2022 Suzuki Hayabusa First Ride

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Published on 7 Jul 2021, 16:18
For a segment of motorcycling as technologically-driven as sportbikes, 14 years is an eternity – even more so for a category that Suzuki calls the Ultimate Sportbike – but that’s how long it’s been for the Hayabusa. While there was an incremental update in 2013 that brought ABS to the table, until today, the Hayabusa, a motorcycle that, on its inception way back in 1999 had claimed the title of “world’s fastest production motorcycle,” had only undergone two generational updates: the original release and the 2008 revamp. However, today’s announcement of the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa adds another chapter to this earth-bound missile.

When considering the Hayabusa, two features immediately come to mind. First, is the iconic look of the slippery fairing inspired, according to Suzuki, by the peregrine falcon, which the manufacturer has long boasted of having “one of the lowest drag coefficients achieved on a production bike.” The nose of the fairing swoops back over the windshield, carrying the arc of the bike’s lines over the back of the tucked-in rider before curving down over the tail section’s prominent hump – a look that has only been enhanced in the 2022 version. The second prominent feature of the Hayabusa is almost completely hidden from view but is almost as iconic as the motorcycle’s profile (Just ask drag racers). A 1340cc inline-Four is responsible for the thrust that propels the Hayabusa to a speed-limited 185 mph.

Naturally, when considering a new generation of an existing motorcycle, inquiring minds want to know if it is a whole-cloth, ground-up update. In the case of the 2021 Hayabusa, the answer would be no. However, the changes are by no means minor. While the essential structure of the engine and the chassis remain the same, they have both been “refined” and “thoroughly updated,” respectively (according to Suzuki’s press materials), with the sum of the new or revised parts reaching a lofty 550 in total. Anyone who has seen the Hayabusa’s 1340cc engine naked would recognize it immediately because the changes are on the inside. The same could likely be said of the chassis, from the swoopy bodywork to the twin-spar aluminum frame to the identical 58.3-inch wheelbase. So, why don’t we start with the engine?

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