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2009 Hyperbike Comparison

Monday, January 25, 2010


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Be sure to check out the MotoUSA 2009 Hyperbike Comparison video!
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?

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Comments
enntense   October 9, 2011 09:10 PM
I don't get this review.... "The main focus will be comfort and handling, especially over long-distances." I believe the BMW won this criteria hands down, yet the Busa was picked as the better ride? When you set judging criteria, you should stick with it. Essentially what this review says is that if you actually plan on riding any real distance, get a BMW. If you want to bang corners, get a 600 supersport.
Maxx -recognize  April 8, 2010 08:56 PM
Finally, someone recognizes the Busa for a sport touring bike rather than a sport bike.
KM -ZX14  March 27, 2010 06:06 PM
well I am glad to see the comparison between the busa and the BMW but they both suck. I have a new 2010 zx14 and I have named it the busa killer....
Jims2885 -Harley vs BMW K1200  February 26, 2010 11:20 PM
to Robert - HD man:

You really are nuts. I have a Harley Rocker C and my son has a Harley Screaming Eagle which will both kick your 1200's rear end. But you have no idea what you're talking about when you say the HD 1200 will kick either the Busa or the K1200. I also happen to have a 2008 BMW K1200 GT. It's not as fast as the Busa, but it will kick the crap out of the Harley. ANY Harley. I've run both the Rocker C and the Screaming Eagle against the Beemer and they will both beat the Beemmer to the other side of the intersection, but after that it's GOODBYE. None of the Harley's will hold a candle to the BMW ater it hits 2nd gear...and there's another 4 left.

Don't put any money down on racing any BMW K bike or Suzuki GSXR. You'll have your ass handed to you in a sling.
RENDELL -TO Robert HD Man  February 1, 2010 11:02 AM
Robert, your post had absolutely nothing to do with this comparison. Do you have anything intelligent to say? Damn... I guess not. So I'll say it for you. These two 4-cyclinder machines will stomp your heavy, HD v-twin. Even the 6 cyclinder Gold Wing can outrun your little HD.
Robert -HD Man  February 1, 2010 08:39 AM
I'll take my new Harley Sportster and blow all your asses off the street. Come one, come all.....
RENDELL -that hat is cool.  January 31, 2010 08:40 PM
Steve, where's your hat? I almost didn't recognize you. Anyway, reading this and watching the video makes me wonder if I didn't error when I bought the 08 CBR 1000RR. That Hayabusa is one slick machine.
wildpig -mr wildpig  January 31, 2010 05:47 AM
no suprize the hayabusa came out so positve-- i know bmw's== totally over rated bikes with a fantastic pr spin......... so over priced an not as reliable as thier 65 yr old owners would have u believe...... corporate bmw smothers any re calls an exixts in a wall of silence---ask any bmw owner thats had to deal with the factory-- 2 yrs ago when i bought my 1st bmw i bought 2 --- MY FIRST ONE AN MY LAST ONE.........
Jeff -Rider Size?  January 28, 2010 06:29 PM
Sportrider did this same comparison test a couple months back and had the BMW coming out on top. They didn't rate the handeling of the BMW as negatively as Atlas did. I am wondering if it is because Atlas is so small that he doesn't have the weight to throw the BMW around like he could the Busa. How would an average sized rider do on the BMW compared to the Busa? BMW do have a repuation to be a bit top heavy so I don't know. Perhaps rider size doesn't have that much of an impact on bikes this heavy.
RJ -The Busa selection is merely subjective...  January 27, 2010 06:39 AM
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At 6'2" the Busa might be a pick for younger guys with shorter legs, but the raciness of rider position places it at a disadvantage in my own bike selection. I'm actually a little surprised at the oddness of this comparison as to me both bikes target totally different demographics. BMW is clearly going after the cigar smoking older crowd that want to go fast but also don't want their knees pinned to their ears. Me, I find the ZX14 still a favorite, with the comfort of the BMW with half the maintenance costs...
EAB -Oye!!!  January 26, 2010 12:42 PM
I consider these bikes to be much like the world's longest piece of wedding tackle, a tick over 13" documented. Quite impressive to all, but virtually useless. Unless one feels the need to ride their testicles around, the uses for bikes like this on the US roads is just about nil. All of that being said, give me one of these on a closed course and let me go!!!!
socalmoe -Whaaaa  January 26, 2010 09:22 AM
You prove us correct once again with "I got that name memorized now! No verbals coming his way for sure!". We know your job is hard and dangerous, it is the John Wayne attitude that can also get you capped. I love cops, I hang with a bunch, we ride and spend family time with them.All we ask from cops is fairness and not selective enforcement, we all have a roll to fill, you do your job but do it fairly, it seems that you got some kind of complex. I don't know how long you have been "on the job" but you seem very young , this is based on you some what immature comments. Remember, that badge is not a shield. Respect for those you swore to protect is as good as that vest you wear.You knew signing up to be a cop that crap would come your way, take it for what it is and ride on. Be safe.

