Suzuki Hayabusa vs Suzuki Hayabusa - Which gen wins the old school drag race?

The 2021 Suzuki Hayabusa may have ten fewer ponies than its predecessor, but does more power always have to mean more performance...?

Suzuki Hayabusa vs Suzuki Hayabusa drag race

Power, as we’re told, is nothing without control. And it’s true.

After all, while a 125cc is never going to out-perform a 1000cc sportsbike, throw in a few corners where nimble momentum perhaps negates the more liberal use of the throttle and perhaps something like an Aprilia RS 660 could out-pace a Yamaha R1 for instance.

At the very least, speed isn’t the be all and end all of motorcycling - the aforementioned 125 might be slow, but it could leave a bigger smile on your face and after all, if your journey is getting A to B via Central London we might be more inclined to choose a Grom over a CBR. But don’t hold us to it.

Kawasaki H2 SX vs Suzuki Hayabusa 2021 | Head to Head Motorcycle Review |

Then again, if your entire reputation is developed around the notion of being the fastest production motorcycle in the world, imagine the brainstorming that had to go on in Suzuki boardrooms to spin the fact its Hayabusa - owner of said title - was being relaunched with a less powerful 1340cc engine.

Blame emissions targets for the new model having 187bhp to its predecessor’s 197bhp. We shouldn’t sulk though because we don’t need to tell you more power doesn’t mean more performance… after all, the Hayabusa in any spec isn’t the most powerful motorcycle on the market right now and it’s a testament to the trickery beyond the headline stats that it is such a speed icon.

This is no better demonstrated than in this video from Suzuki Australia, which eschews the temptation to just kick another motorcycle into the weeds to the side of the drag strip, but actually go ahead and rival itself in erstwhile form.

Lined up alongside one another we can see a more lithe aerodynamic design - albeit with plenty of customary bulges and intakes - on the new model here being ridden by former WorldSBK racer Steve Martin, while 4x National Pro Stock Champion Maurice Allen makes do with a 2020 model.


Now, we won’t spoil the result but you can probably assume an official Suzuki YouTube channel wouldn’t show a 2020 model beating a new model (though of course they are closely-matched) but the point is to show you don’t need more horses to go quicker in the real-world… that is if the real world is a long strip with super sticky Tarmac and you’re a professional racer.

Let’s just say, they’re both plenty quick enough for you or I...

As an extra bonus, we're also mildly amused by this advert from the same channel for the Suzuki Swift/motorcycle/toy car that we secretly want to be real