Suzuki's Hayabusa was, until meddling bureaucrats got their way, THE fastest production bike money could buy. It's not actually that much slower now thanks to the political pressure that limited its top speed to 'just' 186mph. But because of the legislative interference, the Busa is no longer the quickest, now sharing the speed-topping title with a couple of others.
If owning the most-mph motorcycle ever really matters to you, then a used Busa is preferable to a new one simply because it won't be restricted. Wind on the throttle of a pre 2002-spec Hayabusa for long enough and you will be transported up to a stratospheric 194mph in an arm-wrenching blur of pace almost beyond belief.
Yet no matter how much you try to understand and appreciate the incredible performance statistics of the Hayabusa, nothing, but nothing, will prepare you for the actual experience of sampling its complete and utter gob-smacking performance from the seat. If you've never ridden one before prepare to have your brain scrambled by speed.
The superfast Suzuki is one of the quickest things out there in a straight line. In the right place you can see over 200mph on the clock, and getting up to 150mph takes literally just a few seconds. The fact is, any time you get aggressive with the Suzuki's throttle you run the risk of running at jail-baiting pace. And that's the controversial bit.
The grunt from the motor (and we're talking about a level of stomp that makes a GSX-R1000 seem peaky by comparison) thrusts the Suzuki along so effortlessly that many times you're completely shocked by the pace the speedo reveals you're actually running at. And if you have any sort of conscience you'll either want to chuck your licence in the shredder or go down the nearest cop-shop for a confessional.
The throttle works both ways of course, so there is the option of not going so mad. But not giving a Hayabusa some gyp is a bit like sharing a bed with Kylie and not getting thoroughly acquainted. It can be done - though only with masses of discipline.
Click here to read the last page of the Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa review.