The Suzuki Hayabusa is an epic motorcycle, period, and has carried that halo since its inception in 1999 when it joined the likes of Kawasaki and Honda in the big-bore giggle-while-you-accelerate stakes. Highly – no, extraordinarily – intoxicating.
For so long the Hayabusa’s anti-ageing cream was doing the trick, but has the efficacy been lost with the third generation of the model, unveiled in early 2021? While there’s still plenty of spunk in the way it goes about its business, is there something missing? Is it too sensible? Has the styling polarisation factor faded? Does the level of chutzpah require a recalibration?
TTS Performance may have the answer in what a UK magazine has tagged ‘Building the bike that Suzuki wouldn’t’.
The Silverstone-based tuning house is an institution when it comes to superchargers, for both cars and bikes, and its latest project has it collaborating with design company Kardesign on the so-called Suzuki ‘Superbusa’. The naming convention started off as a sobriquet, but it stuck. And with good reason.
Kar Lee, the man behind Kardesign, describes it as a “normal Hayabusa, turned up to 12”. And that’s predominantly a function of the outrageous performance, with the supercharged machine now good for 277kW (372bhp) and 258Nm.
This author once rode a 1647cc 280hp Phil Tainton-prepped Hayabusa (Phil’s the master tuner who guided Suzuki to a heap of Aussie superbike titles) and I thought that was insane…
Development continues on the Superbusa to enhance the already eyeball-popping power – and that’s not just a throwaway line as Richard Albans from TTS Performance has been supercharging Hayabusas for over 20 years. His normal road-going customer-spec supercharged Hayabusa is good for 268Kw (360bhp), so he knows his stuff.
The current Hayabusa, which retails for $27,790 rideaway in Australia, produces a claimed 140kW and 190Nm. If it was supercharged, the Kawasaki HS SX would be its arch enemy.
The Superbusa is fitted with a Rotrex C30-94 supercharger, carbon fibre wheels, a single-sided swingarm, bigger brake discs, upgraded suspension, strengthened engine internals, and an intercooler. There will be add-on options for customers too, including bespoke paint schemes, rearsets and further suspension options.
Meanwhile, Kardesign has been tinkering with supercharged Hayabusa digital concepts for years, and the chance to work with TTS Performance reignited the enthusiasm in a huge way. His work on the Superbusa has predominantly focussed on the GSX-R-inspired livery and wings, but he’ll also play a defining role in satisfying bespoke requests.
And he should get plenty of extra work, as the plan is to build 40 Superbusas. In true limited-edition custom, each one will be made to order and individually numbered.
Prices will start from £45,999 ($A79,250), and the Superbusa will be unveiled in Silverstone on August 20.
And if you use ‘conservative’ and Superbusa in the same sentence, there’s something very wrong with you…
Mark ‘Mav’ Fattore has been hanging around the motorcycle scene longer than he can remember, but still struggles to contain his two-wheel exuberance. He also eats like a bull-at-a-gate, which is why he once swallowed the prong off a plastic fork stuffing down Chinese takeaway during a frenetic magazine deadline. The digital space is a safer haven, and he’ll turn his writing hand to anything.