The new third-generation Hayabusa is here, although you’d be hard-pressed to tell from these images. Suzuki’s approach to styling can be diplomatically described as ‘evolutionary’ - the latest version of the high-speed legend looks scarcely different from the original GSX1300R that launched over 20 years ago.
There are over 550 new parts, though, and a lot of them can be found in the engine. The 1340cc inline-four has lighter pistons and con-rods, a new camshaft that reduces valve lift overlap, redesigned crankshaft and crankcases, and much more besides.
The reworked engine develops 187.74bhp at 9700rpm making it slightly less powerful than before. But that’s beside the point - Suzuki has sought to increase power and torque in the low to mid-range, making it the fastest-launching Hayabusa ever made. At the same time, the changes make for an engine that’s friendlier in everyday use, and one that’s more reliable. Win-win-win.
All of this lives in a twin-spar aluminium frame carried over from the second-gen bike, albeit with a new subframe that trims the weight by 700g. At either end are new seven-spoke wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tyres, slowed by larger (320mm) front discs than before.
The adjustable front and rear suspension units have been tweaked, giving better high-speed stability and improved turning ability. To make longer jaunts less arduous, the handlebars sit 12mm closer to the rider.
No modern superbike would be complete without some snazzy electronics, and for the latest ‘Busa, Suzuki has chucked all manner of gizmos into the mix. Three rider modes through the SDMS-a system (Active, Basic and Comfort), three-mode launch control, cornering ABS and hill hold are among the additions.
The Hayabusa still uses a pair of large analogue dials, but they’ve been given a new look, and there’s now a colour TFT screen sitting neatly between the two. Should you want to give the speedo a workout, the fun will stop at 186mph thanks to an electronic limiter, present on all Hayabusas since 2000 following a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between Japanese and European bike manufacturers.
Want one? It reachers Suzuki dealers in the UK this March, and will set you back £16,499.