2021 Suzuki Hayabusa: Could this be my very first superbike?
I have about 15 years of riding experience, but that was mostly with Royal Enfield motorcycles.
BHPian Drgeorgeroy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Suzuki has done an outstanding job in designing Gen3. The instrument cluster is indeed my favorite part too.
The Hayabusa has always been THE dream superbike for me, and no other machine can top it in terms of desirability.
Just a doubt. Is the gen3 tame enough for someone who has never ridden a superbike before? Should I opt for the Busa or move up the ladder in the travel categories? I’ve been riding for about 15 years, but it’s mostly just Royal Enfields. But the Gen3 has been driving me crazy ever since it launched and my heart started owning the Gen3 while my mind is telling me otherwise!
Here is what BHPian GoBlue should say about it:
I wouldn’t recommend a Hayabusa as a first SBK. The weight, the handling, the dynamics on the open road, the maneuvers at low speed will be a completely new experience compared to the RE motorcycles.
Also, the way this bike accelerates and reaches ridiculous speeds requires relative experience of at least 650cc/750cc class bikes.
You can still get a Gen 3 and race it in Mode C for a while. However, even in “low-power mode” it is faster than other liter-class motorcycles.
It would be best to work your way up to Gen 3. Get something like a CBR650R or a Street Triple RS as your mid-size bike. As you have been riding for 15 years, this segment should be perfect to get used to the power/dynamics.
Here is what BHPian Axe77 should say about it:
I completely agree with BHPian GoBlue on this. No question of going directly to Busa. You’ll also enjoy your Busa more if you’ve progressed to mid-range bikes. Given that your ultimate goal is a Busa, perhaps a tolerable entry-level bike could be a Ninja 1000, as it will get you more used to that style of riding position. But I also doubt this recommendation. The CBR 650 may actually be a more appropriate starting point.
Also, since you’re used to RE-style bikes that have more upright riding styles, that’s another reason to go for the medium CC first. I rode a Tiger and recently tested a CBR 650. I was extremely hesitant about the handling aspect of the CBR with its crouch position. It was way too different from what I’m used to.
Here is what BHPian bigron should say about it:
I’m a big believer in the idea that anyone can and should have any bike they like as long as their right wrist is controlled by their head and not testicular force.
As you have been riding for some time, you already understand the basic principles of motorcycle riding. In fact, a 1000cc bike at 80km/h is much safer than a 150cc bike doing 80. It will brake faster, earlier with better control, better balance, everything.
Respect the bike and it won’t fail you. With all that power comes added responsibility, that’s all. And that liability is there even if it’s a 650cc or a 1000cc. They will both bite your head off if you misbehave. So might as well opt for the one you want and like.
Get in touch with superbike groups in your city. Talk to the owners, sit on their bikes and see if they’ll let you ride. Visit the showrooms and see what’s available for test drives. This will give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into beforehand.
There is absolutely no problem getting a Hayabusa as your first superbike. I know so many people who have done it and loved it.
There are a few golden rules that I often tell new superbike owners:
- Never indulge in street racing. You will be harassed, ignore it.
- Just because you can do 140 km/h on a stretch of road doesn’t mean you should.
- Always wear your gear, even if it’s just to fetch milk.
- Always take care of your vehicle and maintain it well.
- Know your abilities and accept the fact that you will only use 10% of what your bike is capable of.
Finally, never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly.
Now is actually the perfect time to get yourself a used Hayabusa Gen 2. And trust me, that’s more bike riding than one would ever need.
What the Gen3 has is phenomenal. No used bike will offer you that. There is no denying that electronics can and does save you in sticky situations. However, if you only bet on electronics to save your skin, hang in there a bit because they are aids and do not replace the pilot’s instinct.
Find someone who has a Gen2 and give it a try. Later models had ABS, but that’s about it. Mine has no ABS, nothing. Everything must be done through the right wrist.
That said, it can be intimidating to know that just a splash of water on the road can make the bike feel finicky. So, in that sense, it makes sense to go for a bike that has basic electronic aids.
Here is what BHPian neil.jericho should say about it:
BHPian drgeorgeroy, first of all, welcome to the forum. It’s always good to have another motorcycle enthusiast from this beautiful part of the country. I will just add a few points to what others have mentioned. This is based on my 20 years of riding motorcycles and eventually upgrading to a Triumph Street Triple 675 in 2018.
