Drag racing and the Suzuki Hayabusa go together like heirloom tomatoes and the height of summer. You can’t really have one without the other. The Hayabusa is utterly resplendent on its throne at an awful lot of drag racing events, much like taking a bite out of a perfect tomato at the peak of ripeness. It’s a great drag bike in the hands of a skilled rider, but is it better than an all-wheel-drive Porsche 911 Turbo S?
That’s the central question posed by this drag racing video, brought to you by the good people at Bike World and Carwow in the United Kingdom. For those who are unfamiliar, Chris Northover of Bike World is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, former British Superbike racer, and, of course, an experienced motorcycle journalist.
Meanwhile, Carwow’s Mat Watson is a veteran in the automotive space, with editorial and on-camera presentation experience, as well as directing nearly all of Carwow’s four-wheeled drag race videos. While you can’t know everything about a competitor’s level of experience if you show up to your local drag event, having some context is always helpful.
The standing-start quarter-mile drag race (best two out of three), the rolling start drag race, and the brake test comprise this test of two-wheeled vs. four-wheeled dominance. Of course, they both need to warm up their tyres first, so it’s donut time for the Porsche and smoky burnout time for the ‘Busa, as you do.
It’s standing-start drag race time after the tyres have been properly warmed. Although Chris is clearly psyching himself up to get the best possible launch, and despite the fact that the race is incredibly close the first time out—the Porsche comes out on top. AWD and traction control seem to be dialed in superbly on that car, and the Hayabusa just couldn’t bridge the gap.
The Porsche’s traction control is nigh unbeatable from a standing start. The second standing-start race is even worse. Take the launch out of the equation and the Hayabusa is more quickly able to get up to speed and go blasting past the Porsche. Chris suspects that the ‘Busa will do better in the rolling-start quarter mile, and he’s 100 percent correct.
The final test is brakes, with the Porsche able to stop from 100 miles per hour faster than the Japanese car. It’s still short of the stopping distance recommended by road rules, but it’s a significant difference.