If the phrase, “fastest production motorcycle,” means anything to you, then you’ve come to the right place. In 1999, the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa blasted past that record by a whopping 20 miles per hour.
The Fastest Production Motorcycle
Prior to 1999, Honda and Kawasaki were tearing each other apart battling for the title of the fastest production motorcycle. From 1984 to 1988, the winner was Honda. 1984 to 1996, it was the Kawasaki GPZ900R Ninja. Kawasaki then beat its own record multiple times until Honda came back with Super Blackbird in 1996.
But all of that changed when a new contender appeared: the 1999 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa. The previous top speed, holding the record for the Super Blackbird, was just about 170 miles per hour. The new top speed, set by the Hayabusa: 190.1 miles per hour.
Designing a Record-Breaker
When it comes to the technology used in the creation of the world’s fastest production motorcycle, there is no room for skimping. If the frame is a pound too heavy or a pound too light, or if one nut or bolt is a millimeter too far left or too far right, the whole thing can go up in smoke.
The designers were determined to break the record used a four-stroke, transverse four-cylinder, DOHC engine with four valves per cylinder, a massive displacement of 1,298cc, and a compression ratio of 11.0:1.
Many Variations, but Only One Hayabusa
A wide number of Hayabusa models and generations have gone into and out of production under a multitude of different names. However, only one will ever be known as a record-breaking masterpiece of ingenious design and engineering: the 1999 Hayabusa.
- Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa (1999)
The original Hayabusa had an output potential of 175 horsepower at 9,800 rpm and 102 pounds per foot of torque. Under no circumstances should any beginner hop on the saddle of a 1999 Hayabusa unless his goal is to end up nothing more than a skidmark across the asphalt.
There is simply too much power in this model for a newcomer. After all, why would somebody think that the best motorcycle with which to start off would be the fastest production motorcycle in the world?
- Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa (2000-present)
The Hayabusa is still in production today, although significantly different in almost every way from the 1999 Hayabusa. Now only does the maximum speed of this model range from ten to fifteen miles per hour slower at top speeds, it doesn’t have nearly the power or output potential.
The Hayabusa in the News
The Hayabusa keeps getting announced year after year to continue the model’s legacy, although any prospective buyers should know that the new, stripped-down, post-1999 models don’t bear nearly the strength nor the power of the original.
No films or TV shows were ever made showcasing the raw power of the 1999 Hayabusa, surprisingly enough. You would expect that it would have at least been featured in the Fast and the Furious franchise, but it seems to have been entirely overlooked.
The 1999 Suzuki GSX1300$ Hayabusa – a Miracle of Design
Not every motorcycle gets to be awarded the title of the world’s fastest production motorcycle. It takes a serious company with incredible designers and world-class engineers to fill those boots, and in 1999 that honor belonged to Suzuki.