Long term test reports (last updated OCTOBER 18, 1999)
This is where I'll list the long term test reports that will also/have also appeared in Motor Cycle News.

LATEST: Suzuki Hayabusa: Insurance:3yrs ncd, 32 years old, married, garaged, alarmed and all that: (group 16) 759.45
Price DK Motorcycles (01782) 861100, Newcastle-Under-Lyme for 7499 as a parallel import in full UK spec. (7299 in Euro spec)

Servicing costs at DK:
First service 23.50
4000 miles 118.79
8000 miles 151.52
12,000miles 224.24

Value now (trade) 6500
value now (private) 6900 (est)
Extras: Oxford alarm? to add

Bike supplied by DK Motorcycles

27.5.99/200km (x.6214)/122.8 miles/13.7 litres/9.85
29.5.99/206.1km/126.6 miles/14.34 litres/10.17
01.6.99/175.6km/107.8 miles/11.96litres/ 8.48
02.6.99/240km/147.4miles/15.9litres/ 10.96
07.6.99/213.2km/130.9miles/15.03litres/ 10.51
08.06.99/193.5km/118.8miles/14.29litres/ 10.13 (37.78mpg)
09.06.99/121.1km/74.35miles/11.21litres/ 7.95 (30mpg)
11.06.99/169km/103.77miles/13.37litres/ 9.35/(35.3mpg)
15.06.99/211km/129.55miles/16.14litres/ 11.28 (36.49mpg)
18.06.99/174.9km/107.39miles/14.16litres/ 9.90
21.6.99/148.7km/91.3miles/12.18litres/ 8.51
22.6.99/201.1km/123.41miles/16.3litres/ 11.41
22.6.99/194km/119.12miles/12.86litres/ 8.99
24.6.99/194.6km/120.92miles/16.51litres/ 11.54 (33.28mpg)
28.6.99/195.2km/121.297miles/16.21litres/11.33 (34.01mpg)

new tyre at this point, rear BT56J only (2000miles on it)

new tyre at this point, rear BT56J only (2000miles on it)

29.6.99/194.5km/120.86miles/13.97litres 9.90 (39.31mpg)
30.6.99/197.4km/122.66miles/15.53litres 11.17 (35.86mpg)
02.07.99/182.8km/113.59miles/15.33litres 10.72 (33.68mpg)
05.07.99/174.5km/108.43miles/14.31litres 10.15
07.07.99/176.6km/109.74miles/13.58litres 9.49
08.07.99/185.5km/115.27miles/15.78litres 11.03 (33.22mpg)
11.07.99/202.2km/125.65miles/15.88litres 11.10
new Mezeler MEZ4 tyres on here. 4000 mile service actually at about 3400 miles. Estimates to be added here for the time when it was on the Isle of Man, out of my hands...
27.07.99/245.1km/152.30miles/16.62litres 12.28
27.07.99/187.9km/116.76miles/16.02litres 11.84
28.07.99/183.4km/113.96miles/13.77litres 9.63
30.07.99/182.1km/113.16miles 15.99litres/11.18 (32mpg)
05.08.99/205.6km/127.76miles 15.90litres/11.75
Totals so far (August 5, 1999) 5772.8km....3587.22miles...444.37litres (97.77galls) 314.20... (36.69mpg)

First 500 miles at 5000rpm. Second 500 miles at 8000rpm. Since then at whatever! mpg while running in was close to 41mpg. Now it is rapidly falling. An average tank is currently between 30 and 37mpg.
At 2000 miles I fitted a new rear BT56J tyre. and I got it on a dyno. It made 169bhp at the crank. Details are below.
On June 16 I did some photographs on bends in Cambridgeshire for publication with my first long term test report. It appeared in Motor Cycle News on July 7, 1999.

