What we said then
“Suzuki have played around with the GSX1300R Hayabusa’s styling without losing the original’s attitude and character, as a result the new Hayabusa looks really sleek. Engine capacity has increased and so has power and torque. Handling hasn’t been significantly improved, more a gentle step forward, however the brakes are miles better - and about time.”
MCN launch report – Sept 20, 2007
But what is it like now?
Everyone should ride a Hayabusa at one time in their motorcycling life as they are a very special beast. As you would expect from a machine that punches out a genuine 178bhp and 105ftlb of torque, the star of the show is the 1340cc four-cylinder engine.
Riding this 2014 model reminds me instantly that it’s not the outright power that is so impressive on a Hayabusa, it’s the smooth and never-ending torque. With almost no revs I cruise through the gears and know that if I’m not careful the speedo will be well into three figures before I even realise. Opening the throttle on a Hayabusa remains an amazing thrill to this day. More recent sportsbikes may accelerate faster, but on a Busa the acceleration is both brutal and controlled because the chassis is so stable.
Much of this stability comes from the Busa’s size and when you sit on it the Suzuki feels long and low. It’s an odd mix of sportsbike and tourer with a toe more in the sportsbike camp than a Kawasaki ZZR1400. Some riders find Busas comfortable, others complain of aching wrists, so it is a matter of taste.
What isn’t up for debate is its capability. In a straight line, you can confidently give the Busa the full 178 berries and there is no chance of the head shaking and minimal potential of a wheelie. And it’s not bad in corners either, though you have to remember it doesn’t like to be rushed into bends.
It’s just a shame the brakes are such a let down. The model has been around for 17 years and it is a mystery how Suzuki continue to give it such poor stoppers. The original bike’s six-piston units were bad and although two generations of radial four-piston calipers have improved its deceleration, on a 186mph bike I still find myself wanting more, especially on this used example where braking performance has deteriorated further after 8900 miles of use.
In our world of speed cameras, the Hayabusa could appear a dinosaur from a bygone era. But it isn’t. The motor’s torque makes the Busa relevant in a modern context as it almost makes the gearbox redundant, leading to a relaxed ride. Unless you decide to sample its blistering acceleration that is…
Common faults explored
This bike is only a few years old so it should look nearly perfect, and it does. The weakness in the Brembo brakes is possibly down to a pad issue or the hydraulic system needing a bleed. The previous owner appears to have taken good care of the bike, the suspension linkage is perfect and the extras fitted are there to help keep it looking as fresh as the day it was bought.
This bike’s previous owner appears to be the type who liked going touring, which might explain why it has nearly 9000 miles on its clocks in less than two years. As well as a GPS mount and tall screen, the bike has a pillion rail and a nice selection of carbon covers protecting areas that could get rubbed by a pillion’s hands, poor parking or luggage straps.
The Yoshimura pipes and Yoshi sticker on the front could have been included with the original sale as Suzuki often added performance parts as a sales incentive. There are a lot of ‘limited edition’ Hayabusas out there that are actually US paint schemes with a few bolt-on extras fitted by Suzuki GB. They are only limited by the number imported by Suzuki GB, so don’t pay a premium for one.
Looking to buy your own Hayabusa? Visit MCNbikesforsale.com