2005 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
|NOT A Car Details|
|Season||The Boulder Roadtrip|
|Air Date||November 3, 2014|
Suzuki Hayabusa: For the straight man who lingers around a gay bar. He doesn't know why loiters by the door. Why does he do it every Saturday night? If asked why he is there, he responds with a rehearsed bellow: "If someone touches me, I'm gonna deck him!" But he doesn't leave. "This is MY neighborhood," he adds. He always wears his cleanest jeans.
AUDIO FADE IN, MR. REGULAR Today, we have a Suzuki UGGHHHH THIS ISN’T A CAR! Ooh, yeah, I ride a Suzuki Hayabusa and my girlfriend has gauged earrings, and THEY’RE INFECTED! I RIDE AROUND SOUTH STREET ON MY HAYABUSA! Yo, I never put my helmet on! Yeah, I ride a Suzuki [unintelligible] ride around with my helmet… STRAPPED TO THE BACK! I NEVER WEAR A HELMET! AND I! RIDE! A SUZUKI HAYABUSA! INTRO SONG, THE ROMAN (to the tune of “Breakeven” by The Script) What am I gonna do When the old speed wars begin anew? What am I supposed to say When the best top speeds are just okay? I’ll buy Hayabusa, yeah I’ll buy Haybusa MONOLOGUE, MR. REGULAR Yeah, yeah BRO pipes. BRO mufflers. BRO license plate BRO bracket. Stick-on BRO carbon fiber. OUTDOOR BEER POOOOOONG it’s time for PLEDGE WEEK FISTFIGHTS HayaBROsa [unintelligible] HayaBROsa! [breathing heavily]Suzuki Hayabusa… GSX… 1300R… Hayabusa. For the straight man who lingers around a gay bar hoping to get hit on so he can get into a wholly substantiated and allowable street fight. The sneering, purse-lipped, creatine-mixing, bicep-overworking, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” stereotypes associated with this sportbike is not the bike’s fault. We have to look at the sociological and predatory instincts and characteristics of the feral North American Bro, so let us begin our study. It is in the nature of the North American Bro to seek higher ground. The bro is conditioned from the juvenile stage to reach for “the better”, when it presents itself to the contrasting “the lesser”. This, the bro believes, ascends one’s social distinction. Whether it utilizes every cubic centimeter, or takes advantage of aerodynamics, makes no difference. The quest for “the better” is the bro’s life. The industry designation for the Hayabusa is Suzuki GSX1300R, or sometimes it’s also called GSX1300XR, or GSX1300RX, but for the sake of this review we’re just calling it the GSX1300R. In fact, the R suffix doesn’t mean anything; it’s just there to move units. This is a 2005 Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, and that was part of the first generation Hayabusa, but after the 2001 restriction—but more on that later. The first generation ‘Busa had a 1299cc inline-four cylinder with 16 valves, a double-cam engine making 173 horsepower at the crank. Which is thirteen more than your Jacob’s Ladder’d S13 with its KA24DE. [in “The Voice”] Suzuki Hayabusa… when excess ain’t enough. The “safe” joke that everybody makes about the Hayabusa is that [in “The Voice”] “uggghhh, it’s ugly. Uggghhhh, I don’t like how it looks. It’s all lumpy and weird and why does it have to be curvy? I don’t like anything that’s remotely feminine. My mom hugged me too much. My favorite novel is “The Rumble Fish”. Well, that may be true, but this body shape is the only reason Suzuki won the 90s speed wars. You see, aerodynamics doesn’t look like what you think aerodynamics looks like. The angry, masculine-proving Kawasaki ZX-14 makes you feel like the man Monster Energy Drink insists you are, but all that angular bodywork isn’t doing you any favors when you go over the ton. All of these transgender-perplexing curves are necessary for stalking the Hayabusa’s top speed, which is as mythical as the bike itself. Right, forget 200 MPH. This bike doesn’t go 200 MPH, it never did. “Alright, fine, 199 MPH, you happy?” Nope, it didn’t even do that. But I’ll believe you that you think it, because I thought it. I mean, when I first learned about the Hayabusa, I was right there with you spouting off “oh it’ll go 199 right out of the factory, right? Right out of the showroom it’ll do 199 with a stock tune.” And I was… I was perpetuating that myth