This is a dyno run on my bike, as stock, with 2000 miles on it after following the correct running in procedure. It shows almost 169bhp at the crank and 155bhp at the back wheel. It was carried out on a Fuchs Dyno at Fowlers in Northampton, UK. The only other Hayabusa they have run made 170bhp at the crank, with the addition of Scorpion (not the Akropovic fore-runner, the cheaper brand). Suzuki claims 175bhp at the crank and we certainly got that from the Hayabusa Suzuki supplied to MCN for test purposes.
Long term test reports

I'M gorging on every bit of halfway decent weather, every chint of fading light, to get as much Hayabusa as I can before the really nasty weather arrives.
You see, I have a confession to make. I'm hopelessly and completely addicted.
The turning point came when I found myself half-cut at a wedding celebration. All around me were happy revellers and the unmistakable sound of wedding reception disco music.
But me, all I could think about was my Hayabusa.
Leaning forward in my plastic chair I found my body assuming the high speed hunch. My left hand involuntarily flicked at an imaginary clutch lever. I could almost hear the revs rising, the 1300cc in-line four speeding towards 10,000rpm. No, I could hear the revs rising. Then, rather sheepishly, I realised it was me making the noise.
Looking around to check no one had spotted my moment of madness, I was relieved to see I'd got away with it this time.
But I fear it's going to get worse. You see this was just a weekend away from my bike enforced by the need to arrive in Somerset in a suit rather than in leathers.
But now I'm staring at the wrong end of winter there could be whole weeks when I can't ride!
I've taken it as a sign. I'm feeding my addiction at every opportunity. Even as the sun goes down, I'm there with throttle in hand.
Of course, you can't quite have as much fun when it gets chilly.
The Metzeler MEZ4 tyres I'm still on after about 2000 miles take longer to get warm than the Bridgestone BT56 tyres it came on. It comes with the territory of a harder compound (which explains why these tyres seem to be going on and on). And when the roads are cold to start with and you've got close to 160bhp churning from your back wheel, you've got to play it safe.
In fact the smooth riding techniques I've picked up through advanced rider training really come in handy at this time of year.
I first passed RoSPA's advanced test at gold standard a little more than two years ago. With RoSPA, you have to retake within three years to make sure you are still worthy of the qualification. The same is true of the RoSPA diploma which I also passed a couple of years back. That is RoSPA's qualification for people teaching advanced riding. I may not actually do that apart from for a few mates and the occasional assessment ride with MCN staff but the extra level of skill required can't do your riding any harm.
Given that my examiner now has a Honda Super Blackbird I decided it would nice if we could do the re-tests in a bit of sunshine rather than in the misery of March, when the test was actually due.
Pulling it forward would at least afford me some dry roads to enjoy. Or so I thought.
When it came to the day it was grey and the roads were coated with a Teflon drizzle. It's probably the same drizzle you saw on the day you took your bike test. I know it seems to linger on every occasion my riding skills are going to be put through the mill.
