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Suzuki Hayabusa Track Review: BikeWale TrackDay 2021

22 December 2021, 04:01 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

Suzuki Hayabusa action

Lap time: 2.04:81

Power to weight:703.01 bhp/tonne

Tyres: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22

The Suzuki Hayabusa. It needs no real introduction. But we will give one in any case. For many, it’s the ‘Dhoom’ bike. For others, it’s an enigma. Named after a falcon, it was always deemed too heavy, too long, and well, too ugly to actually classify as a sexy supersport. It was also quite basic when it came to rider aids. Not that it stopped motorcyclists from buying and drooling over it for years.

Suzuki Hayabusa

Suzuki Hayabusa

  • Displacement1,340 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)187.3 bhp
  • Kerb Weight266 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 16,47,002

Today though, the 2021 ‘Busa is prettier, brimming with technology, and though it’s still heavy and long (whispers: and less powerful than before), it’s still a much better motorcycle than it replaces. But, does it belong on a race track?  Logic says no. But then it has the GSX-R in its name. And this acronym, well it means the best in terms of performance and handling that the engineers at Hamamatsu in Japan have to offer. 

So, how did it do at the MMRT at the hands of a novice? And I am calling myself a novice here because it takes some experience and skill and valour to extract the best out of a big, powerful motorcycle like this one on a tight race track.

The Track

Suzuki Hayabusa action

The MMRT is a 3.7km winding but flowing race track. It’s smooth too; well, at least for the most part it is. Take C2 or C4, and C6 or C9 even, and the sight lines are good, the surface is flat, and these are banked the correct way too. Then you have C1 and the C8. These are bumpy on the racing line and even though it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to tackle these corners is to stay as hard on the throttle as your bravery pill will allow.

Let’s not forget C3 and C10, either. Negatively banked makes them a challenge. These are also quite tight going in. And getting the C3 right in particular is important because it takes you onto the first of the two back straights.  The final straight, of course, is the main straight. Not very long, but it’s still important to get a good exit out of C12, the final corner, to make the best of it. 

And that’s the MMRT for you.

The Ride

Suzuki Hayabusa action

Trying to lap the ‘Busa as quickly as possible at the MMRT was, well, overwhelming. It just has too much power, at least for me. All my braking markers seemed too late. And entering corners hot while trying to trail the brake in, just got the Busa to constantly weave while tipping into the corner. A more competent big bike track rider might have been able to manage with that. But not me.

Suzuki Hayabusa action

And so, I tried to finish majority of my braking before going into the three corners I was struggling with - C1, C4, and the right kink before C10 - to keep the weave at bay. It helped. Having traction control and anti-lift was a big help too. Without it, I would probably have high-sided entering C2… on the out lap.

Suzuki Hayabusa action

But even with these aids, there’s so much torque going to the rear wheel that it never stops lighting up its rear tyre. You can feel it when exiting corners with the bike still leaned over. And that then turns into a forcefield slamming into your chest as the bike gets closer to the upright position and the electronics start waning off.

Suzuki Hayabusa Rear Tyre

However, the real surprise with the new Hayabusa is its ability to take on the tight and technical sections of a race track. It’s surprisingly easy to flick it from side to side. And the lean one can carry on this bike is amazing too. And you can always tell what the bike and the tyres are doing so it’s confidence-inspiring as well!  

Chequered Flag

Suzuki Hayabusa action

So, is the new Suzuki Hayabusa a proper track tool? Well, it’s not the easiest or the most intuitive track bike in the world, that’s for sure. Having said that, it is still an entertaining, and satisfying one. It is fast. It spins up its rear even at a whiff of throttle. And one has to completely recalibrate one’s braking, turn-in, and getting-on-the-gas reference points.

However, its ability to change directions, and then carry surprisingly high levels of lean makes you fall for it. And given we might be the first ones to have ridden the new ‘Busa on the MMRT just makes this experience a tad more special. 

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi and Kapil Angane

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