HIGH SPEED HUSTLERS
When it comes to outright speed and comfort, Suzuki’s acclaimed Hayabusa has always ruled, but can it fend off Kawasaki’s fancy-pants H2 SX SE?
I think it was written in the bible, or some other holy place, that there is no replacement for displacement. It’s a notion we’re all familiar with, and once upon a time it was undoubtedly true. But in a world where motorcycles have got more computers on board than con-rods, and are aspirated about as naturally as a man with an iron lung, we wondered if that proverb still held true.
So in the spirit of investigative journalism, we persuaded our friends at Wheels Motorcycles to let us loose on one of their freshly run-in, all singing, all dancing Kawasaki H2 SX SE sportstourers and pitch it against a 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX-1300R they had gleaming away in their showroom.
The legendary ’Busa needs no introduction, but I’ll give it one anyway: since its first incarnation in 1999, it’s been hailed by many as the fastest production bike in the world, but the 1,340cc behemoth, in its current form, can ONLY actually go as fast as its 186mph limiter lets it – unlike the first gen Busa which was an unrestricted as a pervert on a nudest beach.
Still, even in its caged form, the big question is: has Suzuki’s sports-touring stalwart’s still got what it takes to knock the socks off Kawasaki’s supercharged H2 SX SE? Arguably, this test is a comparison of superchargers versus big bores, of hugely differing price tags (the Suzuki being some £7,000 cheaper than the pricey young green machine), and the differencing of concepts across ten years of tech (well, nine years, if you’re counting).
Despite numerous updates, including a capacity increase along the way, the Suzuki has not strayed far from its original concept, which was and is very different from that of Kawasaki’s new weapon. But hype, price and colours aside, in today’s world, can a last generation motorway muncher still charm its way to the top of the podium in a head-to-head road test on Lincolnshire’s finest tarmac? I enlisted the help of Dangerous Bruce to find out.