These greasy, shower-addled roads demand some very restrained throttle action when you're on a bike capable of 194mph. This was particularly the case because our test route was filled with the kind of corners you'd love in the dry, but which call for great care and sensitive throttle control in the wet.
And the Hayabusa can be a bit on-off unless you've got the idle speed adjusted just right. Luckily the idle speed can be adjusted with the turn of a handily placed knob attached to the frame within easy reach of your right hand.
So, with the idle speed adjusted to the requisite 1150rpm, all signs of the on-off throttle were gone and I was able to get on with the job of a smooth ride on a skittish road.
The engine braking is so immense I was often able to go into a corner without using any actual brake. I'd just roll off the throttle, settle at a speed I was comfortable with for the corner, and gently roll on as we went round.
In fact, using the throttle as my stopper was so effective I came close to catching out the following examiner once or twice.
When we stopped for the post-test debrief at a pub somewhere in Oxfordshire, he politely pointed out that I might like to dab my rear brake on the way into a corner when I'm being followed, just to give the rider behind a bit of a clue.
But that didn't detract from my overall score and I'm proud to say that the Hayabusa and I achieved a gold pass again.
For the diploma retest I had to pretend my examiner was my student. And as we stood outside the pub next to the bikes ready to go again, I launched into my pre-ride briefing probing to try to find out what my student wanted from me and what he was capable of. This was exam conditions, you understand.
But I was put off my stroke a bit when a bloke wandered up and stood being my "student's" shoulder, looking for all the world like one of those nutters who smile inanely over news reporters' shoulders when they're doing a piece to camera on the television news.
I can't work in these conditions! I said hello and he went into the usual: "Is that your Hayabusa?" routine.
Whether you love or loath the Busa there is no doubt that it attracts attention. And most people who see one close-up for the first time are amazed at how small it actually is. He was another.
And only last week I had a first. A car followed me off the A14 and up to the roundabout at the top of the slip road. Pulling alongside me, the driver wound down his window. Now, the last time that happened to me it had been a copper in an unmarked car about to give me a "warning as to my speed".
But this guy was different. He just wanted to ask me what I thought about the fastest bike in the world, and to tell me he was considering getting one. So I told him he should. And disappeared at a decent rate to show him exactly why.
Hayabusas? I love 'em.
The bike's due its 8000 mile service at which point I'll finally get my smashed indicator lens repaired. They've had it waiting for me at DK for a while now. It took almost a month to get. And I'm still waiting for news on the Yoshimura full race system I aim to fit.
Now when that finally arrives there really will be a reason to carry on riding as the temperatures fall.
n Keep up to date with my long-term test and what other riders around the world are discovering about their Hayabusa's at my website. The address is https://members.tripod.com/Suzuki_Hayabusa

