SUZUKI INTRODUCES WHITE HAYABUSA FOR 2022

Suzuki has added a white version of the new Hayabusa to its range for 2022, which joins the existing black and orange and matt silver and red versions launched this year.

With an RRP of £16,499, the third generation of the legendary hyperbike gets Suzuki’s most advanced suite of electronics ever, with 10 lean angle-sensitive traction control modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS, three power modes, a bi-directional quickshifter, cruise control and a speed limiter, and three stages of launch control, all controlled via easy-to-use switchgear and managed through a neat colour TFT display, nestled between two analogue dials reminiscent of the original Hayabusa’s clocks.

A heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet with more cumulative torque than its predecessor. All this is wrapped in sharper, more angular bodywork that nonetheless is immediately recognisable as Hayabusa, taking heavy design cues from the original.

The new pearl brilliant white Hayabusa, with its chrome trim and subtle metallic matt stellar blue accents, is available in dealerships now.

SUZUKI RANKED TOP AUTOMOTIVE BRAND IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION INDEX

Suzuki has ranked highest in the automotive sector in the most recent UK customer satisfaction index, compiled by the Institute of Customer Service.

Over 45,000 responses were received as part of the survey, and Suzuki not only ranked as the highest automotive brand, but ranked joint third in the overall standings.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said, “In this challenging period for the automotive industry is it clear that some businesses have managed to maintain services and respond to changes in their customers’ circumstances and needs well. Suzuki’s continued strong showing in the UKCSI is encouraging and the organisations that best support their customers through these times – by reassuring, engaging and providing appropriate advice – will be best placed to thrive as we come out of this crisis.”

Nobuo Suyama, managing director of Suzuki GB, said, “We are very proud of our achievement to be in first position in the automotive sector, particularly in the continued challenging times we all face. Continuing to evolve the Suzuki customer experience remains a core focus for us and the ongoing efforts of our staff and dealers has again really paid off.”

SUZUKI SUMMER SAVINGS ARE HERE

Suzuki has announced three summer saving deals, running until the end of September and covering much of the on-road range.

Worth exploring

Available across the V-Strom 1050XT and V-Strom 1050XT Tour, plus the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT, the 'worth exploring' offer combines a lower rate of finance – 3.9% APR representative – available on either a PCP or HP deal over three years with £500 worth of free accessories.

The V-Strom accessory catalogues includes three-piece aluminium luggage – which is comes as standard fitment on the V-Strom 1050XT Tour – heated grips, touring screens, engine bars, and sump guards.

The V-Strom 1050XTs boast a 1037cc V-twin engine delivering 107PS and bags of torque, plus three selectable engine maps, traction control with three modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS with two modes, linked brakes with slope and load-dependent control and hill hold, and cruise control. There's also low RPM assist and Suzuki's easy start system. Practicality comes from a height-adjustable seat and screen, 12V socket and USB port, centre stand, hand guards, and spoked wheels.

The V-Strom 650 uses Suzuki’s proven 645cc V-twin engine, packed with character and a broad spread of usable torque, and also features a traction control system, low RPM assist, and the easy start system.

Terms and Conditions: £500 towards Suzuki Genuine Accessories. Offer applies to purchases of a new V-Strom 1050XT Tour, V-Strom 1050XT, V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT only. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. HP and PCP Finance offer applies to purchases of the V-Strom 1050XT Tour, V-Strom 1050XT, V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT only from a participating Suzuki Dealership. Purchase and registration of your chosen motorcycle must take place between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. Minimum deposit required: £500. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

To get your pulse racing

A similar three-year, 3.9% APR representative offer – also on PCP or HP – is available on the GSX-R1000R, including the limited edition 100th anniversary model, and the GSX-S750. This time the deal is sweetened with a £500 off test ride incentive.

A 200PS motor sits at the heart of the GSX-R1000R, which inherits the same variable valve timing system as the MotoGP world championship-winning GSX-RR. It uses a comprehensive suite of performance enhancing electronics – including a quickshifter and autoblipper, launch control, lean angle-sensitive traction control and ABS. There are also three power modes, easy start, and low RPM assist.

The GSX-S750 uses a 749cc inline-four cylinder that started life in the iconic GSX-R750 and delivers a smooth, linear power delivery, and gets traction control, low RPM assist, and Suzuki easy start, all wrapped in an agile chassis and sharp, streetfighter styling.

