2008 Suzuki Hayabusa First Ride
When Suzuki’s Hayabusa debuted in 1999, it inspired controversy for two aspects that would go on to become iconic: its controversial aerodynamic styling and its ability to open a giant can of whup-ass on anything else on the showroom floor.
After word got out about its 9-second abilities down the quarter-mile and its 190-plus-mph top speed, its “Eye-Abuse-Er” nickname became less prevalent. Soon the Busa was seen by some groups as the hottest thing on the street, and the mighty falcon became one of the primary canvases on which to polish frames and bolt on big-tire kits to up the bike’s badass-ness.
Now nine years on (and with a manufacturers’ agreement to limit top speeds to a laughably sedate 186 mph), the Busa was hit on the chin in 2006 by the Kawasaki ZX-14. The Kawi proved to be quicker and more powerful but also smoother and more comfortable. Regardless, the Busa remained as popular as ever and was unmatched for its street cred. Fearing a “New Coke”-type backlash, Suzuki engineers didn’t want to stray too far from the original Busa concept in this new redesign you see here. It’s still unmistakably a Hayabusa even if every fairing panel has been remolded. And it’s not much different underneath, either.
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