2013 Suzuki Hayabusa and GSX-R | FIRST LOOK

Most storylines regarding Suzuki's Hayabusa revolve around its awesome acceleration, but for model year 2013, the big news is an upgrade to better brakes. Big speed demands big brakes, of course, and stopping power was one area in particular where last year's Hayabusa came up short. In fact, in our recent hyperbike comparison, we called brakes the Hayabusa's "weakest link," criticizing them for lacking both power and feedback, and noted the absence of antilock brakes as a disadvantage when compared against the ABS-enabled competition from Kawasaki and BMW.

[Both of those shortcomings have since been addressed for 2013, with the ‘Busa getting upgraded with stronger, lighter Brembo radial-mount calipers and standard ABS. The calipers are the same one-piece Monobloc units added to the GSX-R1000 last year, and in addition to being lighter and more rigid than the previous Tokico pieces, the Brembos use larger, 32mm pistons for increased stopping force. The ABS system is a compact, lightweight unit that mounts underneath the airbox and, if it works as promised, will improve both safety and performance by matching stopping power to available traction.

Braking components aside, the Hayabusa remains otherwise unchanged. The new ABS is a bargain, too—MSRP only increases $400 over last year, now at $14,399 in Pearl Glacier White or Glass Sparkle Black, both with Metallic Gray accents. A limited-edition yellow/black Hayabusa will also be available for $14,599.

The GSX-R1000 likewise receives a limited-edition option for ’13, here commemorating a remarkable 1-million GSX-Rs built since the model was first introduced in 1985. Accordingly, just 1985 of these special editions will be available worldwide, all in Pearl Glacier White with special commemorative graphics, a serialized plate on the upper triple clamp, gold forks, special black/red Brembo brake calipers, and unique wheel stripes. Pricing for this special edition will be $13,999, or $200 more than the standard model. Aside from the cosmetic treatment, the Gixxer Thou remains the same. The GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 likewise return unchanged this season, priced at $11,599 and $12,199, respectively.