Terms and Conditions: £500 test ride offer applies to purchases of a new GSX-R1000R and GSX-S750 only. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. HP and PCP Finance offer applies to purchases of the GSX-R1000R and GSX-S750 from a participating Suzuki Dealership. Purchase and registration of your chosen motorcycle must take place between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. Minimum deposit required: £500. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

Hand crafted just for you

The third summer saving offer from Suzuki this season is the continuation of the 0% APR representative deal available on the Katana.

Requiring a minimum deposit of £500, customers can enjoy the Katana over a three-year HP deal with no interest payable. And being a HP deal, there is no final balloon payment.

The fresh take on the iconic machine from the 80s uses a torque-rich, 999cc inline-four cylinder engine – kept in check with a three-mode traction control system – a twin-spar aluminium chassis and superbike-derived swingarm. This is all packed in angular, aggressively styled bodywork that also remains unmistakably Katana.

For more information on Suzuki's offers click here.

Terms and Conditions: HP Finance offer applies to purchases of the KATANA only purchased from a participating Suzuki Dealership. Purchase and registration of your chosen motorcycle must take place between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. Minimum deposit required: £500. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

NEW COLOUR AVAILABLE FOR GSX-S750

Suzuki has released a fresh new colour option on its popular GSX-S750.

A clean and crisp new white version is enhanced with a vibrant, fluro yellow bellypan, while black GSX tank decals, headlight surround, and wheels help it maintain a compact, aggressive, streetfighter stance.

Powered by the engine from one of the most iconic sportsbikes of all time – the GSX-R750 – the GSX-S750 delivers smooth, linear power and features traction control, low RPM assist, and Suzuki’s easy start function.

It comes with an RRP of just £7,999 but is currently available with a £500 off, test ride incentive and a lower than usual rate of finance at 3.9% APR representative on either a three-year PCP deal or a three-year hire purchase agreement.

£500 test ride offer applies to purchases of a new GSX-R1000R and GSX-S750 only. The motorcycle must be purchased and registered between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021 to qualify. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. HP and PCP Finance offer applies to purchases of the GSX-R1000R and GSX-S750 from a participating Suzuki Dealership. Purchase and registration of your chosen motorcycle must take place between 01/07/2021 and 30/09/2021. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. Minimum deposit required: £500. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

AKRAPOVIC SLIP-ON SILENCERS NOW AVAILABLE FOR NEW HAYABUSA

Suzuki GB has announced limited availability of new Akrapovic slip-on silencers for it’s 2021 Hayabusa.

Just 20 are currently available from authorised Suzuki dealerships, with the aftermarket exhausts reducing weight by a total of 4kg and boosting power by 2kW, as well as enhancing the Hayabusa’s soundtrack.

The titanium silencers – which feature classy, laser-etched Akrapovic and Hayabusa logos – are capped with a carbon fibre tip, while the heat shield is also carbon fibre.

Akrapovic also supplies its exhaust-making expertise to Suzuki’s MotoGP team.

A pair of Akrapovic exhausts for the new Hayabusa come with an RRP of £2876.05 and either a three-year warranty when fitted at point of sale, or two-year warranty if fitted later. If fitted at the point of purchase they can also be included in any finance agreement, spreading the cost over monthly repayments.

Other accessories available for the new Hayabusa include the pillion seat cowl – which completes the iconic silhouette – a stylised seat, heated grips, and billet brake and clutch levers.

SUZUKI ANNOUNCES NEW A2-FRIENDLY GSX-S950

Suzuki has announced details of a new A2 licence-friendly GSX-S950, which is available from August and features the ability to be restricted to 35kW to comply with A2 licence regulations. The GSX-S950 will represent a new proposition in the market, providing a ‘big bike’ experience at a restricted output for new riders, before becoming an ideal stepping stone to more powerful machines once derestricted.

Based on the GSX-S1000 platform – and using the same torque-laden inline-four cylinder engine – the GSX-S950 produces 95PS in standard trim, with restrictor kits readily available to ensure it conforms to the A2 licence category. However, despite a reduced peak power compared to its GSX-S1000 sibling, the 950 still makes use of the donor engine’s creamy midrange to produce 92 Nm of peak torque, with the same slip and assist clutch aiding smoother downshifts and slicker upshifts under hard acceleration.

