In the 1990s, the motorcycle world experienced what’s known as the “Speed Wars,” in which manufacturers strived to one-up each other with a series of increasingly powerful superbikes that primarily focused on raw power and top speed. Kawasaki had its ZX-12R before it was bested by Honda’s Blackbird, though in 1999 Suzuki unleashed the undisputed king of this class with its GSX-1300R or “Hayabusa” — the Japanese word for “peregrine falcon,” a bird that preys on Blackbirds.
Over the last twenty years the ‘Busa has become a cult classic and has seen numerous generations of models, though for 2022 the big-bore Gixxer is getting its most significant update yet with a sharper, and more modern reworked aesthetic design, a bevy of cutting edge electronics, and a revised powertrain. The 1,340cc inline-four now makes 188hp and 111ft-lbs of torque, which is down from the previous gen’s 194hp and 114ft-lbs, though throttle response has been improved and acceleration has quickened from 3.4 seconds 0-60mph times down to 3.2. Top speed goes unchanged at 185mph. On top of getting a TFT display, a slipper clutch, and a bi-directional quick shifter, the new Hayabusa also sports a six-axis IMU-regulated Drive Mode Selector, launch control, low-RPM assist, and wheelie control, among other rider aids. All of these upgrades result in a noticeably higher MSRP of $18,599. Offered in three livery options, the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX-1300R is available now.