I’ve seen ever-increasing numbers of Hayabusas around town (hard to miss ’em), and while I can plainly see the aesthetic appeal, I never really gave one a proper look-see. All that changed last night while I was at the pool hall and had a chance encounter with a proud ’Busa owner who was only too happy to go on (and on) about his ride. (This guy could have a real future in sales, know what I’m sayin’?)

Prompted by his enthusiasm, I took a real good look at the GSX 1300R “Hayabusa” from Suzuki and I was not disappointed. Once I delved into the details I could see that the ’Busa isn’t just another pretty face; there is a real monster hidden beneath its elegant façade. I’m not sure how it stayed off my radar for this long, so join me while I rectify the situation.

(Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Hayabusa.

  • 2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
  • Year:
    2016- 2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Displacement:
    1340 cc
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Price:
  • Price:


2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
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While the overall look would make the ’Busa fit in on the set of some futuristic movie, the features are based on contemporary, wind tunnel-tested engineering. The front fairing and windshield steer the air over and around the properly tucked-in rider. Laminar flow pulls the air across the rider’s back and over the tail hump to reincorporate without contributing to the drag-inducing slipstream behind the bike.

Unlike its Gixxer cousins, the Hayabusa is built for straightline speed and acceleration...

Unusual-looking reliefs in the tank and inner fairing allow the rider to pull his arms and legs into the bike, thus turning the rider’s body into a key component in the aerodynamic efficiency of the design. Elements within the leading edge of the fairing form a ram-air scoop that compresses the air in the intake – and increases volumetric efficiency – once you get the speed up to around 80+ mph. This feature alone tells me the factory left no opportunities on the table to increase performance.

In an effort not to lose any of their hard-won efficiency, the designers mounted the turn signals in faired-off cans, and used the taillight lens to complete the fairing over the trailing edge of the subframe. Unlike its Gixxer cousins, the Hayabusa is built for straightline speed and acceleration, not flicking into corners, so it’s a one-trick pony whose trick makes it the fastest production bike in the world in its time.


2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
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Usually if you see dissimilar materials between the frame and subframe, its a steel frame with an aluminum subframe. Suzuki swaps that around by using an aluminum, twin-spar main frame with a steel subframe to keep overall weight down but still retain enough strength to support the weight of a pillion rider. Or maybe, to support the weight of all those layers of paint on a custom job.

Beefy, 43 mm KYB forks support the front while a monoshock takes care of the rear. Suspension at both ends come adjustable for compression and rebound damping, as well as spring preload. The rims are cast aluminum to keep unsprung weight down, and Suzuki’s Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) treatment on the forks help keep the rubber where it matters most; on the road.

Additional contact-patch protection comes in the form of an ABS package as standard equipment. Dual, 310 mm front brake discs get the Brembo treatment with floating monoblock calipers, and a single-pot caliper binds the 260 mm rear disc. Bottom line; it has plenty of brakes with an ABS safety net — both desirable features given the capacity for great speed. More on that next.


2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
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As you might expect, Suzuki serves up a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms for its various advanced features. Hope you’re hungry!

... it reportedly comes out of the hole like a scalded dog with a 9.7-second quarter-mile time at 148.8 mph, and leaps from 0 to 60 in a mere 2.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder, short-stroke, DOHC mill displaces a generous 1,340 cc and comes with some treasure hidden within. Cylinder bores come with the Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) that works with the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating to reduce friction between these most-critical areas.

A 44 mm, twin-bore throttle body sports the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) control that makes adjustments as needed for peak engine performance at the given throttle setting. The ride-by-wire system also comes with the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) with preset engine maps that allow you to tune power delivery up or down as needed.

The engine meets emissions standards using the Suzuki Pulsed-secondary Air-injection (PAIR) system and low-restriction catalyst in the exhaust. Since the rev limiter is designed to cut out at 186 mph with stock gearing, that number must stand as the top speed of the bike. (Not fast enough? Really? Really?) Not only is it fast, but quick too; it reportedly comes out of the hole like a scalded dog with a 9.7-second quarter-mile time at 148.8 mph, and leaps from 0 to 60 in a mere 2.6 seconds.

Power flows to the six-speed gearbox through the Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) that limits back-torque and rear-wheel hops when you need to scrub off some speed in a hurry.


2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
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While the $14,599 MSRP is a great price, it is probably just above entry-level budgets – just as well given the power and speed involved. This is not a bike for beginners by any stretch of the imagination, even with the S-DMS function, so it is just as well if the price acts as a firewall of sorts.


2016 - 2017 Suzuki Hayabusa
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2015 Ducati Superbike 1299 Panigale
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This is definitely a capable bike, so I wanted to see how it stacked up against one of my favorites, the 1299 Panigale from Ducati.

Engine size is close enough for government work at 1,285 cc for the Duc versus 1,340 cc on the ’Busa, but engine control is a different matter. While the ’Busa runs the SDTV and S-DMS for engine control, the Duc also uses ride-by-wire technology and comes with a few more treats such as the Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control and Engine Braking Control. Same with the chassis; the ’Busa is rather vanilla compared to the Panigale with its Inertial Platform, angle-sensitive ABS and auto-adapting suspension system. An electronically assisted Quick Shift on the Duc represents the last nail in the ’Busa’s coffin, at least in the gizmo category.

Overall design is subjective, and while both bikes look fabulous stock, the ’Busa is singularly suited to be turned into a custom showpiece. The overall grace plus all that body paneling acts as both blank canvas and muse, and has inspired some of the coolest-looking projects I’ve seen to date.

Of course, all that technology will cost you a bit. A new Panigale will set you back around 20 grand, a significant amount over the Hayabusa at $14,599. No matter the little details, the ’Busa is a lot of bike for your buck, and the sky is the limit for customization. Don’t believe me? Check out the “Predator” bike and get back to me.

He Said

“Really cool bike. The GSX-R family is special to me; it was a GSX-R 1100 that was the first bike to ever scare the crap out of me, or more accurately, was fast enough to allow me to scare the crap out of myself! I have watched the Gixxer line ever since, and the ’Busa definitely upholds the family name.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "The Hayabusa is a popular, stupidfast bike. Call me a weenie if you must, but I’d have to have that drive mode set to "Grandma" before I’d be comfortable. Riding one of these bikes as it was intended will scare the crap out of someone who loves you."


Engine: 1,340 cc, Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, Four-cylinder, DOHC
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 mm x 65.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5 to 1
Fuel System: Suzuki Fuel Injection
Starter: Electronic
Lubrication: Wet sump
Top Speed: 186 mph (Governed)
Transmission: Six-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: Chain, RK GB50GSV Z4, 114 links
Suspension Front: 43 mm, KYB Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Dual 310 mm discs, radial-mount Brembo floating monobloc calipers
Brakes Rear: Single 260 mm disc, single-piston caliper
ABS: Standard
Wheel, Front: Three-spoke cast-aluminum-alloy wheels
Wheel, Rear: Three-spoke cast-aluminum-alloy wheels
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 190/50ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.5 Gallons (CA model: 5.3 Gallons)
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Dimensions and Curb Weight:
Overall Length: 86.2 inches
Overall Width: 28.9 inches
Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
Ground Clearance: 4.7 inches
Seat Height: 31.7 inches
Curb Weight: 586 Pounds
2016: Candy Daring Red / Metallic Mystic Silver, Metallic Thunder Gray / Glass Sparkle Black
2017: Glass Sparkle Black / Pearl Glacier White, Pearl Vigor Blue / Glass Sparkle Black
Warranty: 24-month unlimited mileage limited warranty
Price: $14,599
What do you think?
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