There is nothing like a Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R. Riding position, styling, performance, handling, reputation no other two-wheeler gives the same overwhelming sensation of endless, immeasurable, gushing speed.
And Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R’s engine that stands proud: a monumental engineering gem that seamlessly blends manners and usability with enough ludicrous, undiluted performance to scramble your brain by halfway through the six clean-shifting gears. Third does everything: from mindless dawdling round town at 30mph, eyeing up yummy mummies to indicating 60mph at the test track and smearing the landscape into a three-year-old’s painting. Pointless? Definitely. But fantastically life-affirming a neat shot of the gloriously outrageous in our cotton wool world.
There’s such a deluge of drive even the ZZR feels lacking and the BMW peaky and harsh next to Suzuki’s transcendent long-stroke might. Power-to-weight wise it’s behind a GSX-R1000 or Fireblade but with vast torque anywhere in the rev range nothing gets near its fluid, instant clout. For most of us it brings a new meaning to effortless power. For those with Bruce’s feel and balance, it means 100 yard black lines out of every corner. And a new tyre within 1000 miles.
In their munificence, Suzuki have included a three-way switch on the right handlebar: mode A gives full power and response, with B and C incrementally reducing both reaction and output. Clever, and I get the theory behind capping the stupendous torque in tricky conditions. But in C-mode on a chilly, wet morning I just end up using bigger throttle openings to get the drive I want. The engine’s so civilised I’m happier in full-fat A-mode, where it delivers exactly what I expect.
Even the riding position is a subtle reminder of Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R befuddling speed. You don’t sit on a Hayabusa but drape yourself over it, bum near the ground, feet tucked up out of the way with torso stretched low to the broad bars. With the view over the low screen and enveloping fairing, there’s no mistaking the potential.
It’s not the best stance for control, though. Both ZZR and BMW sit you higher, with narrower bars that are easier to push and tug. They feel sportier, more modern. Both feel lighter than the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R as well, the Kawasaki particularly being more nimble at low speed. The 1400 has a better chassis for our wriggling B-road route, too, remaining level and unruffled over imperfections and fast sections that make the Busa squat and squirm. It never seems like it’ll flick you into the scenery but the others give an easier time.
Open A-roads are friendlier terrain. The Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R floats with graceful violence; better damped than the Kawasaki and shaking off the BMW with the lightest touch. It’s point-and-squirt king. Motorways are equally stress free, with only a low screen to moan about. Gadget nerds might grumble at the lack of trip gizmos on the superb clocks, but there’s a fuel gauge and you don’t really miss the additional info.
But such peripheral details don’t matter. It’s a Hayabusa. It doesn’t handle as lightly as the ZZR, doesn’t have the handy gizmos of the BMW, and is wasted at legal speeds. Instead, it’s the fastest, the one that leaves you gibbering after each encounter the bike with the clearest mission statement. Want the most? Buy the Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R.