For over a century, gearheads across the world have lived and died by the number 200. Many a rider has put it all on the line in hopes of besting the fabled figure, be it in miles per hour or horsepower.
The connection with this ever-elusive integer can be traced back to its octane-induced roots at the Bonneville Salt Flats, a barren flatland that’s played home to a yearly top speed event for over 100 years. Long ago the feat of breaking the double century mark and entering the 200 MPH Club compelled folks from all walks of life to try their hand at entering this exclusive fraternity.
Although 200 is still as majestic as it once was, in recent years the magical number has gone beyond outright top speed and become the almighty mark to hit in the quarter mile, the standing mile and on the dyno. Wherever applicable, it’s the figure one must achieve in order to command serious respect.
During random happy hour banter after work one night we found ourselves on the topic of chasing the mythical unicorn we call 200except this time we were going to try and hit the mark on the dyno. Sure, we could easily spin it with forced induction, nitrous or even a built motor, but where’s the challenge in that? We decided a proper goal would be scoring 200 HP in one day using only basic bolt-ons. A tall order indeed, but that never stopped us before.
Taking the old adage that there’s no replacement for displacement, we deduced that a large displacement bike like a Hayabusa was the perfect bike for the job since it’s immensely choked up from the factory and stands to benefit from a little uncorking.
21.68 Horsepower Gained In One Day
With all the hype about the latest literbikes it’s no wonder many people have lost sight of the original king of speedthe Suzuki Hayabusa. In case you forgot, when the big bird was introduced it helped push sportbikes to the next level with 9-second ETs, near 200 MPH top speed (when unrestricted) and blinding acceleration so fierce it redefined the term fast.
But with all the recent banter about the S1000RR this and ZX-10R that, we thought it was about time we shine the spotlight back on the number one stunnah.
An M4 full system cut 33-pounds...
An M4 full system cut 33-pounds off the bike and gave it another 11 HP.
Blessed with slippery bodywork, a long and stable chassis and propelled by a massive 1340cc motor, the Suzuki Hayabusa is the recipe for high-speed success.
While dyno numbers for the ’Busa aren’t much higher than the literbikes, it’s the gobs of torque that makes it the real king on the street. Overlay the dyno graphs on top of its 1000cc competition and you’ll see it has a 20+ LB-FT advantage. This is the kind of torque that shortens freeway onramps and makes first and second gears nothing more than tire shredders.
Before making any mods we needed to establish a baseline. When the smoke cleared we were left with 173.52 HP and 103.28 LB-FT at the tireboth impressive, but there was definitely room for improvement.
The Montgomery Motorsports...
The Montgomery Motorsports carbon fiber airbox is a thing of beauty. It also added a few ponies and saved almost three-pounds over the stock box.
Like all motors, our 1340cc mill is essentially an air pump, and relieving restrictions on both the inlet and outlet are always a good bet to make more power. On the dyno the stock bike was whisper quiet thanks to the bulbous pair of stock mufflers, and that was priority number oneditching the stock exhaust system.
In place of the heavy stock pipes we opted for an M4 stainless steel full system with a titanium muffler. This piped dream shaved 33-pounds over the stock exhaust system and boosted power by 11 HP and 6 LB-FT at the rear wheel. It’s not often you can bolt on that kind of power and reduce weight so drastically, but the M4 pipe exceeded our expectations and even pushed midrange grunt up another 10+ HP and 10 LB-FT. If you’re limited to just one mod this season, start here.
With the exhaust uncorked our next order of business was to relieve the inlet side of the ’Busa, and that came in the form of Montgomery Motorsports’ carbon fiber airbox. This colossal container was so large it took some finagling to get it in place. But once fitted it was good for another 2 HP and 2 LB-FT at the wheel with equally stout gains in the midrange. While the box performed well on the dyno, had our Hayabusa been fitted with a big- displacement motor the airbox would have been an even bigger help. Consider it one of those mods that will benefit you now, but really pay dividends when you dive into the engineespecially since a pumped-up motor gulps massive amounts of air.
Along with the power gains, the carbon box also shaved 2.8-pounds over the stock airbox. We must note that our early production airbox did not have an air filter and is better suited to race applications. However, we hear Montgomery has an air filter provision in the works.
This slippery stuff was worth...
