‘Reflash the ignition on newer models and 200mph is in reach’
When he’s not selling Hayabusas, Mike is going extremely quickly on them; he set a European landspeed record aboard his own turbo Busa, averaging 229mph in a two-way timed run at Elvington in 2012.
“The Hayabusa remains Suzuki’s flagship machine; it’s unique in terms of its mix of styling, earth-shattering performance, usability and practicality. It’ll match and beat many of the latest top superbikes in the acceleration stakes, while still proving comfortable enough to zip through Europe, and they’re now cheap enough to prove temptingly affordable. Just as important, they are reliable too.
“Owing to their shorter stroke engine, the original 1299cc models are slightly smoother than the GEN II 1340cc bikes, which feature floating mounts on the fuel tank to damp out some vibrations.
“That said, the revisions to the pistons, valve train, exhaust and the inclusion of Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve system make the post-2008 GEN II vastly superior in terms of power delivery and response; it’s much more free-revving and also benefits from having slightly more torque at a lower rpm, and also a 17bhp boost in peak power, up from 155bhp to 172bhp.
“The welds on the aluminium subframe of early models known to crack when fully loaded with luggage, aftermarket exhaust systems were thought to be the cause. There was never an official recall but some owners were given new subframes out of courtesy. 2001 onwards models had stronger, steel subframes.
“Speed demons can free the Busa by removing the electronic restrictions. For 2001-2007 models, a TRE Timing Retardation Eliminator is fitted into the bike’s wiring loom and works by tricking the bike into thinking it’s in fifth gear all the time – the gear that has the best ignition curve for all-round drivability. As the bike thinks it’s in fifth gear, the sixth gear rev limit never kicks in so allows for a greater top speed. Later models can have their ECU reflashed by a specialist in order to remove the restrictions – these bikes are then easily capable of 200mph with nothing more than an aftermarket exhaust system and smaller rear sprocket.”
‘It’ll match and beat many of the latest top superbikes in the acceleration stakes’
Some early models suffered cracked subframes. Check the consumables too
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Mike Grainger Boss of multi-franchise dealer GT Motorcycles,