The new generation Suzuki Hayabusa is designed for desire miles. But how good is it on Indian highways?
The new generation Suzuki Hayabusa replaced the old version in India sometime in early 2021. Although last year I was given the opportunity to sit on the saddle of a revived Bead, the itch to take it on a longer trip could not be satisfied due to up to time constraints. Fortunately, Suzuki Motorcycle India has been very kind to re-send the bike for a broader test that justifies the touring credentials of the Beads. Here are a few brief observations I made in one day, an odd 400km trip from Delhi-Tiara-Alvar and back.
- Sorted ergonomics: Originally designed to travel miles, the bike continues to follow the same set of rules that once defined the name “Hayabusa” in the motorcycle world. The middle steering wheel, which allows the rider to lean forward slightly, and the rear footrests provide sporty ergonomics. When I go on a road trip, it’s my back that gives up most long trips, then there’s the bottom of my hips, which encourages me to take breaks / stops from time to time. However, in the case of Busa, the equestrian triangle is balanced in such a way that pain points are almost non-existent. Slightly stooped posture is not as demanding as, for example, on a hyperactive supersport, so in a sense the weight of the body is distributed over several points, including the wrists, back and lower back.
- Bullet aerodynamics: The falcon-inspired DNA of Hayabusa says a lot once you pick up three-digit speeds on wide-open highways. The bike so effectively cuts through the friction of the wind, providing a happy sports tour! All you need to do is tuck it under a huge tinted windshield, keep your hips fixed on the side fairing and allow the bullet body design to break through the wind. This not only allows you to get higher maximum speeds, but also keeps the minimum muscular effort to hold on the bars, so a higher speed in the long run is much less tedious.
- Amazingly driven: Figures like 1340 cc and 190 PS do not apply to two-wheelers, and even for me, who has a decent saddle experience under the belt, this is a pretty overwhelming figure. While there are a few other bikes that can outperform the Busa on paper, in terms of output, volume and both. But I can promise you that Busa will make you feel at home. All power is presented so predictably and smoothly that it is hard to believe that it is so well managed. Getting to Fort Tijar was quite difficult, not only because of the bad terrain, but also because of the typical urban traffic of tuk-tuks, bulls and more. The throttle control on the Busa is a masterpiece, and the on and off transitions are smooth, which you would appreciate in driving from bumper to bumper in India. Also, power modes are a big help if you don’t want all the torque that shook the ground every time you open the throttle. And honestly, I rode mostly on the least powerful model (except for some sections of the highway) because you don’t need all that power, especially within the city limits. And this is where the new generation model makes a big difference. And if that’s not all, wait for another set of electronic wizards such as 10-speed traction control, start control, wheel control and more. It’s stunning at first, but give this electronics a few days and you’ll be amazed at how well it works. More safety just means you can focus on the road with a clearer mind.
- Best-in-class suspension: I’m sure the Suzuki designers didn’t actually have images of Indian roads when working on setting up the suspension for the Busa, but to my surprise, it fits the image perfectly. The inverted telescopic front fork works flawlessly along with the connecting type, the coil spring unit at the rear. You can really feel how the suspension works on uneven areas without filtering anything out of the rider. At the same time, throwing Busa around the corner and scrubbing his knees seems like child’s play, given how easily he sticks to the lines and feels balanced. If we talk about balance, the Bus is a leech on earth. Accelerate or brake, the Busa sticks to the asphalt with such a strong mechanical grip that even new riders can comfortably ride on it in very less time. However, it makes the rider feel his weight, especially on back-to-back turns if you want to go through the whole MotoGP.
- Propulsion seat: While the ergonomics of the rider in the Busa are much better, there is plenty of room to move around and feel comfortable, a seat with a rack is also another commendable element on this motorcycle. The stand on my bike (my wife) often rode with me on premium and high-end motorcycles, but in her own words, Busa felt in her league, especially when speed and comfort were taken into account together. Again she emphasized less friction from the wind, space to move on the seat and a decent padding in the case of the Hayabusa.
- Heating ?: I was touring Buza sometime in late January and it’s a pretty cold part of the year. However, some other bikes of a similar class managed to roast my hips even this part of the season, but the Hayabusa remained comfortable in the feeling of warmth, and all the steam was deftly deflected through its new fairing design.
Honestly in armor?
- Ground clearance: As mentioned earlier, the engineers who worked on Busa did not necessarily think of India, and this is evident from the fact that it stands only 125 mm above the ground. At this altitude it is lower than in my older generation Honda Civic, which scratches its belly at every second speed switch in my society. So you have to be especially careful with the switches.
- Slightly heavy grip: Don’t quote me for the fact that the Busa has a heavy grip, it’s not for a 1340 cc bike. But it’s really a little harder, especially if you drive long hours. And riding on it back to back with my 650 cc Kawasaki, the difference was obvious.
- A comfortable trip
- Great suspension
- Slightly heavy grip
- Low ground clearance
Date of first publication: June 29, 2022, 1:19 PM IST