Harleys are no match for the Hayabusa in a drag race. With the 2019 version of Suzuki’s sportbike producing close to 200 horsepower, it’s no wonder the Hayabusa rules the track. On the other hand, Harleys are known for their torque figures and low-end power delivery. However, even when a Harley jumps out of the starting gate, their pushrod engines rarely muster the horsepower needed to seal the win. The torque vs. horsepower equation usually leans in the Busa’s direction, until it met this Road King on the strip.
Like most sporting events, races are ritualistic affairs and no drag race starts without the ceremonial burnouts. While it may seem like showboating or chest-puffing, warm tires lead to tacky grip, and that traction usually results in a favorable start.
Once the racers finished the tire-screeching warm-up, the Hayabusa rolled up to the starting line as the Harley rider slipped on his gloves. This lull in the action afforded the audience a good look at the Milwaukee Eight powertrain along with the custom transparent air scoop and aftermarket exhaust.
With his gloves secured, the Harley rider duck walked his bagger into starting position. At this point, the Suzuki branding on the Road King racer’s leathers was dead center. We’ll never know whether he was trolling the Hayabusa rider or just using a loaner race suit, but the irony adds a comedic touch to the showdown.
Anticipation built as the orange lights descended the tree. As soon as the green light illuminated, the Harley roared out of the gate—with a small wheelie. Once the Road King’s front wheel touched back down on the tarmac, it barreled toward the finish line with the Busa hot on its tail. Unfortunately, the camera angle didn’t capture the distance between the riders but the orange light on the screen-right side of the track declared the Harley the winner.
Regardless of the winner, these mismatched duels result in some of the most entertaining races on the strip. Whether you prefer torque or horsepower, motorcycle muscle is on full display. While the Hog took the bacon this time around, we look forward to more installments of the Harley versus Hayabusa series.