IMS Chicago 2021: Suzuki’s 2022 Hayabusa Is a Cruise Missile

Technology changes and horsepower grows, but the Hayabusa’s legend remains. While legal worries meant Suzuki throttled its record-breaking bike slightly, the Hayabusa name is practically synonymous with high-speed riding. And though emissions regulations temporarily clipped its wings, the ‘Busa can fly once again. But after riding the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa at the 2021 International Motorcycle Show’s Chicago stop, I almost think ‘flying’ might be selling the bike’s speed short.

Suzuki brings back the Hayabusa for 2022—and it’s more advanced than before

A white 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa in a parking lot
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit
Spec2022 Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300RR
Engine1340cc liquid-cooled inline-four
Power188 hp (Cycle World)
Torque111 lb-ft (Cycle World)
TransmissionSix-speed with slipper-assist clutch
Front suspensionFully-adjustable KYB inverted fork
Rear suspensionFully-adjustable KYB monoshock
Seat height31.5”
Curb weight582 lbs
0-60 mph time3.2 seconds (Cycle World)

At first glance, the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa looks almost identical to the outgoing Hayabusa. Both bikes have the same engine capacities, suspension setups, and general appearances. However, eagle-eyed spec scanners will likely notice that the 2022 Hayabusa makes slightly less horsepower and torque than the 2020 model.

Part of that is due to tightening emissions regulations, which is why the Hayabusa took a break in the first place. But it’s also because Suzuki overhauled and retuned the engine for more low-end torque and horsepower as well as improved durability. This required sacrificing a few high-end horses and lb-ft. Yet, even so, the 2022 Hayabusa goes 0-60 mph 0.2 seconds faster than the 2020 model, Cycle World reports.

That extra speed comes not just from the retuned engine, but also the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa’s new tech. And we’re not just talking about its new slipper clutch and electronic quickshifter. For the first time, the ‘Busa has a ride-by-wire throttle, which lets Suzuki install cornering ABS, launch control, anti-wheelie control, traction control, and multiple riding modes. Plus, the new Hayabusa has cruise control, hill-hold assist, low RPM assist, easy start, and, helpfully, a speed limiter, RideApart reports. The rider configures these systems’ settings—including the quickshifter—via the new TFT display and controls on the repositioned handlebars.

Speaking of the handlebars, Suzuki tweaked more than the engine and electronics on the 2022 Hayabusa. The chassis is stiffer and slightly lighter, the KYB suspension is retuned, and the Brembo rotors are slightly larger. Also, besides moving the handlebars forward, Suzuki lowered the rider’s seat, raised the passenger seat, and redesigned the grab rail.

At IMS Chicago 2021, I experienced warp factor 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa

An overhead view of the front half of a white 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa front overhead | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

Even before I got my motorcycle license, I knew about the Suzuki Hayabusa’s reputation. As such, I was giddily nervous when I got a chance to ride the 2022 bike at IMS Outdoors Chicago 2021. Yes, having ridden the Yamaha YZF-R7 earlier, I wasn’t a sportbike newbie. But the gap between a 67-hp, 414-lb bike and a Hayabusa is rather vast.

As a result, I tip-toed a bit with the 2022 Hayabusa for the first few minutes, for once grateful for the stop-and-go traffic around IMS. At low speeds, the bike’s weight and riding position can be awkward for some, especially shorter riders, Motorcyclist notes. And the repositioned handlebars still create some wrist pressure. Also, the 1340cc engine directs quite a lot of heat at your feet. That being said, it’s a surprisingly narrow bike, and the clutch is both easy to pull and communicative.

Eventually, though, the traffic thinned, and our demo group hit an open stretch of road. And the Suzuki rep riding along gave me two pieces of advice. One, stretch out over the gas tank and get the weight from my arms. And two, hit it. So, I did.

A few years ago, I got to launch a Cadillac CTS-V sedan. That made me feel like my stomach was trying to escape out my throat. That’s not what pulling the throttle back on a 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa is like.

It’s a smooth, exhilarating rush that conjures images of rocket launches and bullets. That’s reinforced by the quickshifter, which feels almost like a foot-operated paddle shifter the way it effortlessly clicks through the gears. Accelerating the 2022 Hayabusa leaves you breathless, mind empty but for the engine’s liquid snarl, the induction howl, and the wind’s muffled howl. And the second you stop, the giggles start—and you want to do it again.

How does the rest of this two-wheeled cruise missile feel?

Once you’re moving, the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa doesn’t feel heavy. Instead, it feels stable and stuck to the pavement, Road & Track says. And steering it at speed is almost too easy. “It almost feels as if you could steer with the seat,” RideApart muses.

Having not ridden the earlier models, I can’t say how much better or worse the updated suspension and brakes are. But I can confirm what RideApart, Motorcyclist, and Cycle World noted about the brakes’ strength and ease of modulation. You really can slow the 2022 Hayabusa down to a stop with two fingers and your right foot.

And the ride quality is excellent, offering confidence-boosting stability and suppleness. R&T calls it “a yahoo’s magic carpet,” and I’m inclined to agree. It’s easy to forget that the Hayabusa is technically a sport-touring bike. With some extra luggage, heated grips, and perhaps a taller windscreen, you could comfortably tour on it, RideApart says. “This is S-Class execution,” R&T reports.

I didn’t get a chance to play with the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa’s rider aids during the demo ride. The display itself remains clear even in bright sunlight, though. And Motorcyclist found it easy to navigate through the menus.

How much does the 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa cost?

The Suzuki Hayabusa’s multiple updates do come with a higher price tag. For 2022, the bike starts at $18,599. The 2020 model costs $3800 less.

With its speed, power, layout, and price tag, the 2022 Hayabusa isn’t a beginner’s bike by any means. And it’s arguably overkill on any road with a posted speed limit. But then, the same can be said of Dodge’s Hellcat models. And you can’t buy a supercar with this kind of acceleration for less than $20K.

If you were worried that the Suzuki Hayabusa wouldn’t live up to the hype, don’t be. The legend continues stronger than ever.

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