After years of speculation, from so-called sneak peeks, Suzuki has put the rumour mills to rest by finally launching the 2021 Hayabusa
“It’ll have a 1400cc engine with a turbo,” said one. “Don’t be silly. It will obviously have a supercharger like the Kawasaki H2, with the litre-class engine from the Gixer thou,” said another. Imagine this conversation, or iterations thereof, happening around you for almost half-a-decade. Enough to drive you batty, no?
And yet, Suzuki has stuck to its guns with the reveal of the 2021 Hayabusa, the third generation of the peregrine falcon-named sports tourer and constant contender for the fastest bike title. No super this or turbo that. Just good old natural aspiration, with the 1340cc engine from the second-gen ’Busa reworked lovingly to make, as Suzuki says, ‘more usable power, in the 5000-6000rpm range.’
Suzuki hasn’t officially released any power and torque figures, though rumours still abound of 188bhp and 150Nm from the 1340cc inline-four, a revised version of the one on the second-gen model. Besides, the the third-gen ’Busa also gets, among other things, a redesigned chassis and subframe ( twin-spar aluminium with extruded aluminium sections) which not only reduces weight (about 700g from only the subframe), but also improves handling, which has always been its hallmark, notwithstanding its gargantuan proportions and equally intimidating kerb weight.
Now, a new chassis is only half the puzzle solved, the other being new anchors and pogos. To that end, the ’Busa now gets Brembo Stylema (replacing the Nissins on the outgoing model) biting into larger 320mm discs up front, while a new setup of the fully adjustable suspension units help improve the bike’s stability at speed as well as its ability to turn. The final piece of the puzzle, getting all that performance onto the road, comes courtesy the specially designed Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tyres.
A major leap forward from the second to the third-generation ’Busa comes from a new, comprehensive suite of electronics. Starting off, we get the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector Alpha (SDMS-α) allowing riders to choose from one of three power modes, with full-power mode one followed by a softer mode two that reduces initial power but still builds to the same peak power, while mode three has a reduced maximum power output.
Next, there are 10 modes to the IMU-based lean-sensitive traction control which uses the same technology as Suzuki’s world championship-winning MotoGP machine and GSX-R1000R. Another race-derived component is the bi-directional quickshifter which gets two modes (depending on rider input), and can be switched off as well. A further 10 modes (plus off) for the Anti-lift Control help prevent the front wheel from lifting during hard acceleration. And finally, there’s the 3-way adjustable (limit engine RPM to 4000, 6000, or 8000rpm before launching) launch control!
That takes care of the ‘sports’ aspect of the sport tourer; in terms of comfort and convenience, Suzuki has, first of all, brought the handlebar 12mm closer to the rider. Next, buttons on both right and left hand switchgear activates sets the speed and activates cruise control, which can be over-ridden by applying the brakes or twisting the throttle. Besides, the lean-sensitive ABS means the sustem does quite a bit of the work for you when on longer jaunts. By extension, it also works with the new hill hold function, which automatically engages the rear brake for 30 seconds once the motorcycle comes to a stop facing uphill, even if the rider releases the brakes.
Yes, the design bit is last. No, it wasn’t an oversight. Yes, there aren’t too many changes, save for the concessions around the redesigned subframe leading to the split taillight. Yes, the LED-equipped headlight resembles the unit on the latest Gixer-Thou. No, the chrome slash on the side fairing isn’t only for flair, it’s a functional bit to reduce turbulence around the rider’s legs. Yes, the Kanji (Japanese character) on the side has been redone; Suzuki says the slimmer design evokes speed. No, the addition of the colour TFT panel doesn’t significantly alter the ’Busa’s iconic 5-meter instrument cluster.
And finally, yes, the ’Busa is definitely coming to India. We know this because while Suzuki showed off the front fairing in the reveal video, a small bit of text came on screen saying “Position lights with integrated turn signals are not available on the Indian specification units.” To decode: the teeny bits of light on the outer edge of the air intakes up front, which work as both DRLs and indicators on the overseas models, will work only as indicators on the Indian ’Busas. And yes, that’s the only change mentioned, so everything else will comes as is, which lead to the natural question…
When should I crack open the piggy bank then?
As it stands at the moment, the ’Busa is slated for sale in the UK starting March, where it’ll retail for the equivalent of approximately Rs 16.5 lakh. We’d imagine the Indian model to also cost about the same, fair play considering not only did Suzuki assemble the ’Busa here, but also because the outgoing model had a tag of around Rs 14 lakh when it went off the shelves in mid-2020.
That said, Suzuki hasn’t revealed the India launch dates. So, enthusiasts, hold off from breaking the bank just yet…