Everything you need to know about the new 2021 Suzuki Hayabusa
Suzuki has unwrapped the latest iteration of its Hayabusa, the iconic hyperbike’s first major update in more than a decade.
Launched in 1999, the Hayabusa was Suzuki’s answer to Honda’s powerful Blackbird sports tourer, and cheekily took its name from the Japanese word for peregrine falcon, which is the predator of the blackbird.
The powerful Suzuki went on to develop cult status and the launch of the second-generation Hayabusa in 2008 boosted capacity and power.
The third-generation Hayabusa has been revealed with a major makeover boasting over 550 new parts, and though it’s slightly down on power it accelerates quicker than ever.
For 2021 the bike adopts redesigned bodywork that is still instantly recognisable as a Hayabusa — including the famous seat hump — while adding straighter, sharper lines and enlarged exhaust canisters.
New vertically stacked LED headlights between new angular air intakes give the Hayabusa a fresh face. The clocks join the modern age with a new colour TFT screen, flanked by two old-school analogue speedo and tachometer dials.
Suzuki hasn’t sought to topple Kawasaki’s 170kW supercharged H2 from its perch as the world’s most powerful street-legal hyperbike.
The new Hayabusa’s 1,340cc in-line four-cylinder engine gets a slight power drop from 145kW to 140kW to comply with latest emissions standards — which also necessitated those giant exhaust cans — but Suzuki says the heavily redesigned engine produces enhanced performance at the lower to mid rev ranges.
This makes it not only a more rideable and flexible bike for everyday use, but with the help of launch control it’s also the fastest-accelerating Hayabusa yet with a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.2 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than before.
Top speed remains an electronically limited 299km/h.
Harnessing the power is a barrage of electronics including ABS, traction control, cruise control, launch control, bidirectional quickshifter that allows for shifting up with the throttle wide open and without using the clutch, engine brake control, three power modes, various riding modes, and anti-wheelie control.
For track use there are also 10 modes of Motion Track Traction Control inherited from Suzuki’s world championship-winning MotoGP machine and GSX-R1000R. The system uses speed and lean angle sensors to prevent traction loss under acceleration, but braver riders are able to turn it off and still rely on old-fashioned seat-of-the-pants feel.
A revised chassis and new suspension settings accompanies the Suzuki’s makeover, and it has shed 4kg to tip the scales at a fully fuelled 264kg. Mounted to new seven-spoke wheels are bigger 320mm discs up front, with improved stopping power provided by Brembo Stylema calipers.
It’s not yet known when the new Hayabusa will arrive in SA, but the recommended retail price will be R329,000.