zman -Sensitive Cops  January 25, 2010 10:24 PM
Get over yourself 7Mary3, or should I just call you Mary? Giving out tickets is your job and you know it. Most cops are not cool. In fact, most cops are not needed. Get a real job, Mary, one that doesn't depend on soaking the public through taxes or fines. Both of these bikes are fat hogs. Who cares which one is faster in a straight line?
Bandito1200 -safer roads  January 25, 2010 08:30 PM
W1LLPOW3R - speed laws.. January 25, 2010 03:56 PM
if we had better driving criteria and matured as a society we would only need speed limits in slow areas/communities..

Willpow3r. If most people could ride / drive even fractionally as well as they think they can AND people actually took driving / riding seriously THAT would make our roads far safer.

That said, speed limits are still important from a safety stand point. Not even considering road surfaces, our road sides are not suitable for high speeds, except for maybe our limited access highways.

You may have heard of this guy and he has a darn good point - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VruWHHEnZGw
7Mary3 -Be fair, that's all  January 25, 2010 08:16 PM
I admit it, I do take "little jabs" like these personal, after all, try calling a young black male "boy" and let me know the response you get. I don't think telling him, "don't take things so seriously" would work. And sure, I'll admit that there are "bad cops" out there but I also don't immediately assume all black males are gang members out committing armed robbers either... So why are people, especially this "web mag", so darn willing to slam the cops? Maybe I should just second guess myself the next time I make a stop on someone on a motorcycle who claims that they are doing their "test rides". Sure looks like the Santa Clarita hills to me... "...Atlas has AMA racing creds that are even more extensive than his driving record." now it all makes sense. I got that name memorized now! No verbals coming his way for sure!
socslmoe -Hey Punch!  January 25, 2010 06:04 PM
"7Mary3" don't take what you read so seriously, most cops are cool but you got to admit that there is a bunch of a-holes who abuse the power that comes with the badge. I have seen this first hand, even a few in "civies". Oh by the way, if you want to be taken serious, please don't start your rebuttal with "yeah..." that is should we say.... very teen like.
W1LLPOW3R -speed laws..  January 25, 2010 03:56 PM
if we had better driving criteria and matured as a society we would only need speed limits in slow areas/communities..
TOM -RIP OFF  January 25, 2010 03:39 PM
I like this site look at it every day, but did you guys just pick up the Sport Rider magazine from 2 months ago and decide to do the exact same comparison? You could have waited a little longer till it faded from our memories...
7Mary3 -Cop bashing  January 25, 2010 02:59 PM
Yeah...And what's with the quick stab at "ticket-hungry" police officers?? Ah, we might be fans of this website and these bikes too! Why didn't you talk about how the "crack smoking" brothers or the Puerto Rican "gang members" run from the cops on the them? Because it's stupid and absurd that's why! Nothing like willfully alienating part of your fan base and be perfectly happy doing it either! WOW! GOOD MOVE!! And obviously you know nothing of Germany either. They base the fine amount of your speeding ticket on your annual salary, where $5000 dollar fines are not unusual either. Only on certain spots of the Autobohn is it at ALL permissible to "speed". Try doing 10 mph over on a side street and a photo of you speeding comes to you in the mail, do it repeatedly and they can put you behind bars...do it after that and they seize your vehicle... Think you've outsmarted them by defaulting on the loan...Yeah, pay off the bike from behind bars! So next time you get the "stink eye" or "slow down hand" from you local smokey when you were a "few over" smile and be thankful you live in America and have the level of professional officers you have here.