As ever, the peerless John Robinson clouted several nails on the head when he tested the newly launched Suzuki Hayabusa at Catalunya with its 1km main drag. He wrote: “When your ambitions are for very high speeds big is bad. The only option is to get neck-deep into aerodynamics and watch the stylists tear their hair out. You can take bets on whether they tear their own or one another’s. Then they get their own back by painting it black. Or brown.
20 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH / HAYABUSA 20TH
Celebrating the Suzuki GSX1300R’s twentieth birthday with the late, great John Robinson
“WHEN YOUR AMBITIONS ARE FOR VERY HIGH SPEEDS BIG IS BAD”
“The object of aerodynamics is to make a large motorcycle behave like a small one. This sleight of hand is called CdA (pronounced seedee-ay to rhyme with tararaboomdee-ay apart from viewers in Newcastle). The Cd bit is the coefficient of drag, the slipperiness of the object in question. The A is for frontal area, the sheer size of the thing. Multiply the two together and you have the bike’s contribution to total air drag, so a big bike with a lot of A (the GSX) could have a very small Cd and behave, speedwise, like a small bike with a normal Cd. Mind you, there’s something to be said for starting with a small bike in the first place like Aprilia’s RSV that manages 170mph on a mere 115-120bhp.
“Which leaves the question of just how fast the 1300 will go. If Suzuki are right about the power and the aerodynamics, they’re looking at 200mph. If we’re right about the power and if the aerodymanics are above average, then it’s going to be 185-190mph.” And of course he was spot-on. RIP JR.