5 September 1999

Latest update 5 / 9 / 1999 : TYRE PRESSURES.

When I checked the tyre pressures prior to adjusting the suspension I realized I had made a horrible mistake.  I had set the pressures too low ! 38 psi as opposed to 42 psi.  Hence I can’t do any suspension adjustments until I’ve gotten used to the new pressures.  I had been riding around for at least 4 weeks on under inflated tyres.  Why ? I don’t know what made me believe that the pressures were correct.   Anyway  it makes a HUGE difference to the handling of the bike,  No longer does it feel unconnected in the corners, personally its quite sporty.  However there is definitely a wobble in the front most certainly caused by the rear tyre.  It’s not noticeable unless you take your hand of the bar.

The front tyre does have a good amount of feel and the back with the new rear tyre feels really really good.  The bike doesn’t run wide at a fast cornering speeds anymore and very willing to turn in.  In essence the handling has gone from reasonable to exceeding expectations on such a big bike I must admit its very cool !  I can now fully understand the rave reviews.  Don’t forget that I’ve only had the Suzuki Hayabusa for about 2 months.  Now I’m not sure whether suspension adjustments are really needed ?

Lastly forget what I said about tyre wear,   With new pressures, the tyre seems fine apart from noticeable more wear on the edges of the tyre. (From too much fun) With all the straight roads in the NT the tyre certainly doesn’t seem to wear as much as the J spec.   Regardless I would certainly replace the tyre with a J spec as soon as one’s available.

The front settings are near perfect I reckon.  Lack of outright feel but planted nonetheless, due to the steering damper ?  The steering damper is hidden away behind the headlight !  The rear is different, not what you’d call plush but on the soft side of sporty.  For Australian roads I think it could be a tad softer.  I also think that the front has a slight wobble since the change of tyre but I can’t be sure whether it has always been there.

Next week I’ll have the front damping set to soft to see what happens and I may have some pics developed ! (Update: In 1999 Digital cameras were still very expensive and had shocking image quality)

29 August 1999

Latest update 29 / 8 / 1999 : Well it has been an interesting week with the Hayabusa.  It has suddenly developed an annoying vibration on the left hand side windscreen.  This is noticeable because the rest of the bike is pretty tight.  I’ve tightened the screw but it only went away for a little while.  Mind you it only starts when revved past 4500rpm.  Harmonics I think they call it.

The following figures were measured by the Australian Performance Streetbike magazine.  Buy the mag and read the review, it seems pretty honest in its appraisal of the bike.

6th gear 60 – 120km Hayabusa 4.9 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 – 120km Blackbird 6.1 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 – 120km GSX-R 6.8 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)
6th gear 60 – 120km ZZ-R1100 7.2 secs (Australian Performance Streetbike magazine)

Gearbox
Being new the gearbox is not the best shifting thing on the planet.  At times it feels perfect other times it seems very vague.  And there is a definite false neutral between 5-6 if you’re not careful.  After having a chat to the Suzuki staff and their demo bike which exhibits the same thing they reckon that shortening the gear lever would solve the problem.  BMW owners should be familiar with this kind of shift?  Having learnt that how to change gears with the upper portion of my foot, and yes I admit, it seems to work.  Giving it a rev as or before changing gears seems to work just as well.   Regardless of the solution if things do not improve it will be disappointing for a Suzuki. (That said the gearbox needs to be sturdy to handle that sort of power so I should have expect some heft)

Suspension – The black art.
On the road :  The Suzuki Hayabusa’s standard suspension settings for the road are very good.  It is firm but no where near what I consider the extreme jarring of a GSX-R and certainly better dampened than a CBR.  I not sure whether this sort of  bike (sporty tourer) should have softer suspension, as softer suspension usually means much less handling.  Regardless, riding the Hayabusa after my GSX-R 1998 was like sitting on a cloud.

The Hayabusa’s front settings are near perfect I reckon.  Lack of outright feel but planted nonetheless, due to the steering damper ?  The steering damper is hidden away behind the headlight !  The rear is different, not what you’d call plush but on the soft side of sporty.  For Australian roads I think it could be a tad softer.  I also think that the front has a slight wobble since the change of tyre but I can’t be sure whether it has always been there.

Next week I’ll have the front damping set to soft to see what happens and I may have some pics developed ! (Update 2011 No digital camera yet)