The motor is also wrapped in the same twin-spar aluminium frame and uses the same superbike-derived swingarm and rear shock, but to help achieve a lower RRP – and therefore making it an even more accessible package – it uses 43mm KYB front forks. Other chassis changes include the use of Tokico front brake calipers and straight ‘bars, while the bespoke Dunlop Roadsport 2 tyres, 19-litre fuel tank, and new seat remain.

An electronics package comprises a three-mode traction control system that adds a safety net, while convenience comes from Suzuki’s low RPM assist feature and easy start function. The ride-by-wire throttle from the GSX-S1000 is carried over.

Bodywork replicates the new, aggressive, and angular styling of the GSX-S1000, with the same stacked LED headlights front and centre. The taillight is also full LED.

Available in August, the GSX-S950 comes in a striking white and red, a matt black, plus a metallic triton blue, all adorned with the visually different 950 logo on the radiator shrouds.

GSX-S750 ON NEWGSX-R1000R AND GSX-S750 ON NEW3% APR REPRESENTATIVE FINANCE

Suzuki’s GSX-R1000R superbike and GSX-S750 naked are both now available on a new, lower than usual rate of finance, with 3% APR representative on offer over three years, across both PCP and hire purchase agreements.

With a 200PS motor inheriting the same variable valve timing system as the MotoGP world championship-winning GSX-RR racer, a comprehensive suite of performance enhancing electronics – including a quickshifter and autoblipper, launch control, lean angle-sensitive traction control and ABS – the GSX-R1000R won the 2019 National Superstock 1000 championship and has won races in domestic superbike championships the world over.

The GSX-S750 uses a 749cc inline-four cylinder that started life in the iconic GSX-R750 and delivers a smooth, linear power delivery, and gets traction control, low RPM assist, and Suzuki easy start, all wrapped in an agile chassis and sharp, streetfighter styling.

Terms and Conditions: This is lower than our standard rate. HP and PCP Finance offer applies to purchases of the GSX-R1000R 100th Anniversary Edition, GSX-R1000R and GSX-S750 purchased from a participating Suzuki Dealership. Purchase and registration of your chosen motorcycle must take place between 21/05/2021 and 30/06/2021. Offer may be extended or withdrawn at any time. Minimum deposit required: £300. Credit is subject to status, UK residents aged 18 and over. Suzuki Financial Services Ltd, St. William House, Tresillian Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 5BH.

SUZUKI READY FOR ADVENTURE BIKE RIDER FESTIVAL

Suzuki is ready for the return of shows and events this summer, kicking off with the Adventure Bike Rider Festival on 24-27 June.

After the postponement of last year’s festival, Suzuki is bringing a fleet of display and demo machines to this year’s event, including the V-Strom 1050, 1050XT, and 1050XT Tour, the newest additions to Suzuki’s adventure bike stable.Using a more powerful version of Suzuki’s famed 1037cc V-twin, the XT adds a comprehensive suite of advanced electronics over the traction control and variable power modes on the base model, while three piece aluminium luggage features on the Tour edition.

The venerable and ever-popular V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT will also be available to try, plus the newly-launched GSX-S1000. Displayed alongside the V-Strom range will be the RM-Z250 and Arenacross championship-wining RM-Z450 motocross machines and the third generation Hayabusa. For retro fans Suzuki will also show off a DR800S; the series of machines responsible for the adventure bike beak.

To book a test ride visitors will need to provide their own riding kit and produce a valid driving licence and either a National Insurance number or DVLA licence check code.
Test rides leave from the Suzuki stand and run from 10:00-16:00 Friday and Saturday, and until 14:00 on Sunday.

TEAM CLASSIC SUZUKI UNVEILS LOCKDOWN PROJECT BUILD

After a year or more with very limited racing activity, Team Classic Suzuki has unveiled its lockdown project build; a Katana based around a 2008 GSX-R1000 world superbike machine.

History already exists between Team Classic Suzuki and the Katana. After building a racing version at Motorcycle Live, Team Classic Suzuki raced a Katana in the European Classic Endurance Championship, scoring a class win at Oschersleben.

