Mothership comes to Earth – the 2009 Suzuki Hayabusa ridden!

Busa_5Suzuki Hayabusa 2009 Ridden
[Ofcourse, it is not really related to “travel” per se, but like I have done earlier too (when I got the R1 for a day), I am penning down my experience of riding the Suzuki Hayabusa 2009, for a day!]

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I tucked in behind that beautifully designed front-fairing. I was relaxed almost as if sitting a little too comfortably on that really convenient seat. I was confident as I took off, quite literally towards traffic-less, almost a closed stretch of road. First gear was done with in the blink of an eye; second gear came up past 140km/hr. Just as I put her into third, she crossed the magical figure of 200kilometres per hour. I had to brake; not that I wanted to but I had to as the horizon which seemed at a distance a couple of seconds back, was fast approaching towards me! The massive front dual discs did their job wonderfully well, providing massive amounts of feedback while the rear brake is perfect for you to play around with (if you know what I mean). I turned around and the same craziness followed one more time.

Busa_2

>Busa_3

Busa_4

Yes, I am pretty sure you all must have guessed by now. It is the 2009 Suzuki Hayabusa I am talking about. I was one of the few lucky mortals who got a chance to ride around a 09′ Busa for almost a whole day. As a result of which, you see the following pictures and ofcourse this text which provides you all readers with a first-hand experience of how the ‘mother-ship’ feels like while riding on open roads as well as in our choked to death Indian roads, during peak hour traffic!

Ergonomics
As soon as I hopped on-board the 09’Busa, every last ounce of doubt that I might have had earlier regarding the mammoth size of the beast just vanished away into thin, warm air of the National Capital! It seemed so…well, I wouldn’t say “small”, but so manageable that I was almost taken aback. Ofcourse, if you start comparing a machine like the Busa with our desi bikes, it wouldn’t stand a chance as far as the seating comfort or the maneuverability goes, but then comparing a ‘legend’ with our bikes would be pure and simple exploitation of the word ‘comparison’.

It sure is heavy; make no qualms about it. The hefty mass of the Busa does dampen the exhilaration a little as compared to say a lightweight sportsbike but then again it hides all that weight so well, that it isn’t visible or felt at all! All you have to do is just sit back at that plush seat and rely on that tremendous grunt of the engine do the work or get animated with the machine on the clear, straight stretches.

Engine
1340cc of performance the likes of which the world had never seen before it’s 1998 inception – and one which, to this very day remains absolutely unequalled. Sure, there might just be the 14R waiting on the horizon to teach a lesson or two to the mothership, but seriously guys (and ofcourse girls!), nothing else even comes close to the simple, unadulterated joy that a Hayabusa’s right wrist twist can give you. That torquey engine needs to be experienced to be really appreciated. Quite simply put, there is nothing quite like it. Ofcourse there are the litre class full-blown superbikes of this world with sitting stance that would make a contortionist ashamed, but in that position, you are only a stone’s throw away from getting some kind of stiff muscle at some place!

Frankly speaking, I am not quite sure why Suzuki even bothered to fit the Busa with a gearbox. I mean it just doesn’t matter which gear you are in or what revs that tachometer is showing. Effortless acceleration from ANY gear at ANY speed is just a twist of the right wrist away. The 09’Busa in this particular case was ridden hard, through some good, straight stretches, through some of the worst imaginable Delhi traffic and even through a little off-road (and all this with my dear pillion Kamal [xBhp ID: KoolScorp]), but that engine just didn’t lose any composure at all. An important thing to note here is that the Busa’s engine doesn’t heat up as much as, say, an R1’s mill does. I compare the Busa with the R1 in this particular place because the other ‘big’ bike which I have ridden is but ofcourse, the R1. The Busa did get a little too hot on a couple of occasions, but it was nowhere close to the thigh burning and blood sucking heat that the R1 produces.
Busa_6
Busa_8

As you all might already know, there are essentially three ‘modes’ on the 09’Busa which are quite simply named – “A mode”, “B mode”, and “C mode”. While “A” mode is for full power, the “B” and “C” modes, in which the bike supposedly produces “less” power (which is very subjective, really) is actually MORE than enough for OUR conditions! However, the B and C mode does and will, I am sure, come in handy, on say slippery conditions. Suzuki calls it the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector; I call it a boon to people, who might not be too familiar with the brutal power of the 1340cc beast. I rode the machine on all the three modes, and found quite a lot of difference between the three modes.

