Suzuki Hyper Sports Showdown | Suzuki Hayabusa vs Kawasaki H2 SX

Kawasaki H2 SX vs Suzuki GSX-R 1300 Hayabusa

The Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZX-12R were iconic rivals back in 1999... can the 2021 'falcon' defeat its rival's spiritual successor, the Kawasaki H2?

It was the launch we were all waiting for but for many, many years never thought we’d actually get to see.

However, earlier this year we finally received a brand-new Suzuki Hayabusa, the first big update for the Japanese ‘Peregrine falcon’ in more than two decades.

They say you shouldn’t mess with a winning formula which may explain why the Hayabusa of 2021 can certainly trace some obvious roots back to the original that first flew from the Suzuki nest in 1999.

You can perhaps understand why Suzuki has waited until now to update its iconic sportsbike.

The scourge of emissions regulations mean the new model isn’t as powerful as its predecessor but if you’re only interested in headline statistics then you are doing disservice to a machine that - through the wonders of technology and aero - remains just as rapid and bonkers as ever.

Indeed, while Euro5 was expected to sound the death knell for the Hayabusa, Suzuki should be praised for giving it a rebirth instead… and provide some opposition for one of the last remaining hyper-sportsbikes, the Kawasaki H2.

This comparison is big for more than one reason. Firstly, the H2 hasn’t had to come up against many rivals in some time and is a machine we’re unsure will be directly replaced when it does reach the end of its production cycle. 

Secondly, it is a modern-day match up relative to the Hayabusa vs ZX-12R head-to-head back in 1999 when, faced with looming max top speed restrictions, Suzuki and Kawasaki ended the millennium with a spot of one-upmanship in trying to get the ‘fastest production motorcycle’ crown knowing it would probably endure for years to come.

So, more than 20 years on, we have pitched the Hayabusa against the ZX-12R’s spiritual successor - here in SX trim - to see who comes out on top.