This time, Team Classic Suzuki has turned its hand to a road-going Katana project.

At the heart is a 2008 world superbike-spec engine from an Alstare GSX-R1000, fully refreshed by Team Classic Suzuki’s Nathan Colombi. Putting out around 200bhp at the rear wheel, it breathes through Alstare world superbike headers, mated to a Racefit link pipe and end can. Cooling comes from a factory radiator and oil cooler, with aluminium water and oil pipes. To keep things manageable, electronics comes as a Yoshimura EM Pro kit.

The package is housed in an Alstare world superbike frame, though dimensions are the same as the road-going GSX-R1000 K8. There’s a custom, over-sized swingarm and bespoke subframe from Alpha Performance Fabrications, both designed to facilitate a twin shock setup that pays homage to the original Katana. Suspension comes courtesy of Öhlins.

Dymag CH3 wheels also maintain a classic look, and are the same wheels found in Team Classic Suzuki’s XR69 replica machines. Mounted to them are Brembo discs, with calipers and pads also from the Italian firm. The rear caliper slots discreetly in between the swingarm and wheel for a cleaner look to the rear end. New aluminium rear sets were designed in-house.

Also cleaning up the rear end is slim LED tail light fitted to a seat unit that started life as a Team Classic Suzuki racing item, before being modified to fit the factory world superbike fuel tank. The nose cone is a new, old stock Katana unit, available from Suzuki’s Vintage Parts Programme, which has been widened by one inch and modified to fit. Moulds from the nose and seat unit were used to create carbon panels that add a finishing touch. Fixtures and fittings come courtesy of Racefastener.

A new seat from Italian supplier Race Seats is finished with a Katana logo, the traditional red Suzuki logo of original Katanas still adorns the tank, while a Team Classic Suzuki logo completes the seat unit, again in the traditional red.

  

£500 OF FREE ACCESSORIES WHEN BUYING A NEW V-STROM 650

Suzuki is giving buyers of its V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT machines £500 worth of free genuine accessories, until the end of June.

This is in addition to Suzuki's current 3, 3, 3 offer, which allows customers, with just a £300 deposit, to choose from a three-year HP or PCP deal at just 3% APR representative, lower than its standard rate.

Customers can opt to put their £500 towards a variety of accessories, from luggage – including top boxes, panniers, and tank bags – to protective components such bash plates and engine bars or styling items such as graphics kits and touring screens.

The V-Strom 650 uses Suzuki's proven 645cc V-twin engine, packed with character and a broad spread of usable torque, and features traction control, low RPM assist, and Suzuki's easy start system.

NEW 'BUSA IN LIGHTS ON CROMINATION DIGITAL BILLBOARD

The new Hayabusa's reveal and impending launch has been cause for much jubilation, and now the third iteration of the legendary hyperbike has been up in lights on the Cromination billboard, located on Cromwell Road in Earls Court, London.

The Cromination is one of the largest billboards in Europe, boasting 72m of screen space, with the new Hayabusa displayed brightly for over a full week, making it a fitting launch for the new halo machine.

With the new Hayabusa revealed at the beginning of February, the Cromination display was the perfect precursor to a wider national ad campaign and the bike's arrival in authorised Suzuki dealerships from the end of March.

Ian Bland, Suzuki GB head of marketing, said, “The third generation Hayabusa heralds the return of an icon for Suzuki, and it is so widely known, recognised, and revered that its return really warrants a big splash; having it displayed proudly on one of the biggest drive-by ad platforms in Europe is only fitting.

The third generation Hayabusa manages to maintain the immediately recognisable aerodynamic silhouette that has made the original so iconic, while simultaneously redesigning it to be more angular, sharper, and more aggressive. New pistons, conrods, crankshaft and camshaft join a host of other engine changes to boost the spread of power throughout the lower rev ranges, which, allied to a number of new electronic systems make it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet.

A three-stage launch control system and a bi-directional quickshifter are also allied to a 10 stage, lean-angle sensitive traction control system, a lean-angle sensitive ABS system which is has linked front and rear brakes, three power modes and four engine brake control settings, plus cruise control and an active speed limiter to give the Hayabusa a comprehensive suite of electronics. A revised chassis saves weight and improves agility and poise.