I, ofcourse did not time my acceleration runs or high-speeds because I was not really inclined to test out the outright acceleration times or the top-speeds, because it is given that the bike can go. It is the rider who has to ultimately back-off because the bike just keeps on going and going and going. Plain amazing! All that speed, however, means nothing if the brakes cannot do their job well. In this case, thankfully, the Tokico calipers and the massive discs are upto their respective jobs wonderfully well. Tokico supplies the radially mounted four-piston calipers and they are powerful enough to pull the 200kgs. plus Hayabusa without any complaints whatsoever.
Busa_9
Busa_10

One other thing that has improved quite a lot since the inception of the Suzuki Hayabusa, is that styling. It is like a love it or hate it relationship at first glance. When the machine was first revealed in the markets, it is believed that small children started crying looking at the long and bulbous Hayabusa’s front. 😀 However, fast forward to the modern times (2009, in our case) and the Busa is one Japanese machine which certainly doesn’t look dated. It’s styling, I believe, has come of age. At first I was quite apprehensive of the looks of the machine, but as I spent hours on-board the machine (and off of it), I actually started to love the look of this latest model, particularly in this color scheme – white, and ofcourse the quality of the paintjob, and everything else was simply immaculate. I also showed the Busa to a few close friends of mine, and they agreed that the Busa’s looks have actually improved since the time it was first introduced. But, still, for me it remains like a “love it or hate it” relationship sort of a feeling.

The Hayabusa, world-over is looked upon as a ‘sports-tourer’, and rightly so. While those litre class, 1000cc, 190bhp crotch-rockets can give you all the adrenaline rush that you could ever want, the Hayabusa is relaxed; it is so relaxed in-fact that you hardly feel any stress at all even after doing 200kms. at a stretch. The engine isn’t loud, it doesn’t scream for attention, it doesn’t say “look at me”. Rather, it says “Look, I am right here!” 😀
Busa_11

Old Fox sir

Old Fox sir

Ofcourse, with that astronomical price (Rs.13 odd lakhs, OTR New Delhi), it is but ofcourse out of reach of everyone but the super-rich, but at the end of the day the Suzuki Hayabusa makes you feel like a million dollars, if not more, as when aboard it, you always know you are riding something special. And it is one of the very few motorbikes out there that also makes YOU feel special in the process.

Lastly, talking about what us Indians just cannot do without – mileage. Well, I got 16km/litre from the Busa while riding on the city and a little on the highways. This is a pretty decent mileage figure for the kind of power that the machine generates. Actually, if you carefully think about it, the Hayabusa is really deceptive. It is a known thing that the litre class superbikes will produce tremendous amounts of acceleration and adrenaline rush, but just looking at the Busa, one cannot really make out the kind of brutal punch that it hides. It is only when you experience it; you know how much force this machine has.

Dropping the bike off to Suzuki made me feel a little sad. I had thoroughly enjoyed riding her around town the whole day. As I was leaving the premises, I looked back at the machine just for that one last look and I could see it winking back at me.

Plus Points:
1. The engine is an absolute masterpiece, from any stand-point.
2. Lovely gearbox and BEAUTIFUL clutch
3. Very very accessible performance (thanks to the drive modes)
4. Good, practical, useable pillion grab-rail
5. Relaxed, untiring ride

Minus Points:
1. I don’t own one!

P.S: A special thanks goes out to Sunny and Old Fox for the 2009 Busa. Also, thanks to Kamal for being the brave pillion that he is, hanging on with me for the whole day, in this heat, onboard the Busa.

Last, but in NO WAY the least, thanks to Shivanshu, BI, Addy, DCS and Geetika, who inspite of their busy schedules took a few moments to come and have a look at the machine. Thank you guys.

Comments

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