The 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa is here, but it’s not what many riders were hoping for.
Suzuki (uncharacteristically) went to some trouble to hype the new Hayabusa ahead of its global launch, using the words “generational shift” to describe the upgrade. A major upgrade over the previous model, then? Maybe we were finally getting the semi-auto gearbox and turbocharger that insiders have been teasing for years now.
Turns out that isn’t the case. The new ‘Busa has a lot of changes from the previous model; Suzuki says there are more than 500 new parts, and the all-new electronics package is a welcome upgrade. However, the engine and chassis are basically the same as the 2020 bike, and the new machine actually makes less horsepower.
Taking a closer look at the new Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, we see it’s got pretty much all the bells and whistles. Suzuki uses a six-axis IMU and a ride-by-wire throttle system to manage adjustable launch control and traction control systems, cornering ABS, hill start assist, rear wheel lift control, and adjustable engine braking.
To make life easier on the open road, there’s cruise control and “Active Speed Limiter” function. Active Speed Limiter is sort of a soft governing system, to help riders avoid tickets by unwittingly increasing their speed. Suzuki explains it this way:
“This highly practical system allows the rider to set a speed limit the bike will not exceed, eliminating worries about speeding or driving faster than intended. The rider can accelerate freely up to that speed and decelerate normally by backing off the throttle. The system can be temporarily overridden with one quick twist of the throttle, making it easy to accelerate beyond the set limit to pass other vehicles. It can be deactivated completely at the press of a button after releasing the throttle grip.”
The ride-by-wire throttle also means Suzuki was able to include engine power modes (three different levels of output, from mild to wild). There’s also an up/down quickshifter.
Hayabusa riders can control the electronic features through the bike’s TFT screen, which is nestled between the gauges in the dash. The bike comes with six different riding modes; three are pre-set from the factory, and three are user-defined. These riding modes function as a sort of packaging features for all the other electronic features. Changing between modes allows you to change which safety features are turned on or off, or their levels of interference.
Suzuki also programmed in its Easy Start system (push the starter button once, in neutral, and the bike fires up) and Low RPM Assist (which helps avoid stalling when engine speed drops).
Both the new IMU and the new ABS module come from Bosch, who’s building electronic safety components for much of the motorcycle industry these days.
The new electronics package more-or-less brings Suzuki on par with the other top high-performance bikes. Unfortunately, the engine doesn’t receive the much-hoped-for turbo, nor does it gain any horsepower.
With litrebikes now making more than 200 horsepower, many riders hoped the Hayabusa, the quintissential musclebike, would also get a major boost for 2022. If that boost came courtesy a turbocharger, all the better. This would bring the ‘Busa in line with Kawasaki’s H2 series.
Instead of massive power gains, the Hayabusa now makes a claimed 187 horsepower, down from 194 horsepower in the 2nd generation bike. Peak torque is 110 pound-feet of torque, down from 114 pound-feet of torque. However, we do get the now-standard “more usable low-range and mid-range power” speech. Taking a look at the charts below, it does seem the ‘Busa should have much more grunt through the middle of the rpm curve.
Displacement, compression and stroke are the same as the previous engine. So what changed for 2022? Along with reprogrammed ECU and other electronic bits, the 1340 cc inline four gets new pistons, new connecting rods, new cams, new valve springs, revised oil passages in the crankshaft, updates to the gearbox (new bearings and countershaft), a new slip/assist clutch, and many other tweaks. The exhaust is also updated, with a pipe that connects #1 and #4 cylinders. This allowed Suzuki to reduce internal volume, and make the exhaust lighter overall.
So, there are many changes to the engine; even if power is down, at least the new motor is Euro5-legal. Suzuki claims it’s also more reliable: “Although the Hayabusa engine is already renowned for its reliability, durability and longevity, the development team was committed to further evolving it to a higher new level. The team reviewed every detail to reduce sources of internal vibration and strengthen key components as they worked tirelessly to achieve this goal.”
