The wind-tunnel-shaped ’Busa was Suzuki’s moon shot dedication to speed, instantly becoming the fastest motorcycle the world had ever seen and made everyone forget about ZX-11s and Blackbirds. Not only was the Hayabusa a hoot to spin laps upon around Circuit Catalunya during its launch, I’m pretty sure it’s the only bike I’ve ever almost gotten a knee down on the freeway. Period tests showed it could make the quarter-mile sprint in less than 10 seconds and accelerate past 190 mph. And when hints of 200-mph motorcycles started making the rounds in the general public, the ‘Busa was the primary reason a 300-kph (186 mph) speed limiter was gentlemanly agreed-upon among manufacturers.

Kawasaki’s H2R might be faster now, but Suzuki’s omnivorous fowl is still in production and remains the world’s fastest production bike you can buy for $14,599, your personal bullet train. One hundred-seventy-three horsepower or so at the rear tire is what the current 1340cc fuel-injected inline Four puts out, which was Suzuki’s crankshaft claim for the original 1299cc engine. Seems like plenty.

2008 Hayabusa Vs. ZX-14R Shootout