Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa
As the sun began to set, barely managing to shoot its last blood-colored good byes over the horizon, a flock a pigeons just flew by, in a mild effortless and slow glide turning the whole picture into something like the credits screen of a romantic movie. It was one of those warm summer nights when one feels like swimming in warm chocolate and everything’s just soo good you wish it’d stay like that forever.
Suddenly however, the image changed brutally as a dark object struck the flock of pigeons falling from above with a dazzling speed that took me and the pigeons completely by surprise. Moments later the dark object took the shape of a bird and flew away leaving a trail of falling feathers with its unfortunate prey held tight in its talons.
I was told that bird was actually a Peregrine Falcon and it was part of its daily routine to soar up high then drop down at speeds in excess of 260 mph over its prey. That sure was an impressive display of speed and power on the part of this bird and later, when riding home on the highway, as Suzuki GSX-1300R zoomed past me, the same image was conjured up in my mind again.
‘Heck’ I told myself ‘this guy’s like the falcon and we - a couple of friends and I, on our cruisers - are the pigeons’.
My surprise was unprecedented when I later found out that the motorcycle dubbed ‘Hayabusa’ was indeed named after that very same bird. ’Hayabusa’ in Japanese meaning exactly: Peregrine Falcon.
Apparently the Suzuki GSX-1300R was named Hayabusa as a well pointed, marketing-oriented joke. It became the fastest ever production bike in the world in 1999 when it first came out, at the expense of the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, a machine that held that very same title beforehand and that became but prey for the mighty Hayabusa.
It is also a well known fact that blackbirds are part of the Peregrine Falcon’s diet.
Well one thing for sure. This guy is heartless as a Falcon when it comes to churning out horsepowers (175 bhp @ 9800 rpm) and speed. Its 1299cc, 4-stroke, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 16-valve powerplant allows it to chase down even the fastest of prays.
The 217 kg Falcon can run down a Lamborghini Diablo in straight line taking it to school both as far as top speed and acceleration are concerned.
A turbo charged Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa motorcycle is the holder of the FIM 1350 cc world record, namely 252.83 mph. During the two way runs it performed for the record, word has it, it reached a top speed of 261 mph ( 420 km/h).
This merciless predator was able to keep its crown for a long time at the top of the food- or should we say - speedchain, because of a gentlemen’s agreement among motorbike manufacturers. This agreement was closed because of worries that the out-of-control chase for marketing advantages would drive motorcycle builders to create stronger and faster bikes, which would ultimately result in more road accidents and an unprecedented flow of fresh organs for the ERs.
The speed of these “hypebikes” is limited to 300 km/h, but despite this, the donor cycles continue their deadly work amongst hot-headed youngsters who lack the respect for a top predator like the “ Busa”.
The “Busa” had successfully held on to its title of ‘ultimate predator’ up until recently when Kawasaki’s ZX14R came along to challenge it successfully.
Apparently - despite the electronic speed limiters - the race for the fastest superbike is on again, this time with Kawasaki having the upper hand. It’s going to be really interesting to see what Suzuki can come up with to restore the hurt pride of the mighty Hayabusa.