2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Review

Rennie Scaysbrook | April 15, 2021

Suzuki’s most revered machine is back. This is the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa.

You can just hear that inline four-cylinder powerhouse whispering, I’m back baby!

Photography by Kevin Wing

It’s hard to think of another motorcycle as revered to a company as the Hayabusa is to Suzuki. Not just to Suzuki, the Hayabusa is one of those all-time bikes, part of an ultra-small selection of two wheelers to have transcended the industry and captured the wider public’s imagination.

When the Hayabusa shredded onto the scene in 1999, the world was in the grips of the “World’s Fastest Motorcycle” phase. Honda had just stolen the title from Kawasaki with the Super Blackbird, and Suzuki wanted a piece of the action.

Naming the machine the “Hayabusa” was a Suzuki middle finger to their arch rivals at Honda. The Japanese Hayabusa, otherwise known as the Peregrine Falcon, is capable of speeds up to an astonishing 240 mph and feasts on the Blackbird, so you can imagine how much fun the marketing department had with that one.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa right side
The 2022 edition has gone through copious hours in the wind tunnel but it remains unmistakably a Hayabusa.

Since that much lauded arrival at the turn of the century, the Hayabusa (formerly known as the GSX1300R Hayabusa), has only had one update before 2022. That came in 2008 with a new 1340cc motor and revamped styling, pushing the Hayabusa back to the forefront of speed freaks’ minds the world over.

But times have changed in the intervening years. The world has largely moved on from top-speed accolades with much of the industry’s attention diverted to more sustainable, smaller-capacity machines. So has Suzuki released a machine worthy of the legend, or is this a case of dad just trying to be cool with the young set?

In creating the $18,599 2022 ’Busa, Suzuki has taken the 2008 model as a base and refined it for the modern age. This is not a ground-up redesign, and if you, like me, were hoping the new Hayabusa might come with a turbo, a supercharger, more capacity or even a couple of extra cylinders, then you might be a touch disappointed.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa leaned into corner
Long and low, the Hayabusa loves high-speed sweeping bends. It’s as solid as a house built on rock.

The model remains very much a Hayabusa. An enormous amount of time was spent in the wind tunnel to ensure the slippery shape that wowed us so 22 years ago was retained, but also improved. Straighter, sharper, slipperier lines were the name of the game. The stacked LED headlight and integrated side turn signals, to the exposed side pockets on the fairing, to the taller and wider seat unit, the Hayabusa is unmistakable.

Long and low with a seat height of 31.5 inches, the riding position is from another age when compared to modern sport bikes. The engineers have moved the bars 12mm closer to the rider so you’re not as stretched out as on the Gen 1 and 2 editions, and while this will no doubt aid comfort on long trips, you still feel transported to another time when you climb aboard a ’Busa. Has the real Slim Shady finally stood up?

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa turn signals
The integrated turn signals are slim, svelte and oh so pretty. The design department did really well with the 2022 ’Busa.

The motor remains the same 1340cc inline four-cylinder as in 2008, although that’s about as much as the two have in common. Suzuki has gone through this motor from top to bottom, shaving every possible gram they can from every nut, bolt, camshaft, conrod, clutch plate, transmission gear, the crankcase and crankshaft. Everything has been re-optimized to get the maximum performance possible. The lightened crankcase, for example, has redesigned passages that flow 54 percent more oil than before. The pistons are lighter by 26 grams each. New, lighter and stronger valve springs have been employed, and airflow into the revised intake tract has been increased by a tasty eight percent thanks largely to the revised body shape.

This is also the first Hayabusa that’s had to contend with the myriad emissions regulations that strangle modern motorcycles. We’ve recently harped on about how much performance the emissions cops strangle out of the current generation of production motorcycles, and it’s a fact we’re all going to have to get used to—unless you’re on an electric bike.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa rear
Even if we just showed you this pic, we bet you could guess it belonged to a Hayabusa.