right with everyone else. The fastest recorded independent top speed test of a first-generation, pre-restriction Hayabusa was 194 MPH by Cycle World magazine. Motorcycle News reported 190 MPH, and all the other magazines were hovering around 188. So why the discrepancy here? Well, we don’t know. We don’t know what Cycle World did. Maybe they put Brad Williams on the bike and gave him a Lycra suit and a condom for a helmet and that’s how they got 194. Well, it’s kinda pointless to argue about that now, Hayabusas are restricted. They get fuel-choked at 186 MPH, per “The Agreement”, and that’s another old biker’s tale too. Those of you who know, know all about “The Agreement”, and-and those of you who aren’t into bikes, that’s perfectly fine. This is one of the greatest stories in motorcycle history. The most exciting version of “The Agreement” goes like this: In the 1990s—oh yeah, so 90’s—bikes were getting faster by the year, with each manufacturer releasing a new machine with a higher top speed. How far back you wanna go is up to you—man, I would love to have RCR do a documentary about this, ‘cause this is one of my favorite eras of motorsports. The 90’s speed wars with motorcycles is so wonderful, if we had the money I would love to do this documentary and do it right. Anyway, how far back you wanna go is up to you—I’m starting with the Honda VFR Interceptor 1000R, that that a top speed of 150 MPH. Then Kawasaki did ’em one better with the Ninja 900 at 158 MPH. Then the Italians got in just for a little bit with the Bimota-and I’m not pronouncing that correctly, you can correct me- with the YB6 EXUP [unintelligible] with 170 MPH. That didn’t last long because Kawasaki took it right back by giving the Ninja a larger engine, making it the ZX-11, that did 175 MPH. Things are getting fun now. Then here’s the big one. Honda lays down a bike that was supposed to end the speed wars, the CBR1000XX Super Blackbird. That thing would do 180 MPH. Then, outta nowhere, Suzuki comes in. They weren’t even part of the speed wars. I mean, back in the 70’s they had the Water Buffalo, but that was something else. Suzuki comes in, outta the corner, and Suzuki was always the discount Honda so you weren’t suspecting this from Suzuki. They come out with the GSX1300R Hayabusa and it went 194 MPH. Now, ahem, nobody denies the top speeds of the previous bikes. But here’s where the whole story slopes into heresy: “The Letter”. The story goes that the Japanese government sent a very polite letter to all the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and it went something to the tune of “please stop this”. There was no government intervention, there were no laws passed, there were no committees. There was this mythic letter that’s supposed to exist from the Japanese government to the manufacturer's that said “please stop this foolishness” or something to that nature. No one’s ever seen it. The motorcycle manufacturers even deny this letter exists. For people who are into bikes, this is our mystery suitcase from Pulp Fiction. This is the unintelligible sentence that Bill Murray said at the end of Lost in Translation. But unlike the secret guitar solo in the middle of “Here Comes the Sun”, there’s no record of this letter. Now there’s a treasure hunt for you. Find the letter. And that’s where the Suzuki Hayabusa rises above everybody else; it got the attention of the Japanese government. It scared everybody. Particularly in America, because unlike Europe and other countries where you get your motorcycle license but you’re restricted to buy, oh you can only buy such-I don’t even know what you can do. When you get your motorcycle license, can you get a 250, or are you stuck with a 125, or are you limited by horsepower, how does it work? Anyway, this is America. You can go out and get your learner’s permit. In fact, you don’t even need a motorcycle license. If you have a learner’s permit, you are legally allowed to ride a Suzuki Hayabusa. You’re eighteen years old, go buy one! ‘Merica! “Merica… But people have a hard time getting over the styling. They’re still arguing about it. The Suzuki Hayabusa has kind of a “good idea now, what was I thinking