Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale

Old might be gold; but is old fast enough to beat new?

The first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa took the motorcycle market by storm and was immediately dubbed the ‘fastest production motorcycle in the world’. Since then, however, other manufacturers have sprung into action, pushing the boundaries of sportbikes to new heights, a prime example of which is the Ducati 1299 Panigale.

So who do you think would win between a first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa and a Ducati 1299 Panigale? Got a winner in your head? Now, read on to know who actually wins between these two in a straight line.

The Contenders

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale
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Talking about the bikes first, the gen-I Hayabusa was powered by a 1299cc, four-cylinder engine that made 173 horsepower and 95 pound-feet

The first contender here is the Suzuki Hayabusa. The gen-I ‘Busa was powered by a 1,299cc, inline-four engine which made a claimed 173 horsepower and around 95 pound-feet of torque. It’s worth noting, however, that the bike used here has a few upgrades such as an extended swingarm, an aftermarket exhaust, and possibly a different sprocket, all aimed to make it better at drag racing.

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale
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Meanwhile, the Ducati 1299 Panigale was powered by a1285cc, twin-cylinder engine making 205 horsepower and 95 pound-feet

Going against the OG Hayabusa is Ducati’s ex-flagship sportbike, the 1299 Panigale. As its name suggests, the bike drew power from a 1285cc, twin-cylinder mill, putting out 205 horsepower and 94 pound-feet. Interestingly, the 1299 Panigale was claimed to be the lightest sportbike in its segment, tipping the scale at under 370 pounds (dry).

The bike being used here is mostly stock, only boasting an aftermarket exhaust.

Ducati 1299 Panigale vs First-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Drag Race

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale
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Owing to this, the Suzuki Hayabusa gets off the line much better than the hard-to-launch Ducati Panigale

Judging from the specs, the more powerful and lighter Ducati Panigale clearly has an edge over the Suzuki Hayabusa.

But, more power and less weight also result in a hard-to-launch motorcycle, which is why the Hayabusa, with its extended swingarm, always gets the jump on the Panigale. Plus, this wasn’t a one-time thing, as the riders perform several runs and it’s always the Hayabusa that prevails, thanks to the more experienced rider and its drag-suited characteristics.

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale
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It’s worth noting, though, that the Hayabusa used here has an extended swingarm and couple of other updates to make it more drag-spec

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Ducati 1299 Panigale is an absolute beast, verified by its speed trap times, which are faster than the Hayabusa. But, the only problem with it is that it can’t put all that power down efficiently.

Check out the fastest quarter-mile times for both bikes below:

Bike Quarter-mile time Speed
Suzuki Hayabusa 9.7s 141mph
Ducati 1299 Panigale 10.1s 147mph

What Did We Learn?

Drag Race: Iconic first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa Goes Against The Mad Ducati 1299 Panigale
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Simply that even though you have all the power in the world, if you can’t use it properly, it’s really not of much use.

Nevertheless, a 10.1-sec quarter-mile time is quite insane for a fully stock bike and leaves us thinking what time the Panigale will do if it gets an extended swingarm.

Punya Sharma
Punya Sharma
An avid motorcyclist who's always up for a ride to the canyons or the race track. My riding skills are better than my writing skills. ;)  Read full bio
About the author

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