The ’22 ’Busa has managed to get through those hoops without feeling like it has lost a massive chunk of its performance arsenal. Part of this comes down to straight capacity—it’s easier to make a big engine clean than a small one, just ask Yamaha with the YZF-R6—but also Suzuki’s revised electronics to ensure every molecule of fuel is burned to its full potential, and the 4.5-pound lighter exhaust system.

The effort of getting the bike through emissions testing has meant the 2022 Hayabusa produces less overall power and torque than the 2008 model, a fact not lost on the millions of moronic social media commentators who’ll probably never ride a ’Busa anyway. It’s still far from something to sneeze at—the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa produces 187 horsepower at 9750 rpm and a 110 lb-ft of torque at 7000 rpm, compared to the 2008’s 194 horsepower and 114 ft lb-ft of torque.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa corner
It’s quite remarkable how a bike that weighs near 600 pounds with a tank of gas can get on its side like this.

And besides, this is no longer a bike about pure top speed. Suzuki’s beefed up the midrange torque substantially for 2022, ensuring the bike has more than enough go on tap for the majority of riding ’Busa riders will do on the street.

Between 5-8000 rpm, right where so many bikes run into a self-induced emissions roadblock, the ’Busa just powers on through. Mated to Suzuki’s beautiful ride-by-wire throttle, you can dial in power with precision of a dentist’s drill.

Like a power weightlifter doing yet another set, the ’Busa’s sheer force of acceleration is impressive. The loss of top-end bragging rights to the outgoing model means diddly squat, because the motor spins up with the same ferocity as before, but now with every electronic aid Suzuki could possibly throw at it as part of the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.). There’s 10-stage traction control, 10-stage wheelie control, six different power modes (three preset and three customizable), a two-stage up-and-down quickshifter, a three-stage engine brake control, a three-stage launch control, cornering ABS, cruise control, an active speed limiter, hill hold control, and even slope decent control, which prevents the rear wheel from lifting under heavy braking when descending.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa seat
Clean aesthetics remind us of the Gen 1 Hayabusa. The gold and black is a nod to the past but still thoroughly modern.

Considering our ride was a brief two-hour jaunt through the Malibu hillsides, I’ll reserve judgement on absolute performance until we get to the drag strip, which will happen in May. Suffice it to say there are very few machines on the road that will accelerate like a Hayabusa. Pinning the throttle and watching the revs rise on the gorgeous analog rev counter in almost perfect unison with your speed is one of the great feelings you get from a Hayabusa. This is an experience machine, a premium product few will get to ride but many want to.

As you charge up the rev range, you’re equipped with one of the finest quickshifters on the market today. Such is the precision with which you can change gears on a ’Busa that it makes grabbing that next cog a joy, and you’ll barely even notice when you click first gear in the morning leaving your garage.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa dash
Old-school clocks are still present on the Hayabusa. And that’s a very good thing indeed.

This is a long motorcycle with a wheelbase of 58.3 inches, some 2.4 inches longer than a GSX-R1000R, and it’s coupled with 582 pounds of ready-to-ride weight, 137 pounds more than a GSX-R. Therefore, you need to ride the Hayabusa with a little more finesse than its superbike cousin. Twisty switchback canyons, ironically like the ones chosen for this exclusive ride, are not the Hayabusa’s domain. It will handle roads like these with aplomb, but where it excels is in fast, flowing bends, where you can progressively dial in more and more of that motor to fire you out the other side.

Suzuki has chosen to stay away from electronic suspension for the Hayabusa, which, in my mind is a good thing. Conventional suspension, when set up correctly, is always better than electronic suspension, and the ’Busa’s surefootedness is, in many ways, due to the quality of the KYB fork and shock, plus the excellent Bridgestone S22 rubber that it comes with as standard.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa front
Big bird coming through!