There are a few aspects that I strongly suggest you consider:
- Your skill level
- Your next motorcycle
- The conditions in which you will ride your next motorcycle
Allow me to share my own experience. I was ready to buy a liter class sport bike after moving to Cochin but due to a few twists and turns I ended up with a used Triumph which I bought from an enthusiast in Trivandrum. I’m glad I did because:
- It helped make me a much better driver than I was before.
- Using a medium duty motorbike in KL is difficult. And I’m not even talking about sports bikes of 1000 cc and more. Between traffic, tight roads, cops, speed cameras, idiots on the road, etc., you’ll struggle to use even 40% of a mid-weight naked bike. With a bigger bike, expect that to drop below 30%. It’s a sad truth.
- I realized that I didn’t need anything more than a mid-weight bike to ride in Kerala.
You mentioned you’ve been riding for 15 years, but remember that a mid-weight bike (I’m not even talking about a liter class tourer or the Busa here!) can get you over 100km/ h in seconds. The capabilities of the bikes will likely exceed yours and a rider will need time, patience, experience and a willingness to learn, to get to grips with a 100 HP bike, for example.
As awesome as the Hayabusa is, with your motorcycle experience, please don’t jump right into it. Look at the Triumph Street Triple 765, Kawasaki Z900, Ducati Monster 950 or Honda CB650R. All dealers run service camps in Trivandrum and you also get support from great superbike garages like Motonerdz to meet all your needs. Personally I would suggest the Honda CB650R as I find it incredibly friendly to Kerala conditions and it is a perfect deck bike for a rider like you to own for a few years. The icing on the cake is the excellent sales and after-sales service of the Big Wing Honda dealership in Cochin. The Kawasaki, Ducati and Triumph are all great bikes, but I find the Honda to be the most suitable for riders new to the big world of motorcycling given the constraints of motorcycling in Kerala. Heck, if I had the choice today, I’d ditch my Triumph and buy the friendly Honda instead!
Spend a few years with a middleweight, make lots of riding buddies, explore other bikes, then take a call about whether or not you want to get this Hayabusa Gen 3.
Here is what BHPian no_fear should say about it:
I’m going to be a little blunt here and my words may sting, but I won’t recommend you upgrade from a Royal Enfield to a Busa. It is a sure way to end up in misfortune.
You go from 20~30hp to 200hp all at once. It’s not a linear progression and you won’t know how to deal with this power. Even if you have riding skills, it’s a huge leap in your ability to ride a bike that isn’t as forgiving as a lower cc bike. It is best to take gradual steps. A 650cc bike with 100hp is a better bet. If your ultimate goal is the Busa, better buy a used 600cc bike, get the hang of it, improve your skills, and then climb the ranks.
Here is what BHPian SnS_12 should say about it:
To answer your question if the Busa is tame enough, yes that is if you drive it 60kph in 6th gear but once you open the throttle even in 6th gear at that speed it can very quickly turn into an unpleasant experience if you’re unprepared for what’s to come next.
When I first rode my Busa I was really intimidated and felt like I bit off more than I could chew. But over time, once I understood the bike better and what it can do and when I started to get more comfortable/confident riding it.
I had limited riding experience with one liter bikes before buying the Busa and went from a Yamaha RX to a Ninja 650 (only lasted 18 months and less than 5 000 km), then to Busa. But as Neil mentioned in his article, the deciding factors will be your driving skills and where you plan to drive the Busa.
Like I said, I had limited riding experience when it came to large displacement bikes (500 and up). However, I had ridden many powerful two-strokes up to 350cc (RZ/RD), which created insane power very, very quickly as you increased the revs. How a bike is tuned and builds up power is what matters, and then the displacement is what I learned in two strokes.
Also, the twisty back roads where I like to ride two-strokes are not the tarmac I would consider riding the Busa. Even trips inside the city limits on the Busa aren’t fun because you know you can’t even use 10% of its capacity and the open highway is the place to ride for make the most of it.
Therefore, I think you should take a call mainly keeping these two points in mind. All the best with your decision.
Here is what BHPian androdev should say about it:
I’m just curious, and if I’ve been an RE rider for 15 years and I keep buying myself a Busa and riding it pretending it’s a 50bhp the first few months, 100bhp the next few months and maybe I’m never interested in using more than 100bhp – I love the idea of owning such a nice bike and don’t have much else to do with my spare money. Why can’t I make a logical progression on the same bike instead of wasting time and money on a bike that doesn’t excite me much?
Why can’t I just buy my dream bike and tame it with all the caution and step-by-step learning? I mean what if I buy a practical mid-level bike that I don’t really have feelings for and end up settling for it and losing steam to make the bet at the level ? Timing is just as critical in life?
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