2008 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa - Hayabusa II - World Exclusive!

Eight Years After The GSX1300R's Debut, Suzuki Unleashes A Second-Generation Hayabusa That's Sleeker, Meaner And-Most Importantly-Cooler Than The Original

By Mitch Boehm, Photography by Shogo Nakao, Suzuki

Hayabusas All
Speed spoken here
Suzuki designers weren't being subtle in the least when they named their upcoming Hayabusa hyperbike sometime in mid-1998. With a top speed of 240 mph during its vertical hunting dive (called 'the stoop'), the Hayabusa (a.k.a.peregrine falcon or Falco peregrinus) is more than a lethal hunter of birds and small mammals; it's also the fastest bird on the planet.

The subsequent agreement among the Japanese factories to limit top speeds to 186 mph rendered the hyperbike velocity race moot. But even if the 'Busa's recorded top speeds in the mid-190s end up being eclipsed by some rogue manufacturer (e.g., MV Agusta), the original Hayabusa will always remain at or near the top of that particular list.

Others have used the name for many of the same velocity-addled reasons. During WWII, Japanese aircraft manufacturer Nakajima named its Ki-43 fighter after this impressive animal. Although not nearly as well known as the A6M Zero, the Ki-43-capable of over 300 mph and offering an 800-mile range-was a formidable machine, especially with its dual 12.7mm machine guns blazing away. More than 5000 were built, though toward the end of the war the Allies' P38 Lightnings and P51 Mustangs proved overwhelming to both the Ki-43 and the Zero.

Japan also launched a high-tech space probe using loads of futuristic technologies to-get this-touch down on the Itokawa asteroid (198 million miles away) and bring back samples of its surface. Problems with the satellite's ion drive have, however, pushed its arrival back on earth to 2010.

It's still good to B-King
With 'Busa II power, this naked hyperbike is sure to exciteWe showed you pictures of Suzuki's radical B-King in our December 2006 issue. But my trip to Japan to assess the second-generation Hayabusa uncovered more details. For one, we know the B-King is scheduled to be introduced at Suzuki's annual dealer meeting on June 27-29 as an '08 model. Even better is the fact that it will be powered by the 'Busa II engine in-get this-full 'Busa tune, not some detuned-for-torque configuration. If you haven't read the main story, let's just say we're looking at rear-wheel numbers in the 175-plus range. Suddenly, we're not so bummed the proddie 'King lacks the original concept bike's supercharger. Look for the B-King at Suzuki dealers beginning in November.

Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
Hard Parts

Better bits for Suzuki's bodacious new 'Busa
The new Hayabusa may look similar to the old one, but it's basically almost entirely new-sleeker, more powerful, electronically smarter, better braked and even better-looking than the original. Take a look...

Although Suzuki decided early on it would carry over the old Hayabusa's engine to the new model, it also had an ambitious power target-"above 190 bhp" to be specific. To get there with an inline-four designed a decade earlier, engineers tweaked and massaged nearly the entire powerplant, first designing a more compact cylinder head filled with titanium valves in the same sizes as before (33mm intake, 27.5mm exhaust), single valve springs to save weight and a new hydraulic cam-chain tensioner. Below came redesigned (and lighter) pistons with a smaller pin diameter (18mm vs. 20mm) running with 2mm more stroke (65mm vs. 63mm) in SCEM-coated cylinders for 1340cc of displacement, 42cc more than before. Those pistons reach Top Dead Center with more compression force (12.5:1 vs. 11.0:1), while rings got an ion-plating treatment for better cylinder sealing, reduced friction, reduced oil consumption and improved reliability. The con-rods holding said pistons are shot-peened chromoly steel for additional strength. Down below is a reworked and stronger crankshaft driving a heavier-duty clutch and a transmission filled with heat-treated, shot-peened cogs with wider 5-6 and narrower 1-2 spacing. Final-drive gearing is now 43/18, a touch lower than before. Revised cylinder ventilation reduces pumping losses, while a gear-driven counterbalancer and back-torque limiter continue on as in the old bike. On the intake side, smaller throttle bodies with 44mm GSX-R1000-type injectors handle fuel atomization, while a reworked, GSX-R1000-type air cleaner and ram-air system help cram more clean atmosphere into the mixers. Out back, a redesigned 4-2-1-2 exhaust with catalyzer and oxygen sensor help the new 'Busa meet Euro 3 and Tier 2 environmental requirements, while massive, triangular dual mufflers offer increased volume and reduced noise. There's also a new, more curved radiator, a larger oil cooler and dual cooling fans controlled by an also-new ECU. Suzuki has also blessed the bike with its S-DMS system, which, like the GSX-R1000, allows the rider to choose from three different power settings-A (dry), B (mixed) or C (wet)-for varying conditions via a bar-mounted switch. Suzuki says engine size and weight are the same as before, while power is up roughly 10 percent. Hooooo!

