Yes, I do own the road
The ’Busa has power and poise but it needs a respectful rider
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.
Big boys’ toy: With 1340cc and 145kW, the Suzuki is not a bike for the novice