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Honda Fireblade vs. Suzuki Hayabusa

The Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle has long been a favorite among American thrill junkies. Now, with the Honda Fireblade motorcycle finally coming to the US, buyers of street-legal racers may find themselves facing a difficult decision between these two bikes. How do these two sportbikes compare?

A red Hayabusa motorcycle speeding through a tunnel
Suzuki Hayabusa GSX-R1000 | Suzuki

The Honda Fireblade motorcycle is also known as the CBR1000RR-R. Yes, we know. So many Rs. But R sounds for racing, and once you know that the Rs get a bit more exciting. The Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, or GSX 1300R, also has the R in its name. But which one stands for what aspects? Every bike is different and we know that both of these superbikes are awesome. But what might compel someone to choose one or the other?

The Honda Fireblade SP

Yeah, we are actually getting this one in the US. And now that it’s an option, a new wrench is thrown into the decision making of buyers of ludicrously quick sportbikes everywhere. The Honda Fireblade SP is the special edition of the Honda CBR1000RR-R sportbike. The release of its 2021 model in America will land in showrooms with a price tag of $28,500––according to Ultimate Motorcycling.

Honda Fireblade leaning into a chicane
2021 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP | Honda Powersports

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This is on the expensive side with other high-end bikes like a Ducati Panigale, but remember it is the special edition. There is nothing even remotely base trim about the Honda Fireblade SP. It’s completely redesigned and knocked out with all the bells and whistles. Still, if you only care about going fast really well, Suzuki’s ‘Busa comes in way lower in terms of price. It will save a budget buyer thousands compared to the Honda bike.

Performance

The Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP might be shockingly expensive, but it doesn’t disappoint. Beneath the slick redesigned frame we find an inline-four. The engine can’t be too bulky because it’s set transverse to the frame. According to Top Speed, the starter gear has been moved to the clutch shaft, so a shorter crankshaft which lends the engine its compact size. But don’t let size fool you.

a red, white, and blue CBR1000RR-R sport bike racing down the street
2021 Fireblade SP | Honda Powersports

Though it displaces less than the Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, the Honda Fireblade motorcycle creates an ample 215 horsepower at 14,500 rpm. Plus, you get 83 pound-feet of torque that tops out at 12,500 rpm. As all this moves through the CBR1000RR-R SP’s six-speed transmission, the bike reaches an utterly ridiculous top speed of 186 mph. From the Öhlins suspension to the Brembo brakes, this machine is everything you expect from the traditional attention to detail that Honda engineering is known for.

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The Suzuki Hayabusa

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with this sportbike knows that its namesake is the Peregrine Falcon. The ‘Busa doesn’t quite reach the bird of prey’s record speed of over 240 mph, but––according to Top Speed––it does top out at a superfast 186 mph. Yet it’s priced significantly below the Honda’s relatively shocking high sticker price.

a black press photo of the Hayabusa motorcycle
2020 Suzuki Hayabusa | Suzuki

The GSX 1300R starts at about half as much as the CBR. Ultimate Motorcycling gives us a starting price of $14,799. It’s slightly shorter in terms of seat height measuring 31.7 rather than the Fireblade’s 32.6 inches. So a shorter rider may prefer the Suzuki GSX 1300R. Its inline-four gets an impressive 2.6 second 0-60, but it’s a “one-trick pony”––according to Top Speed.

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Which sportbike reigns supreme?

While they are both bikes designed to go fast, the Hayabusa’s talents pretty much stop there. The Honda Fireblade is a little more well-rounded. It is also the leader in terms of contemporary tech and a modern dash view.

New Honda CBR1000RR updated 2021 dash display
Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP | Honda Powersports

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While these two speed-hungry motorcycles both take detailed notes from the MotoGP track. According to the Ultimate Motorcycling and Top Speed, the Suzuki Hayabusa and the Honda Fireblade both have the same top speed of 186 mph. If you want to spend less to go just as fast, the ‘Busa is your best bet. If you want a more modern and well-rounded motorcycle, the Honda Fireblade is a bit more accomodating––but it comes with a way higher price tag.