Motorbike

Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa (1999 - 2007) review

The ‘busa isn’t finished yet but it is starting to soften around the edges. Still a quality act packing an awesome punch, but refined and classy rather than one of the rat pack
Details
Manufacturer:
Suzuki
Category:
Sports Tourers
Price:
£ 8649
Overall
4
It's fast. Damn fast. Power is delivered smoothly right up to the near 200mph top speed
Opinions are divided over comfort and do you need a 200mph top speed?

The GSX1300R Hayabusa commands respect, it was the fastest production motorcycle in the world with a claimed top speed close to the 200mph mark. The Hayabusa also produced a claimed 172bhp. Which was stunning in 1999 when it was unveiled, and still raises eyebrows now.

The ‘Busa’s seat is large and padded, and the bars are sportily placed but not excessively raked down. It’s a position that seems to split riders, some find it comfortable, some don’t. Depends what you’re used to. If you try one after a sports 600 it will seem comfortable, but if you are more used to a tourer it can feel cramped.

On the move the ‘Busa lacks a bit of the GSX-R feel. The motor is enormously powerful but delivers its power smoothly, not in a typically harsh and vibey GSX-R way. Even compared to modern machines, the ‘Busa’s 1300cc lump delivers a hell of a kick, but its punch is delivered in a more relaxed, long-legged fashion.

The ‘Busa doesn’t feel that fast, even though it is, but the screen is far too low and the top lip manages to obscure the speedo between 80 and 120mph. Apart from this glaring oversight, the main problems with the Hayabusa stem from its weight – a claimed 215kg dry – and this shows in its handling.

Tipping into corners it feels top-heavy, flopping over on its side. On the roads the extra weight makes it more stable over bumps and through fast corners, but at low speed that mass takes some muscling into bends. Where the other GSX-Rs take no more than a twitch of brain synapses to turn them, the Hayabusa requires some thought.

And it’s the same for the brakes. The six-piston calipers are starting to show their age, requiring a good solid tug to get them gripping and they never feel as though they are excessive, simply adequate. Which isn’t very reassuring when you’re on a 215kg slug of metal travelling at 186mph.
The GSX1300R Hayabusa commands respect, it was the fastest production motorcycle in the world with a claimed top speed close to the 200mph mark. The Hayabusa also produced a claimed 172bhp. Which was stunning in 1999 when it was unveiled, and still raises eyebrows now.

The ‘Busa’s seat is large and padded, and the bars are sportily placed but not excessively raked down. It’s a position that seems to split riders, some find it comfortable, some don’t. Depends what you’re used to. If you try one after a sports 600 it will seem comfortable, but if you are more used to a tourer it can feel cramped.

On the move the ‘Busa lacks a bit of the GSX-R feel. The motor is enormously powerful but delivers its power smoothly, not in a typically harsh and vibey GSX-R way. Even compared to modern machines, the ‘Busa’s 1300cc lump delivers a hell of a kick, but its punch is delivered in a more relaxed, long-legged fashion.

The ‘Busa doesn’t feel that fast, even though it is, but the screen is far too low and the top lip manages to obscure the speedo between 80 and 120mph. Apart from this glaring oversight, the main problems with the Hayabusa stem from its weight – a claimed 215kg dry – and this shows in its handling.

Tipping into corners it feels top-heavy, flopping over on its side. On the roads the extra weight makes it more stable over bumps and through fast corners, but at low speed that mass takes some muscling into bends. Where the other GSX-Rs take no more than a twitch of brain synapses to turn them, the Hayabusa requires some thought.

And it’s the same for the brakes. The six-piston calipers are starting to show their age, requiring a good solid tug to get them gripping and they never feel as though they are excessive, simply adequate. Which isn’t very reassuring when you’re on a 215kg slug of metal travelling at 186mph.

The GSX1300R Hayabusa commands respect, it was the fastest production motorcycle in the world with a claimed top speed close to the 200mph mark. The Hayabusa also produced a claimed 172bhp. Which was stunning in 1999 when it was unveiled, and still raises eyebrows now.