later” aesthetic—like finally getting off after an hour of wanking and closing seventeen unused tabs. And then you shut down the computer and catch your own haggard, rosy-palmed reflection in the monitor—but everybody agrees the Hayabusa was put out as an answer to Honda’s Blackbird. Okay, maybe “answered” isn’t the right word. Hayabusa translates to “a creature that preys on blackbirds” so it’s clear that Suzuki’s intent was to kill this thing quicker than Cool Dad kills a heartwarming father-and-son moment with out-of-touch lameness. So what’s it like to ride a Suzuki Hayabusa? It’s...easy! The Suzuki Hayabusa is like the Corvette C6 of bikes. So much low-end torque, it...learning to ride one of these things is amazing. For a bike that goes so fast—whatever that claimed top speed is—it’s completely docile when you’re just puttering around. Just pick a gear, go, go, it’s fine, It’ll take it. And it’s not really even that heavy, this thing isn’t even 500 pounds. You could put a beginner on this and they’d figure it out no problem. It really isn’t a crooootch roooooocket because it doesn’t have clip-on bars. These are just droop bars up top. And you sit pretty low in the seat, so you can really get your legs on either side of this thing. It’s quite secure riding it. But when you get on the gas… [clip of Mr. Regular on the bike accelerating] I’ve never surfed, but I boogie boarded plenty off the shore of Ocean City. And you know when you get a good wave, and you feel that wave just rising behind you, and you feel nature’s willingness pushing you from behind? That’s what it felt like. Now of course we were riding this in Toledo, so I couldn’t jam on it-much-but I want more. The owner of this bike does take it drag racing, and that’s one place where the Hayabusa really shines. What he did was he reversed the shifter linkage so you shift up by pressing down. It took about five minutes to figure out, but after that it becomes second nature. It’s a good idea to do that if you’re on a racing bike because you’re gonna be shifting up in more critical situations than you are going to be shifting down. And it’s better to keep your foot planted on the peg than it is to do that weird lift-up-get-down-click-up thing. So that’s why people switch the linkage. The Hayabusa is a bike that’s rarin’ to go. This bike is the personification of that guy who wants nothing more out of life than to throw the second punch. He needs no fiber, not with his thundering bowel movements. He thinks Road Rash was adapted for his life. He loves to get his swell on every weekend at Planet Fitness and he orders for his vegetarian girlfriend every time they go to Olive Garden-”Yeah, she’ll have the veal!” His facial hair has facial hair and he never licks stamps because the sheer force adheres them to the envelope. It’s the official bike of “take your best shot, because I’m only giving you one freebie before I start carving your ass like Boston Market”. And doing this voice makes my throat very hot. And yet, the Hayabusa’s representative of what people ride bikes for. The Hayabusa may handle heavily, but there’s a certain power here; the notion of force thundering under you. For many, bikes provide greater communication with the open road than cars can. Sure, there are other motorists, other pedestrians, and other obstacles. You can’t really ignore that. But even with all those other distractions, there’s a feeling of being in a vacuum, outside of space and time. You, and the road, liberated. No bills, no fat stack of midterms to grade, no empty granola bar wrappers to mark the decline of your marriage, reminding you that you once had home-cooked breakfasts instead of bars that are going to become spiky turds in seven hours. A bike doesn’t care if you’re a dudebro with tribal tattoos as commonplace as the name Silvia in Brazilian MMA fighting circles. A bike doesn’t care if you’re a hipster who measures success by the girth of his beard and the dustiness of his vinyl collection. A bike doesn’t care. A bike just says, “The road is calling. What are we going to do about it?” Have a good week. [scene of Mr. Regular chatting with the owner while preparing to ride the Hayabusa]