Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

THE KING IS DEAD…

I must confess to feeling slightly nervous after editor Bertie asked if I’d like to have a go on a Suzuki Hayabusa and write about it for CMM.

After all, not only was the Hayabusa launched in the late 1990s, long after I’d retired from performance testing motorcycles, but it had acquired legendary status as one of the fastest production machines ever offered with, some say, the capability of topping 200mph. In other words, the Hayabusa could be regarded as a bit of a handful for the less initiated like me.

Owner Martin Pottage had got in touch to offer his bike because it is around 20 years since the GSX1300R first reached showrooms and shocked riders with its swoopy lines. It was appropriately named after the Japanese for the peregrine falcon, a bird that reputedly can hit the double ton in a dive, making it the fastest animal on earth. More to the point, 2019 was the last year of the current Hayabusa’s production – the model is being dropped from the Suzuki range because it can’t meet the latest Euro 5 regs. Sad that, when you consider what the bike has achieved over the past two decades. So consider this a tribute, as Martin had hoped, to a motorcycle that is truly legendary.

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