2008 Suzuki GSX1300-R Hayabusa first official look

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This is the new 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa – though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, as Suzuki has kept the design close to the original.

Under the skin of the Hayabusa however, no part of the motorcycle has been left untouched. The engine is now 1340cc and although Suzuki hasn’t officially revealed a power figure as yet, sources close to Suzuki is confident the firm will claim 198bhp at the crank – one more bhp than the rival ZZ-R1400 is claimed to put out. Details such as a slipper clutch, titanium valves and shot-peened con-rods show Suzuki has gone all out to give the Hayabusa a class-leading engine.

The frame and swingarm look identical to the current motorcycle, but internally they have tweaked for increased rigidity and torsional stiffness. The forks are new fully-adjustable upside down units with radial brake calipers hanging from them, and smaller diameter 310mm brake discs are claimed to reduce the Hayabusa‘s unsprung weight. The fully adjustable shock absorber is also new.

The wheels are also new, lighter weight alloy items, and the Hayabusa‘s rear subframe has been tweaked to give a lower passenger seat height (though the rider’s seat remains at 805mm).

The Hayabusa bodywork has been carefully restyled to modernise the design and give a fresh look without taking away the distinctive styling cues of the original. Even the view from the riders suit is reported to be close to the old motorcycle – the speedo, rev counter and other dials remain analogue in a similar layout to the old motorcycle. Weight is up by 3kg on the old bike to 220kg, and five kilos more than the ZZ-R1400.

• See the Suzuki Hayabusa launched in Rome this Monday evening (July 2) on motorcyclenews.com. 

Chris Newbigging

By Chris Newbigging