7th Dec 2018 5:33 pm
Suzuki has stopped production of the Hayabusa for the European market, but the bike will continue to be sold in India.
Almost two decades ago, Suzuki brought the infamous Hayabusa into the motorcycling world. After a glorious reign of being one of the fastest production motorcycles in the world, the brand has decided to take it off the market by the end of December, this year, as reported by British publication, Bennetts.
The bike does not meet with Euro 4 emission limits and other rules introduced as part of EU Regulation 168/2013. The rules came into effect on January 1, 2016, and allowed manufacturers to sell limited numbers of non-compliant models until December 31, 2018. Japan has already discontinued production of the bike and it is only a matter of time until existing stock has been cleared. As of January 1, 2019, it will be illegal for a dealer to sell a new Hayabusa in Europe.
However, certain markets like India and the USA will continue to have existing stock on sale, until further notice. We checked with Suzuki India and they have informed us that the bike sold here is BS-IV-compliant and the company has no immediate plans to halt local assembly.
RISE OF THE FALCON
The first generation of the bike came in 1999 with a 1,299cc, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that produced a claimed 173hp and 135 Nm of torque. It wasn’t the most aesthetic motorcycle to be designed by the minds at Suzuki, but the end-result did serve its purpose. The Hayabusa dethroned the Honda CBR1100XX Blackbird to claim the title of world’s fastest production motorcycle. At the time, the original bike was leaps ahead of most other production motorcycles in terms of technology, with extensively wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamics, a ram air intake and the biggest engine ever seen on a production sports bike.
Today, it doesn’t look a whole lot different than it did when it first came out and the bike got its first and only major revamp in 2008. Suzuki engineers decided not to make major alterations to the frame, but they believed more power could be extracted from the existing platform. The frame received tiny tweaks to support the engine, which had been bumped from 1,299cc to 1,340cc, with a few changes to the existing cylinder head and pistons. The enlarged engine now produced 197hp. The bike also got a new fuel-injection system from the GSX-R1000 and was equipped with Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) system, allowing for three selectable power modes.
THE HAYABUSA LEGACY IN INDIA
Back in 2004, India witnessed the famous motorcycle-themed Bollywood movie, Dhoom. The Hayabusa was used extensively in the series and participated in so much high-speed action that the bike almost became synonymous with the word ‘superbike’ in the country. The Hayabusa quickly became one of the most desired motorcycles in the superbike community and its unconventional looks were celebrated, instead of frowned upon. The bike was one of the most desired ‘big’ bikes you could see on the road; and it still is!
With that, began the quest amongst owners to have their own Hayabusa stand out from the rest. The motorcycle often seen with mods in India; and preposterously wide tyres, extended swing arms, lowering kits and paint jobs (that make the bulbous body seem ordinary) are just some of the mods you can find. A fair number of these examples can be seen at drag races across the country.
Earlier this year, we wrote about what could be the third-generation Hayabusa, based on a patent for an interesting DCT gearbox that surfaced online. The fact that 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic bike may well indicate that this is when we will see a next-generation machine. A few of the upgrades the third-gen model is expected to receive include electronics that the previous bikes were derived of, a launch control system, and a bigger engine to put it at par with the bike’s closest rival – the Kawasaki ZX-14R.
In India, the Suzuki Hayabusa currently retails at Rs. 13.88 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and is one of the most affordable litre-class (and above) bikes in the country.