Rear End
Like the firmer front end, the Hayabusa's fully adjustable single-shock rear suspension features stiffer internal settings to handle the heartier cornering abilities resulting from additional power and grippier tires. The Kayaba shock is activated by a swingarm that's similar in shape and design to the old bike's but also more rigid, again due to the new bike's sportier handling and greater g-loading capability. In place of the old bike's torque-link rear brake assembly is a lighter and simpler Tokico slide-pin caliper squeezing a larger rotor-260mm vs. 240-from above rather than below. It's a much cleaner look from the right side. Suzuki says the newly styled wheels are lighter than before and thus offer less unsprung weight for better, quicker flickage.

The new 'Busa's alloy twin-spar frame is basically a direct carryover from the old bike (minus the centerstand and bracketry, so it's lighter), and there's not a thing wrong with this from a streetbike rider's point of view. This fact highlights how good the original cage is. Critical dimensions remain status quo on 'Busa II, including wheelbase (58.5 in.), rake and trail (24.2 degrees/3.85 in.) and seat height (31.7 in.), though a reworked subframe was needed to accommodate the redesigned-and far swoopier-tail section, which offers a slightly lower passenger saddle for increased comfort. Overall dry weight is 5 lbs. heavier at 490 lbs., which should put it at about the 550-lb. mark fully fueled, close to the old bike. The new Hayabusa's sleek bodywork (not shown here, obviously) is completely new, however, even though it's similar in shape and concept to the first-generation plastic. Aside from bestowing slightly better wind and weather protection, Suzuki stylists made an effort to take the vast 'Busa custom market into consideration when they designed and finalized the shape and makeup of the 'Busa's body. Thus the lack of exterior fasteners, the broad expanses of smooth, non-edged ABS (for paint), etc. New vertically stacked headlights with a smaller projector high-beam and halogen multi-reflector low-beam keep things brighter at night, while new floating mounts for the fuel tank help minimize the small bit of extra buzz the engine's longer stroke introduced. The new bike's overall length is 2 inches longer than the old bike's, while overall height-due to a tall windscreen)-is about half an inch taller.

Front End
An angular new fender makes the new 'Busa's front end look nastier than before, but there's plenty of trick hardware up front to back up the look. These include a fully adjustable 43mm inverted Kayaba fork with firmer settings than before to handle the new bike's increased horsepower and braking power, the latter thanks to radial-mount Tokico calipers grabbing rotors with more (now 10) heat-reducing mounting buttons. The increased braking power forced a sturdier lower triple clamp. Newly designed three-spoke cast aluminum 17-inch wheels in 3.5- and 6-inch widths mount Bridgestone BT-015 radials with the same tread pattern as the GSX-R1000 and are specifically designed for the 'Busa II. "They make a big difference in handling," says a chassis engineer, who adds, "Grip and stability are exceptional." There's also a new steering damper with external reservoir for better performance even when hot. In addition to circular analog clocks that look like they came from an AC Cobra, the all-new dash features dual tripmeters, a clock, gear-position indicator, adjustable shift light and more. A digital speedo is easier to read at a glance, but the new 'Busa's setup looks pretty cool.

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