From the beginning, Suzuki's Hayabusa has been all about standing out from the crowd.
Since its debut in 1999, the Hayabusa's over-the-top styling and prodigious top speed have made it unlike anything else on the street. That the Guinness Book of World Records lists the Hayabusa as the world's fastest production motorcycle doesn't hurt either, especially because Japanese manufacturers have since electronically limited their motorcycles to 299 kph (186 mph), making future comparisons impossible.
The 'Busa has become nothing short of a modern motorcycling icon, a 10,000-a-year seller and a rock star at bike nights across the country, where they're often decked out in one-off paint and customized with everything from NOS bottles to extended swingarms.
So when it came time to update the GSX1300, Suzuki's designers took the logical approach: They took everything the Hayabusa does well and maxxed it out.
As the world's press discovered at the bike's intro at Great Lakes Dragway and Road America Raceway in Wisconsin, Suzuki engineers have created a bike that can do a quarter-mile pass in the 9s, bury the speedo at 180 mph on the racetrack and still be a surprisingly manageable streetbike.
Changes for '08 start with the engine. Instead of a full makeover, engineers stroked the motor 2 mm to increase displacement from 1,298cc to 1,340cc and bumped compression from 11.0:1 to 12.5:1. Valves are now titanium and lift was increased on both the intake and exhaust sides.
As for styling, Koji Yoshiura, who also designed the original Hayabusa, said he was influenced by a visit to the United States, where Suzuki collected opinions from riders at bike nights and sportbike gatherings. Prior to that trip, he was leaning toward a sleeker, more slimmed-down look. Instead, based on the input from owners, the 'Busa's muscular and beefy look was accentuated.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, inline four-cylinder, four valves/cylinder
Bore x stroke: 81.0mm x 65.0mm
Carburetion: Fuel injection, 44mm throttle bodies
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Final drive: Chain
Tires: 120/70-17 front; 190/50-17 rear
Front brake: Dual 310mm rotors, radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear brake: Single 260mm rotor, one-piston caliper
Seat height: 31.7 inches
Front suspension: Inverted fork, adjustable for rebound and compression damping and preload; 4.7 inches of travel
Rear suspension: Link-type: single shock, adjustable for rebound and compression damping and preload; 5.5 inches of travel
Wheelbase: 58.3 inches
Fuel capacity: 5.5 gallons
Dry weight: 485 pounds
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