Bought new in late May 1999 for 7499 on the road as a UK spec parallel import from DK Motorcycles in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffs (01782-861100) . More chance of a straight answer from Bill Clinton than a discount! Euro spec ones cost 7299 without mph clocks. Official Suzuki dealers are now charging close to 8200 on the road, it's gone up 200.
Group 16
First service 23.50
4000 miles 118.79
8000 miles 151.52
12,000miles 224.24
6400 (private) 5950 (trade)
36.65 mpg
Depreciation: 1099
Insurance: 759.45
Chain lube: 10
Servicing: 142.29
Tyres (and fitting): One BT56 rear 136 MEZ4 set 226
EBC brake pads: 64.06
Fuel: 543.47
TOTAL: 2980.27
Oxford Gold Series System 3 Alarm/Immobiliser 350 (fitting time 3 hrs)
Oxford carbon-fibre tank protector 29.99 (fitting time 10 min)
DIY TASKS completed
Adjust chain every 400 miles

Build quality
95% Cans a little tatty
100% Whatever the weather
Easy to work on?
66% Too many panels and fasteners
Long term appeal
100% Never a dull moment


DURING all the extensive wind-tunnel testing of the Hayabusa, I bet Suzuki never tried firing a frozen chicken at it.
It's a test other builders of vehicles which fly through the air at ridiculous speeds regularly carry out . But not Suzuki.
How can I be so sure? Well my own test conducted using a pretty moist and definitely still warm small bird (I'd like to think it was a Blackbird, but not a particularly super one) shows pretty conclusively that a frozen chicken would result in a write off.
Let me explain. I was riding up for the 4000 miles service at DK in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffs, when our feathered enemy was launched at me at high velocity. I think Mr Blackbird flew in front of the car to be crushed and fired out by its rear rubber, directly at my fairing. And my fairing was moving at about 85mph in the opposite direction. Result? One shattered indicator lens though I didn't know it at the time.
I made a mental note to check the bike over when I came to a halt, but by the time I did some hundred or so miles later my sieve-like mind had filed the thought next to: 'give up smoking' and 'open a regular savings account' .
So on my return from the traditional fried breakfast that a man must eat while his bike is being serviced, I was surprised to be greeted with: "What are we supposed to be doing about that indicator lens?" from a DK mechanic.
Great. To their credit the boys offered to take one off their demonstrator. But the demonstrator was out and there was no saying when it might return. Instead they ordered one for me and it was in within three days.
But for those few days, even that little bit of damage was gutting. We all like our bikes to be perfect, fine examples of the pride we have in them. Now mine was damaged goods.
Still, getting the new lens on had it looking as good as new.
It's amazing really that the worst damage this bike has suffered is when it had a fall-out with an already dead bird when you consider what it has been put through.
You may recall a test involving a Hayabusa, a 996, an R1, a Super Blackbird and a ZX-9R. It was in the July 21 issue. This was no ordinary test. It was on closed roads on the Isle of Man. And the riders were no ordinary mortals. They were 11-times TT winner Steve Hislop, this year's TT conquerer David Jefferies, ex-WSB and current British superbike racer Neil Hodgson and ex-GP rider Keith Huewen. And they all rode my bike. Hard.
The fact that Hislop's most memorable moment of the test was "rear-wheel steering the Hayabusa up the Mountain section of the TT course at over 120mph," gives some indication of the abuse my baby took.
So at the service I was interested to know if the bike showed any sign of the next-level thrashing it had taken. And I was impressed to discover it had simply shrugged its shoulders and asked for more.
I'd never had the pegs down on the Hayabusa. So the first thing I did when the bike was returned to me was check to see how sharp they'd been worn. There wasn't a mark on them. If you had any doubts about its ground clearance, banish them now and for ever.
The only sign that Hislop and Co had been here was the fact that the brake pads were worn about half-way through a much faster rate of wear than I would cause off my own bat. EBC was good enough to come up with some replacement Double-H sintered metal pads to sort that.
Oh, and of course the rear Bridgestone BT56 tyre, the one specially developed for the Hayabusa, was down to the canvas. That had been destroyed in less than 1000 miles. They had been about half-worn when the bike left for the Isle of Man, so that came as no surprise.
That's two rears and one front the Hayabusa has chewed in well under 4000 miles. This time around I've opted for Metzeler MEZ4s. These were developed for the Super Blackbird and seem slightly narrower than the Bridgestones. The profile is shallower, too, which makes the bike a bit easier to turn with them on.
I was due to go for a ride with some pals on the evening after I had them fitted. So I thought I'd better scrub them in before we went. After a frustrating ride in rush hour traffic I was convinced I'd hardly been able to lean the bike over, so there would be acres of untouched rubber at the sides of the tyre. I was surprised to find they were virtually scrubbed to the edges. The bike is deceptively easy to turn on them.
A good thrash following a police rider friend later that evening scrubbed them all the way across but while a ride of that intensity would have left the Bridgestone's feathered up, the cooler-running Metzeler's weren't even marked. So suspect they'll last a lot longer than the Bridgestones. True, they aren't as grippy, so I don't feel quite so confident on them, but I haven't had a slide yet, front or rear so they can't be too bad.
I'm planning a bit of a performance enhancement very soon, and I'll be getting my own performance checked out, too. I hold a gold standard pass of the RoSPA advanced test, and of the RoSPA diploma, which qualifies me to teach advanced riding. To keep both I have to be re-tested within three years of my last test. I could leave it until next Spring, but I suspect the Super Blackbird-riding examiner and me will have more fun if I do it in the summer sun!