The original Hayabusa, launched in 1999, gave birth to the hypersport category by delivering unrivalled performance and went on to achieve cult status. The second generation came in 2008 and boosted both capacity and power, while a mid-term update in 2013 added new Brembo calipers and ABS.

GSX-S1000 front image

SUZUKI ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF NEW GSX-S1000

After indicating earlier this month that a new GSX-S1000 was on the way, Suzuki has now released details of the 2021 naked, which comes with:

  • A completely new look, with sharp, aggressive new bodywork and futuristic LED lighting design.
  • An updated, Euro 5 compliant 152PS inline four-cylinder engine with a fatter and flatter torque curve, providing a broader spread of power in the low and midrange.
  • New electronics, including a quickshifter and auto-blipper, selectable engine maps and more levels of traction control.
  • A larger fuel tank and new, wider set handlebars.
GSX-S1000 light


Styling

Immediately obvious is the new GSX-S1000's redesigned aesthetic; the bodywork and lighting is completely new, with a focus on sharp, angular, aggressive lines and a powerful stance, with a ‘mass forward’ demeanour.

Available in Suzuki’s traditional metallic triton blue, a new mechanical matt grey, and a stealthy gloss black, it’s streetfighter looks are enhanced with textured radiator shrouds, MotoGP-insipired winglets, and side panels that feature an urban camo-inspired design.

Arguably the most striking visual change is the new, vertically stacked LED headlight. As well as the practical benefits of a new mono-focus LED light source that displays a wide, bright light, the new design of two stacked hexagonal units topped by LED position lights creates a look that is lighter and tighter, and aids the desire for a more aggressive pose. There’s a new LED tail light, too, with both flanked by LED indicators.

GSX-S1000 engine

Engine

The inline four-cylinder engine in the 2021 GSX-S1000 produces more power and a broader spread of torque in the lower rev ranges to deliver ideal naked sports bike performance. Changes include a new intake and exhaust camshaft, new valve springs, new clutch, and a new exhaust.

Compared to its predecessor, the new GSX-S1000 makes more cumulative torque across the rev range, filling in the dips in the graph with a flatter curve. It revs on to provide increased top end power, too, with peak power 152PS at 11,000rpm.

Thankfully, a new exhaust retains the soundtrack the outgoing model was known for, while aiding in the increase in power and the meeting of Euro 5 emissions requirements with an additional catalytic converter.

New electronic throttle bodies help achieve a more controllable engine response during the initial throttle opening. A new airbox manages to do without an internal separator, reducing intake resistance.

Reduced valve overlap also helps the new GSX-S1000 meet Euro 5 emissions standards, thanks to new a camshaft and revised cam profiles. The changes also aid engine controllability for the rider.

Added controllability and increased performance also comes thanks to Suzuki’s Clutch Assist System. The slipper clutch partially disengages to reduce negative engine torque and mitigate the effect of engine braking when downshifting from high rpm. This helps prevent the rear wheel from locking up or hopping and provides smoother deceleration, enabling the rider to shift down with greater confidence and maintain better control when downshifting into corners.

Adding an assist function increases the clutch’s clamping force under acceleration and thereby allows the use of softer springs while still efficiently transferring torque to the rear wheel, resulting in a lighter lever operation.

GSX-S1000 action image


Electronics

An advancement over the previous GSX-S1000 comes with an updated suite of electronics, courtesy of Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS).

A new ride-by-wire throttle makes it possible for riders to more accurately and finely control the relationship between throttle actuation and engine response, especially when allied to the new Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS) system, with which the new GSX-S1000 is equipped.

SDMS allows riders to choose from one of three engine maps, depending on the riding conditions or their own personal preferences. Modes A-C all deliver the same peak power, but vary the sharpness and immediacy of the delivery, with A mode the sportiest, and C mode delivering the softest power delivery.

Performance is enhanced thanks to a bi-directional quickshifter, which reduces the need to operate the clutch during gear changes or close the throttle on upshifts, or blip it on downshifts.

A new traction control system comprises five modes, while it can also be switched off. Inputs from front and rear wheel speed sensors, and crank, gear, and throttle position sensors feed into the ECU which in turn controls the throttle valve opening, ignition timing, and fuel injection rate, to reduce or prevent wheel spin.

All the information is displayed on an updated and easy-to-read LCD dash.

