. It rolls on fine and, OK, you have to treat it with respect, but it’s very rideable. Mind you it’ll wheelie in all gears if you give it some.

" I had another turbo fitted to it before, and it’d wheelie in top gear at 90mph just winding it on. That was funny but no good for a road bike, and I do ride it on the road.

" People assume it’s a drag bike, but this is on the road. It’s fair to say nothing can outrun it if you don’t want them to! "

What the tuner did

Matt Taylor worked with Graham Barrow to create this monster:

" It’s the second turbo I’ve tried. The first one was too small and gave less top end power with an unmanageable mid-range. Now the bike is more or less identical to Jack Frost’s British land speed record holder, which stands at 222.19mph. This turbo is a hybrid Mitsubishi unit, built and fitted by Holeshot Racing. The boost pressure is set at 0.8 bar now, but it can go up to 2 bar. More turbo pressure gives more power, but the current setting gives a good, useable figure.

" The stock crank is good so that stays in, but the conrods are changed for Carillo ones, the pistons are from JE and the head has been ported by Graham Barrow in St Annes, who did a lot of the engine work. Dymag wheels are lighter and look better, there’s a longer Spondon swing-arm to try and keep the front wheel down, and monoblock six-piston AP brakes work on PFM narrow-track, fully-floating discs. The forks have been titanium nitrided and re-valved by Kais. "

Riding it

The 200mph Club. It just got bigger by one – me. It’s been a long-standing ambition to break the 200mph barrier and you just know a turbo Hayabusa is the thing to do it with.

Higher gearing would see more speed and it would definitely pull it. The bike was running at 10,500 revs, 500rpm short of maximum.

Not only the sheer speed, but the way it goes about getting you there is impressive. In the same way the ZX-12R throws you forward, this fairly hurls you at the horizon. Through the gears, short-shifting all the way to sixth it’s perfectly driveable. Then wind it on hard and feel the front go light. It stays that way all the way to the double ton and beyond, making steering a little vague. Not scary, but detached. If you want more, the turbo can be wound up to 2 bar and give you an estimated 380bhp. As if you need it.

But there’s more to this than sheer speed. It is, after all, a road bike. You don’t easily spot the longer swing-arm, but knowing it’s there you expect it to handle with distinctly barge-like tendencies. Instead it tips in nice and fast, a tribute to Matt’s choice of a 180 section rear tyre over the stock 190 item. No trauma, no tantrums, just pick it up on the power and go. Sneeze, and it’d point at the sky, sure, but if you have any control in your right wrist, this is a useable bike.

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