In the 1990s, motorcycle manufacturers competed in a technological arms race, with each brand vying for a leg up in what became known as the “speed wars”. This prompted a slew of new models with ever-increasing top speeds in a bid to earn the title of world’s fastest production motorcycle. Kawasaki’s ZX-11 reigned supreme for a period, until Honda stepped in with its CBR1100XX, aka Blackbird. Looking to dethrone the CBR, Suzuki began developing a new big-bore multi-cylinder model. Just before the turn of the millennium, Suzuki released the GSX-1300R, or Hayabusa (隼). Over on the auction site, we’ve got an example of the early model in the rare “Light Copper Brown.”
Taking aim squarely at Honda, Suzuki gave the new model its name — which is Japanese for peregrine falcon – for two reasons; one, because the peregrine falcon is the fastest bird on the planet; and two, because it happens to feed on blackbirds. True to its name, the Hayabusa ate Honda for breakfast, not only becoming the world’s fastest production motorcycle upon its release but doing so by a margin of a 10 mph. The massive inline-four put down 175 hp and more than 100 ft-lbs of torque. With a dry weight of around 480 lbs, that translated to 10.3-second standing quarter-mile runs, a 0-60 mph time of just under three seconds, and a top speed of up to 194 mph right out of the box. After the Hayabusa’s release, there were talks of Europe banning the increasingly out-of-control-fast machines coming from the East. Things had reached a boiling point, and the Hayabusa was what turned up the dial on the proverbial stove. Not wanting to lose a key market, a “gentlemen’s agreement” was reached between manufacturers, capping top speeds (or at least speedo-readings) to 300km/h (or 186.4mph). That’s one of the reasons why the first year (1999) bikes are so special – they the only year that weren’t speed restricted.
Manufactured in February of 1999, this example is VIN: JS1GW71A3X2101488, Engine #: W701103595. The seller is the original owner, he purchased it new from South Bay Motorsports. The odometer shows 19,657 miles and it appears to be completely stock.
Find this Hayabusa for sale in Santa Monica, California with bidding up to $7,800 here on Iconic Motorbike Auctions.
Disclosure: Bike-urious is a partner in Iconic Motorbike Auctions.