The license plate on Rick Wahlberg’s Hayabusa translates into “life-taker.” People have told him he is tempting fate, but he prefers to think of it as a not-so-subtle hint. “It’s a simple respect factor with bikes like this,” said Rick, who likes to be reminded that his bike is fun but far from a toy. His cautionary attitude makes sense; after all not many toys kick with the power of nearly 400 horses and push the speedo north of 200 MPH.
Rick’s philosophy for building bikes goes back to before the boosted powerplant, the lengthened swingarm, and the 227.5 MPH run down a Mojave, CA airstrip. After growing up on dirtbikes and competing in off-road events, Rick moved on to fabrication–mostly choppers–and proved himself a worthy builder. When the shake-rattle-and-roll industry of building rigid choppers slowed down in the mid-2000s, he found himself looking for something more useable to fuel his passion for riding. An ’05 R6 was the answer to his question, which also provided him a taste of what the sportbike aftermarket had to offer. But even after a pipe, a Power Commander, and countless carbon bits he still had an itch that only more power could scratch, and that led him to his Hayabusa.
Rick might be one of the few people to choose an R6 for comfort, and he is also in a minority of people who ride a ‘Busa and decide it needs more juice. “When I first got the Hayabusa, before I turbo’d it, I was kind of disappointed actually,” he said, and as he poured time and effort into increasing the potential of his bike, all of his experience snapped into focus. “My philosophy for choppers and sportbikes is hard, fast, and aggressive. I won’t build anything for myself or anybody that can’t be used hard. Everything’s got to have a place, be functional, and make the bike better. Power, handling, looks; it’s got to flow together.”
Squat down on this hot seat...
Squat down on this hot seat and find out what firing off the line is all about.
Wondering where the money...
Wondering where the money went? Under the seat and inside the tail is a lineup of fueling and boost control electronics that requires a formidable geek squad to tune.
Hidden behind the fairings...
Hidden behind the fairings is the heart of this boosted beast where the snail hides in its shell.
And so the “life-taker” took on a life of its own. As with most sportbike mods, the first thing to change was the pipe. In this case the OEM unit was swapped for an HMF high-mount kit. In race trim the ‘Busa sheds the modified HMF piece for an RCC-made shorty exhaust that dumps out just behind the TechG Racing rearsets. Boost also comes from RCC, in the form of a Stage Two kit with matching water injection, and is handled internally by Wossner pistons, rods and an APE race-balanced crank. When competing, the turbo pushes 20 pounds of boost and, with the help of MicroTech secondary fueling, spawns over 380 HP. For street use, it runs on pump gas with 7 lbs of boost from the turbo and still puts out around 235 HP, which is enough to get you where you need to go or in trouble very quickly.
HMF cans aren’t widely popular...
HMF cans aren’t widely popular but they produce a scream that’s hard not to love. Add two of them and be prepared to wake the neighbors after late night runs.
As the old saying goes, power is nothing without control, so Rick made sure that the chassis and drivetrain could walk the motor’s talk. Channeling the engine’s rage is an MTC two-stage clutch carrying Barnett Kevlar plates in a billet basket from Muzzy, and to help keep the front wheel down he had Myrtle West extend the swingarm four-inches over stock. For custom look and feel he turned to Pazzo for levers and to TechG Racing for rearsets.
When the time comes to slow down there are oversized discs up front and a Galfer Wave rotor in the rear, both fed by stainless steel Galfer lines. The front rotors are Performance Machine customs from the Harley catalog adapted to matching PM wheels, with another custom adapter to help the calipers accept the larger discs. That’s a lot of custom tackle just to shed speed, but with aggression like this on tap it’s good to be sure.