Topping off the electronics package is Suzuki’s always-handy easy start system – which requires only one prod of the starter button to fire the engine – and low RPM assist, which raises engine speed as the clutch lever is fed out, to aid slow speed control and prevent stalling.

GSX-S1000 wheel image


Chassis

The twin-spar aluminium chassis is mated to a rigid, GSX-R-derived swingarm for agile, sporty performance and handling. New, 23mm wider, tapered ‘bars help riders pitch the bike into turns with greater leverage. They are also set 20mm closer to the rider to improve comfort without compromising handling.

Suspension comes in the form of fully-adjustable KYB front forks and a preload and rebound damping adjustable rear shock, with revised settings from the previous iteration. 310mm front discs are paired with Brembo monobloc calipers.

A larger, 19 litre fuel tank and 46.3mpg equates to a tank range of 194 miles. Those miles can be undertaken in greater comfort thanks to a new seat.

Tyres are custom-engineered Roadsport 2 from Dunlop.

GSX-S1000 side shot

Pricing and availability

The new GSX-S1000 will be available in Suzuki dealerships from the end of June, with an RRP of £10,999.

HISTORY OF AN ICON: THE HAYABUSA STORY

There aren’t many more iconic and immediately recognisable silhouettes in motorcycling, and the GSX1300R Hayabusa wowed the two-wheeled world when it was launched in 1999. We’ve taken a look at its origin, the revamps, the stories, and the launch of the third generation.

'Suzuki Sets New Standards' read the headline in MCN following the launch of the first Hayabusa at the Circuit de Catalunya in 1999. The design brief was simple; wade into the hypersport motorcycle market and come out on top. And the Hayabusa (which translates to peregrine falcon, a bird of prey which has a top speed dive of 200mph and preys on blackbirds – geddit?) did just that.

Styled and designed to a purpose, the Hayabusa made an impression the moment you clapped eyes on it, with its flowing lines aimed at making it as aerodynamic as possible, allowing it to cut through the air with ease. And at the launch in Spain, every superlative imaginable was thrown in its direction, with the assembled press running out of ways to describe just how jaw-dropping it was.

Head of design on the original project was Yoshiura san, who described the idea he set out to achieve, saying, “The concept of the first Hayabusa was to create an original and dominating impact with superior aerodynamics, as well as being the most powerful sports motorcycle. I designed it with the intention of getting attention, using a unique motorcycle design. It needed to be the ultimate road-legal motorcycle with the highest performance from mass-produced bikes.”

It was immediately heralded as the fastest production bike on the market. At the launch, top speeds were clocked at the same point on the track as they were for the 500cc GP race the year before, with the Hayabusa just five miles an hour slower than the quickest prototype racer of the day, bike at the same point of the straight, and it wasn't flat out. Journalist Chris Moss described the speed and acceleration, saying “At 7,000rpm your arms feel like they're about to be wrenched out of their sockets.” And to cope with the power, Bridgestone developed a set of brand new tyres, the BT56J, which gave the Hayabusa a greater contact patch when leant over and greater stability at high speed.

Suzuki test rider, Yuichi Nakashima, said of the first Hayabusa, “I can say the Hayabusa's engine feels so overwhelmingly powerful and finely tuned that there is nothing like it. After riding it you won't want to ride another motorcycle. Just once experience the Hayabusa's powerful acceleration from low to high speeds and its nimble handling and you too will be hooked.”

It wasn't just the phenomenal power that the bike was praised for. The smooth, 1299cc inline-four cylinder engine provided masses of torque, making the Hayabusa more than just a road-legal missile, but a user friendly, real-world motorcycle, capable of shrinking continents. Bike Magazine's Martin Child reported from the launch, “You will not find a more torquey, rider-friendly engine. I completed two laps in top gear which saw everything from 30mph hairpins to the freedom of the straight and the bike pulled cleanly. The torque was instant and free-flowing.”

It was happy cruising at motorway speeds on long-distance trips, or on the casual Sunday ride out. And it handled too, with the chassis and agility the other key areas where the Hayabusa scored highly.

It became an immediate hit and cult status followed, with the Hayabusa becoming an icon. It was, and indeed, still is, the weapon of choice for top speed chasers, while drag racing strips became its second home. It also leant itself readily to customisation, with a number of people choosing to personalise their Hayabusas.

