One of Japan’s absolute performance bike icons, the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, is signing off after two decades in production.
The legendary Hayabusa was introduced for 1999 and made for two generations. However, it won’t meet Euro 4 emissions standards, and so it will not survive past December 2018. While the Hayabusa would still meet regulations for the United States market, Suzuki has elected to end production in any case, and remaining Hayabusa stock will be sold in U.S. during 2019.
The first generation Hayabusa was unparalleled in many ways, as it could reach a top speed of 194 mph before getting slightly clipped for 2000 – the latter models could “only” do 186 miles per hour, or 299 km/h. This was due to an agreement with Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers to voluntarily limit their bikes from hitting 300 km/h, and this made the 1999 bike a real performance legend.
With the second generation bike, introduced for 2008, the 1,299cc engine was enlarged to 1,340 cc, but top speed remained the aforementioned 186 mph. Torque was improved from a touch under 100 lb-ft to just over. And both generations can hit 60 mph in little over 2.5 seconds – exhilarating stuff.
Interestingly, Suzuki also used the Hayabusa nameplate on a swoopy, lightweight 2003 concept car, which used the bike’s 175-horsepower engine. However, the concept remained such a one-off that it wasn’t even made road ready.
Suzuki has still renewed the trademarks on the Hayabusa name, so there is a chance the bike will return some time in the future. However, for the time being, the king of fast Suzukis is being shelved with no replacement in sight. As a memento, you can watch this 2013 promotional video of the second generation bike; it’s a nice recap of both the Hayabusa’s history and image.