3rd generation 2021 Hayabusa: No supercharger, no turbo, no six-cylinder engine ( though this was trialed by Suzuki). Only 2kgs lighter and it makes 7bhp LESS than last year, as well as a lower peak torque figure. Still 1340cc. Thanks Euro 5 regulations, thanks a bunch. We expected 1440cc, 230bhp, twin turbochargers and a supercharger at least, for full car park bragging rights. It even uses the same frame and swingarm, though the subframe is new and a little lighter. So… overall a little meh so far. Right?
But that’s not the real story.
The engine might make less peak power but it makes more torque between 4-6000rpm where it really matters, to be useable in real life, on a real road scenario. Most of the engine has been redesigned and lightened from conrods to a huge new airbox and ram-air. It’s now got a true 50/50 weight distribution and revised suspension internals. Suzuki even trialed a 6-cylinder, 1000cc turbo configuration but it turned out to be less efficient than the existing 1340cc inline four.
It’s packed with more technology, a six-axis IMU managing all the traction control, launch control and cornering ABS gubbins. It has cruise control as standard. There’s a neat TFT central dash to play all the latest PS5 games*.
The KYB forks have revised internals for better feedback, feel, and a plusher, smoother ride. The latest Brembo Stylema calipers now bite on bigger 320mm brake discs. The handlebars are 12mm closer to the rider for improved day-long comfort. It’s 264kg – 2kg lighter than last year.
It looks amazing. The edgier styling brings it bang up to date though some will mourn the loss of the characteristic curves (I loved that old tail unit… meh) but overall it’s sleeker, more modern, and visually a lot lighter. Odds on, it’s going to handle better, and be easier to hustle around, and as anyone who’s ever ridden a Hayabusa will tell you, that’s progress. This is an evolution. Over 189,000 Hayabusas have been sold since the original in 1999.
Sure, we could be a bit glum about the power figures. A little sad that Suzuki haven’t appeared to want to build the World’s Fastest Prodction Motorcycle, but that’s missing the bigger picture. The main takeaway from this almost-completely revised new Hayabusa is this:
Suzuki are BACK, not just with a new paintjob on a 5 year-old bike, but creating incredible motorcycles that make us go “woah”. Word on the street is that Suzuki are launching three new bikes this year, and another three next year.
Welcome back, Suzuki… we’ve missed you.
*OK, that bit wasn’t true