The overall ride is plush and very comfortable, although it lacks poise when you really get after it and start asking big questions under hard braking. If you can think of how Mike Hailwood rode a motorcycle—all knees in and full of finesse—that’s the right style for a ’Busa. Keep up your corner speed, allow the chassis to explore every inch of the road and let the tires take gobbles of acceleration and translate it into forward motion, and it’s happy days.

As mentioned, the Hayabusa’s electronic arsenal has been heavily expanded for 2022. This brings it in line with everything expected of a modern superbike and it even comes with an extra add-on in the active speed limiter, which allows you to preset a speed that you can get back to at any point by a press of a button. When you do, it doesn’t matter how much you twist the grip, you won’t go any quicker, a bit like a pitlane speed limiter. It’s a nice electronic addition.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa handlebar controls
Cruise control is standard fitment on the Hayabusa, which is just as well considering many owners will clock up big miles on it.

Being able to switch wheelie control off, as well as have its function separate from traction control, is a boost for Suzuki. Too many manufacturers (even Suzuki on earlier iterations of the GSX-R1000R) combine the operation of wheelie and traction control and the systems are never as good as they could be. With 10 stages of each, plus six different riding modes, it’s as much choice a rider will ever need to tailor the ride to how they like.

An area I feel Suzuki missed is not having self-canceling indicators, which, for a premium machine like this, is a misstep. As is the fact the brake lines are conventional rubber units when many bikes that cost far less than a Hayabusa come with proper steel lines.

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa at speed
The Hayabusa’s been revamped, nipped, tucked, and had a facelift, and it’s great to see Suzuki still believes in the machine after all these years.

It will be interesting to see just who goes for the new Hayabusa. It’s a beautifully appointed and executed machine, and the drag racing crowd, as well as the sport bike long-distance crowd (they do exist) will eat this thing up. It’s been a long time between drinks for the Hayabusa, and there’s a whole generation of riders out there that didn’t grow up with the Hayabusa being the be-all-and-end-all of Suzuki style and speed. But there’s nothing stopping them from finding out.

The 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa is a beautifully brutal machine, much like Gen 1 and Gen 2 were. It’s a worthy family member, and it’s great to see Suzuki revamp it for a new generation. CN

VIDEO | 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa First Ride Review

The Legend is Back!

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Specifications

 

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Specifications

MSRP: $18,599
Engine: Inline four-cylinder
Valvetrain: DOHC, 8-valve
Displacement: 1340cc
Bore x stroke: 81 x 65mm
Cooling system: Liquid
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection system. 43mm throttle body, ride-by-wire throttle, fixed length intake system
Compression ratio: 12.5:1
Horsepower (claimed): 187 hp at 9,750 rpm
Torque (claimed): 110 lb-ft at 7,000 rpm
Exhaust:  4-2-2
Transmission: 6 speed with Bi-directional Quickshift System
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type, SCAS-equipped
Electronics: 10-stage traction control, 10-stage wheelie control, six power modes (three preset and three customizable), two-stage up-and-down quickshifter, three-stage engine brake control, three-stage launch control, Cornering ABS, cruise control, active speed limiter, hill hold control, slope decent control, full LED lighting
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front suspension: 43mm KYB fully adjustable fork
Rear suspension: KYB fully adjustable monoshock
Front brake: Dual 320mm full-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc Stylema 4-piston calipers, cornering ABS
Rear brake: 260mm disc, 1-piston caliper, cornering ABS
Front tire: Bridgestone S22 120/70ZR17M/C (58W)
Rear tire: Bridgestone S22 190/55ZR17M/C (75W)
Wheelbase: 58.3 in.
Seat height: 33.5 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Weight (curb, claimed): 586 lbs.
Colors: Glass Sparkle Black and Candy Burnt Gold, Metallic Matte Sword Silver and Candy Daring Red, and Pearl Brilliant White and Metallic Matte Stellar Blue
Cycle News 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Review

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2022 Suzuki Hayabusa Review

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