Yes, I do own the road

The ’Busa has power and poise but it needs a re­spect­ful rider

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Two Wheels -

SELF-RE­STRAINT and self­p­reser­va­tion are con­stant pil­lions on Suzuki’s 1340cc Hayabusa hy­per­bike. You can look at the 300km/h speedo marker and be rea­son­ably cer­tain you could get it up to that — but you just don’t dare go there.

Imag­ine the mo­men­tum of 260kg of bike — even at 200km/h — and the im­pact if you screw up a cor­ner.


Su­per­car per­for­mance at a city car price is the car­rot the Hayabusa dan­gles at prospec­tive buy­ers. It costs $18,990 and is equally ca­pa­ble as a long-range two-up tourer or track bike.

THE GSX-R1000 might be a sharper tool on the track, but doesn’t come close to the ’Busa for street com­fort.


Few bikes can match the Suzuki’s out­right per­for­mance and those that can — the Kawasaki ZX-14 andBMWK1300 — both have trac­tion con­trol and an­tilock brakes. They’re also more ex­pen­sive, by $2000 and $6000 re­spec­tively.

The Hayabusa has a three­map mode switch that re­stricts power and it’s a handy fea­ture in the wet.


The droopy styling max­imises air­flow, a re­sult of wind-tun­nel test­ing. It isn’t the pret­ti­est Suzuki, but if it helps keep it on the road, I can live with it.

The dash is an­other mat­ter. An ana­log speedo and tachome­ter frame a dig­i­tal gear se­lec­tor in­di­ca­tor. Get a dig­i­tal speedo — the ana­log num­bers are too small.


This is a big boy’s toy. The bike suits tall and large­framed riders and will barely feel a 150kg rider at the con­trols. It’s also not a novice bike. So much power dic­tates riders need to know what they are do­ing.

It han­dles tight turns well, but you know you’re flick­ing 260kg from side to side. Hefty brak­ing into cor­ners isn’t a smart ap­proach — the weight trans­fer will have the front tyre squirm­ing.

Ground clear­ance and sta­bil­ity mean it takes most turns at high speed any­way, and a twist of the throt­tle on exit over­comes any ground lost to lighter bikes.


Suzuki’s ‘‘own the race­track’’ slo­gan doesn’t ap­ply to the Hayabusa. It owns what­ever stretch of tar­mac it’s on. But if the rider’s not re­spect­ful, it’ll own them too.

Craig Duff

Big boys’ toy: With 1340cc and 145kW, the Suzuki is not a bike for the novice

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