Hercules vs Poseidon. Zeus vs Ares. Batman vs Superman. Even Mike Tyson vs Muhammad Ali. What’s common between them is that they are all battles of the heavyweights. Unfortunately, another similarity is that they are all fantastical. Even then the thirst for the ‘Clash of Titans’ is never-ending and the rosters are getting thinner by the day. Therefore, this edition of Driver vs Rider is here to serve only one purpose: deliver a battle of titanic proportions.
So without further ado, we introduce the competitors. Fighting from the white corner, an SUV that looks like it just swallowed another SUV, the Hummer H2 and fighting from the black corner, a motorcycle with a displacement that equals two bottles of beers i.e. 1300cc, the icon, Suzuki GSX1300R aka the Hayabusa.
The Humvee or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) is a four-wheel-drive military light truck produced by AM General. The vehicle is as sturdy as they come and are still in use by the United States Military. AM General began marketing a civilian version of the M998 Humvee in 1992. That’s how the ‘Hummer’ brand was born. It was a brand of trucks and SUVs under the AM General group. In 1998, the brand name was purchased by General Motors (GM). In the same year they started marketing three vehicles under the Hummer brand; the original H1 (based on the military Humvee) and the new H2 and H3 models that were based on smaller GM platforms.
The vehicle in question here is the H2 which we just said was based on the smaller GM platforms but small is something that the H2 is definitely not. The H2 was marketed by Hummer and produced by AM General between 2002 and 2009. The H2’s front was based on a GM 2500-Series utility frame and the rear uses a modified GM 1500-Series frame. The mid-section was designed from scratch. This resulted in an SUV that weighs around 3900 kg. It was also nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award in 2003.
The engines on the Hummer have been changed and refreshed many times. From 2003 to 2005 the majority of the lot had a 6-litre V8 that produced 316 bhp of power at 5200 rpm. The next iteration saw the same engine’s power increased from 316 to 325 bhp. In 2008 the capacity of the engine was increased to 6.2 litres in the same V8 and power was bumped up to 393 bhp. Those are astronomical figures and testament to the power of the engine is that the 3900 kg vehicle goes from 0-60 mph in close to 9 seconds.
Sadly, in 2009 GM announced that they will be dismantling the Hummer brand completely after GM was not able to reach a closure to the deal of selling the Hummer brand. Although GM did get new offers, by the April of 2010 Hummer dealerships were shutting down and the inventory was depleted so the sale became unlikely. The last Hummer, which was an H3, rolled off the line on the 24th of May 2010.
The Hayabusa on the side of the H2 is monstercycle being produced by Suzuki since 1999. The name Hayabusa has some interesting origins. Hayabusa, in Japanese, is the Peregrine Falcon which is renowned for its speed, reaching over 300 km/h during a hunting dive. The above-stated fact should be enough to assert the aptness of the name but interestingly enough, Peregrine Falcons prey on ‘Blackbirds’. Is that a hint here? Maybe. But the Hayabusa did take the title of the world’s fastest motorcycle from the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. Coincidence? We think not.
The first generation Hayabusa (1999-2007) was powered by a 1299cc, liquid-cooled, inline 4 engine which produced more than 150 bhp. Hayabusa achieved the feat of being the world’s fastest production bikes in its launch year itself, reaching a top speed of over 300 km/h. Although, it was later limited to 299 km/h.
The second generation Hayabusa (2008-till date) received slight revisions in 2008 and that’s been the norm after 2008 as well. The major change was the increase of 41 cc in displacement making it 1340cc since then. The model in question here is a 2014 Suzuki Hayabusa or GSX 1300R. It features a 1340cc, DOHC, inline 4 engine with 16 valves (4 valves per cylinder). It produces a claimed 197 bhp at 10100 rpm and 138.7 Nm of torque at 7600 rpm.
The power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox which also comprises of a slipper clutch. The Hayabusa tips the scale at 250 kg (dry). It is based on a twin-spar aluminium frame with USD forks on the front and monoshock at the rear. Braking duties are handled by twin discs with radially-mounted callipers on the front and a single hydraulic disc at the rear. The front tyre is a 120/70 section ZR-17 and the rear is a 190/50 ZR-17.
One of the best things about the Hayabusa is that despite its mammoth weight and size, it does not lose out on aspects other than power like handling, comfort, reliability etc. And probably that is what gives the Hayabusa the pedestal of an icon, a legend.
Both of these vehicles are massive and wonderful in their own right. They are both meant for the ones who want to dominate and that too in a ‘big way’. The only difference is that a few do it on two wheels and the other on four.