As the last century drew to a close, three of the Japanese motorcycle firms seemed locked in a competition to build the fastest production bike around. First came the Kawasaki ZZR1100, which ruled until the mid-1990s with a figure around 175mph. Then came the Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird, which added a few miles onto that figure. Then in 1999 came the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa.
It had 220mph on the numerically crowded clocks, 200mph claimed by salesmen from Hammatsu to Hammersmith, and entered into the Guinness World Records with an actual figure of 194mph. The fact that you could buy one in beige was just the icing on the cake.
The joy of the Hayabusa is that a stock bike can put out around 150bhp of reliable power, which was just the start for many bikes. You could spend much less than in previous years to increase the output and the Suzuki instantly became a hit on the drag strip.
A Crescent Suzuki Hayabusa:
This particular GSX1300R was built in-house at Crescent Suzuki, they know how to create a quick Suzuki. Rather than many Busas that get bits nailed onto them over the years, this one was created with a plan in mind. The chassis is dripping in quality brands and parts. Ohlins suspension was fitted from new and the Brembo anchors help to haul it up. A gorgeous double-braced swinger holds the Dymag wheel in situ, and the Yoshimura exhaust was the only real choice for the super Suzuki.
Having passed down through a few owners over the years, the facts of what was done to the engine were lost under the fairing. So owner its owner was keen to find out what it would put out on the dyno.
The Hayabusa took its place on the Gibson Exhausts dyno, earlier that day a modded Ducati Desmosedici – the Italian MotoGP-inspired beauty had hit 160bhp with a gorgeous exhaust soundtrack.
Could an older, cheaper, but well fettled Hayabusa upstage the Italian Stallion? Well, yes is the easy answer.
The Lucky Strike GSX1300R pumped out 187bhp, confirming suspicions that there are some goodies inside the motor.