RISING FROM THE ASHES
evo India|August 2021
The third generation Suzuki Hayabusa is one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world, and a bike that truly deserves to be ridden flat out at the High Speed Track at NATRAX
AATISH MISHRA

THE WIND ASSAULTS YOU AT 250KMPH. THAT gentle breeze that was tickling my bald head in the pits just five minutes earlier had turned into a frenzied gale-storm that tore at my leathers, the top of my helmet and anything else that dared peek out from behind the Hayabusa. It was deafening inside that helmet. Not just loud, but chaotic. Minor gusts would get magnified a hundredfold and double down on their violence. You think it can’t get worse but then the speedo climbs further. 260. 270. 280kmph. I may as well have been standing in a hurricane.

No amount of driving fast cars can prepare you for the sensations you get on a fast motorcycle. You’re exposed. Completely. The engine is screaming to the redline right under your chest. The blacktop is racing past inches away from your feet. The railings built to protect you from careening off the track don’t look friendly anymore. A few low flying birds that were on a perpetual kamikaze mission suddenly seem a lot deadlier. One mistake would have catastrophic consequences. But you don’t have time to think about consequences when you’re nearing 300kmph. Because you’re too busy fighting yourself. After millennia of evolution, peak human performance is 44kmph — Usain Bolt did something of the sort in 2009. To force the body to deal with over five times that speed out of the blue, while being fully exposed to the elements triggers all sorts of involuntary responses. Fight-or-flight instincts kick in. The body tenses up. Your grip gets tighter. Your eyes start scanning for danger. None of them recommended when you’re on a motorcycle. So you’re fighting yourself, relaxing that grip on the ’bars and forcing your eyes to look as far ahead as they can.

THE SUZUKI HAYABUSA IS A LEGEND. BORN OUT OF a need to go faster than everything else on the road, Suzuki developed what it called the GSX1300R Hayabusa in 1999. It blew minds back then. Two decades later, it continues to. The changes have been incremental — Gen 2 came in 2008 and the engine was enlarged to 1340cc. 2013 brought a mild update with better brakes and ABS. And that’s it. The Hayabusa remained so, an ode to speed written in the language of motorcycles, until it was discontinued in 2018. But 2021 has given us Gen 3. Possibly the most comprehensive overhaul to the Hayabusa in the 20 years since it first landed, and yet the spec sheet will fool you into thinking otherwise.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM EVO INDIAView All

FAST STEAD

This Skoda Octavia RS 230 is fast enough to blow your mind but not its engine

3 mins read
evo India
August 2021

Ford Fusion

Practical, great engine and dynamics, but weird styling ensured buyers stayed well away

2 mins read
evo India
August 2021

Mahindra Bolero Neo

Armed with an iconic badge, a fresh face and a mechanically locking differential, the Bolero Neo could just be the compact SUV you’ve been looking for

5 mins read
evo India
August 2021

RISING FROM THE ASHES

The third generation Suzuki Hayabusa is one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world, and a bike that truly deserves to be ridden flat out at the High Speed Track at NATRAX

7 mins read
evo India
August 2021

BIJOY KUMAR Y

Bijoy is quite looking forward to what the recent space launches could mean

3 mins read
evo India
August 2021

DOA: HSV HRT 427

This racing-inspired 7-litre Holden Monaro garnered more than enough interest for its limited production run to sell out. But sadly the sums didn’t add up

2 mins read
evo India
August 2021

Mini Cooper S Convertible

Mini gives the Convertible a more modern front end, more technology on the inside and a very bright paint scheme

5 mins read
evo India
August 2021

VW Taigun GT

Good news! With two GT variants, Volkswagen are set to make the 1.5 TSI motor even more accessible to us enthusiasts

8 mins read
evo India
August 2021

THE DOCTOR CHECKS OUT

As Rossi decides to hang up his boots after 26 seasons, we take a look back at his journey through MotoGP

2 mins read
evo India
August 2021

“IF THE RATING IS DONE, NATRAX COULD BE ONE OF THE TOP THREE PROVING GROUNDS IN THE WORLD”

Speaking to Dr N Karuppaiah, additional director and centre head, NATRAX

4 mins read
evo India
August 2021
RELATED STORIES

Suzuki Method – No Strings Attached

What the Suzuki method really taught.

10+ mins read
The New Yorker
November 14, 2022

The Perfect Surprise

Anniversary Getaway

10+ mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Langen Two-Stroke 250 Back to the Future

First ride on the debut model produced by Langen Motorcycles, the limited edition 250cc Two Stroke repli-racer produced by Britain’s newest manufacturer that’s now in production

10+ mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Michael Scott MotoGP Pit Lane

Michael Scott - a regular in the MotoGP paddock since 1984 and familiar to motorcycle racing fans worldwide through his best selling books on the likes of Wayne Rainey and Barry Sheene has been covering MotoGP since long before it was MotoGP. Remember two-strokes? Scott does.

3 mins read
Bike SA
April 2022

Michael Scott Pit Lane: The Wrong Honda and Other Tales of the Desert Night

Everything was wrong at the opening round in Qatar. Or if not actually wrong, somehow inverted.

3 mins read
Bike SA
April 2022

Suzuki Katana Long Term Update

I have had the katana for almost a year already, isn't it true how time flies when you're having fun! In-between all the rain and riding various test bikes, as well as riding my own Speed Triple, I try and get on the Katana as often as possible.

3 mins read
Bike SA
April 2022

A Feast From the East

Haval’s Jolion is making waves across the Indian and Atlantic

4 mins read
Men's Fitness South Africa
March - April 2022

Renault Koleos 2,5 Dynamique CVT

Renault has been doing a roaring trade in the small budget cars segment of late ... How will the upmarket Koleos be received?

4 mins read
CAR
March 2022

THE SUZUKI HAYABUSA

Suzuki said the first Hayabusa invented a new category called Ultimate Sport. We said, “Yeah, right,”…until we rode it.

5 mins read
Cycle World
Issue 4 - 2020

FORBIDDEN FRUIT

WITH CLASSIC 4X4 DESIGN CUES AND AN OLD-SCHOOL 4X4 DRIVELINE IN A PINT-SIZE PACKAGE, IT’S LIKE DRIVING THE JEEP WRANGLER’S LITTLE BROTHER. BUT IT’S NOT FOR SALE HERE.

5 mins read
Motor Trend
January 2021