Suzuki’s press release doesn’t mention much in the way of chassis updates. The front brake discs grow from 310 mm to 320 mm, with new radial-mount Brembo Stylema calipers. The new discs have a different drill pattern, supposedly offering better cooling.
There’s also a new fork and shock from KYB. The new suspension is fully-adjustable, and supposed to enhance straight-line stability while retaining nimble handling. Again, there aren’t many details on the suspension in Suzuki’s release. As for the frame, there are minor changes to the aluminum twin-spar frame as well as the swingarm. Suzuki’s not looking to re-invent the rear wheel here, and is sticking with what works. Speaking of wheels, the ‘Busa gets new seven-spoke wheels with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires.
The new Hayabusa has a 582-pound wet weight.
The rider triangle changes on the new bike, too. The previous Hayabusa wasn’t the most comfortable machine for all-day touring; on the new bike, the handlebars are moved 12 mm back, closer to the rider. We’ll have to wait for the first ride impressions to see if that really helps.
The bodywork is obviously new, and Suzuki says it spent plenty of time in the wind tunnel, to ensure this machine is properly streamlined. As per the press release, the new bike has “one of the best drag coefficients found on any street legal motorcycle. Although priority went to styling refinements, the new Hayabusa realizes a drag area (CdA) on par with the previous generation. This continues to earn it a podium spot as one of the top three street-legal bikes in terms of CdA, despite its relatively large frontal area.”
Still, there’s no winglets or other aero devices, as seen on pretty much any other high-end sportbike these days.
There’s all-round LED lighting, as you’d expect. Suzuki hasn’t announced many accessories yet, but there’s an accessory muffler, tank pad, taller windscreen and a few other minor bits available. No doubt there’s going to be hard luggage available soon, either from Suzuki itself or the aftermarket.
And finally … the price tag. Suzuki wants $18,599 for the new Hayabusa in the US, and $22,399 in Canada, before taxes and fees. In the US, the 2020 ‘Busa cost $14,799. In Canada, the 2020 version cost $15,699. This is a huge price jump.
Some Parting Thoughts
Suzuki went to some effort to hype this bike’s release, but once it’s here, it’s surprisingly tame for a 2022 hyperbike. No turbo, no supercharger, no variable valve timing, no radar-governed adaptive cruise control, no modern aero system, no electronic suspension. It’s still a very heavy motorcycle. Horsepower is down, torque is down, and the price tag is wayyyyyyy way up.
With all that in mind, I question why Suzuki even bothered bringing this machine to market. It doesn’t come with sport-touring clothes, so it won’t capture those customers. And, it’s given up the muscle bike market. The supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 makes almost 10 horsepower more, for $1,100 less in the US and $2,700 less in Canada; the SE model costs basically the same as the ‘Busa, but you get electronic suspension with the Kawi, a very nice upgrade.
That’s not even getting into the litrebike segment. When the Hayabusa came to market originally, you could excuse its bulk, because it was a powerhouse compared to the superbikes of the day. Not so anymore; every 1000cc superbike makes more horsepower than this. Even the top-tier naked bikes are approaching the same horsepower levels.
It’s too bad, because it’s a missed opportunity. Ever since the 2008 financial crash, Suzuki has been coasting, only releasing models that are warmed-over updates of previous machines. That’s actually a good way to increase reliability while keeping costs down, and it means the DR650, DR-Z400, and many other Suzukis offer good bang for the buck.
That doesn’t cut it in the hyperbike world, especially if you’re charging hyper-prices. For years, we’ve seen concept bikes and patents showing Suzuki working on exciting new technology. With its recent move to a new factory in Japan, you’d think this was the perfect time to release that tech on the world, packaged into its expensive flagship model.
Instead, we get this Hayabusa. It’s better than before, sure. But, it could have been so much more. Considering its specs and the anticipation for this machine, the new Suzuki is underpowered, overweight, and overpriced. For many hopeful customers, this may be the last time they take the brand seriously.