You must have been aware of it by now. Yes, it’s true and it was inevitable. The legendary Suzuki Hayabusa GSX 1300R has been officially discontinued. While no wonder it’s a sad news for the entire super or sportbike industry, but if we can look at it with an optimistic mindset, and try to see the bigger picture here, we’d realize that the end of this legend might just be the reason for the birth of a new one.
What I’m trying to say is, we’ve been hearing rumors about Suzuki working on an updated and all-new Hayabusa for quite a long time. So perhaps, now all of that seems legit and all those bits and pieces would add up. Suzuki hasn’t said a word about it, though. But I have huge hopes and I am really looking forward to the next avatar of the Hayabusa.
Suzuki launched this beastly motorcycle back in 1999. It was when my life was largely occupied by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and The Simpsons. Later I got to know about the ‘Busa that has created a stir in the motorcycle industry. And that wasn’t because of its aesthetics but its sheer power. I, too, didn’t like the way it looked, but when I got to know about its unbeatable achievements and power, I became its slave. Being a kid back then, I really didn’t have a clear picture of what bhp or torque really is. But I did know that the higher the number, the better. And boy, the numbers touched the sky.
The Hayabusa had a 1,299cc, 4-pot, liquid-cooled engine tuned to race 173 horses altogether in full control and rocket the bike from stationary into oblivion utilizing 135Nm of torque. I don’t know whether Suzuki knew about it or not when the Hayabusa was being manufactured, but they really created a beast. Suzuki Hayabusa became the world’s fastest production motorcycle of all time, period.
It was not until 2008 when Suzuki launched an updated and revamped Hayabusa. This model not only had updated and better looks than the previous one, but it was also faster. It had 197bhp extracted from the same 4-cylinder engine with a slightly larger displacement. This Hayabusa was not only faster in a straight line but also in the corners. This was the last update the Hayabusa got.
Jan 1st, 2016, the new Euro 4 emission norms were put into effect. These were tighter rules than before to save the planet. Unfortunately, Hayabusa didn’t comply with them. Suzuki, along with all the other manufacturers, were allowed to sell limited numbers of Euro 4 non-compliant models until December 31, 2018. Japan has already discontinued the production of the Hayabusa. As of January 1, 2019, it will be illegal for a dealer to sell a new Hayabusa in Europe.
Okay, so that was a quick glimpse of the Hayabusa’s history and the reason why it died. What about the future? What lies ahead? Earlier in 2018, a few patent images revealed that Suzuki might be working on a third-generation Hayabusa. This model would feature a semi-automatic gearbox. It might be somewhat similar to what we’ve seen in the Honda Africa Twin, the dual-clutch DCT transmission.
As per the records of the Hayabusa, I think the semi-automatic gearbox isn’t the only thing that Suzuki might be working on. Other important factors like the engine displacement and configuration, power, torque, weight, design, electronics, etc. are also there that should give us enough topics to brainstorm on.
However, my biggest curiosity remains in the answer to the question, would the new Hayabusa feature a forced induction system? Yes, that’s the million-dollar question for me. Kawasaki is already enjoying with superchargers, and it is doing pretty great. The Ninja H2 really reminded us that technology keeps on improving with time.
Ducati has also confirmed that it is going to release 29 new models in a period of the next five years and all of them will be based on the V4 engine platform. This could also mean the end of V-Twins for the Italian. So, chances are that Ducati would as well get its hands dipped into the forced induction territory.
Suzuki is tight-lipped about any kind of relevant information. So we can only wait and guess. 2019 is going to be the 20th anniversary of the Hayabusa, so would Suzuki use this opportunity to reveal something special or would the year go by without any excitement? Let’s wait with our fingers crossed.
So, summarizing everything; I’m not really a fan of electric motorcycles. Yes, they are pretty cool, have superior acceleration, features, and whatnot. I am not disagreeing. But the thrill and ‘spark’ that I get riding an SI (spark ignition) engine motorcycle can’t be replaced by a mere ‘hmm’ of an electric motor. That being said, I would definitely like to see a scenario in the future where companies like Suzuki and Ducati would introduce supercharged or turbocharged motorcycles. And these bikes can run along with the undeniable existence of electric motorcycles. What’s your take?