Suzuki Hayabusa

The 2021 Suzuki Hayabusa has returned to business with higher education
Photographs by: Sachin Kawankar

I am on a flight to Chennai to race a motorcycle on a track. And I don’t think there’s a better place and time than now, to scribe out what I felt ... correction, still feel about the 2021 Suzuki Hayabusa. Now, this is a first ride review, which means I am supposed to give you my opinion that is restrained from emotions. God help me do that! And don’t guess or doubt that I already gave my review up there. Although, it is a motorcycle that gives you the best of both worlds; that is, a force felt in a flight, but a capability of a race motorcycle, of course in its uninhabited category. The question being, is it a motorcycle for our roads outside the racetrack too? More on it just a little ahead.
Yes! It is! Okay. That was fast. And trust me, this is (perhaps) the last time I am using my second favorite four-lettered ‘f’ word in this review. Of course, my first favorite ‘f’ word was murmured with biting teeth inside the lid. Speaking of which, I am going to pin the lid tight over my overflowing emotions and tell you about this night on the road. Ergo, please forgive me and excuse my grammatical errors, if any.

Way before one of those movies showcased the Busa in India; it put a dent in my memory with its shape. I for one, couldn’t decide whether it was good or if it wasn’t of my choice, but the silhouette of it, which is long gone now, was never forgotten. Pulling up on the side of the highway or any road, walking up to the front, and watching the new silhouette, shows me a modern Busa. Although the flow has remained the same, Suzuki has done away with the old tail, to insert a new one, and relatively speaking I quite like it. Looking at the new tail makes the massive rubber look proportionate. And this! Right here! Is THE view to not let it slide by, but, you just wouldn’t resist getting astride and hit that engine start/stop button just before you align your eyes to the road. Oh! Please don’t complain about the tank hitting your flexures while turning this biggie at the lowest of speeds, just flex them like you do to grab those tons of chips from that big bag of air. Yeah? With me?

Cool! Now, I have this habit of testing the brakes first, to know the scopes and limits of both, the motorcycle and me, to go all-out to 299kmph (in an enclosed environment) and back. So, looking at the upgrades now, like the Stylema calipers in the front ready to heat the larger discs with rough stuff inside, summarizes the journey this motorcycle and the brand have made. I think one of the main reasons is because these weren’t a thing back then.

Hence, all I thought then, was there has to be a bloody wall to stop this mad thing. But, unlike the older brakes, the newer ones have entered with greater force to make this Peregrine Falcon dive to 0kmph. While doing both these runs from 0 to 0, you will find no point using the rearview mirrors, but you will like the overall quality of the biker’s console on the bars. And I am not saying that to just console you all.

Otherwise, when you are rolling the throttle barely on the highway, you will like the way it has become so easy to ride and handle a motorcycle of this size. As I always say, this motorcycle too will shrink around you the more time you spend with it. It goes on to show that a motorcycle of this size and number could be one of the easiest motorcycles to be around. But, that doesn’t mean that it won’t give you those regular doses of adrenaline while you’re comfortably chinned down on the fuel tank. Well, it will, but without redirecting your blood down to your spine when you keep the throttle in-between twisting it and whacking it open. It will not make you feel lightheaded due to changes in blood and oxygen supply, and hence no change in temperature as well. I say this after using the fantastic 3-stage launch control and getting to second stage 3-digit speeds with the help of a bi-directional quick shifter; just to come back to the parking lot, with a calmer mind, which used to be a shivering hand. Never have I ever experienced this calm, after a storm! A storm that starts at 0kmph with obvious silence, gets chaotic at around 200kmph and goes calm in the grey surroundings after. And I think Busa is the only motorcycle, yet, to refresh me with this bell-curved escapade while getting there. I call it the three Cs. Calm, chaotic, calm. That too at speeds where you’re supposed to be BUSIEST!

But it isn’t only the 1340cc engine that spits out 190hp of raw power and 150Nm of torque that builds the 3 Cs, but the power to stop too - which Suzuki has divided into two parts - improved brakes and three-level engine brake control.
That is why one can get there and come back to tell the tale. I did. I will also not hesitate to put the entire review in one word, which is, Power. Be it on the way to the 299kmph club or back to the oldies’ bar of 0kmph, Suzuki has palpably made life easier, in between.