Since (1999), Suzuki has been manufacturing the GSX1300R Hayabusa sport bike. It was soon named the world’s fastest production bike, with a top speed of 303 to 312 km/h (188 to 194 mph).
Fearing a regulatory backlash or import ban in Europe, Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers reached an informal agreement in 1999 to establish an arbitrary maximum speed limit for their motorcycles.
The speed agreement was consistently 186 mph in miles per hour, ranging from 299 to 303 km/h in km/h, which is typical of unit conversion rounding errors.Like the power and torque values, this figure can be affected by several external factors.
Because of the circumstances surrounding the implementation of this limitation, the 1999 Hayabusa’s title remained unassailable, at least in principle, because no subsequent model could go faster without being changed. After the much-anticipated Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R of 2000 fell 6 km/h (4 mph) short of claiming the title, the Hayabusa became the fastest daily production bike of the twentieth century. As a result, collectors will place a higher value on the uncontrolled 1999 models.
When the first Hayabusas were unveiled to the press in 1999, they made quite an impression. No other motorcycle has ever broken the production model top speed record by such a large margin, with the CBR1100XX and the GSX-1300R achieving speeds ranging from 16 to 23 km/h (10 to 14 mph) depending on which measured speeds the source used.
Hayabusa () is Japanese for “peregrine falcon,” a bird that is sometimes used as a term for speed due to its fastest vertical hunting dive, or stoop, speed of 290 to 325 km/h (180 to 202 mph). Since the peregrine falcon preys on blackbirds, the name was chosen to reflect the original Hayabusa’s goal of dethroning the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird as the world’s fastest production motorcycle. The Hayabusa eventually managed to outrun the Super Blackbird by at least 16 km/h (10 mph).
Top speed limited by agreement
In (2000), the speed war seemed to be heating up, with rumours and then pre-release announcements of even more power in Kawasaki’s Ninja ZX-12R, clearly aimed at unseating Suzuki and reclaiming lucrative bragging rights. There was talk of limiting or banning the import of hyper sport motorcycles into Europe, as there were growing fears about the carnage and mayhem that would result from motorcycles getting insanely faster every year.
Since the addition of a speed limiter in (2000), the Hayabusa remained essentially unchanged through the 2007 model year. In response to the issue of the aluminum rear subframe on (1999 and 2000) models breaking when the bike was overloaded with a passenger and luggage, and/or stressed by an aftermarket exhaust upgrade, the 2001 and later Hayabusas had a steel rear subframe, which added 10 pound (4.5 kg) to the estimated 550 pounds (249 kg) wet weight of the 1999 and 2000 models.
Second generation (2007–2021)
Suzuki revised the GSX1300R for the (2008) model year with minor bodywork updates as well as fine-tuning of the engine block, pistons, and exhaust. Despite the small changes to the engine, they resulted in a major increase in horsepower and brought the bike into line with new noise and pollution regulations.
In (2004), market researchers from the United States and Japan worked to figure out which elements of the Hayabusa design had piqued so many people’s interest. Customers were enamoured with the old Hayabusa, even though its presence had been questioned in print. Dealers and focus groups praised a redesign that changed the bike’s look while staying true to the original. Suzuki decided to leave large parts of the frame and engine untouched under the skin to save money on construction.
With a 2 mm stroke increase and a displacement increase to 1,340 cc, the engine was rebuilt (82 cu in). The compression ratio was improved from 11:1 to 12.5:1, the cylinder head was made more compact, and lighter titanium valves were mounted, saving 14.1 g (0.50 oz) and 11.7 g (0.41 oz), respectively, on each intake and exhaust valve. The valves were moved using a chain with a new hydraulic tensioner. The pistons were made lighter by using ion-coated rings and shot-peened connecting rods (0.049 oz).
Suzuki has dropped the GSX1300R brand in some markets and simply refers to the motorcycle as the Hayabusa.
In October (2009), the company held a celebration of the Hayabusa’s tenth anniversary at Santa Pod Raceway, with over 500 Hayabusa owners in attendance. Many activities were scheduled, and those who attended received prizes.
There were no changes for the (2011) model year except for new colors.
The new B-King was designed alongside the second-generation Hayabusa, a streetfighter-style naked bike with the same engine but different intake and exhaust.