Niall's Spin: Suzuki GSX1300 Hayabusa

Suzuki's Hayabusa is another motorcycle with a face only its mother could love, with the speed and agility of a dolphin and the looks of a beached whale

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I've never warmed to the Busa's looks, and all the more so because they make what is actually a fast, agile machine appear, on the face of it, heavy and bulky. It isn't. For a start, the Hayabusa is very, very fast. One of the Suzuki engineers' design briefs was to whup the Blackbird's arse - which the Hayabusa does, buy a comprehensive, if academic, 11mph (189 to the Honda's 178).

But for all that speed the thing that impresses most about the Suzuki is its surefooted front end feeling, both on the track but especially on the road. On many bikes I often struggle to get a good feeling from the front when riding on the road, but the Busa is planted. I'm not sure what it is- a mix of weight distribution and suspension settings I guess - but it works. And not at the expense of rear feeling either.

But it's not as mad as it sounds. The low seat is god for shorter riders and it's dead stable at speed. Comfy over distance too, and even for a pillion - as long as the rider uses the throttle with care.