The Busa is back


Suzuki’s barnstorming Hayabusa will return to dealerships as a 2022 model with more beast-taming tech than ever before.

The third-generation Hayabusa keeps the same 1340cc engine capacity as the second generation bike, but internally the motor is unrecognizable. Lighter pistons, lighter and more rigid conrods, a new crankshaft, revised cams, crankshaft, and crankcase all feature. The combustion chamber is redesigned for a more efficient burn and airflow is improved. The engine is controlled by a ride-by-wire throttle and fed by a bigger airbox with a ram air feature. Although peak power (191 hp) and torque (111 lbf ft) are actually slightly down, the engine now has a stronger mid range where riders most need grunt.

Perhaps more importantly, Suzuki has made the ‘Busa’s performance more accessible through a suite of electronic rider aids called Suzuki Intelligent Ride System. Three factory-set drive modes are offered and owners can define a further three modes. The level of power, traction control, engine braking and anti-wheelie control can all be defined, along with the speed of the Quick Shift system. The bike also boasts cruise control, linked brakes, hill hold, and an anti-stall system. Brakes are increased to 320 mm up front with Brembo callipers, and grip comes from Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires.

The Hayabusa is now limited to 186 mph but the rider aids and revised power delivery mean that it is actually faster away from the line than its predecessors. U.S. prices for the Hayabusa start at $18,599 plus destination or almost exactly $100 for every mile per hour.

The design is an evolution of the gloopy aerodynamic shapes that appeared with the first Hayabusa, but there are more sharper lines, especially around the mirrors and the rear speed hump. A colour TFT screen replaces traditional analogue dials and can display a wide range of riding data.

Having made its debut in 1999, and creating quite the kerfuffle with its near-200 mph top speed, the Hayabusa triggered a motorcycle arms race between Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki. How will its Japanese rivals respond?

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