Velocity's blue one is something stronger--as in a ball-bearing turbocharged, 550-horsepower, 240-plus-mph shot of nasty! The blue bike hides its horsepower well, as most of the bits--obviously none of the motivators--remain stock.
The orange is a rookie-friendly, palette-pleasing, 437-horsepower, 225-mph treat, which sheds major poundage via titanium everything and Marvic wheels.
It's one loud f****n' party on either bike thanks to Velocity Racing's turbo-dump/external wastegate-dump "exhaust." Both of these wicked 'Busas get their boost on courtesy of Garrett ball-bearing turbos--a GT35 on the blue bike and a GT25/30 hybrid on the orange. Madness abounds....
This orange 'Busa vies with a hellacious Bimota for owner/builder Barry Henson's attention--both (well, all three if you count Henson) are insane and see regular street duty.
Marvic magnesium wheels, Brembo GP-spec front calipers, a Yoyodyne titanium rear brake, and a full compliment of titanium nuts and bolts allow this 437-horsepower Suzuki to sport a power-to-weight ratio of nearly 1.0:1! In short, it's stupid fast....
Barry Henson knows 'Busas. Never mind that bitchin' Bimota featured a few pages back--that's just Henson's play bike. When it comes to his business, Velocity Racing, he builds almost all Suzuki Hayabusas, and he builds them fast. In fact, the Hayabusa that Henson raced in the AMA/Prostar Streetbike Shootout competition last season is the fastest and quickest Hayabusa in the world, at 7.82 seconds at 190.67 mph in the quarter-mile.
All this speed and power doesn't come easy, however, and Henson is constantly developing new technology and testing products both on the dyno and the road. There is no such thing as customer beta testing at Velocity--everything Velocity sells is proven technology. And if it's a 'Busa part you are buying, chances are the prototype was put through the paces on one of these two bikes, Velocity Racing's Hayabusa test mules. Henson's new ideas are experimented with on these bikes first, and as such, these are probably the two trickest Hayabusas on Earth.
Henson owns the orange bike and rides it regularly on the street. The blue bike belongs to a good friend of Henson's, Jeff Steinberg, and is also a dedicated street machine. Both are 2000 models, and both are turbocharged by Velocity--but that's where the similarities end.
Steinberg's bike has been through multiple evolutions over the past three years. When he first brought the bike to Henson it was for one of Velocity's basic Stage One turbo kits, but today it is equipped with the most radical turbo system that Velocity offers, a full-blown, 550 hp (!) race package featuring Velocity's stand-alone fuel-injection system.
The turbo itself is the latest GT35 model from Garrett, a highly efficient dual ball-bearing unit with an external wastegate (the second, smaller dump pipe exiting the fairing) to reduce back pressure and heat on the turbo. This is paired with Velocity's own water-injection system in place of a heavy, restrictive intercooler--which uses a shot of water into the intake tract to cool the intake charge. The stand-alone fuel-injection system is built to Velocity's specs by Autronics, and is completely programmable via an integrated datalogger. The wiring harness has been gutted and the entire bike has been rewired from scratch by Henson to run through this data-gathering system. It's exactly the same setup that Henson runs on his Shootout racebike.
Turbo and fuel-injection systems aside, the rest of Steinberg's bike is surprisingly mild. The bike is stock bore and uses the stock head, and internal engine mods are minimal: Falicon rods, JE turbo pistons and Web cams. "I'm not a believer in displacement," Henson explains.
"A lot of people believe bigger is better, but I build my engines to stay together. Keeping stock bore means the cylinder walls are thicker and there's more distance between the cylinders on the head gasket, all of which allows me to make power with more boost. The little bit that you gain from larger displacement isn't worth the reliability costs. I'll take more boost."
Steinberg's chassis is stock except for the swingarm, which is from Trac Dynamics. The fork is stiffened, as is the spring on the shock, and RC Components wheels are fitted, but otherwise the chassis is as Suzuki intended. A sleeper package, if you will, camouflaging the 550 hp lurking beneath.
Not so with Henson's orange bike, which is fitted with nearly every weight-reducing component he could find: Marvic wheels, Brembo GP-spec front calipers and master cylinders (brake and clutch), Ferodo front rotors, a Yoyodyne titanium rear caliper, rotor and hanger, and titanium hardware throughout, all of which keeps the wet weight down to 475 pounds--feathery for a 'Busa.
The chassis on the orange bike is significantly modified, with a headstock raked back five degrees, Mikuni triple clamps (and rearsets) and another Trac Dynamics swingarm. The rear shock is a stocker reworked by the crew at GMD Computrack, who also shortened and stiffened the stock fork.
The motor in the orange bike began life as one of Henson's Shootout engines, fitted with JE pistons, Falicon rods, Yoshimura cams and an MTC lockup clutch. Like Steinberg's bike, Henson's is stock bore and still uses the stock head--basic, simple and durable. It's presently fitted with Velocity Racing's Stage Two street turbo kit, which pairs an upgraded Garrett GT25/30 hybrid dual ball-bearing turbo with Velocity's innovative water-injection system. This combo is good for a robust 437 hp, Henson reports, or nearly 1 hp per pound of bike weight. Yikes!
Henson's orange bike was a '01 land-speed record holder at the East Coast Timing Association's Maxton speed trials, where it completed the standing mile at 225 mph--the top speed of any vehicle, two wheels or four, that year. Steinberg's blue bike is no slouch either--Henson says that in unofficial, "nine-tenths" racing (an impromptu speed trial held at a top-secret,nine-tenths-of-a-mile-long stretch of highway deep in the Florida Everglades) he has gotten Steinberg's bike up to a blood-boiling 233 mph. And this was with a previous turbo system installed, one that made 100 less hp.
Henson says he and Steinberg are planning to return to Maxton this coming September for another land-speed attempt, now that the new motor is dialed in. Henson is predicting a top speed of at least 240 mph, if conditions cooperate and the customary Maxton headwind isn't in effect. Given his history of high numbers from hot Hayabusas, we wouldn't bet against him.