This slippery stuff was worth 2-3 HP in the middle and 1 HP at peak.
In keeping with our go big or go home attitude we decided to pull another racer trick out of our sleeves, and that ace in the hole was some Alisyn Less Than Zero Weight Oil from Brock’s Performance. This slippery stuff has a viscosity of less than zilch, and on the dyno it was good for 1 HP at peak. The dump-and-pour gains were impressive to say the least, but bear in mind this is race oil. While it’s OK to leave it in your streetbike for a weekend at the track, for ultimate longterm reliability heavier oil is recommended. But on the dyno our lightweight liquid certainly speaks for itself, and if you’re after every last ounce of power during your track outings, this is the real deal.
With the bird breathing freely and spinning on some slippery oil our next weapon of choice was a few gallons of MR12 race gas from VP Fuels. This rocket fuel is serious stuff and without any tuning netted us another 5 HP and 1.5 LB-FT at the tire. But with a wideband oxygen sensor connected we saw the air/fuel ratio (AFR) move from a safe 13.5:1 to a substantially leaner 15.5:1.
MR12 is a highly oxygenated race blend that burns so efficiently it creates more oxygen inside the combustion chamber and allows more fuel to be added, thus making more power. Much like the effect nitrous has on combustion, race gas has more potential energy. Unlike additive-heavy pump gas that actually cut burning efficiency, the VP blend is easily combusted.
Since the MR12 added another 5 HP but leaned the bike to an unsafe level we decided a DynoJet Power Commander V (PCV) was in order. The PCV allowed us to tweak the AFR on the dyno for another 5 HP and 5 LB-FT at the tirepretty impressive results, to say the least.
When the number crunching was done our bolt-on ’Busa laid down a jaw-dropping 195.20 HP and a tire-annihilating 116.56 LB-FT at the wheel. Total gains for the day worth of bolt-ons were 21.68 HP and 13.28 LB-FT with a 37.8-pound weight savings from the exhaust and airbox.
How’s it ride?
The PCV allowed us to tweak...
The PCV allowed us to tweak the AFR and gain another 5 HP on the dyno.
Although deadlines squashed all hopes of high-speed blasts across the desert, the
hundred-plus street miles we managed to squeeze into our schedules was full of massive burnouts and hilarious second gear power wheelies. Now a twist of the wrist sends the front tire flying and the speedo smashing into the triple digits.
Forget a stock ’Busa or even a modded literbike; after tasting nearly 200 HP and almost 120 LB-FT at the tire and you’ll never look back. This is the kind of bike that will land you in the slammer with a quickness, but choose your moments wisely and you’ll be smiling ear-to-ear inside your helmet with every blip of the throttle.
All you need to reap the rewards of race gas is a fueling computer and a custom tune. Come race day, simply upload your race-gas map into the computer (or flip the switch if you have a bar-mounted multi map switch), fill’er up with some MR12 and go kick some ass. When you get home, reload your pump-gas map (or flip your map switch back to pump gas) and you’re free to commute to work. Sure it’ll take a few more bucks up front to get a fueling computer and multiple maps, but once the upfront costs are set the 10+ HP of the race gas can be your hidden weapon. And the icing on top is the sweet aroma of spent race gas.
-Not every blend of race gas is the right mix for your application so consult a specialist on what’s best for your bike.
-Never pour race gas from a metal container while standing on carpet or metal. Static electricity is your enemy and it can start a fire around highly volatile substances.
-Don’t leave race gas in your tank for more than a few daysit can gum up and even deteriorate your fuel system.
-Store your race gas in a sealed metal containerit helps preserve it much longer and if kept in a cool location like an air-conditioned garage, some race fuels can last over six months.
OK, so we came up short of the 200 mark, but only by a few ponies. However, at this point we’ve nearly maximized our potential without diving into the motor or spending big money on nitrous or forced induction. Had we been able to tweak the ignition timing we might have found a few more horses, but we’d still be just shy of 200 HP.
Moving forward we’re talking big money and serious commitment, but stay at it and you can create a monster. If the all-motor route is your thing, a bit more compression, a worked cylinder head and larger cams would surely push you well over 200 HP, and when paired with a big bore kit you’d probably be in the neighborhood of 230 HP on race gas. And if a power adder is your cup of tea, it’s just a matter of a little boost or juice to easily push you into the 200s. ssb