Jack Frost, who operates Holeshot Racing, has spent years chasing top speed records, as well as using his expertise to help others. But he's done both on Hayabusas more than any other model.

“When the Hayabusa came out in 1999, I got one straight away,” Jack explained. “I rode it standard to run it in and it was a great bike, as I have always said to people over the years. And they handle better than people would think; so easy to ride fast and eat up the miles. But it was by far the most powerful stock bike I had ridden and the obvious choice of bike to transform into a turbo bike.

“After a few months fettling mine, we managed 350bhp and a top speed of 228mph, still on pump fuel and a lot of standard components. After a few more changes we ran 257.4mph on the mile. It quickly caught on that turbochargers were a recognised add on for Hayabusas and at Holeshot Racing we sold hundreds of turbo kits around the world.

“But the 'Busa has such a great engine, as Suzuki are renowned for, and this shows by how long the model ran without change until 2008.”

Also testament to the strength and power of the Hayabusa power plant is the long standing relationship that Suzuki GB has formed with sports and racing car manufacturer, Radical. Since 2000, Radical have been using Hayabusa engines in a wide range of their sports and racing cars, including building a Hayabusa-based V8 engine, which features in the SR8 RX race car.

As for the customised scene, that took off nowhere more so than the United States, where the Hayabusa elevated itself to the top of the fashionable motorcycle list, also proving popular with music artists and sport stars. The instantly recognisable bodywork, extensive list of aftermarket parts and interchangeable Suzuki components, plus the silky smooth, powerful and easily tuneable engine meant it was the motorcycle of choice for custom shops up and down the USA, serving as a rolling advertising board for the potential of the custom builder.

Apart from an upgraded ECU, revised fuel injection settings and front suspension, it went relatively unchanged in the early years, until a radical overhaul on the 2008 model.

But, launched in September 2007 at the Salzburgring in Austria, the Hayabusa was back with a bang, eight years after the original made its debut in Spain. Updates included a stronger and more powerful engine, which increased the displacement to 1340cc, with new lighter and stronger engine internals and a redesigned gearbox and a broader torque throughout the rpm range. And to deal with the extra heat and power, and new, curved radiator helped keep the engine cool.

The newest 4-into-2-into-1-into-2 exhaust system featured a new oxygen sensor used by the engine management system to increase combustion efficiency by adjusting the amount of fuel injected into the cylinders, and  wind tunnel testing for the 2008 model centred around design refinements aimed at redesigning wind protection for the rider, while remaining true to the original design and iconic styling. Wind flow over and around the rider, both when in a normal seating position as well as when completely tucked in was improved. There were also changes to the front and rear suspension, brakes, frame, and wheels.

It was immediately heralded as the 'rebirth of a legend' by MCN, with senior road tester at the time Adam Child writing, “The word 'legendary' is over-used. So is 'iconic'. But both typify Suzuki's Hayabusa.”

Chief engineer Hiroshi Iio worked on the engine of the original Hayabusa, before being made chief engineer for the overall project. “When we were refining the design for the second generation, the team placed top priority on improving its already legendary aerodynamic efficiency. The Hayabusa really stands above and apart from other ultimate sport bikes, and its consummate form follows the function of the bike’s aerodynamic characteristics. Plus, its optimal balance and motion control translate into the ease of handling that you experience when actually riding the bike.”

The Salzburgring was the perfect track for the relaunch of the Hayabusa, with two long straights, flat out kinks and fast corners. And nearly 10 years after the original model wowed the assembled motorcycle press, here it was, at it again. Bike Magazine's Simon Hargreaves agonised over finding a flaw in his report, before conceding that, “the 2008 Hayabusa has me stumped because I honestly cannot think of a single thing wrong with it.” After it's introduction in 1999, it was back to reaffirm itself at the top.

Fast forward another five years and Brembo Monobloc front calipers graced the front end, which are lighter and more rigid than conventional bolt-together calipers, delivering better feedback to the rider. And to further aid stopping power, lightweight, high-performance ABS featured to match stopping power to available traction. It also came with new Bridgestone BT-015s, again, specially developed for the Hayabusa.

