Suzuki has announced details of its latest generation Hayabusa, with the new – and hotly anticipated – third iteration of the legendary hyperbike coming with over 550 new parts.
So, what’s included? Well, where do we start? There’s the iconic and uniquely individual Hayabusa aerodynamic silhouette and styling, but with redesigned wind-cheating bodywork that remains faithful to the Hayabusa’s unmistakable shape while adding sharper lines and classy details.
Then there’s the heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet. A comprehensive suite of electronics includes IMU-governed ABS and traction control, cruise control, launch control, bi-directional quickshifter, engine brake control, three power modes, plus three preset rider modes and three user-defined modes. And don’t let us forget the revised chassis, with a new subframe, new brakes, and new suspension settings.
Launched in 1999, the Hayabusa stunned the motorcycling world and gave birth to the hypersport category. Taking its name from the Japanese for Peregrine falcon – famed for feasting on blackbirds – it delivered unrivalled performance, was immediately recognisable thanks to its now-iconic silhouette, and went on to develop cult status. Its monster engine enabled a smooth, turbine-like power delivery and an eye-widening top-end rush, but also gave it a flexibility and usability rivals could only dream of, while wind tunnel-designed bodywork allowed it to slip through the air effortlessly.
The launch of the second generation Hayabusa in 2008 boosted capacity and power, while a mid-term update in 2013 added Brembo monobloc calipers and ABS, updates that brought the machine firmly into the 21st century, yet remained faithful to the unique styling that has earned the Hayabusa its icon status.
Nearly 200,000 units later a third generation takes all that was right with the genre-defining hyperbike, but leverages the latest technologies to provide greater control and improved comfort to maintain its position as the ultimate sports bike.
During the design of the third generation machine the concept of ‘the refined beast’ made sure that Suzuki designers did not bring about wholesale changes, but instead made sure the latest iteration was still immediately identifiable as a Hayabusa. And 21 years on, still nothing looks quite like a Hayabusa.
Still low, long, and wide, the new generation has faithfully inherited the DNA of its predecessors, but with sharper lines and a tough, modern look that oozes refinement, class, and ultimate performance. It has been brought firmly into the present and future-proofed for the road ahead.
The overall result is a look of higher quality and greater luxury fused with the daunting image of the fierce bird of prey from which it takes its name.
The side profile looks every inch Hayabusa, but the design features straighter, sharper lines, from the new mirror design to the famous seat hump. A fresh face comes from new vertically stacked LED headlights, nestled between the new angular air intakes. New position lights flanking the scoops double up as integrated turn signals.
Great effort was also devoted to designing the straight-edged exhaust and mufflers, that sweep up towards the tail (which itself features new LED rear combination lights) to create a mass-forward look.
Much like the design of the Hayabusa’s bodywork, the iconic machine’s clocks are just as much a part of the bike’s identity. And much like the bodywork, they too have been redesigned to embrace modern technology – in the form of a colour TFT screen – while retaining the elements that standout as Hayabusa: the two large dials that flank the new TFT display.
The large analog tachometer and speedometer gain a fresh, more attractive appearance. Features include bigger, bolder numbering that improves legibility, and raised scale markings around the periphery of each meter use LED lighting to provide a clearer view and faster recognition.
The colour TFT screen displays a plethora of information readouts from the new Hayabusa’s suite of electronics (described in full, below) including the current SDMS-α settings or an active data display that shows lean angle (with peak-hold function), front and rear brake pressure, rate of forward/reverse acceleration and the current accelerator position. The panel also shows clock, gear position, odometer, dual trip meter, ambient temperature, instant fuel consumption, riding range, trip time, average fuel consumption, and voltmeter displays. LEDs located in the corners above and below the LCD include the neutral indicator light, turn-signal indicator lights, high-beam indicator light, low oil pressure warning light, traction control indicator, malfunction indicator lamp, master warning indicator, and ABS indicator. There is also an LED engine coolant temperature indicator light in the upper right corner of the engine coolant temperature gauge and fuel indicator light in the upper left corner of the fuel meter gauge. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the instrument cluster’s brightness level based on surrounding conditions, or the rider can also opt to make manual adjustments.
During the development of the new Hayabusa many prototypes were evaluated, with many featuring different engine configurations. Engine designer Naoki Mizoguchi explained, “We considered a variety of engine configurations before arriving at the final design. Experimentation included building prototypes with larger displacement engines, turbocharged versions, and others with six cylinders. In the end we came to the conclusion that the original engine package achieved the best overall balance. We also came to the conclusion that not changing the basic layout was key to retaining the Hayabusa’s distinct identity. So we applied the best of its proven qualities when we sat down to set the latest engine design. Our goal was to create a better engine while building on the same proven layout.”
As a result of Mizoguchi and the engineer’s work, the 1340cc, inline-four cylinder engine has undergone extensive reworking, with the aim of boosting performance and improving power and torque in the low and mid-range RPM. The result – especially when allied to new performance-enhancing electronics – is the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet as well as a more rideable and flexible engine for everyday use, plus added durability and reliability, also.
Cruise control allows riders to set their desired speed on longer journeys. With the system activated via a button on the right hand switchgear and the speed set and adjusted using buttons on the left, riders can release the twist grip and continue onwards at their preferred speed. The result is reduced fatigue and increased comfort. The system can be overridden with a touch of the brakes or by reopening the throttle. Owners can also set their preferred speed via a new speed limiter function, ensuring the motorcycle will not exceed that speed during operation. However, it too can be overridden by a quick twist of the throttle to allow riders to make overtakes or escape danger.
The new Hayabusa will be available in authorised Suzuki dealerships in March, with an RRP of £16,499.
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