Does putting knobby tyres on a Suzuki Hayabusa make it a good off-roader?

Having found that a stock Suzuki Hayabusa does not make a great off-roader, Matt Spears made some modifications to his bike to see if he could transform it

Suzuki Hayabusa. - Matt Spears/YouTube

Taking a Suzuki Hayabusa is not an every day occurrence, and it turns out that is for good reason, but a few modifications can turn it into something approaching ‘capable’ on the loose.

A few weeks ago, YouTuber Matt Spears decided to see how a Suzuki Hayabusa fares off-road, and it ended with a fairly huge oil leak after catching the drain plug on a rock. 

Spears said in his first video with the Hayabusa that he wanted to turn the bike into a more purposeful off-roader, with more crash protection, for example, but repairing the damage from this first ride with it was clearly the first job.

And so we come to the latest instalment of the ‘off-roading Hayabusa’ saga, and even just at a first glance it is possible to see the differences.

Knobby tyres have been added, including using the rear tyre from a regular dirt bike for the front tyre in this case, but there was no way to get a knobby as wide as the stock tyre of a Suzuki Hayabusa. Additionally, crash bars have been fitted around the whole front half of the bike, from under the headlight to the back side of the fairing and engine. A skid plate has also been fitted, hopefully preventing repeats of the kind of catastrophic oil leak Spears encountered with the stock ‘Busa a few weeks ago. 

Other technical changes include a larger rear sprocket to slow the bike down a bit, and make it a little more controllable particularly at low speeds.
Once the bike had been built, it was a case of finding a place to ride it, and Spears chose a muddy single-track hillclimb to spin the knobby-shod ‘Busa up.

Image credit: Matt Spears/YouTube.