As GSX-R1000s and GSX-R1000Rs moved the supersport game on, with faster engines and superior handling, the Hayabusa’s place moved further into high speed comfort. Already a string in its bow, the Hayabusa was the ideal tool for swallowing huge miles in speed and comfort, with assured handling and performance.

But with tighter emissions regulations coming into force, the Hayabusa disappeared from European model ranges after 2018.

But in February 2021 a new version was announced. The third generation Hayabusa was here, retaining everything that made it so good, and getting updates to make it even better.

Over 550 new parts come with the new Hayabusa, the new hyperbike using a similarly iconic and uniquely individual Hayabusa aerodynamic silhouette and styling, a heavily redesigned engine – including new pistons, conrods, crankshaft, and camshaft – specifically aimed at producing enhanced performance in the lower to mid rev ranges making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa yet, a comprehensive suite of electronics that includes IMU-governed ABS and traction control, cruise control, launch control, bi-directional quickshifter, engine brake control, three power modes, plus three preset rider modes and three user-defined modes, and a revised chassis, with a new subframe, new brakes, and new suspension settings.

Since the Hayabusa ceased to exist in Europe, the motorcycling landscape has changed, not just from the standpoint of stricter emissions regulations, but also a market place. The Hayabusa's need to keep chasing peak power figures was no longer there. Instead, the focus was on thrust.

While litre sports bikes push out more peak power, even grunty GSX-Rs can't compete with the Hayabusa's shove at the bottom end, and the third generation Hayabusa has an even fatter torque curve, providing a wider spread of power in the lower rev ranges, which makes building speed effortless.

The biggest change, however, comes in the electronics department. A sophisticated suite of electronics means the new Hayabusa has everything you could want or need to cover ground quickly and in comfort. But it also stops short of technology for technology sake, meaning that it could be launch with an RRP of £16,499, too, ensuring it remained an awful lot of bike for relatively little money.

Added together it means the Hayabusa story continues, and another chapter will be written.

NEW COLOURS FOR V-STROM 1050 AND V-STROM 1050XT REVEALED

Suzuki has shown the colour options available on its 2021 V-Strom 1050 and V-Strom 1050XT, with bikes arriving in dealerships now.

Launched last year, the range-topping V-Strom 1050XT – which comes complete with three selectable engine maps, traction control with three modes, lean angle-sensitive ABS with two modes, linked brakes with slope and load-dependent control and hill hold, plus cruise control – remains available in the popular orange and white, DR750-inspired livery, but for 2021 it is joined by a classy, steely grey with blue decals and blue and grey seat, completed by blue spoked wheels.

An updated yellow option also features, unashamedly influenced by the firm’s RM-Z motocross range, with a black tank and gold rims. Gold rims also feature on an otherwise all black version, bar subtle grey and gold decals.

The V-Strom 1050 – which uses the same 107PS V-twin engine and many of the same electronics features as the XT but swaps the spokes for cast aluminium wheels and loses the standard fit engine bars and hand guards to come in at £9,999 – is available in a bold red and black livery and a more subtle all black option.

The new-for-2021 colours on the V-Strom 1050XT also apply to the Tour edition, which adds black three piece aluminium luggage as standard with 112 litres of storage space. With an RRP of £12,799 it equates to a saving of £370 over the purchase of the individual items.

2021 RM-Z RANGE AVAILABLE IN JANUARY

Suzuki’s Arenacross championship-winning RM-Z450 is available in its new 2021 livery from January, along with the MX2 RM-Z250 machine.

On both machines the standout yellow, synonymous with Suzuki’s off-road activity, is complemented by black radiator shrouds, white number boards, blue-topped seat, and retro-inspired, chunky RM-Z decals.

In 2020 the RM-Z450 picked up its fifth Arenacross championship since 2015, with Charles Le Francois winning for UK-based SR75 World Team Suzuki.

The title-winning RM-Z450 was completely redesigned in 2018 with a whole new chassis, making it the first production motocross machine to adopt Showa’s premium, race-proven balance free shock. It also put out more power than its predecessor with improved tumble flow, new intake cam profile, a 30% larger air filter aperture, new throttle body and injector.

The RM-Z250 benefitted from similar treatment a year later, with a new frame, swingarm, and suspension, plus a heavily revised engine for more power and torque. Both bikes get the Suzuki’s holeshot assist control and traction management systems.