The ‘Busa’s seat is large and padded, and the bars are sportily placed but not excessively raked down. It’s a position that seems to split riders, some find it comfortable, some don’t. Depends what you’re used to. If you try one after a sports 600 it will seem comfortable, but if you are more used to a tourer it can feel cramped.

On the move the ‘Busa lacks a bit of the GSX-R feel. The motor is enormously powerful but delivers its power smoothly, not in a typically harsh and vibey GSX-R way. Even compared to modern machines, the ‘Busa’s 1300cc lump delivers a hell of a kick, but its punch is delivered in a more relaxed, long-legged fashion.

The ‘Busa doesn’t feel that fast, even though it is, but the screen is far too low and the top lip manages to obscure the speedo between 80 and 120mph. Apart from this glaring oversight, the main problems with the Hayabusa stem from its weight – a claimed 215kg dry – and this shows in its handling.

Tipping into corners it feels top-heavy, flopping over on its side. On the roads the extra weight makes it more stable over bumps and through fast corners, but at low speed that mass takes some muscling into bends. Where the other GSX-Rs take no more than a twitch of brain synapses to turn them, the Hayabusa requires some thought.

And it’s the same for the brakes. The six-piston calipers are starting to show their age, requiring a good solid tug to get them gripping and they never feel as though they are excessive, simply adequate. Which isn’t very reassuring when you’re on a 215kg slug of metal travelling at 186mph.

Length (mm)2140
Width (mm)740
Height (mm)1155
Dryweight (kg)217
Seats0
Seat Height (mm)805
Suspension FrontInverted telescopic, 43mm inner tube, coil spring, oil damped,
Suspension RearSwingarm type, progressive linkage,
Adjustability FrontFully adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping
Adjustability RearFully adjustable rebound and compression damping, 5 way adjustable spring preload
Tyres Front120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear190/50 ZR17
Brakes Front6-piston calipers, 320mm dual floating discs
Brakes RearOpposed 2-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Wheelbase (mm)1485
Ground Clearance (mm)120
Trail (mm)97
Length (mm)2140
Width (mm)740
Height (mm)1155
Dryweight (kg)217
Seats0
Seat Height (mm)805
Suspension FrontInverted telescopic, 43mm inner tube, coil spring, oil damped,
Suspension RearSwingarm type, progressive linkage,
Adjustability FrontFully adjustable spring preload, rebound and compression damping
Adjustability RearFully adjustable rebound and compression damping, 5 way adjustable spring preload
Tyres Front120/70 ZR17
Tyres Rear190/50 ZR17
Brakes Front6-piston calipers, 320mm dual floating discs
Brakes RearOpposed 2-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Wheelbase (mm)1485
Ground Clearance (mm)120
Trail (mm)97
Cubic Capacity (cc)1298
Max Power (bhp)175
Max Power Peak (rpm)9800
Torque (ft/lb)102
Torque Peak (rpm)7000
Bore (mm)81
Stroke (mm)63
Valve GearDOHC
Compression Ratio11
IgnitionElectronic
Valves Per Cylinder4
CoolingLiquid cooled
Fuel DeliveryElectronic fuel injection
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Cubic Capacity (cc)1298
Max Power (bhp)175
Max Power Peak (rpm)9800
Torque (ft/lb)102
Torque Peak (rpm)7000
Bore (mm)81
Stroke (mm)63
Valve GearDOHC
Compression Ratio11
IgnitionElectronic
Valves Per Cylinder4
CoolingLiquid cooled
Fuel DeliveryElectronic fuel injection
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Top Speed189
50-60mph1.58
50-70mph3.13
50-80mph4.69
50-90mph6.26
60-100mph7.69
Max Power161.2
Max Power Revs9500
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH130.38
Standing Quarter Mile - Time11.17
Max Torque99
Max Torque Revs6700
Top Speed189
50-60mph1.58
50-70mph3.13
50-80mph4.69
50-90mph6.26
60-100mph7.69
Max Power161.2
Max Power Revs9500
Standing Quarter Mile - Terminal Speed MPH130.38
Standing Quarter Mile - Time11.17
Max Torque99
Max Torque Revs6700

It's fast. Damn fast. Power is delivered smoothly right up to the near 200mph top speed
Opinions are divided over comfort and do you need a 200mph top speed?