First appeared in the July 7 Issue of MCN

I'VE only had the pleasure of the Hayabusa for a short time but I've already learned there's more to it than blasting to infinity in a straight-line.
I had to invent ways to enjoy it while I was running it in and discovered that heading for beautiful bending roads was the best way to keep my sanity. Enjoying its stable and predicatable handling helped me fight the temptation to send the rev counter hurtling to the redline every time I pulled in the clutch and hit the ignition in the ritual of starting the Suzuki.
"You don't want to thrash this, you're running this in you are," I would be reminded by the little angel on my shoulder.
And, reluctant and unsatisfied, I'd concur.
Running in is a pain on any bike. Going through the purgatory of 5000 revs and no more on a bike that can produce 175bhp at the crank with the threat of close to 200mph is like giving a condemned man a cigarette, and no way of lighting it.
And the indignity! The Hayabusa will give you around 95mph in top gear at 5000rpm. I remember seeing the ZXR750 closing, and then passing me on the inside of a gentle A1 corner.
No mate, I wasn't waving at you to let you know I knew you were there. I was trying to tell you I was limited to five grand and you wouldn't be so lucky next time!
A few days later a bloody R1 and a ZX-9R undertook me. Martin Luther King would have been proud of my self control in the face of such provocation.
When I took my wife out for our first spin together on the Hayabusa, I considered sticking a "running in" notice on her back.
The thought soon went away because 1) she wouldn't have it and 2) It would have looked daft because I was able to pass car after car anyway.
Even this gentle introduction to the world of the GSX1300R was enough to give me a sense of its brooding power a manic rush just a throttle twist away.
It's exceptionally stable which made the 95mph running in pace seem even more sedate.
My pillion is delighted. But then she was perched on the back of my R1 last year so third class on an Indian train would seem like luxury.
And she hasn't had to hang on to cope with the full effect of the fuel-injected four cylinders yet!
Like many Hayabusa owners I've had my fair share of false neutrals when clicking into sixth.
It's a glitch most owners find goes away after the first service. My best guess is that when you start revving a bit harder on the way to the change up which you can do once 500 miles have been covered it slots in a bit easier. The R1 I rode last year was similar in that respect.
I also found I had to pull the brake lever further and harder than I'd expected at first. Even with the span adjuster down to "2" it wasn't as responsive as I'd like. But it was just a matter of the pads bedding in and has improved since.
The first service which only costs you the price of parts at DK if you buy your bike from them came around on June 2. Such is the law of the sod, that my long journey to the massive dealership in Newcastle-Under-Lyme coincided with a day when forecasters were posting "severe weather" warnings as lightning and heavy rain lashed the land. But I found tucking in on the motorways at just under 100mph kept most of the rain off me.
With the first service out of the way I was able to try out 8000rpm the limit suggested in the Suzuki handbook for the next 500 miles. And if the Hayabusa hasn't already boggled your imagination, perhaps this small fact will: 8000rpm in top means 150mph. That's 150mph while running in!
And now I can enjoy it to the full. But even with the full speed available to me, I still feel drawn to longer curve-riddled roads because it handles so well. It's a joy to hustle through corners and the best way of giving your tyres any kind of life.
I'm about to replace the rear tyre for the first time. It has survived almost 2000 miles much more than I expected. But that's included plenty of Captain Sensible running-in and avoiding dull, straight routes as much as I can. Even so the original Bridgestone BT56J tyres started going square shaped from 1600-on.
The only major add-on I've fitted so far is the obligatory alarm a must if you want insurance on a performance bike these days. I've gone for an Oxford Gold Series System 3 Alarm costing 350 fitted. You can shop around and get it a little cheaper. 320 is the lowest I've heard.
The updated unit is more compact than the Attack alarm it was developed from and now the siren and box of tricks are contained in the same tough and slim casing. It fits quite nicely into the rear subframe of the Hayabusa. Unfortunately the bike is difficult to work on. The expert who fitted the alarm said the amount of fastening, nuts, bolts and panels that needed to be taken off and finally put back on again make it THE worst bike he has ever had to fit one to.
While I was at Oxford Products, I added a genuine carbon fibre tank protector which fits the Hayabusa perfectly. And the carbon looks great on the black and silver bike. Not that there had been a desperate need. The paintwork had survived unscathed with 1700 miles without one!
NEXT REPORT DUE IN MCN: August 12, 1999

Bought new in late May 1999 for 7499 on the road as a UK spec parallel import from DK Motorcycles in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffs (01782-861100) . More chance of a straight answer from Bill Clinton than a discount! Euro spec ones cost 7299 without mph clocks. Official Suzuki dealers are charging close to 8000 on the road.
Group 16
First service 23.50
4000 miles 118.79
8000 miles 151.52
12,000miles 224.24
6900 (private) 6500 (trade)
1778 (update!!)
38 mpg
Depreciation: 599
Insurance: 759.45
Chain lube: 5
First service: 23.50
Fuel: 149.23
TOTAL: 1536.18
Oxford Gold Series System 3 Alarm/Immobiliser 350 (fitting time 3 hrs)
Oxford carbon-fibre tank protector 29.99 (fitting time 10 min)
DIY TASKS completed
Adjust chain every 500 miles

Build quality
99% Incorruptable so far
100% Not a single care
Easy to work on?
70% Too many panels and fasteners
Long term appeal
98% Rain or shine

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