Ever since its debut in 1999, the Suzuki Hayabusa has been hugely popular among two-wheeler junkies globally. In its 19-year production run, the bike received only one significant facelift, which was a decade ago in 2008. With the competition upping the ante, the Hayabusa has started to show its age, cosmetically and mechanically. Over the last few years, however, Suzuki had hinted at bringing out the third generation of the Hayabusa, and it looks like that we might finally see a new motorcycle in 2019, which is when the legendary motorcycle marks its 20th anniversary.
Details of the third-generation Hayabusa have emerged online and it seems the wait has been well worth it. Recent patent images show that Suzuki is also working on a new semi-automatic gearbox option that could signify a new direction for the iconic motorcycle, with touring getting more prominence alongside outright straight-line speed.
The gearbox employs an external sensor which works in conjunction with a servo to engage the clutch, along with another actuator to shift gears. This system will be different in function to the dual-clutch DCT transmission on the Honda Africa Twin, and you can think of it as an automated mechanism to shift gears in a traditional gearbox. Further, the patent drawing shows that Suzuki unit is fitted externally and doesn’t require any modifications to the inner mechanism. This means the semi-automatic gearbox could be offered as a retrofit option on other bikes as well.
The Hayabusa has always been popular with those in the drag racing circuit, and now, with the new bike, Suzuki wants to go a step further. It’s likely that the upcoming motorcycle will be fitted with launch control, making it easier for the less experienced rider to aggressively launch the bike off the line.
The semi-automatic gearbox isn’t the only update we’re expecting for the Hayabusa, but there’s still a lot of debate about what whether this will be a turbocharged engine. Capacity could grow to around 1,400cc, and to keep the power up (and in line with new emissions laws), Suzuki may also take a lesson from the Recursion Concept of 2013 and offer turbocharging. The bike maker is looking to take the Hayabusa back to the top of the game, so these features may very well make it to production in light of new rivals like Kawasaki’s supercharged H2 range. A target of 200hp or more is safe to expect.
One of the big handicaps faced by the current Hayabusa is the lack of electronics. The upcoming model will be loaded with an all-new electric package inspired by the new GSX-R1000, including ride-by-wire, multiple ride modes, multi-level traction control, IMU, cornering ABS, wheelie control and cruise control. The Hayabusa’s iconic egg-shaped design philosophy is likely to remain, but with tweaks for improved aerodynamic performance.
The current-generation motorcycle is assembled by Suzuki in India and is priced at Rs 13.87 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it cheaper than the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R by over Rs 5.5 lakh. Whether Suzuki will assemble the third-generation Hayabusa in India is something that only time will answer.