Personal BLOG entries for September 1999.

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Performance FAQ

2nd Gen Hayabusa
Long term review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 -
Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 -
Part 7 - Part 8 -
Part 9

As a first bike Pt.2

99-07 Hayabusa
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Contents for this month include :

How to fix that vibe in the screen.
More comparisons with a '99 CBR600
Problems with the regular BT56 tyres (not J spec)
Carrying pillions on the Hayabusa
Gearbox difficulties solved
Problems if you don't use recommended tyre pressures
Dash scratches
Suspension adjustment
Short and long distance comfort
More handling observations

Latest update 26 / 9 / 1999 : You must pardon my grammar.  I blame it on the speed which I tend to do the updates.  This week I have got a few winges, the RPM dial is exposed to direct sunlight when the bike is parked with the steering lock on.  Hence I have noticed some fine scratches on the surface when riding with the sun in about the noon position, which is not too often.  Not exactly earth shattering but still....  Strange that the fairing is weathering the very hot sun very well and hence no sun scratches.   (I do live in the tropics) Furthermore, on the move heat flowing from the engine can be felt on the right side, the left side is fine.  Damn annoying when the ambient temperature is always at least  30C during the day.

Check out the  1999 Australian Suzuki Hayabusa brochure here !  Check out the 1st impression page for the reason I bought the Hayabusa, you may think me weird.

Anyway to the more important stuff : Suspension adjustment.  I have hardened the pre-load? the screws on the top of the steering clamps.  It has been adjusted 2 turns/clicks from maximum hardness.  The result is weird ; I can feel the tyre flex when entering the drive way or braking but there is little nose dive under braking.  However the front now feels pretty skittish underpower, lucky the thing has a steering damper.  The rear tyre seems to  lose traction under hard acceleration too ! I usually weigh under 80kgs but have no trouble positioning hence no accidental wheelies.  After all that I think the standard settings are fine.  Or maybe I have to set the other settings too ?  Not forgetting that the rear tyre is not standard these observations may not be true with the standard tyres !

As I understand it the rear trye (standard BT56) is more flexible than the J spec.  Hence after chatting with the Suzuki Territory staff they reckon that lowering pressures on the front and pumping up the rear should make the front shimming disappear.  I'll post the results next week.  But for that I think I'll have to have the standard suspension settings.

Further comparisons with the 1999 CBR600.  That flat spot at 5000-7000rpm is horrible, how can Honda do this !  5000 rpm in top gear coincides with the major city road speed limit  of 100kph.  Hence changing gears is always required when overtaking.  This sort of thing really hammers home the point of linear power delivery by the Hayabusa.  Well for me, I always keep the revs down purely for licensing purposes, but the Hayabusa honestly makes you want to go faster.  Whilst on the CBR, it seems to look after your license by not wanting to go past 100kph due to the flat spot.

Next week :  what's it like carrying a pillion on the Hayabusa !

Latest update 19 / 9 / 1999 : Since fixing the vibey screen, the bike has been an absolute pleasure.   Although I must admit over time the Hayabusa seems to feel more vibey than when I first got it.  I guess its all relative. 

I don't think I'm being too defensive when I say that : If the biggest winge I have about the Hayabusa WAS a vibey screen, it wasn't even a consistent type of vibe.  Even the fussy gear change for the first 5000ks wasn't as annoying as this vibe ! - I must be going crazy ! 

NEWS !!! : Apparently in a magazine I read recently,  you could get an engine power limiting kit in Europe for new motorcyclists, for the Hayabusa.  Weird but I think pretty cool for those who want a Hayabusa but can't legally ride one.  One of the ultimate pose machines if ever I saw one.  And I hope the Hayabusa will come out with a touring version, complete with shaft drive, cruise control, matching luggage, quality  stereo with multi CD stacker etc...  All it would I take I reckon would be to redesign the rear of the bike.

Short distances : Let me reiterate, this is a powerful motorcycle, You really must respect that.  I haven't fallen off yet but I have honestly spun the rear wheel unintentionally  whilst cornering on many occasions.   It could be slippery roads but it hasn't started raining here yet.  The power it dishes out is soooo deceptive.  Could be my riding style too, ie weigh on bars to corner usually.

I'm supposed to be on holidays next week so I hope to complete the major upgrade to this site !

Latest update 12 / 9 / 1999 : The bike has just had its 2nd service (about 5500km).  The most noticeable thing about the bike after the service was the gear change.  Its improved dramatically, I must ask them what they did !  Since then it hasn't missed the 5-6 change and it gives a nice precise click-click sound like the old GSX-R when changing gears.   However the screen now vibrates at different revs.  So I attempted to fix it my self : 

The screen is secured to the fairing by 2 screws near the mirror.  Taking the securing nut out was easy, using the standard toolkit but the rubber bit is another story.  The rubber bit is NOT a washer.  It's a plastic tube that has a lump in the middle. The holding nut is moulded inside this tube.   You must pull out the tube washer before taking the screen off, its about 1.5 cm long.   When the nut is tightened the rubber compresses hence tightening the screen. 

Anyway,  once the tube washer is taken out, the screen can be pulled off by sitting on the seat and pulling it towards you.  Once out of the fairing you will see the recessed edges of the screen that slots into the fairing.   I used electrical tape to over ALL the edges (at least 2 layers).  Don't use too much or you'll be able to see the tape when the screen is inserted back and the fit will be really tight and the securing nut will not be able to be screwed back in.  Make sure ALL the edges have been covered or  the screen will vibrate in a different place. 

Once completed insert the screen back into the fairing aligning the securing holes.  The tube washer can then be inserted back in.   You may find this difficult because when you try to push the tube in the lump expands making the tube wider hence too big.  The secret is to loosely put the bolt into the tube and nut place it into the fairing hole and with the hex-tool from the top and push the tube in.  If aligned correctly the tube goes in without any effort.   Why, put placing the bolt in and pushing from the top expands the tube, making it thinner, the lump in the middle flattens out !  Tighten the screen and go for a test spin.  hopefully if you've taped the right areas on the screen the vibration should disappear.  Well, it worked for me ! 

I took it for a spin to Litchfield park and for some curves.  The straight road there was non-eventful with a steady 140-160km at   4000-4500 rpm.   At those revs the engine is sitting just below what I call the torque threshold.   Because after that the engine starts piling on the torque.  You can feel the lumpiness and the associated speed potential.  It seems to shed the civilised feel at lower revs.  Overtaking from slower traffic even at these speeds donot require a gear change.  Twist the throttle and she flys up to what ever speed you want.  For the Hyper-space effect on car, overtake conservatively and full throttle once along side.   (I think it changes the fuelling map) Fuel consumption a mere 5.1 lts per hundred kms, on premium unleaded.  It seems to feel even faster accelerating than from a standing start.

Latest update 5 / 9 / 1999 : TYRE PRESSURES.  When I checked the tyre pressures prior to adjusting the suspension I realised 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 underinflated 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 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.  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 !