2009 Hyperbike Comparison

Steve Atlas | January 25, 2010

Welcome to the world of ultimate Hypersport motorcycles…

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If getting from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ in the least amount of time with the most amount of comfort possible is what you seek in a motorcycle, there are a limited number of bikes in which you would look to: Two of those being the BMW K1300S and Suzuki’s 10-year-running and extremely successful GSX1300R Hayabusa. Which left us with the question: Can the revamped-for-’09 Beemer give the tried-and-true all-conquering ‘Busa a run for its money? No doubt a hard task, as there’s a good reason the Hayabusa has been one of Suzuki’s top sellers since its inception a decade ago – especially in the urban and customization markets. I’ve seen more stretched ‘Busas than Fast and Furious Honda Civics! Okay, maybe not that many, but you get the point…

This also got us wondering. How many people ride the falcon-inspired big-bore bike for its intended purpose? And what exactly is that intended purpose? I can tell you with almost 100% certainty that the majority of BMW owners use the K1300S for its designed intention: High-speed long-distance commuting. You don’t see too many stretched BMWs out there.

Many have tried to copy it  but there is only one Suzuki Hayabusa.BMW says the styling was slightly updated for 2009. Its just very hard to tell.
We faced off the tried-and-true Suzuki Hayabusa and the updated-for-’09 BMW K1300S to see how the two stacked up on the street, on the dyno and at the drag strip.

Although in the United States, with our overly-intrusive laws, ticket-hungry police officers and money-seeking government officials, using these machines to their fullest is a dangerous game. But in Deutschland, where the BMW hails from, with its Autobahns and unlimited speed zones, these really are the perfect daily commuters. This is why we are going to do our best to try and properly compare these speed-freaks in a similar environment – all while hoping we stay out of jail. The Busa has always been King, so does the BMW stand a fighting change? Let’s find out.

For the testing criteria we used the following parameters: Long distance comfort, handling, acceleration, top end and stability at speed. The main focus will be comfort and handling, especially over long-distances although acceleration and top speed are the traditional benchmarks for bikes like these; the majority of sane humans will never reach either’s limits on public roads or even most racetracks fo that matter. In the interest of science we did still test them, though. To do this we logged over 2000 miles in the saddle; everything from daily commuting to trips across state lines to quarter-mile drag strip runs and top-speed testing – all of it was conducted in a legal and controlled environment of course.

You may also be wondering why Kawasaki’s ZX-14R isn’t it this test, as it’s a perfect fit? Due to the time of the season in which we did the test and the Japanese brand being between model-years, they opted to sit it out, as they didn’t have any ZXs available at the time. Even so, the Suzuki had already narrowly defeated the ZX-14 in our 2008 comparison, so it could be argued that waiting around for it would be redundant. The real question we want an answer to is: Can the updated BMW make a run at the reigning champ?

Steve Atlas

Contributing Editor |Articles | Professional-grade speed and an attitude to match, Steve Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record.